Month of Prayers for Your Clergy – Day 20

October is Ministry/Clergy Appreciation Month. What better way to show your gratitude and support than to pray for those in charge. Pray God’s name and word back to Him. He likes that.

Pastor’s Physical Well-Being

2 Corinthians 12:8, 9: Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take away from me (the thorn in my flesh). But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness…”

2 Corinthians 12:9: Sufficient Grace

How to pray:

~Pray against discouragement.

~Pray that, in the midst of any physical affliction, Pastor is reminded that God is in charge and will bring about good to him and glory to God.

~Pray that Pastor is reminded that Jesus’ (Yeshua’s) suffering helps us relate to Him. In Pastor’s suffering he can better relate to those that cross his path.

Prayer/Blessing for you, the pray-er

When fear invades my mind and dread encompasses my emotions, let me remember that I am not alone for You, my God, are my Ever-Present Help (Psalm 46:1).

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Month of Prayers for Your Clergy – Day 16

October is Ministry/Clergy Appreciation Month. What better way to show your gratitude and support than to pray for those in charge. Pray God’s name and word back to Him. He likes that.

Pastor’s Soul (Emotions)

2 Thessalonians 1:3: We ought always to thank God for you, brothers…because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing.

Psalm 107:6: Deliverer from Distress

How to pray: Pray against the disappointment of not seeing spiritual growth among members and of their casual reverence toward God. Ask God to give people the desire to mature in their spiritual walk that Pastor might be encouraged.

Prayer/Blessing for you, the pray-er

As You are a Faithful Witness (Revelation 1:5), so may my words and deeds bless the lives of others with beauty and usefulness.

Unforgiveness – Harvest

“Betty, forget the TV. You need to weed the corn.”

My stepfather’s words came to mind when, a few months later, we were eating freshly picked corn-on-the-cob. The taste was delicious. Only one thing was wrong. “I can’t understand why the cobs are so small,” he commented.

Those words from a man with a green thumb haunted me. I knew why the cobs were small. It was because, while the corn stalks were tender and growing, I weeded in anger.

I was not happy that I had to stop an activity that I was enjoying just so I could do my step-dad’s bidding. Sure, the rows of corn did need weeding. Sure, I had the ability and availability to do the job. Sure, the weeds, if left unchecked, would have affected the amount of harvest.

My head knew those things, but my emotions screamed out, “Unfair!” So, anger wielded the hoe that early summer day, and young roots were severed from the stalks as well as uprooting surface weeds.

In the parable of the Sower, Jesus said that the seeds planted in the good soil yielded three degrees of harvest – 30,60,100 fold. In Science class I learned the proper technique for conducting experiments – only one variable at a time.

In this parable the seed, soil and weather conditions were constant, but the harvest was not. So, what was the variable? Certainly, weeds can affect a harvest. If left unchecked they rob tender plants of sun, water and nutrients.

In a 30 or 60 spiritual harvest, what kind of weeds are there? Lack of studying God’s Word causes wrong feelings and attitudes to grow unchecked. Unlike Paul who was content in any situation (Phil. 4:11), dissatisfaction brings envy, taking my eyes off of God and His provisions and focusing on my own desires.

Lack of forgiveness, formed in both the past and present, places me in a position of acting as a god. Instead of following my Heavenly Father’s command and example, I set myself up as forgiver or not. Failure to forgive myself or others tells Jesus that His Blood is not all-sufficient. Might this be blasphemy?

Misunderstandings never addressed and resolved can spring up as hatred and defiance. An interesting observation of weeds. They are never planted; they are already in the soil. Under the right conditions and climate, they spring up. My brother-in-law, Al, says, “Emotions buried alive never die.” Just like weeds, they rear their ugly heads when my soul’s condition is favorable.

As a teenager, I did my stepfather’s will with a bad attitude. So, it also can be with my Heavenly Father. If I view the work that He has given me with discontent, if I use the hoe of criticism rather than thanksgiving, if I view the garden – the territory under my control – as a hardship instead of a challenge, I will enjoy a limited harvest of influence. The fruit of my existence will not be abundant.

When I stand before the Judge of my soul and He opens His book of remembrance (Malachi 3:16), I will hear Him say: I the Lord probe the heart and search the mind. I repay you according to your ways with the proper fruit of your deeds (Jeremiah 17:10 paraphrased).

Read more on this subject: Forgiveness God Style. e-book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00945XPZY?tag=akoebel-20 or for a hard copy: https://www.createspace.com/4025600