“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age’” (Matthew 28:18-20).
Thanks be that the Ancient of Days wants to share all of our journey (Mt. 28:20). However, He will not come uninvited. So, we just say “yes.” Inviting Him to form the relationships that form us and those we love. Turning to Him when sleep eludes us in the night. Driving to work with Him instead of some deeply diverted disc jockey. Observing His reaction as He watches television with us and goes along to the movies we consume. Fasting, for His sake, from ball games, shopping, food, friends, vacations, or anything else that intrudes between us. Faithfully keeping the morning, afternoon, evening and/or late night appointments with Him. Having and helping His children. Taking care of His little ones. The more we obediently share life with Him, the better we become. The better we become, the more we want to share with Him.
As our relationship with Him develops, its health is seen in our deepening love for Him and others (Mt. 22:34-40). Going through life’s tasks in His powerful and sustaining Presence, mindful of our heritage and destiny, life becomes a “process of being conformed to the image of Christ for the sake of others.” We do this by journeying alongside and toward the Ancient of Days. The One who brought Adam into existence. Who led Abraham out of Ur in search of a place to really live. Who spoke to Moses face to face. Who sent His Son to reveal Himself (Jn. 14:8,9). Who gives His Spirit to make us whole. Who alone is our eternal abiding place (Jn. 14:1-4).
And, in the autumn of life, we are committed to a continued journey with Him. Still speaking tenderly to one another after all the years. Hearing deeply beneath the few words being spoken. Knowing verbals and non-verbals without even looking at each other. Libraries of love back and forth, especially in the silence. Looking back on the fruit of a life of love together. While looking forward to the time when we stand before His throne with family from every nation, tribe, people and language (Rev. 7:9-12).
Father, I can’t even begin to comprehend the depth of Your love for me! I want to walk alongside of You in this journey of life, as You conform me moment by moment into the image of Jesus Christ for the sake of others. You have made Your home with me and given me Your Spirit to make me whole. May I sense Your Presence in every stage of life and in the midst of every situation. You are my eternal abiding place and I will dedicate my life to seeking Your face and listening to Your voice. I will be obedient to Your Word, loving people and making disciples for the glory of Your Name.
–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 40, Abiding Prayer by Tony Twist). This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise the God of faith, hope, and love (1 Cor. 13:13). Thank him for the “new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet.1:3). Confess those times when you have given in to discouragement rather than hoping in God. Commit yourself to taking hold of the hope which God freely offers to you (Heb. 6:18). Ask that you will have opportunity to share your hope with another person today.
Ask God to help you live in such a way that your unsaved friends will ask “you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Pet. 3:15). Then be ready with your answer!
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.