40 Days of Prayer 2024: Day 30

Today is Day 30, and our last day focusing on the practice of Community with Jesus.

(You can catch up on Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 15, Day 17, Day 18, Day 19, Day 20, Day 21, Day 22, Day 23, Day 24, Day 25, Day 26, Day 27 Day 28, Day 29 if you missed them)

Who reminds you who you are?

We need others to remind us who we are in Christ and help us live up to what we’ve already attained (Philippians 3:16). When we miss the mark, we are living counter to our new nature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). We have this new nature to live up to. And we need the community to encourage us and correct us, as we try to act as we already are in Christ. We need both the encouragement and admonishment of trusted Christ followers.

Romans 15:14 NLT

14 I am fully convinced, my dear brothers and sisters, that you are full of goodness. You know these things so well you can teach each other all about them. 15 Even so, I have been bold enough to write about some of these points, knowing that all you need is this reminder.

Are there people in your life who have your permission to remind you of who you really are? We all need people who remind us of our calling and position in Jesus. We need people who can tell us when we are getting off track, both in our actions and in our thoughts. At the beginning of this challenge, I shared how a close friend admonished me, which led to my whole Sabbath and rest journey. We need the help of one another to fulfill who we are in Christ. If we do not allow others to speak into our lives, we will miss out on so much the Lord has for us.

I’m known for allowing, perhaps, too many people this permission to offer admonishment. I’ve seen leaders fail in lacking this one thing, so I’d rather err on the side of too many than too little. I did make some people uncomfortable when Aidan was young, for giving him this permission with me. But of all the people in my life, he and his dad had the front seats to my character. And who better than a child to spot my hypocrisies? If my goal is to be the same person in private and public, then who better than my kid to help me? And what better way to help me fight pride than to accept it? The beautiful side effect was that he naturally gave me the same permission to speak into his life. And I’m happy to report he is now a young adult who can both give and accept admonishment.  And we both know the respect he has for me, which is a lot, is legitimate and hard-won.

Shining the Light on our thoughts

In addition to having those who can speak into our lives regarding what we do, we also need to be able to share what goes on in our heads as well. We need to have others we can share the thoughts that swirl around in our heads when we are struggling—the thoughts that seem so logical when they are in our minds but fail the moment the light is shined on them. The enemy works to isolate us, for we are weaker on our own.

When we are struggling and alone, the lies can seem like just common sense. Of course, it was always going to go bad, you might think. I never should have tried. I should have known it wouldn’t work, or that person has never really liked me, I should have never reached out, etc. The discouraging thoughts you think about yourself and others, that seem so obvious in your head, are often warfare. They can feel like facts until you reveal the thoughts to a trusted friend. And then, once the light is shined, they are seen for the falsehoods they are. This is why it’s critical to be able to share these thoughts with others. We need each other to point out the enemy’s schemes.

Reflection for prayer and/or journaling:

To end this time on community,  consider your relationships and who you allow to speak into your life. A spouse or close friend? Those in your small group or Bible study/prayer group? Are there thoughts you need to interrogate and take captive? Do you have someone you can share them with?

Action steps:

If this isn’t a practice you’ve had in your life, choose one person you trust and ask them to help you. Ask for their encouragement and correction. When you receive a correction/admonishment, take it to the Lord in prayer first. Foster an attitude of correctability in your walk with Jesus.

Pray together:

Father, help us have an attitude of correctability. Help us learn to love correction and encouragement, for our ultimate goal is to become more like you. Bring us deep friendships that we can trust to speak into our lives. And help us discern when to accept each correction. In this, may we sharpen each other and grow and mature together in you. In the name of Jesus, amen.

♥ Samantha