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.
10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. 12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Are you who desire to live a godly life in Christ prepared to be persecuted, or does that seem like a far-off reality? Jesus tells His followers in Matthew 10:16 to be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves, because He is sending us out like sheep among wolves. Part of counting the cost to send and go to the nations is understanding the spiritual reality of the present age. Jesus told us that if the world hated Him, it will also hate us. If He was persecuted, we will be, too, because He called us out of the world. The world no longer recognizes us (John 15:18-20). Ask God to help our church not fear persecution or hatred from the world, but remember that Christ has gone before us and has overcome the world. We may face momentary dangers, but we have eternal security through Christ.
Ask God to help us remain steadfast in what we have learned and in what we have firmly believed. If we are lacking wisdom, training, or understanding, pray that God will reveal it to us and give us what we need to do His will. Pray that in His grace and kindness, He would prepare us for any trials we face.
"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work" (3:16-17). The Word of God keeps us rooted in truth when the winds of persecution come. Thank God that in His Word He has given us everything we need for life and godliness. Pray that we would be people who desperately crave God's Word and treat it as absolutely necessary in our lives. Pray that as we weather both fruitful and difficult seasons, God would continually bring us back to His Word for everything we need.