Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. ( Matt. 16:24 NET)
Discipleship is not an option of the Christian life. We are all called to follow Jesus. This may look somewhat different for each individual. Because God has gifted each one of us in unique ways. But the call to every disciple is a summons to total commitment. Jesus’ call to his people ( no matter what our profession is) is to follow. We are to learn the ways of Christ, and to grow in them. Jesus gives us power and authority to advance his kingdom. And His Kingdom is not of this world.
This is not about excreting earthly or political power, and domination over people. Although it will effect social change in the lives of many in our communities. But, the delegated authority Jesus gives is in the unseen spiritual realm.
Without spiritual transformation we can only modify our behavior somewhat, by will power. In the “upside down” Kingdom of God, the weak are strong, and the strong in this present age, are weak. The model for greatness that Jesus offers is, servant-hood. Jesus the un-created eternal God of the universe, came to serve people, and so should we.
We serve them in practical ways like feeding the poor, and teaching others about the Kingdom of God. Prayer is often one of the most neglected, and unrecognized forms of serving. It’s mostly a hidden calling. Interceding for others in our secret prayer closets goes unseen, but makes a powerful difference in peoples lives.
One must develop a long term strategy, and not grow weary when wrestling in prayer, on behalf of others. We are engaging in spiritual warfare on behalf of people Jesus died for. He died for our sins and rose for our justification, and to free us from spiritual bondage.
The importance of personal, one on one prayer ministry for individuals, can’t be emphasized enough. It is a powerful ministry for the local church to engage in. This ministry of healing prayer is important in our fight against the evil one, who seeks to afflict people, both spiritually and physically.