Who is your Shepherd?
14“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”John 10:14-18 (NIV)
Hello everyone, and welcome to today’s Prayers for the Week post! For all of the fathers out there, Happy Father’s Day! Today I thought we would take a look at the role of our fathers as our shepherd, and compare them with our heavenly shepherd, Jesus.
Of course, if you have put your faith and belief in Jesus, then you know that He is the Good Shepherd, and that He is looking after us each and every day. But let me tell you about my dad, Joe, and show you how he was the shepherd for me and my sister and our family.
As I’ve gotten older, I have realized more each year that my Dad did not get the credit that he deserved, at least not from me. Dad, I’m very sorry about that. What I saw as a kid was life through the lens of what my classmates had, and how I didn’t always have those things, and I blamed you for that, Dad. I’m sorry. What I’ve learned over the years, though, is about all of the incredible things that I did and still do have. Let’s take a look at a few of them:
- We had a roof over our heads, and 3 square meals each and every day.
- We had presents under the tree at Christmas, and birthday presents as well.
- We had a Dad that didn’t like to discipline us, but would when we deserved it.
- We had a Dad that demanded respect for him and Mom, but he also earned that respect.
- We have a Dad that loves us, and isn’t afraid to cry and doesn’t think he’s less of a man when he does.
As you will see, we had a bit of a scare with my dad — the diagnosis of Lung Cancer — but the tests came back really good, and the treatment is going to be not nearly as big of a concern as we initially thought it would.
To all of the fathers out there, and to all of the children of those Dads — learn from me, and remember to take time to appreciate your Dad and tell him you love him, and learn from him — good or bad, there are things you can learn from your Dad.
Prayer Requests and Praises
- As I said, we were praying for my Dad and a diagnosis of lung cancer. Here’s the latest update: “Dad’s report: “Joe says no metastases, surgery, just a small chunk, in about two weeks, followed possibly by chemotherapy.” Thanks everyone for the prayers for my Dad!”
- Jodi has some prayer requests. Here’s the first: “Please pray for my father-in-law, Gerald. If you recall, he had a severe head injury 2 years ago, and then he had a mild stroke about 2 months ago. He had memory testing done today, and he feels he didn’t do very well. On top of his having had a stroke, his sister passed from Alzheimer’s, and that runs in the family, so we’d really like to avoid that!”
- Here is her second prayer request: “Please also pray for my brother-in-law’s father, Ted. His cancer has spread, and they have stopped treatment. Although he is currently doing alright, despite his condition, he is beginning hospice care. They are a very close family, and this will be a very difficult time for all of them. Thanks!”
- And lastly, her third request: “Sorry to make a list, but lots of requests! My 13YO has returned to competitive baseball. The thing is, it is BIG business here in Florida, and we’re having difficulty determining where to place him. While he would get top-notch instruction from mostly former MLB players pretty much anywhere, what we’re running into is organizations that lack basic moral values. As I said, sadly, it is big business here, and kids and their families are too often treated as dollar signs, where winning is done at all costs, even at the devaluation of children’s self-worth. So-called “teaching” tactics include humiliation and neglect. We’ve really seen some ugly in the past few months. We know there’s good out there; we just need guidance where to find it. Thanks, again!”
- Amanda has a prayer request for a friend of hers: “I’m asking for prayers for a friend. She has been losing muscle function since November and going to many different specialists for a diagnosis. They finally found something that points to ALS but could also be Lyme disease. They are awaiting the results for Lyme disease. Please pray that this Lyme disease or something easier than ALS. She has a 12 yo daughter.”
- Lori has a prayer request: “Please add Jennifer to your prayers. She is the daughter and step-daughter of friends’ of mine. She was in renal failure, had emergency surgery on Saturday, now developed staph infection, and going back into surgery shortly to completely remove her kidneys.”
- Carol has a prayer request: “My best friend – Brenda – was just told last night that her body is covered with Cancer. Of course I want prayer for healing – but more important I ask for SALVATION for this amazing woman.”
- Lynn has a prayer request: “Prayer request for my dad. He had blood work done and it come back that he is diabetic and possibly has prostate cancer. He has an appointment this week and next week for further testing on cancer.”
- Cheri has a prayer request that she asked me to post for her. Here’s what she texted me: “I am constantly blessed by your prayer group request and comments. And I strongly believe in the power of prayer. I have a need. I am awaiting a decision in a legal process I’ve been involved in for the past 31 months. This decision affects my retirement and thus our future financial planning. Could you please pray about this? Thank you! Have a blessed day! ?” Please be praying for God’s Will to be done in this legal matter, and for Cheri and her family to have Peace throughout this time, and for this to benefit her as well as to bring Glory to God. Thanks everyone!
Thank you for praying with us for all of these many prayer requests! Now, please join us in praying the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray:
Our Father, who art in HeavenThe Lord’s Prayer
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 who trespass against us.
Lead us not in temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever.