"Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." Matthew 16:24
Elisabeth Elliot explains that the word “disciple” simply means learner. And learning to understand the way of the Cross is difficult. It requires self-abandonment, sacrifice, and trust in the One worth learning from.
As a child of twelve, she recalls reading a prayer written by Betty Scott Stam, missionary to China. It was at this time that young Elisabeth sensed a desire to surrender her life to Christ and become His disciple. This prayer was then her own:
I give up all my own plans and purposes,
All my own desires and hopes,
And accept Thy will for my life.
I give myself, my life, my all,
Utterly to Thee, to be Thine forever!
Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit.
Use me as Thou will,
Send me where Thou will,
And work out Thy whole will in my life,
At any cost, now and forever!”
—Betty Scott Stam
The entire audio file for Elliot’s message can be streamed at Blue Letter Bible.