O God, give me Your tender heart for the multitudes around me. You looked at them “and had compassion on them, for they were distressed and downcast, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36) You prayed over Jerusalem with a sobbing heart, “How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it!” (Luke 13:34)
Having failed many times in my desire to be a healing, encouraging presence to hurting people around me, I now feel that I must cling closer to my Shepherd in order to develop ears and a tongue and a heart like His. I must be a learner, a disciple.
The Lord God has given Me the tongue of disciples,
That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word.
He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple. Isaiah 50:4
Lord, let me empathize with Your hurting sheep around me. Let me care enough about them to hear them out, listening to their hearts. Help me not to be always thinking about what I should say next, but to focus on the plaintive cry of their heart. Let me take time to understand, then give me the words to speak Truth into them, Your healing Truth full of Grace, Forgiveness, and Encouragement.
Like apples of gold in settings of silver
Is a word spoken in right circumstances. Proverbs 25:11
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29
Edification is from the same root as edifice, a building. We are to build one another up, to help one another become better people, who are following closer to the Shepherd.
Lord, I feel that, in order to be ready to sustain the weary ones You bring my way, I need to maintain a well-supplied bag of provisions, nourishing balm, medicine-like truths that will be healing to their souls. The only way I know to be ready for the encounters You will bring me is to memorize Your word extensively.
Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your mind to my knowledge;
For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
That they may be ready on your lips. Proverbs 22:17-18
Keep your powder dry!