Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Cost of Discipleship Prayer

Photo by Alfonso Ninguno on Unsplash

Dear Covenant Lord
Gracious alone, You are my Rock, from the foundation of the earth through the foundation of life to the foundation of my life. You are my life.
Yet in following You, Lord Jesus, to the seriousness of Your Word, I am convicted of heart about how much it will cost. Will I have the wherewithal to build my allegiance? God alone, You know.
You know I will need a strong and big and pliable heart, a disciplined mind, a fervent soul. And yet Your grace reminds me that the work of Your cross is done, that there is no more to do. For such a fact I owe You my life. Still, You raise me as You, Yourself, are risen.
What else will I need, Lord? What else will be required as I prepare to make my way to You? Teach me again as I ponder what it has cost thus far.
Surely, I’ll need godly support; people who will keep me to short account and encourage me, who will speak truth with me. Surely I’ll need virtue in abundance, especially humility, as pride so often wrests my journey with You away from me.
I will need to focus on being with You at all times. I’ve so often learned how hard it is to be a ‘professional’ Christian. That it can be a free form of discipleship that refuses to believe, let alone pay for, the costliness of such an endeavour. I know, because I have partaken. Lord, help me simply follow You. To simply follow You is harder than being a 9-5, half-day-Sunday Christian. Help me transcend the difficulties of the minister I know too well of.
Jesus, help me not be a half-finished tower, a relic of the promise of means without end. Help me measure what I promise You now so as to overestimate the cost, which must be too fanciful a prayer, and too ludicrous, to pray. Help me when I’m so immature as to get the wrecking ball out to destroy what You have already built.
Help me, in fear and in trembling, come before You now, knowing I will come up short. Prepare my heart even in that sense so I know then what to give up and when and how to do it. Not now, as that is too much to ask, but then.
Give me grace to do what I cannot do in my own strength, but only in Yours.
And forgive me for the way I now still so frequently underestimate the cost.
In my Saviour’s name I pray, AMEN.

This prayer is devoted to Luke 14:28: Jesus said, likening the call to follow Him to that of building a tower… “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?”

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