35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ ~ Matthew 25:35-40 (NIV)
Hello my friends, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post. In today’s post, I want to explore where all of the compassion has gone from our world. It seems like this world is more and more out of control each and every day — what has caused this?
Many would say that the fault lies with Republicans or Democrats, that one side is all caught up in their anger, while the other can do no wrong. To my thinking, though, I believe the main issue actually has to do with our shutting down all of our God-given emotions. Love. Compassion. Empathy. Joy. The list goes on and on, but unfortunately, so much of what is needed is being overshadowed by an emotion that is the polar opposite of that. Anger.
I find myself having to be very careful in my day to day interactions with people, especially interactions via some public forum such as Facebook. So often, the anger that one person is spewing in this post or that diatribe against a person causes me to have anger at that person for involving me in their discourse. The latest examples, of course, are all directed at the recently concluded elections. I find friends of mine from opposite points of view spouting off such nonsense — at least it seems like nonsense to me — that I almost bite my proverbial tongue in order to stop from responding. That’s the problem with anger — it breeds more anger.
Then, this past Tuesday, I was reminded of one very important thing from the speaker in my Bible Study, who was quoting Romans 14:13:
13Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. ~ Romans 14:13 (NIV)
That, my brothers and sisters, spoke volumes. If you want to hear the entire message from my Brother-in-Christ Joe Knott, you can watch it here.
Getting back to the words of Jesus, who showed compassion to all, I’m reminded that we are to show compassion to all that don’t know Him, that if they don’t believe, they are to be prayed over, and shown compassion, regardless of the harm they may try to inflict upon us.
Compassion. It is a powerful word, a word that shows the heart of a man. Compassion. It is something that we all should strive for. Now, please read and pray with our prayer requests this week. We’ve got some very big ones, so please pray over them carefully.
Prayer Requests & Praises
- Today I give thanks to God for my friend Ashley and her family. God has laid a difficult burden on Ashley and her family — the loss of a baby far too early — but He has also lifted her up in His loving arms to comfort, guide, and give strength and peace to her and her family. Here is what Ashley wrote: There is so much I want to say but at the same time I can’t really say anything. This morning I will go to the hospital to complete our little one’s earthly time with us. I’ve been in a complete fog for the last four days, and seeing/speaking to anyone is extremely difficult. The grief has been overwhelming.
However, the one thing I want to share is how overwhelmed we have been by God’s goodness to us. We have been naming things in these four days that He took care of; details that only He could have prepared, knowing we would go through this. November 9 changed us forever, but He has been so near. We have been loved by others in a way that humbles me to tears. Texts, calls, meals…and most of all, prayers. I know today is necessary to move forward, but I have dreaded it all the same. I do have an overwhelming peace (that I specifically prayed for), and I know that is because others have been praying for me/us too. Thank you for standing in (in so many ways), when I haven’t been able to see in front of me.
“Your mercies are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness, O Lord.”
Please pray with me for Ashley’s family, and continue to lift them up in prayer as they struggle in their day to day trials.
- My friend Jennifer has a prayer request: Please keep my sister Beth in your thoughts and prayers tomorrow. She is having neck surgery at 11:10 tomorrow. Pray for a smooth surgery and a fast recovery
- Prayers for my friend Melissa who is having surgery on Friday! Prayers for God’s Healing in her and no anxiety or other stresses!
- My friend Jodi is in need of prayers! Her debit card was the subject of fraud in California and she is having a hard time getting the bank to believe that she wasn’t the cause, as she was in Florida and has never been to California. Please pray for her that she would get access back to the money that was taken — over $1000 worth — and that her anxiety would be taken away from her. Also, please pray that her bank — one that she has banked with for a very long time — would realize that they are contributing to the problem with their attitude. Financial matters are always a cause for concern, and this is a big concern for her. Also, she is very angry about this. Please pray that God would take away that anger from her so that it doesn’t harm her! Thank you for praying for Jodi!
- My cousin Cathy has a prayer request: If you have a moment today, join me with prayers of healing for my brother in law Edward as he receives a stem cell transplant from his brother/my other broinlaw, James! Cancer can TAKEAHIKE! Thanksgiving in full effect today!
- My friend Bettie has a prayer request: It is 1:15 in the morning. Last week, I could have communicated with my high school friend SallyPage. She frequently put out messages for ‘insomnia roll call’. I facebooked with her last week about a TBT picture of when we cheered at South Brunswick High and lived in Southport, NC. Sadly, she died early this week. It is hard to wrap my mind around it. She was an incredible person. Prayers to her family.
- Lastly, this coming week is the celebration of Thanksgiving in the US. This week, I’d like to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving, with special prayers for those that are traveling, those that have to work, those that don’t have family to be with, and those that don’t have anything to be thankful for. Especially those. My prayer is that we all would wake up on Thursday (heck, every day would be great) and give thanks to God for all of the blessings that He has given to us.
Finally, if you are interested in joining in our online community on Facebook to add your own prayer requests or to pray over the requests we have there, please join our Prayers for the Week Facebook group. We just started it, so it will take a while to build up I believe. Now, please pray with us the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray:
Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those that trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever. Amen.