Darrell Stetler II
Discipleship Prayers: 5 Bible-Based Examples
Updated: May 20
An invitation to discipleship from Jesus Christ himself would be pretty exciting, wouldn't it? If he stopped by your house tomorrow, wouldn't you be interested?
Well, good news. He has given you an invitation to discipleship already through the Bible. Here are some Bible-based examples of discipleship prayers, in response to the call of Jesus to become his disciple:
Discipleship Prayer #1: "Help me abide in your word"
Disciples of Jesus are called to "abide" in His Word. This means to make the words of Jesus our place of life, nourishment, and strength. Jesus even says that this is how we know we are "truly" my disciples!
John 8:31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”
34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (ESV)
Here's a video to walk you through prayer prompts designed to help you pray prayers for deeper discipleship. The video is structured like this:
Read the Scripture (10-12 seconds)
Pray the Scripture (30 seconds) - respond by following the prayer prompts and ask whatever comes to mind.
Discipleship Prayer #2: "Help me make disciples..."
Disciples of Jesus are called by him to make disciples in the Great Commission.
Matthew 28:16-20 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Discipleship Prayer #3: "Jesus, help me count the cost and love You most..."
Maybe the most well-known invitation to discipleship in the whole Bible is this one. Jesus pulls no punches here, being clear that he must come first before anything else. It's almost as if Jesus is trying to convince those who are on the fence NOT to follow him... so he only ends up with those who are taking it seriously! Take time to pray this prayer for discipleship and meditate on it!
Luke 14:25-33 Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
Prayers for Discipleship #4: "Jesus, help me take up my cross..."
Jesus extends a powerful invitation to discipleship in this passage, reminding us that a call to discipleship is a call to die with Jesus, and be raised with him. This inaugurates a new creation within us, and anticipates the New Creation of all things that Jesus has begun!
Luke 9:22-26 [Jesus said], “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” 23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
Prayers for Discipleship #5:
Jesus reminds us that discipleship and a desire to be rich are mortal enemies! But Jesus promises an incredible return on our investment of everything we have... the return is 100X if we will trust him.
Matthew 19:23-30 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 27 Then Peter said in reply, “See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first."
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