We are now in the Christian season of Lent, the forty days of preparation leading to Easter. During this time, Christians are called to contemplate Jesus giving himself up to suffering and death on the Cross for the salvation of the world. To help in this contemplation, Christians are to engage in three religious practices: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
These three practices are not unique to Christianity, of course. In fact, Christianity inherited them from Judaism, out of which it was born. The religion of Islam also embraces the importance of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, particularly during the season of Ramadan. Other religions also stress the value of these practices. Why do so many faiths emphasize these three activities in particular?
Because together they are the best weapon in the most important battle we each face: the battle within.