Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.
Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us in safety to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Collect for Purity:
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Read: Isaiah 49:5-15, Psalm 148, and Matthew 12:46-50
God is so patient for us. He wants us to come back to him and to accept him as master. But we’re selfish. We want to do things our way. We don’t want to submit to authority. When we finally realize that we do want to follow Christ, we are in a predicament. God works to redeem us and restore us to the place where he wants us to be.
Jesus makes an interesting point: When we are following him, those around us become as important as family. When one of our fellow disciples is in need, we are to help her as if she were a sister by blood. This isn’t necessarily to diminish the importance of our blood relatives, but to increase the importance of our fellow Christ-followers. We’re a family, and we should love each other like it.
Do you love your church family as much as you love your blood relatives? Are you good at showing that love? Be honest – God knows the truth! Take some time to pray about this. Ask God to show you if you’ve been as loving as you should be. Ask him to help you show your church family as much love as you show your own family. Write your own prayer.