Prayer: Grant almighty God that your people would listen carefully to the pointed words of your Son when he tells his followers that they must live lives of self-denial. We confess to you that we are often prone to seek our own way and our own pleasure. Too often, we live each day as though this life defines the core of our existence. Yet, we know what your Word tells us — to store up treasures in heaven and to set our minds on things above. We are easily ensnared by the trivial issues of this world. We complain and gripe over our own rights and concerns. Yet, we so rarely think about your Kingdom. We are busy building our own and put all of our energies into things that will not satisfy and will come to an end. We disregard our souls for the sake of our bodies. We ignore that which feeds our soul and clamor over our next morsel of bread. We ignore the needs of others for the sake of our own needs. In short, we fall miserably short of living lives of self-denial. Forgive us, Father, for such shortsighted thinking and living. Please grant us true godly repentance in these areas and give us more desire to live as your Son called his followers to live — taking up our cross daily and denying self always. All of these things we pray through Him who denied himself to rescue us. Amen. 

Scripture Meditation: Mark 8:34; 2 Tim. 2:12-13; Lk. 9:23-26; Matt. 6:19-21, 33; Col 3:1-3

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