Yesterday marked forty days until classes start again. My intervarsity leader, Kodi, has encouraged me to spend these last days in preparation for the coming year. As Jesus spent forty days with his disciples preparing them for the start of their ministry I want to spend the last 40 days of my summer praying, fasting, and reading the word in preparation for the Fall.
“. . . Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe” (1 Timothy 4:7-10 ESV).
Paul compares our striving for godliness to the training of an athlete; it is hard work and you practice daily. You stop, and you get “out of shape.” In order to prepare for the Fall and begin praying for the campus, first I need to focus on myself: my heart, mind, soul, and body. I need to be prepared before I can focus on my campus.
“Heavenly Father, would your Holy Spirit come and strengthen me, encourage me, and challenge me to be disciplined during these 40 days. Like an athlete, help me to exercise and strengthen heart, mind, soul, and body for your work on campus this year. When it’s hard and I am tired, give me endurance and perseverance. Lord, come and guard my heart from all the emotions and desires for things that lead to death, and instead allow me to desire you and have a heart of compassion for others Amen!”