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Friday, October 2, 2015

The Cross-Bearing Prayer

A prayer to Matthew 10:34-42.
Gracious and merciful Father,
Yours is the Kingdom we strive for; a Kingdom of power and glory and majesty, but also of grace and truth; a Kingdom of holiness and justice, but also of forgiveness and life, hope, peace and joy… a majestic Kingdom of safety and trust, a place we were created for; a destination of heart and soul as much as a terminus of place; a physical land. Your Kingdom come, is our prayer.
Thank You that we have a place with You, in eternity to come, as You’ve been given a place in our hearts; as we’ve made a home for which Your Holy Spirit can dwell within our souls – as You have come in.
All glory to You, Covenant Father, that we belong to You, and to You alone.
Nobody tells us when we’re converted to Jesus, Lord, just of the cost of our discipleship – of our following the Lord Jesus – but we’re thankful there’s a reward for our cross carrying. We’re grateful for the knowledge of this promise.
We’re thankful for the truth, for the strength and humility to carry what only we, in our lives, can; for what you have given us the power and patience to bear; for the fact that our experiences of salvation hang on our carrying of our cross.
Help us today to know that cross bearing is not only appropriate, but that it’s possible – that we can do it, in our unique circumstance; to carry our individual cross requiring much sacrifice, and that there’s meaning and significance in doing so.
Affirm to us what our crosses are, give us the strength by Your Spirit to carry our cross faithfully as Jesus carried His. Help us also to discern what our crosses aren’t – what You never call us to carry. Help us not feel guilty for not bearing another person’s cross, but help us encourage that person to bear what only they can and should. And help us be gracious!
Help us experience your merciful grace when we feel we fail You (when we don’t attain to our own loftier-than-helpful standards). Help us know You are not a tyrant. And help us to know that our cross is nothing that Jesus has not already borne for us; that He has and does and will bear us.
And principally, Creator God, remind us, that whilst we bear our cross, we do not suffer to the point of having our bodies broken by the weight of it or the spilling of our own blood. And yet even if we were called to martyrdom we would quickly ascend into the majesty of Your holy Presence.
Help us hope for that Day – in whatever eventuality. Help us accept it for the time and fact it – in all its shimmering brilliance – comes.
In Jesus’ wonderful Name – our Prototype, our Pillar, our Prop – our Exemplar, our Emmanuel, our Encourager – do we pray.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

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