Before sharing the prayer of The Fellowship of the Unashamed, let’s talk about shame.
We all know what shame is. It’s a feeling of humiliation or distress that comes over us as a result of something we have thought, said or done. Shame can be imposed on us by a friend, a foe, or an acquaintance, when they “call-us-out” on something. We can also impose shame upon ourselves when we recognize a shameful behavior.
Shame imposed by others can often be very damaging, depending upon the intent of the person. In a world where identity has almost become a competitive sport, blame and shame are often inflicted on others as a way to win the game — by fueling self-justification and elevating oneself over another.
As Christians, we are never to live in shame. We are new creations in Christ. “There is no condemnation [no shame] for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Every sin we have ever committed and every sin we ever will commit have already been paid for by Jesus. He has redeemed us and forgiven us. Therefore, any shame we feel should send us immediately to Jesus in repentance, and seeking to be cleansed (1 John 1:9).
It should be understood that the Holy Spirit does not impose shame on us. We are promised that He is always with us to convict us, to teach us and to lead us to repentance. There is a significant difference between shame and conviction. Conviction is of God. It is an awareness of sin that is meant to bear the fruit of repentance. Shame is of the flesh and of Satan. It will usually discourage and dishearten and all too often leads to inward self-deprecation rather than up-ward repentance. Shame is a powerfully destructive weapon that the enemy will use against us in his efforts to deceive us, to cause us to depend our ourselves, and to destroy our identity in Christ.
We are to live unashamed because our identity is sealed in Christ. We are to live with confidence in the Lord and in His Word. We do this by always remembering who we are in Christ; and, when we sin, by being quick to turn to Jesus knowing that He is faithful to forgive us and restore us (1 John 1:9).
This is how we are to live:
- with eyes focused on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2)
- with hearts established in His grace (Hebrews 13:9)
- with souls anchored in Him (Hebrews 6:19) and
- with a desire to share His saving grace, unashamedly, with all people.
Non-believers will often reject or ridicule us for the truths they so adamantly suppress (1 Corinthians 1:18). And Satan will skillfully try to shut our mouths or destroy our testimonies (1 Peter 5:8) by using shame. Satan doesn’t want us living like Jesus and he certainly doesn’t want us talking about Jesus. But we have a power far greater than all who oppose us. We have God’s Holy Spirit who lives in us and give us confidence in the Lord and the strength to stand strong:
Proverbs 3:26 For the LORD will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught.
Proverbs 14:26 In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge.
1 Corinthians 16:13-14, 1 Peter 3:15 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love…and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.
What is the Fellowship of the Unashamed?
“The Fellowship of the Unashamed” is a prayer that has inspired many to stand strong in their faith and to live unashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This prayer, originally titled “A Zimbabwean Martyr’s Prayer,” was found among the papers of a young African pastor who was martyred in Zimbabwe some 100+ years ago.
According to Southern Nazarene University, the prayer was passed on by missionary Louise Robinson Chapman who served in Africa from 1920-1940. Years later the prayer became known as “The Fellowship of the Unashamed.” It is unclear if the pastor was killed by Islamic or other forces in that part of the world, but it is known that he was martyred for his refusal to renounce his faith in Christ. As you read these words, commit in your heart to join in this fellowship.
The Fellowship of the Unashamed
I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have Holy Spirit power.
The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of His. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.
My past is redeemed. My present makes sense. My future is secure. I’m finished with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudity, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, am uplifted by prayer and labor by power.
My pace is set. My gait is fast. My goal is heaven. My road is narrow. My way rough. My companions few. My guide is reliable and my mission is clear.
I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed.
I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, pander at the pool of popularity or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I’ve stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Christ.
I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give ’til I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me. And when He comes for His own, He’ll have no problem recognizing me. My banner will be clear!
Be Ready Always...
to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15). When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.
When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray for the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, even a small tract can help in turning a broken, sinful person from darkness to light.
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