I pray today Lord, for students who are preparing for their life careers. If they struggle with their studies help them to keep at it and not to give up. If they are short of money help them to find part-time work so that they can make ends meet. Help them to succeed. I ask it in Christ’s name. AMEN
I pray today, Lord God for those women who will be abused or suffer violence, especially those who will suffer at the hands of someone they know and trust. Give them courage and physical strength and the determination not to despise themselves because of the ordeal they have experienced. I ask it in Christ’s name. AMEN
Lord God, I pray today for those people living in failed or failing states. Help them to hope beyond the chaos and confusion of their lands to a future strong with the possibility of new structures, proper community life, and leaders with integrity. I ask it in the name of Jesus Christ. AMEN
“Go and make disciples of all nations”.
Matt 28:19 NIV
Today, the first Sunday after Easter, wherever people gather for worship, the modern-day disciples of Jesus will be obeying the command he gave to his first disciples – to make disciples! However far the Christian community sometimes wanders from its God-appointed vocation, some of his servants revive the calling – and try to make disciples.
The task Jesus gave was not to “fill churches”. Nor was it “to save souls”. It wasn’t “to bring the lost to Jesus”, nor to capture the attention of the media, to work out great theologies, amass loads of degrees, or hold huge conferences or to become great orators. Still less was it to “rake in the dollars”, build big temples, or swell out vast bureaucracies.
Making disciples was then, and is today, the primary task of church members, leaders, followers, office-bearers, clergy, scholars, organists, musicians, youth leaders, Sunday School teachers and caretakers of church buildings. The making of disciples often gets side-lined whilst people engage in controversy, politic for positions of power, use their churches for commercial gain, build empires, and sometimes engage in false teaching, leading people astray and promote themselves rather than Jesus.
Making disciples involves helping people to commit themselves to Jesus, learn of him, practice faith in him, grow in faith, grow in grace and observe that discipleship involves “a long obedience in the same direction”. Sometimes you become more of a disciple by making disciples of others. Always becoming a disciple involves ongoing learning of Jesus and teaching people about him. Disciples sometimes make mistakes – then start again. Always they “fix their eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (Heb 12:2 NIV). Making disciples is a long, slow, hard process and the most worthwhile task in the world.
Lord, help me to make disciples.
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