The Prayer of a Reluctant Disciple

Cross of ChristThe following prayer is taken from Lifelines, Christian Aid, was written in 1987 by Joe Seremane, a Christian in South Africa during the horrible days of apartheid:

“You asked for my hands that you might use them for your purpose. I gave them for a moment, then withdrew them for the work was hard.

You asked for my mouth to speak out against injustice. I gave you a whisper that I might not be accused.

You asked for my eyes to see poverty. I closed them for I did not want to see.

You asked for my life that you might work through me. I gave a small part that I might not get too involved.

Lord, forgive my calculated efforts to serve you only when it is convenient for me to do so, only in those places where it is safe to do so, only with those who make it easy to do so.

Lord, forgive me, renew me, send me out as a usable instrument that I might take seriously the meaning of your cross.”

As we continue our journey with Christ during these days of Lent, hopefully we are coming to a deeper realization of the cost of discipleship, the price of the cross God lays on our shoulders. To be Christ’s disciple is to be the servant of others. To stand with Jesus is to take the lowest place among our families, friends and communities: to put another’s hopes and dreams ahead of our own, to seek to bring forth and affirm the gifts of others for the benefit of all, to seek reconciliation and the common good at all costs.

Some days it is easy to live as a disciple of Christ – and other days doing so is anything but easy.  Yet, with faith and trust in the Christ we follow, it is always a possibility. Take the time to pray the “Prayer of the Reluctant Disciple” regularly this week. I think you just might be amazed at the impact it will have in your life as we  find ourselves drawing nearer to celebration of Holy Week.  It might even help you examine your conscience in preparation for the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Question – What is it in your life that gets in the way of your being a servant for others? Now that you have named it – what are you going to do about it this week?

April 2nd, 2014 |