Are You Praying for Your Sheep?
by Janice Keats
As I sat in my office listening to my Pastor/friend sharing his burdens my thoughts were filled with compassion and my eyes were filled with tears. Afterwards I knew that I needed to pray earnestly for God to comfort him.
Shouldn’t God’s people be eager to pray for the hurting souls?
You see, my friend and his wife were recently separated and now face a completely unknown and somewhat precarious future. Pastor Steve tried to keep their family together – to no avail. There is nothing left but the pain and heartache he has to face—alone.
In the midst of the busyness of life is there any room left to share and care for the hurting and the deeply wounded? Well, prayer and compassion ought to be a natural response to such a need but it is also a command.
“And will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4 NIV).
My friend is a pastor of a congregation and suddenly his future with his family and his pastoral duties has all been laid aside until he is able to pick up the broken pieces and move on. We expend so much time on reaching out to others but we also have our own flock that is in need of tender loving care.
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Ephesians 6:18 NIV).
Let’s remember that we need each other’s comfort and listening ear. Trouble will come to all of us. But God provides comfort in time of need and you and I are included in that plan to deliver God’s comforting words of assurance. It helps make the storm a little easier to pass through. They need you, they need me, and they need us! Lend an ear today won’t you?
Keep on praying.
“Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me” (Psalm 66:20 NIV)!
“Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:13-16 NIV).
Janice is a freelance writer, and speaker. Her passion is developing and teaching workshops on various Biblical Studies, and planning ladies night out events. She is a certified lay Pastoral Counsellor and is presently employed in ministry. She has had several articles published in various local, provincial and national newspapers.
She is the author of, Poems of Inspiration and Occasion and, A Journey to the Heart of Evangelism. Future works include a devotional book and an audio book of her poems. She is married with three grown children, all of whom are accomplished musicians. Her twin daughters, known as The Keats, are country singers and her son is a recording engineer. Janice Keats; http://themasterspath.wordpress.com/