Counting Down the Omer, Day #16
(May 24, 2019)
Our breath prayer for today: As you inhale, whisper, “We desire to know You…” As you exhale, whisper, “…as we are known by You.”
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:21-23, ESV)
For further consideration: Video: http://b.link/KeenerLordLord
A Prayer for Caregivers of Persons with Special Needs
Blessed Father, we thank You for those within the Body of Christ who care for persons with special needs. Thank You for the grace You give them to remain faithful to those they care for day in and day out. Thank You Lord for the shining example of unselfish love and mercy they are to all who have the privilege of knowing them. Father, we give You thanks with all our hearts. We will sing Your praises before the gods. We bow before Your holy Temple as we worship. We praise Your Name for Your unfailing love and faithfulness. Your promises are backed by all the honor of Your Name. As soon as we pray, You answer us, encouraging us and giving us strength. Though You are great, You care for the humble, but You keep Your distance from the proud. We exalt You, Lord! There is truly no other god worthy of our total praise but You!
Heavenly Father, those who care for persons with special needs, whether it be a family member or someone they have been hired to look after, hold a special place within Your Kingdom. We, the Body of Christ, declare that Your joy is their strength. They are able to face the demands of caring for persons with special needs by the power of the Holy Spirit who equips and enables them each day. Lord, we confess that when they face times of stress and frustration, You will comfort them as a mother comforts her child, and they will be comforted. We decree that they have the wisdom and compassion to encourage those they care for and that they will inspire them with hope through the love they show them. Certain aspects of their daily tasks may be unpleasant, but we believe that the joy of Your salvation is restored to them and they are willing to obey You. We declare that in everything they do for those they care for, they do it all for Your glory.
List any caregivers to persons with special needs that you know and pray for them by name today:
Holy Spirit, we ask that You help the caregivers within our Church Family to be wise about taking care of themselves so that they will be prepared to meet the needs of those they must care for. Remind them that their body is Your temple, the place where You, the Spirit who was given to them by God, lives. Help them to get proper rest and nutrition for their own well-being. Show them how to stay consistent in the study of Your Word, for it is a lamp to guide their feet and a light for their path. May they never be too prideful or stubborn to receive help from others when they need it. Keep them humble and help them to be fully aware of their personal limitations. Teach them to depend upon You to do what they cannot do, for themselves and for those they care for. Open new doors of opportunity to help them gain access to resources, information, and equipment that they need to give quality care to those in their charge. Touch the hearts of their family members and friends to recognize when they need a break, and to be unselfish and cooperative when they give assistance. Let our caregivers know that they are not alone, but that You are with them.
Merciful Father, forgive our caregivers for any sins they have committed, including complaining, murmuring, lying, anger, wrath, selfishness, and rebellion. Forgive those who have slacked in their caregiving responsibilities. Forgive those who have unforgiveness and resentment in their hearts. Forgive those who have not kept their word to help our caregivers. Lord, forgive me for (list any sins that You have committed). Holy Spirit, remind our caregivers of all those they need to forgive and help them to be quick 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 caregivers not to yield to temptation but deliver them from the evil one.
Royal King, salvation and glory and power belong to You. You are the Lord our God; the Almighty who reigns. True wisdom and power are found in You. Counsel and understanding are Yours. You are a Father to the fatherless, defender of widows. This is who You are, and Your dwelling is holy. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture References for the Written Text:
Psalm 138:1-3,6, Nehemiah 8:10, Isaiah 66;13 NKJV, Psalm 51:12, I Corinthians 10:31, I Corinthians 6:19, Psalm 119:105, Matthew 6:13, Revelation 19:1,6, Job 12:13, Psalm 68:5
Concepts to Consider:
And finally, we arrive today at another of Jesus’ challenging teachings on the difference between “obedience” and “relationship.” One can obey God, perform miracles in His name and still not be saved. The linchpin in this passage is the idea of “being known” by Jesus. This is an intimate term that indicates more than just “doing the right thing,” even for the right reasons. Obedience may be better than sacrifice, but loving relationship is better than both.
A practical example of the type of relationship Jesus envisions here might be demonstrated in a healthy parent-child relationship. Obedience should ideally flow from the relational love a child has for their parent. That relational love is nurtured by the parent who knows the child and cares for the child in a way that allows for love and respect to flourish between them. This relationship is very different from, say, a friend down the street who comes over to play once in a while. The friend is treated kindly, and the friend may even be obedient and do nice things for the parent of the house, but they are not in the same relationship as the child and parent are. The friend is not “known” in the same way that the child and parent are “known” to each other.
- So, how is your relationship with Jesus? How can you get to know Him better?
- Spend some time in your Loving Parent’s presence today through Lectio Divina or other meaningful spiritual discipline, such as walking and seeing Him in the beauty and wonder of His creation.
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.