With all the noise in the world, do you hear the voice of God? Your calendar tells you what to do, but do you remember who you are? Being comes before doing. This is a call to put first things first. Return to the Lord with this daily pattern of prayer and devotion. Set aside this time as a sanctuary. Find a space free of distraction and follow this pattern.
Make the sign of the cross, and say,
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matt. 5:8) O Lord, you see all things. Purify my heart that I may see you clearly. Amen.
Word: Revelation 13:10
Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.
Life is like a marathon. It’s easy to get discouraged along the way. Have you been tempted to just quit? To sit on the sidelines? Do you wonder if all the work is worth it? This is why God gives us exemplars. An exemplar is a Christian who is raised up to be an example for others. We can look at them and be encouraged to keep going. Endure.
There was a church father named Polycarp who lived in modern day Turkey in the second century. He was 86 when a mob chased him down. They persecuted Christians in the name of Caesar. They saw Christianity as a deviant cult that was a threat to the empire. When they came for him, the record says that he welcomed them, offered them food, and prayed for them. They took him to an arena and demanded that he renounce his faith in Christ and swear by Caesar.
It is recorded that Polycarp said, “I will tell you plainly, I am a Christian.” The proconsul threatened to throw him to the beasts, but Polycarp replied. “Call them. Do what you want.” It was said that he remained serene and calm, full of courage and joy. And as they killed him, he prayed, “Lord, you have deemed me worthy of this day and hour, to take my part in the number of martyrs, in the cup of Christ for resurrection to eternal life.”
We pray not to be persecuted to the point of death. But even if we should, God will sustain us like Polycarp. And if we aren’t called to be martyrs, then praise God. Then everything else short of death seems manageable. God will supply the strength to endure. He will give the words to bear witness. He will get the glory in the end.
Prayer for the World
· For my city, state, and country.
· For leaders: mayor, governor, president, congress.
· For those who serve the public: police officers, firefighters, teachers, first responders, medical personnel.
· For the nations of the world, for world leaders.
· For good government, good schools, good business.
· For justice, especially for the oppressed: minorities, immigrants and refugees, orphans, widows, the very young or unborn, the aged.
· For creation: for the care of land, air, wildlife, and sea.
O Lord, I pray this day for those whose lives are threatened because they bear your name. I pray for persecuted Christians around the world. Supply them with all they need. Relieve the burden. Protect their lives. Above all, let their lips bring you glory even in the face of death. Inspire us to bold witness because of their example. Amen.