Day 2 – Finding Identity in Christ - 24-7 Prayer International

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    Thy Kingdom Come
    Thy Kingdom Come: Episode 2

    Day 2 – Finding Identity in Christ

    Today is Friday the 27th of May and this week we are joining with Christians around the world for the global prayer initiative Thy Kingdom Come.

    Between now and Pentecost Sunday, we are reflecting on 1 Peter with the Most Revd Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Together we are asking God to empower us afresh by His Spirit to be effective witnesses for Jesus.

    Pause

    As I enter prayer now, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly, to re-centre my scattered senses upon the presence of God.

    Pause and pray

    Prayer of Approach

    Creator God, who formed humanity from dust, breathe in me again. Revive me and sanctify me by the power of Your Spirit. Set my heart on fire with the good news of Your gospel.

    Rejoice and Reflect

    I choose to rejoice in the reassurance that God hears my prayers today, joining with the ancient praise of all God’s people in the words of Psalm 27…

    The Lord will not reject his people;
        he will not abandon his special possession. 
    Judgement will again be founded on justice,
        and those with virtuous hearts will pursue it.

    Psalm 94:14-15 (NLT)
    Pause and pray

    How you start a letter is important. Today I read Peter’s reassuring opening lines and find the same reassurance speaking to me.

    Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

    To God’s elect, exiles, scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood:

    Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

    1 Peter 1:1-2 (NIVUK)

    ‘To be a Christian is to be marked out as ‘different’. In his First Letter the apostle Peter writes to an exiled people, communities who are living as strangers and foreigners in Asia Minor. These people knew what it was like to be alien in their society – harassed and rejected.
    But Peter is also writing to a people who are exiled in a different sense: as Christians, we spend our lives on Earth in exile, separated from our eternal home in Heaven with the Father.

    To be a Christian is to have been given a different identity to others: rather than defining ourselves according to our family, our nationality, how much money we have, or any of the other things we sometimes think make us who we are, we, the baptised, are ‘in Christ’, a deep truth which is both given and yet to be fully realised. We are called to find our identity solely in the person of Jesus Christ.’ *

    Ask

    At times I feel different – that by being a Christian in a secular world I have made an unusual choice.

    Lord, I ask that today I would find my identity in You. Show me if there is any other place or person I’m finding my identity in today.

    Pause and pray

    Lord, I pray for someone I know today who is struggling to find their place in the world. I pray that You would meet them with deep reassurance and grant them peace in You.

    Pause and pray

    Yield

    As I return to the passage I listen out for any particular word or phrase that the Holy Spirit seems to be highlighting for me personally.

    Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

    To God’s elect, exiles, scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood:

    Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

    1 Peter 1:1-2 (NIVUK)

    What word or phrase stood out to me from the passage?

    I love that Peter speaks of abundant grace and peace at the end of this introduction. There is blessing for those who are in Christ, not necessarily material blessing but an abundance of grace and peace. This world lacks grace and often steals my peace; today I really need both in abundance.

    Pause and pray

    Yielding Prayer

    I yield to You today, Father. Thank You that my identity is found in You. I surrender and ask You to fill me with abundant grace and peace.

    Yielding Promise

    And now, as I prepare to take this time of prayer into the coming day, the Lord who loves me says in Isaiah…

    But now, O Jacob, listen to the LORD who created you.
        O Israel, the one who formed you says,
    ‘Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
        I have called you by name; you are mine.’ 

    Isaiah 43:1 (NLT)

    Closing Prayer

    Father, help me to live this day to the full, 
     being true to You, in every way.
    Jesus, help me to give myself away to others, 
     being kind to everyone I meet. 
    Spirit, help me to love the lost,
    proclaiming Christ in all I do and say. 
    Amen.

    *Archbishop Justin Welby, Thy Kingdom Come: Novena, Reflections on 1 Peter, (London: Church House Publishing 2022), Day 1

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