Lord, strengthen me! My enemies, the devil and the world are circling me around, seeing what I am made of. They entice me with all manner of things that do not please you.
They urge me to leave your discipline and to play, drink, and be merry like them. They say my bonds are unnecessary and speak to me with many clever words.
“Do not look back,” the Lord answers. “Keep your hand on the plough! If you want to enter the Kingdom you have to suffer much. The world will hate you and drive you from wife, child, possession, and goods. They will speak evil of you and pour out your blood.”
We see then that everyone wishing to save his life will lose it. To go, in the end, to the Father, we must give everything up. We must take the cross and follow the Son. Oh Lord, give us the heart and courage to carry this out! Give us wisdom! Teach us to show our faith with deeds!
The one that does not stay with Christ’s teachings, has neither God nor life. Therefore help us Lord to understand your teaching! The world prides itself on being Christian too. But it wants to hear nothing about the cross. “Hasn’t Christ done enough?” the world asks. “Why should we suffer too?”
Oh blind world, you are dead wrong! You will be sorry for what you say! Your faith without works will not help you. Repent! Get ready to meet God! If you do not wish to suffer eternal pain forsake the world and stop sinning!
Oh God, give us your Spirit! Give us power! Give us what we need to bear your discipline to the end. Help us identify those that would deceive us.
Forgive our enemies, we pray. Give us peace and true unity. Come soon and call your scattered children back together!
“Those that acknowledge me before the world,” the Lord says, “are my brothers and sisters. And what you lose in this time of tribulation I will gave back a hundred thousand times!”
anonymous Anabaptist writer, 16’th Century, Europe