Almighty God, as we go about the business of our day help us to be willing to be broken by You like a flower in the rain. We are that flower. We are weak. Our own strength will not carry us through all the struggles in our life. Our own strength will not carry us through times of deep soul-searching. Our own strength will not carry us through our doubts, questions and fears. Our own strength will not carry us through times of addiction, abuse, illness, poverty, hopelessness and despair. Only You can do all that. Only You can support us when life gets rough, when the raging sea of our doubts, fears and anxieties consume us.
Help us to find our strength in You. Let us be willing to cry before You and admit our great need of You. We live in a world where standing tall, calling an ace and ace and a spade a spade, will bring us our critics. The growing cancer in the Church today is bowing to those leaders in our congregations who tell us that we can preach no longer than twelve minutes. While there is beauty in brevity too many in ministry are not preaching the true Word of God. There are far too many sermons that lack depth of delving into the Scriptures, making a strong application that is uncomfortable to us, that causes us to really look at the depth and maturity of our faith and how we share it.
Father, help pastors, priests, ministers and rabbis speak Your pure Truth. Remind them of their calling to preach Your Word with boldness, conviction and grace.
Where church members have not supported those charged with their spiritual care convict them of their sin. Break through their walls of stubbornness, that they would give up their right to be right. Give them the willingness to admit they were wrong in hurting those who minister to them. Give those who have hurt their pastor, priest, elder, minister or rabbi the strength of character to go to them and say, “I am sorry for the harm I have caused you. From now on you can count on my support.”
Restore all those in ministry who are burnt out. As they stand aside and rest for Your prescribed time let none of them be forgotten. They will need time to heal. They will need time to rest. Give them that time with no feeling of guilt. Draw those beautiful and loving hearts who will be with them in their storm until the sweet river of Your reviving peace comes flowing through all in ministry, whether they are in inner city missions or abroad. Let there also be no sense of shame or feeling of weakness because they need to step down from their positions and be ministered to rather than ministering, to be fed by Your Word, reading that comforts and inspires, music that uplifts their soul.
Let us all be willing to take some of the time You give us to have a coffee with those who shepherd us. They need our compassion. They need our willingness to set aside our schedules to spend quality, uplifting time with them. Ministers, priests, pastors, elders and rabbis need to laugh when there is a call in our spirit to share a good joke or amusing story that breaks through the overwhelming stress in their lives. They also need to cry and have You stand with them when their calling is hard and they feel there is no one they can talk with about that.
Give Your strength to those who are Christian leaders to stand firm on Your principles. Save us from bowing to the winds of opposition that say a surface sermon is acceptable. We are called as those who divide the Word of Truth to do so with great care and consideration of the text that You give us to preach on. Let us never forget that as we prepare Your Word You speak first to us, tell us where our faith is weak, where we need to grow, where we need to trust more, where we need to be Your humble and obedient servants.
Forgive us for those times we have listened to ministry boards who say that a sermon with a thin veneer analysis of Scripture is acceptable. This is Your holy and precious Word we are handling. Let us never forget that. Give us the courage of our convictions to preach the Word that changes people’s hearts, that brings them to greater levels of understanding You and Your call upon ther lives.
We come today asking that in our trials, in those times that weigh us down, in those times where strength and our calling flickers like a candle in the wind, that You would teach us as we are broken flowers in the rain. Be with each heart that comes before You today. Let this be the day when new hope, a faith that will stand firm in the winds of adversity flows through us. Let this be the beginning of a new confidence in You that no matter how much the darkness may seek to prevail against us, we will be like the flower broken in the rain, willing to be taught what we need to learn to follow You with a spirit that is teachable.
Draw us close to You. Let us take time for quiet reflection on what You have to say to us. Where we are weak make us strong. Where we have failed You give us the willingness to forgive ourselves. Where we have not been Your people, where we have bowed to a half kind of faith restore us,. Take us out of our spiritual fog, out of our desert experience to feel Your love revive us and enable us for the calling You have put upon our lives.
Today and every day let us be able to look at ourselves in the mirror and see our reflection there. Where we have wronged You, where we have strayed from speaking Your Truth, bring us back to that time when You called us to Your service when our faith was strong, bold and alive.
We need You so much, Lord! We fall on our knees in this age of growing moral depravity and ask that You keep us pure. Blind our eyes from the images we see each day that bombard us on all social media. Give us the foresight to ask for Your protection as we do Your work, as we engage in all forms of social media.
Thank you for this day. Put Your Light in us to give us strength to shine for You, to love others as You call us to love. No one is a stranger in Your eyes. Everyone is known by You from the billionaire to the poorest of the poor. All of us need to be loved even if we do not admit it. All of us need to feel that our life means something, that we are heading in a direction filled with meaning and a purpose that goes beyond our own needs to the needs of others. Save us, oh God, from that half kind of existence that says we can be immersed in a half You half world life. When You called the disciples You told them that this is not a calling for the weak and faint of heart. You who called them into Your holy service commissioned them to a calling of complete commitment, not a half-hearted do as you please kind of faith.
Oh, God, give us all an unflinching calling that allows itself to be broken like a flower in the rain.