22 January, 2023
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. – Matthew 16:24
Heavenly Father, the Author and Finisher of life on earth, and of all humankind, it is by your well ordinated plans that we live and breathe. You hold us in the palm of your Hands when we humbly submit to your Holy Will and surrender ourselves totally to your loving care. Jesus has shown us the Way to Eternal Life, exhorting us to carry the cross we receive everyday, for to abide in Him is to live in imitation of Him. We pray that we may follow only your Will and plans for us, by identifying with and emulating Jesus.
Jesus sought complete allegiance from those who follow Him, for it was with willingness that He offered his life through a sacrificial death on the Cross, annihilating the victory of death by atoning for, and washing us free from all sin. He served us even to the point of death and we too need to be willing to sacrifice our lives for our Christian faith and beliefs. Christ warns that those who follow Him should willingly renounce the things of the earth, taking on suffering and persecution, if required.
Assist us dear Father, to live righteous and selfless lives for You and for the free grace of eternal salvation. May we realise that the things of this earth are temporary and of no lasting value. We plead for help to resist the shame of sin and to deny ourselves all worthless pleasures. May our lives be dedicated to becoming perfect in your eyes, following our Lord Jesus and fulfilling our Christian duty of uncomplainingly taking up our cross each day, and following in Jesus’ footsteps. Amen