Pray. Act. Pray Again. A 40-Day Walk with God
Week 6: Receiving Help from Strangers
Download the full Study Notes: https://www.peterboroughumc.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Pray-Act-Lenten-Study-2021-Study-Notes.pdf
And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.
Fearing that Jesus might die on the way, the soldiers forced Simon of Cyrene to carry the cross behind
Jesus. As we imagine Jesus, who had the power of the universe at His disposal, who could have stopped
the crucifixion at any point, becoming naked, exposed, and vulnerable, having to rely on the help of an
unwilling stranger, we start to understand the huge price He paid for us.
Note: The Cyrenian Jews had a synagogue in Jerusalem, where many went for annual feasts. Tradition states Simon’s sons Rufus and Alexander became missionaries; the inclusion of their names in Mark 15:21 may suggest that they were of some standing in the Early Christian community at Rome. It has also been suggested that the Rufus mentioned by Paul in Romans 16:13 is the son of Simon of Cyrene. Some also link Simon himself with the “men of Cyrene” who preached the Gospel to the Greeks in Acts 11:20.
Through the prayers this week, consider what it means to totally humble ourselves and leave all pride at the cross of Jesus.
• Day 29, Monday: Endure
• Day 30, Tuesday: Speak the Truth
• Day 31, Wednesday: Go toward Transformation
• Day 32, Thursday: One Last Cry
• Day 33, Friday: Claim the Love of Jesus
• Day 34, Saturday: The Lord Keeps His Own
• 6th Sunday: Palm Sunday
Focus Verse: Day 29 – Endure (Adapted from James 1)
Dear Lord, today I ask for endurance when my faith is tested, knowing that endurance will have its perfect result, that you may find me complete, lacking in nothing for You. If I lack wisdom, please provide me with knowledge of Your ways. If I lack in faith, remove my doubts. If I lack humility, instruct me to be humble. Bless with me with perseverance, so that I may receive Your crown of life. I know that every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father, with whom there is no variation or shadow. Help me to be quick to hear, slow to speak and even slower to anger, in all humility to receive Your word implanted in my soul. My desire is to be a doer of Your word, not merely a self-deluded hearer, so that I may receive your full blessing in my life. I ask all of this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
It is often difficult for us to accept help from others. In our pride we want to be the strong, independent ones who offer help to weaker ones. The focus verse from James reminds us to endure our circumstances in humility and to persevere when we are tested in order to have the perfect result in our lives intended by our loving God.
1. Have there been times in your life when you had to rely on the kindness of others, even strangers? How were you able to deal with those circumstances?
2. Have there been times in your life when you felt you could only cry out to God?
3. What do the prayers for this week tell you about the nature of man? What do they tell you about the nature of God?
4. What is your personal response to allowing God to transform you? Are you able to present yourself as a living sacrifice to His will, whatever that may be? What impedes you from letting go of your own will in order to be “kept” by God?