Last week, we prayed that the Holy Spirit would open our eyes to see different types of people who are different situations. This is the first step in engaging people with the truth and hope of the gospel. If we run throughout our day only aiming to complete our tasks and get it done (whatever "it" is), we forfeit the opportunity to show people the love of Jesus. May we not be a task-driven people. May we be people who are compelled to step into brokenness--even if that brokenness is not what we imagined/expected it would look like.
This week, we will pray each day that the Holy Spirit would burden our hearts to feel. Again, we see Jesus model this well for us in the gospels...
"When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheepwithout a shepherd." (Matthew 9:36-37)
"When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick." (Matthew 14:14)
When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things." (Mark 6:34)
In each of these instances, Jesus saw the people and had compassion on them. Compassion can be thought of as love with feet. The weight of their reality moved Jesus to compassionate action. To be moved to have compassion for someone requires us to acknowledge that they are made in the image of God. If we find ourselves stingy with our time, overprotective of our resources, or consistently cynical in our attitude towards people, we more than likely have forgotten God's compassion towards us. May the active remembrance of God's mercy towards us fuel our compassion towards others.
Here's how we'll be praying this week:
Sunday (Day 1): Hungry/Needy--Pray the Spirit would burden your heart to feel for those who go to bed hungry and in need. Pray that He would help you be aware of opportunities to share your resources to meet physical needs so that you can present Jesus who can meet their deepest need.
Monday (Day 2): Neighbors--Pray the Spirit would burden your heart to feel for your neighbors. Pray that He would help you have compassion for them and boldness to engage them with the gospel.
Tuesday (Day 3): Addiction/Abuse--Pray that the Spirit would burden your heart to feel for those who struggle with drug/alcohol addiction. Ask Him to help you think of ways to love them where they are and show them the joy that is found in the gospel.
Wednesday (Day 4): Human Trafficking--Pray that people will be set free from the bondage of pornography which funds human trafficking right here in central Indiana.
Thursday (Day 5): Sanctity of Life--Pray that the Spirit would burden your heart to feel for women who are contemplating abortion or had an abortion. Ask Him to help you find ways to show compassion towards these women. Pray for the Life Centers as they try to point people to Christ.
Friday (Day 6): Islam/Other Religions--Pray that the Spirit would burden your heart to feel for those who are enslaved to a works-based salvation. Pray that He would give you boldness, clarity, and wisdom as you actively seek to engage them with the gospel.
Saturday (Day 7)--Sexual Identity/LGBTQ--Pray the Spirit would burden your heart to feel for those who struggle with sexual identity. Pray that they would find their ultimate identity in Jesus. Pray that He would give you wisdom in how to approach them with the hope of the gospel.