Monday, February 13, 2012

A Morning Prayer

Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 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? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. --Matthew 16:24-27

Lord Jesus, I have a problem, and I need your help. You said whoever is unwilling to give up all that he has can not be your disciple. You told your disciples to first count the cost. You turned away men who said they would follow, but kept obligations in their hearts. I need your help.

I have trouble denying myself.

When I am ignored, neglected, set aside, devalued, overlooked, or forgotten, it hurts. I want to become bitter. I want to ignore the needs of others. I want to isolate myself, and just do things for me.

Remind me, Lord, to be grateful. For I have also been noticed and valued. I have also been remembered and appreciated. I have been given special attention and compliment. Above all, you remembered my name and wrote it in your book. How blessed I am.

Help me, Lord, not to neglect others when I feel down. Help me to show my wife and son how much I value them. Open my eyes to ways to remember them and give them my time and my attention. Help me love them with my actions.

Show me, Lord Jesus, how you suffered these things and how you overcame.  Let these events reveal themselves to you as I study your gospels. Open my eyes to your example. Help me to meditate on what your word says.

Teach me your truth, Father.  I will trust it and declare it. Help me to share with my wife and son, my family and friends, my colleagues and strangers, and my enemies.  Each one has a special value, whether or not we feel valued.

For we were created with the imprint of your image. You love us, and this is they way you showed it. You gave your son, so that whoever believes in him would not perish and suffer eternal isolation, but have everlasting life with you and all who have believed, where there will be perfect communion and perfect love.

Empower me to share that kind of perfect love with others today. When I am slighted, I will refuse to let anger arise in my heart. I will be patient and show love. I will deny myself and follow the way of Christ. When I am ridiculed, I will make my heart content to be counted worthy of suffering. Yes, I will take up my cross and follow the way of Christ.



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