Father, we pray for the shepherds today.

We forgive those shepherds who may have led us or others astray, and caused us/anyone else, to err in some way. We ask that You would bring fresh revelations to convict them of their errors, of walking in error, and lukewarmness, and failing to set an example for the flock (Ezek.34:2-10). We want You to convict them, so that they will set their walk right with You, and they will therefore not have to endure harsh judgment (Zech.11:3), for “From everyone given much, much will be required; and from the one for whom more is provided, all the more they will ask of him” (Lk.12:48).

May Your shepherds heed Your reminder that they not open the doors for the Enemy’s attack, for Peter warns: “Stay alert! Watch out! Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, searching for someone to devour”(1 Pet.5:8). When this warning goes unheeded, especially by our leaders, it renders the sheep vulnerable to the wolves. Please quicken them, by Your Spirit, Lord, and alert them to the dangers of their carelessness.

Teach all of us, and especially Your shepherds, to be apologists for the Gospel of Christ, like Paul modelled (Acts 17:17-23), that when we mingle with the world, it will NOT be for fraternizing, partaking of carnal lusts/pleasures, but for evangelizing, promoting, and defending the Gospel of Jesus Christ/Yeshua Ha-Mashiach. Let our leaders not model after the Church of Thyatira (Rev.2), or the Church of Laodecea (Rev.3), which will bring us under Your judgment.

Bring Your shepherds back to where they belong, so they will teach and model Your Word, teaching as Paul taught, to: Focus your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col.3:2-6). Quicken and revive those teachings which call Your people/all believers to live in accordance with having died, “our lives being hidden in Messiah, who is our life” (Col.3:4-6), that we should all “Therefore, put to death what is earthly in us—sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed—for that is idolatry. Because of such things God’s wrath is coming upon the sons of disobedience” (Col.3:4-6). Convict Your shepherds that these are the messages that need to be given to all believers, not messages that want to please the masses so they will fill the churches; not messages that simply want to gloss over he need for repentance, accountability, holiness, righteousness, and be user-friendly.

Forgive them, while convicting them, for At one time you also walked in these ways, when you used to live in these ways” (Col.3:7), and this means that we should no longer be living in these same ways. We need to hear messages that call the sheep to repentance (Acts 2:38), scarcely heard from today’s pulpit. Rather than omitting words like sin, and repentance for fear of offending, these words need to be spoken, for all Your followers must “take off the old self with its practices . . . .  put on the new self that is being renewed in knowledge, according to the image of the One who created him” (Col.3:8-10); and sound teachings on this are sadly lacking.

Quicken in Your shepherds the realization that Your flock needs to be taught to walk in holiness/righteousness, for Your Word calls us to it: Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect”(Matt.5:48). We are called to “present your bodies as a living sacrifice—holy, acceptable to God—which is your spiritual service. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom.12:1,2)? Remind Your shepherds that we do not need to feel reinforced for self-indulgence and partaking of worldly pleasures; we need to be encouraged and reinforced to avoid such things. And how can we be expected to avoid such behaviours when so many of our leaders are participating, even promoting such practices?

Remind Your shepherds, Lord, before it is too late. Yeshua said: “I have given them Your word; and the world hated them, because they are not of the world just as I am not of the world. I am not asking that You take them out of the world, but that You keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. “Make them holy in the truth. Your word is truth. Just as You sent Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I make Myself holy, so that they also may be made holy in truth”(John 17:14-19). Convict Your shepherds, for this is not an endorsement of lukewarm compromise, of liberal Christianity.  May God have mercy on the Shepherds, “for the first shall be last and the last shall be first” (Matt.19:30;20:16). In Jesus/Yeshua’s Name we pray. Amen.

© 2018 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.


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