Before you begin, take a few moments to quiet your mind and prepare your heart to receive God’s Word. Read the following passage at least twice, and then pray through the points below.
57 As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” 59 To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” 62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Jesus was on the road to Jerusalem, and He knew His time leave this earth was near (9:51). When the people on the road asked Jesus if they could follow Him, He knew the costs they might have to count. Rejection. Homelessness. Derision. He wanted to help them count the costs, both of literally following Him in that moment and of being His disciple. Take a few moments to reflect on following Jesus. What kinds of costs has Jesus helped you count for His sake? Pray that He would remind you anew that following Him is worth giving up anything of this earth. Let that truth fuel your prayers today.
Pray earnestly that our church would believe following Jesus is worth whatever cost He asks of us. Ask God to purify our hearts and search out anything we're unwilling to give up for His sake, be it family, income, comfort, or anything else in all of creation. Pray that Jesus would help us rightly count the cost of taking the gospel to the nations, and that we would trust Him to go before us and prepare the way.
Jesus promises to be with us always, to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). We need not fear counting the cost of following Jesus, because He is with us. He walks alongside us in the suffering and loneliness, in the feelings of isolation and despair that come in this life. Pray that God would both help us count the cost of going to the unreached and remind us that He is with us always. We can do anything through His strength (Philippians 4:13). Pray that God would also help us count the cost of not going to the unreached, and that we would believe that being obedient to follow Jesus to the ends of the earth and spreading the Good News of the gospel is better than anything we could gain in this life.