Counting Down the Omer, Day #18
(May 22, 2019)
Our breath prayer for today: As you inhale, whisper, “we seek to walk Your path…” As you exhale, whisper, “…that leads to life.”
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13-14, ESV)
For further consideration: Video: http://b.link/ChanRoads
A Prayer for Our Pastors and Their Families
Heavenly Father, we thank You for the men and women You have appointed as our Pastors. Thank You for blessing our Pastors with their leadership and wisdom. Thank You for leading, directing, and protecting their families. Lord, You are our Good Shepherd, our High Priest. You are a great God and a great King above all gods. You hold in Your hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains. The sea belongs to You, for You made it. Your hands formed the dry land, too. Today, we bow down and worship You. We kneel before You and acknowledge You as our maker. You are our God and we are the people that You watch over and have taken under Your care.
Almighty Father, Your Word says that those who fear You and delight in obeying Your commands will be joyful. You promised that their children will be successful everywhere. We declare that the descendants of our Pastors are mighty on earth and blessed because they are the generation of Godly people. We confess that our Pastors are wealthy and their good deeds will last forever. We decree that their peace is great and their composure is undisturbed. Our Pastors’ families experience the Kingdom of God here on earth; people see their good works and glorify You, our Father in Heaven. Our Pastors obey Your commands, therefore, their families are blessed in the city and in the fields. They are blessed when they come in and when they go out. Lord, we expect that You will continue to cause their enemies who rise against them one way to be defeated and flee seven ways. Lord, it is our expectation that You will command Your blessing upon their storehouses and in all that they set their hands to do and You will bless them in the land. We confess that our Pastors and their families are the head and not the tail; they are above only and not beneath. We declare that You, Father, will perfect, establish, strengthen and settle our Pastors and their families.
Holy Spirit, show me how to pray specifically for my Pastors and their families:
Faithful Father, we joyfully lift up the families of our Pastors. Holy Spirit, we ask You to fill their homes with Your gentleness, peace, joy, and Godly order. We lift up their marriages and we ask You to bless them psychologically, emotionally and sexually. Bless their children to mature academically, socially, emotionally and spiritually. Lord, strengthen and encourage those families who feel overwhelmed by the ministry. Lord, we ask that You protect our Pastors and their families from the onslaughts of the devil and the disrespect of people. Please help them to maintain balance in their public and private lives.
Merciful Father, forgive us for not being steadfast in praying for our Pastors and their families. Forgive those in our Church Family for speaking ill against our Pastors and rebelling against their teachings. Forgive those who gossip, murmur, complain, and whine. Please forgive our Pastors and their families for any acts of sinfulness including: anger, wrath, envy, jealousy, or dissension. Lord, forgive me for (list any sins that you have committed). Holy Spirit, remind our Pastors and their families to forgive each other and other people, and please help them to forgive. As for me, Holy Spirit, bring to my remembrance those I need to forgive. (Take a moment and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal names or faces of people that you may need to forgive. As He reveals them, say, “I forgive name of person(s).” Now, trust the Lord to heal any wounds in your soul caused by unforgiveness.)
Holy Spirit, help our Pastors and their families not to yield to temptation but deliver them from the evil one.
Triumphant King, blessing and honor and glory and power belong to You, the One sitting on the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture References for the Written Text (NKJV & NLT):
John 10:11, Hebrews 3:1, Psalm 95:3-7, Psalm 112:1-3, Isaiah 54:13 AMP, Matthew 5:16, Deuteronomy 28:3-8,13, I Peter 5:10, Galatians 5:19-21, Matthew 6:13, Revelation 5:13
Concepts to Consider:
Here Jesus speaks against spiritual arrogance in His teaching on “the two paths.” Those who think that just because they were born into a certain family, go to a certain house of worship, have achieved a certain level of power or status, that these things guarantee their entrance through “the narrow gate.” “Of course,” they say, “we’ve been chosen and blessed by God; we’ve done good for others; we’re good people.” Sadly, Jesus warns that many who think this way will not do what it takes to follow Him and walk the challenging path “that leads to life.” As we discover later in the Gospels, the road that leads to life, first leads to death. To the death of self. To the death of expecting “the wide and easy road,” and to the death of all those things we cling to, that when brought into the Light of Christ are proven to be mere fleeting shadows and fading hopes.
- Jesus said, “I am the Road; the Truth; the Life” (John 14:6). As you examine your journey today, who’s path are you on? Who’s really directing your steps?
Optional Time of Centering/Soaking:
If possible, take some time, perhaps 5 to 15 minutes, to get into a comfortable position and simply allow the Lord to minister to you at a deep level (Psalm 42:7). Turn off or put down all distractions. Close your eyes. Hold in your thoughts a meaningful word, phrase, or image from the Scripture you read today. Release all other thoughts and concerns into the Presence of the Lord. If your thoughts wander, that’s okay, just gently return to your Scriptural word, phrase, or image. You may want to set a timer.