40-Day Prayer Challenge // Day 40
And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, Father, “Father INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.” Having said this, He breathed His last (Luke 23:46).
When Jesus died on the cross, He released His Spirit. He finished the work the Father had given Him to do for you. His Spirit now dwells in you to take up your cross, and pray for the power to do the one thing you must do – die to self.
Christ’s obedience to death on the cross was the only sacrifice worthy enough to purchase redemption. His preparation for His death was His life of prayer. If you desire victory over selfish desires and personal preferences, expect to come to the Father in prayer, in the name of Jesus. Don’t forget the nails. Die daily.
Jesus prayed and yielded His will to the will of His Father, in the face of false accusations from man, and complete separation from God. Jesus accomplished what His Father gave Him to do by living in the climate of prayer. Breathe deep in it.
Appearances can be deceiving. Good Friday appeared to be the worst day in the history of the world. It was not. God’s greatest gifts often arrive, wrapped up in the most terrifying packaging. The cross was not disguised to hide its purpose, it was an intimidating and effective instrument of death. While it looked final, it was not. God broke the power of sin, death, hell, and the grave. The Father turned the worst thing Satan could do to His Son into the greatest day in the history of the world. Tell HIS-story: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Resurrection follows crucifixion. After Jesus breathed His last, he was buried, and three days later, the women returned to the tomb to find it empty. Two men in dazzling clothing told them, “He is not here, but He has risen” (Luke 24:6). Indeed!
Later in Luke 24, two prayerless disciples heard some of the first words of the risen Christ: Jesus Himself approached … And He said to them, “What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?” (Luke 24:15-17). Jesus interrupted their conversation and encouraged them to start speaking with Him. He still does, today. Prayer is always His idea. When you pray, you are following His lead. Prayer takes your eyes off of the senseless and allows Jesus to make sense out of it.
Christ finished His work on the cross for you, but His Spirit’s work is not finished in you yet. Prayer opens your heart to the indwelling Spirit of the Resurrection: But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you (Romans 8:11).
Easter Challenge: Today is the day! Revel in the glory of a Risen Christ and be empowered to share the Good News with your friends, family members, co-workers, and anyONE you encounter through the day! Pray that God would do a life-changing work in both you and them!
Prayer for the Day: Father, thank you that the Spirit of the Resurrection dwells in me. I yield to Your Spirit to develop Christ’s character in me, and to accomplish the work You have given me to do. I pray in the name of Jesus, the Risen Christ, AMEN!
Delays are not denials, and it pays to wait on God’s time. —Samuel Chadwick