Holy Father, protect them by the power of Your name…1
JEHOVAH ROHI: THE LORD MY SHEPHERD
The Lord is my shepherd…2
How we love and trust You, Gentle Shepherd. You are a “right-now” God. For such a time as this we need You, and therefore we have You. You are not only the Light that guides us through the darkening and threatening storms of life, You are our spiritual GPS system.3 You lead us on the right path and get us to the place we need to be. One day You will take us safely Home. We trust You completely.
You are Jehovah Rohi, who takes full responsibility for the welfare of Your people. For our safety. For our necessities.
You guard the young.
You seek the stray.
You find the lost.
You guide the faithful.
You right the wronged.
You avenge the abused.
You defend the weak.
You comfort the oppressed.
You welcome the prodigal.
You heal the sick.
You cleanse the dirty.
You beautify the barren.
You restore the failure.
You mend the broken.
You bless the poor.
You fill the empty.
You clothe the naked.
You satisfy the hungry.
You elevate the humble.
You forgive the sinner.
And You raise the dead! 4
One day, in our flesh, we will see You face to face. Until then, we fix our eyes of faith on You!
I worship You as ________________
Yesterday we spent one hour confessing our personal, individual sins. We believe we are now clean before You, because You promised that when we confess our sin to You, You will purify us from all unrighteousness.5 Thank You!
Now we come to You and confess our sin corporately as Your Body, the Church. We confess that we, Your people, the sheep of Your pasture,6 are constantly going astray. Each of us has turned to our own way and done what we think is right in our own eyes.7 The denominational divisions, factions, and rivalry have caused the trumpet call of the Gospel to give an uncertain sound. The wounded and the wounders, the betrayals and the bickerings, the pride and the prejudices, the wealth and the wants, have tarnished the reflection of Your beauty that should rest upon us as Your Body, the church.
We have focused on our circumstances and have therefore been defeated.
We have focused on others and have therefore been deluded.
We have focused on ourselves and have therefore been deceived.
We have focused on political policy and therefore been disappointed.
We compare ourselves with others so that our perception of who we really are therefore is distorted.
We defend the right to post the Ten Commandments on a courthouse wall, yet we would be hard pressed to name five of them.
We are appalled when prayer is removed from the schools, yet we offer no prayer meetings, and if we do, no one comes.
We cry out for revival, yet are too busy to turn to You in prayer and fasting, in confession and repentance of our sin.
We dare to hold our Bibles up for debate, claiming it “contains” Your Word, but portray it as not being in its entirety infallible, inspired, and inerrant. As though You make mistakes or don’t tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Then we substitute denominational materials for Your Word.
We have substituted orthodoxy for obedience and Church activities for the life of the Spirit and programs for prayer.
We have substituted____________
We have rationalized, denied, or covered up sin and judgment for the sake of numerical membership growth. We don’t give the whole counsel of Scripture for fear of offending the hearers.
We have rationalized_____________
We switch the labels that we call sin to make sin seem less sinful.We call lying, exaggeration. We call fornication, safe sex. We call murder, a right to choose. We call drunkenness, illness. We call jealousy, ambition.8 We call pride, self-esteem. We call humility, weakness.
We call ____________ , _____________
We have established pastors as CEOs. We have made spiritual leaders celebrities. We have turned ministries into businesses. We have given You glory as long as we can have a 10% commission of the credit.
We have _____________
With deep shame, we confess that there are people in the world whom You love and for whom You died…
Who don’t want to know You because they know us.
Who reject You because they reject us.
Who don’t believe You because of what we say, and the way we say it.
Who don’t know You love them because we don’t.
Who don’t know You can give them victory over sin because we live in defeat.
Who are hopeless because we wring our hands in despair.
Who don’t come to You for freedom from the power of sin because we agree they were “born that way.”
Who don’t look to You as the solution for what’s wrong because we are looking to politics.
Who are terrified of the future because we are afraid.
With shame, we confess______________
We were like sheep going astray, but now we return to You, the Shepherd of our souls.9 Our sins have been our downfall! We have brought words with us. We now humbly, sincerely say to You: “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously.” You have promised that You will heal our waywardness and love us freely.10 We hold You to Your Word, in the name of the One who laid down His life for us as our Good Shepherd: Jesus.11
we bow before You…
in His name and for Your glory.
 John 10:11
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