Servanthood in Prayer
The Christian dictionary defines a servant as, a person who serves the needs or purposes of another, especially one who serves out of devotion.
Bob Gordon in his book, “Foundations of Christian Living“, defines a servant as one who is not his master but rather has another as his master. He further says,” A person serves that which occupies most of his time or that which has priority in his heart, or that which he spends most of his money. Whoever or whatever you serve to them or to that you are a slave or a servant”.
A servant is one who carries errands on behalf of the master. A servant of God is one who has dethroned himself/herself and everything else in his or her life or experience and enthroned Jesus and made him Lord of all his life. This means that he puts Jesus first in everything. As disciples of Jesus, we are expected to serve God only 1 Corinthians 4:1,” So then, men ought to regard as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God”. This implies we will put God first in our lives.
Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”, and we will not serve riches, possessions, or anything else.
“So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you? You call me teacher and Lord and so I am. If I then your Lord and teacher have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master nor is he who sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things blessed are you if you do them.”
– John 13:12-17
Jesus Christ is our great example in John 13:12-17 when He washed the feet of His disciples and instructs his followers to do so also.
People often forget things that are said, but they rarely forget things that are acted out. Here Jesus carries out a teaching action. Jesus models something in His behavior so that they will not forget. He takes on the role of one of the most menial of household servants, the one who washes people’s feet. This is not a position worthy of a teacher and yet he does it. Jesus serves the men gathered as he gets ready to give His ultimate act of service to all of human kind.
Jesus makes it clear that he is modeling a behavior He expects them to follow. John 13:15, “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you”. In verse 16, He reminds them that they who are servants are not greater than he who is their master and the one who sent them.
SERVANTHOOD IS THE WAY TO GREATNESS
As Jesus finished washing the feet, He said in John 13:17,” There is a blessing in serving”. Knowing about it wasn’t good enough. We have to do something about it to get the blessing of God. It says. “Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.” There is a clear separation between head knowledge versus actually doing something about it. All too often, Christians seem to pay lip service rather than actually live it out. In Matthew 20: 25-28,” You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave just as the son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Jesus makes several contrasts. This is between the “great ones” and the” great ones’’ in the kingdom. The great ones of the gentiles ‘’control and subjugate” their followers, however the” great ones” of the kingdom “run errands, wait on tables, and perform menial duties for others.” In verse 27, Jesus tells us how to be number one or at the top. It is to become a slave. A slave gives up their rights to another and is devoted to another’s interests rather than their own. Giving up one’s rights is not something that sits well with us. No one wants to be a slave.
God is calling us to the ministry of serving others. How often do we wash the feet of others? We can do that through prayer.
HOW CAN WE SERVE OTHERS AND WASH PEOPLE’S FEET?
- Carrying the burdens of others through prayer. Gal 6: 2,” Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ”.
- A servant of God gives himself to the needs of the master Jesus and to the needs of others. He serves others through prayer and in doing so serves the Lord Jesus. Matthew 25:31-40, “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, He will sit on His throne in Heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him. And He will separate the people from one another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on His left. Then the king will say to those on His right, “Come you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirst and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” “Then the righteous will answer Him,” Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirst and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invited you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?” “The King will reply,’’ I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did foe me.” We can offer our service by supporting God’s work. In the Global Disciples Alliance we believe in transforming prayer as one of our core values. Hence when we pray for others we are fulfilling what we believe in.
- He follows the example of Jesus in that he is unselfish and serves rather than he is waited on.
God is calling us to servanthood in prayer. When we pray for others, our needs are satisfied too. Proverbs 11:25,” A generous man prospers, he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”
We always find time for important things. The most common excuse for little time spent in prayer is the, “To Do List” that crowds our day, and all our many duties. To Martin Luther, an extra load was reason enough to pray more, not less. Hear his plans for the next day’s work, “Work, work from early till late. In fact, I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer”. If Luther was busy and prayed so can we.
Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the name of someone in need of prayer. Envision yourself washing the feet of the person and then pray for that person as the Holy Spirit leads you.
Global Disciples Canada is a Christian mission organization that trains local leaders living near least-reached communities to multiply disciples for Christ. One-third of our world hasn’t heard the Good News of Jesus. Yet. Global Disciples refers to these as “least-reached” people, and fewer than 10% of all missionaries work among these groups. We live in a time where many of these people are within reach of a local church. Through our simple and effective training and coaching strategy, believers share the Gospel in their own nations and cultures. Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations,” and we’re committed to doing just that. If you are looking for a Christian mission organization to partner with to become a better disciple and help make disciples, connect with us today!
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