24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” – Matthew 16:24-26
These aren’t easy words to hear, they are even more difficult to follow. Jesus calls us into a life that seems crazy to most. A life that is counter-cultural on every side – a life where we are told to literally “deny ourselves.” There is nothing comfortable about following Jesus. Yet, as a culture, our addiction to comfort is palpable at times. This week, we pray together that God breaks that addiction of comfort and send us out for His purpose.
- Pray that we, at LifePoint, see and believe the truth of Jesus’ words: that “whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Pray that the Holy Spirit reveals the glory of God something to be desired more than our very lives on this earth.
- Pray that God would remind us of the truth found in Colossians 3:1-4. Pray that as we are tempted by the enemy, or our own flesh, to live our lives for ourselves, we will remember and believe that our lives are not our own (we have died, and our lives are hidden in Christ). Pray that he would set our eyes above. “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
- Pray that we would “put off the old self, with its practices and put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator” (Colossians 3:9-10). Pray that we would not be conformed to this world, but by the renewing of our minds, be transformed (Romans 12:2).
- Pray that despite the discomfort that it may cause to live in sacrificial obedience, we would not deceive ourselves by being hearers of the word only. Pray that we would be doers of the word. “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” James 1:22.
- Pray that God would break the chains of comfort that hold so many in the places that they are. Pray that God would reveal all that we have as rubbish compared to His glory and that we would be joyfully obedient to “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15
- Pray that Holy Spirit would open our eyes to the eternal condition of those who do not know Jesus. Pray that we would see them through the eyes of their Creator. Pray that God stirs in us urgency. Pray that we are bold, despite our discomfort, to live as Jesus lived. “Jesus came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10
- Why does it feel so uncomfortable to simply stop what we are doing and pray together? Because the enemy knows that our prayers, especially those rooted in scripture, are a weapon that he cannot stand against. “3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
- Pray that we don’t stop by simply reading this through on our own. We ask you to print and pray through this with your LifeGroup, with your family, share it for others to see and pray. God, make us a church that earnestly prays for Your Kingdom to come… help us to pray together! And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” Acts 2:42.