Preparation for Prayer:
Lord, grant me the wisdom to understand your generosity through the scripture provided. Open up my soul to come to know where you are at work within me and our church so that our heart begins to mirror yours. Thank you for leading, convicting, inspiring and transforming me as I yearn to follow your ways in all we do.
I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays...I will shepherd the flock with justice. (Ezekiel 34:15-16)
In Israel’s day, the gods of the surrounding peoples were not caring gods. They were aloof, insensitive, capricious, and amused by suffering. The best a pagan worshipper could hope for was that his god would be appeased, somehow mollified into granting the prayerful petitioner his wish.
Not so with Israel’s God. He not only cares, but Ezekiel pictures Him doing what even the shepherd will not do: “I myself with search for my sheep.” The world had never heard of a God who would come down, hear the cries of His people, and act on their behalf.
Listen to God’s intentions: “I will rescue them...I will bring them out to their own land...I will pasture them...I will tend them...There they will lie down...feed in a rich pasture...I will bind up the injured, strengthen the weak...I will shepherd the flock with justice.” (Ezekiel 34:12-16)
1. Do I relate to God as my shepherd? Have I experienced His searching, care-giving love? When and how?
After reflecting, bring your prayers and petitions to the Lord for yourself and the ministries of the church – children, student, adult, mission, worship, outreach, congregational care, the leadership, etc. Please ask our God to shower His favor and generous blessings on us so that we can generously love the church, our community and world.