Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sunday Evening and Healing Prayer

"And I will bring the third part through the fire, refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them; I will say, 'They are My people,' and they will say, 'The LORD is my God.'" Zechariah 13:9

Sunday evening’s Concert of Prayer and Healing was a beautiful experience.  It is absolutely imperative that we as a body minister to one another.  In order to do that effectively, we must know and understand the problems and pain that individuals experience.  Sunday night we heard from some who are fighting through some tough times.  Their sharing gave all who were present insight into their needs and evoked empathy and compassion.

Jesus had a heart of compassion. The word compassion appears repeatedly in describing the motivation of Christ to minister to people.

When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.” Matthew 14:14

Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.  Matthew 9:36

Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him.  Matthew 20:34

When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, "Do not weep."  Luke 7:13

Sunday night many did what Paul called on believers to do when he said, So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;” Colossians 3:12.  

Compassion is a sympathizing spirit with those in distress.  We weep with those that weep and suffer with those that suffer knowing that we will then rejoice with those same people when their suffering has ended.  Also, being touched as our high priest is with a feeling of their sorrows and weaknesses we draw closer to our Lord.  Such a spirit is beautiful to witness. 

My heart was deeply touched as I witnessed the fervent prayers of people gathered around those they longed to see healed.  A pastor cannot and should not attempt to carry the burden of the people; but the heart of a pastor must be filled with compassion.  To see our people share the burdens of others was almost more than I could bear.  What a privilege to be a part of such a great congregation!

Today, remember those who are struggling with physical pain, weakness and sorrow.  Their joy comes in the morning but they need the compassionate, prayerful support of a congregation sensitive to the needs of others today.  When you hear the prayer requests in your class or from our Wednesday Prayer List, don’t just receive the information.  Allow the heart of Christ to be your heart of compassion and empathy as you pray for these.

Our Compassionate Father,
We come on behalf of our friends and family who are struggling with physical, emotional and spiritual pain.  We claim your promise to heal and restore and ask you to grant strength and wholeness to those we love.  Use us as ministers of compassion to any who are weak and distressed.  May your grace and mercy be poured out on each need.  In the name of our caring Savior who bore our pain, the name of Jesus, AMEN.

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