The last few nights have been very long for me. My physical pain gets worse with the plummeting temperatures. As the pain increases, the inability to relax increases as does the speed of my thoughts.
One of the concepts that passes my mind frequently is sheep, shepherds, hired hands, and the Good Shepherd. The patterns and concepts surrounding the care and feeding of sheeple (term shamelessly stolen from a liberal and reapplied) has been the focus of a lot of truth diamond visits and table games (and sheer rants to my still, small Voice).
I finally broke down and wrote something in my journal on the topic. It’s not great, and most of it would be considered a toxic waste dump. That said, when I wrestle in writing with my issues and I include my still, small Voice, He sometimes gives me something new, a fresh perspective from a different angle.
It seems Ezekiel faced many similar issues with the Israelite people and their leadership. The entirety of the 34th chapter of the book bearing his name is his still, small Voice prophesying a judgment on those who don’t take care of the sheeple.
But I’d had enough gloom and doom. Ever trying to be the positive parent (and mostly failing), I was led to write a prayer for every woman in ministry to sheeple to use. Let me know what you think.
Gentle Jesus, Good Shepherd:
Take my eyes off me. Let me not be selfish, but let me lay down my life to take care of the flock You’ve given me. As I dress and eat and work, let me see and care for the flock around me.
Give me the resurrection power of Your precious Holy Spirit to strengthen the weak, heal the sick, and bind up the injured. Help me seek the lost and bring back the wanderers. May my leadership be kind and tender. Help me search for Your scattered sheep and wandering ewes and lambs on every high place and in every low valley. Don’t let their location or my fear of it keep me from reflecting You to them.
Help me hear Your Word and hide it in my heart so Your flock always has a true and strong shepherdess and is never plundered or found by the enemy to be stolen, killed, and destroyed.
Please let me focus on You and live your Word so that I will not sin against You, causing You to turn Your Face against me. Help my accountability for each ewe and lamb under my care to be true and just and worthy of Your reward.
Rescue Your flock from the hired hands who don’t love them as You do. Use me as You search for Your sheep, especially ewes and lambs, and let me help You look after them. As You look for and find them far and near, help me prepare a safe physical, emotional, and spiritual sanctuary where they feel they belong.
Give me Your Word for their season to rest them in good places and feed their souls on the best You have to offer. Help me to be Your Hands and Feet as You care for Your sheep, especially ewes and lambs, and give them rest. Let me help You find the lost and wandering in the thickets and brambles and ravines of sin and sickness and despair where the enemy has lured them.
Let me help You bind the injured through the Fruit of the Spirit and make the weak strong. Teach me to sit on my hands and wait as You humble the sleek and strong rams and ewes.
Although You are training me as a shepherdess, help me remember that I can be a baa-baa-baad ewe. Help me to cover myself in Your righteousness and grace. Help me to use my words and actions to build sheep up and clear poisoned, muddy waters. Purify my mind to enable me to think Your way before I speak or act so I can bring Your health and healing. May I never wound or plunder a weaker ram, ewe, or lamb.
Rid the land of all curses and demonic activity so we Your sheep can dwell in spiritual safety. Bless us; bless our pastures. Shower us with blessings in due season. Make our food abundant and give us security.
Break our yoke. Break our chains. Rescue us from anything we idolize that has us trapped. Protect us from blunder by the nations and ravaging by the forces of the enemy. Let us not go hungry or bear scorn for our neighbors.
You are our God. You are with us. We, grafted into Israel, are Your sheep. We are are Yours and under Your care. You are our God.