Never-failing God, how boldly I stand before you week after week; how brashly I proclaim faith and the meaning of faithfulness; how firmly do I believe in myself–and how little do I trust in you. At your hour of need, you ask us, your disciples, simply to stay with you, to abide with you, to pray with you. But like your disciples, I do not have the strength to persevere. I do not have the courage to face persecution. I really would prefer an easier path. Lord, this year–just this once–can you lead me somewhere other than the cross? I don’t have it in me to face death unafraid. Yet in your word I see you struggle as I do. “Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me.” Never-failing God, teach me to pray with Jesus, “not my will, but thine.” Amen.