Monday: “A Prayer for Endurance”
Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the Cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. AMEN.
And Jesus said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. Luke 14:22-23 (NIV)
God died. Being a Christian means following Jesus as Lord, which means following a God who died. Often as believers we want the cure without the prognosis; we want to be healed without a surgery. Jesus taught his followers that to follow him meant suffering, pain, and death – physical death yes but also death to all of our sinful and selfish desires, “dying to ourselves”. We pray not to avoid pain, suffering, or challenges: they are a guarantee for the Christian. We pray instead that we may find “life and peace” even in the midst of suffering, where without Him there is only anxiety and despair. Resurrection comes after crucifixion. Life comes after death.