Holy Father, all of us serve at Your bidding as undershepherds of the Great Shepherd of the sheep – our Lord Jesus Christ. First of all, we ask Your forgiveness for the times that we have taken for granted the awesome privilege we have to serve as a divinely-appointed shepherd to watch over Your sheep. Pardon us for the times that we have complained about the messiness of caring for sheep. Remind us that we shepherds are also wayward sheep.
Your word calls us to vigilance in shepherding Your church which You purchased with Your own blood. Yet, how easy Lord to neglect this sacred task. Negligence can gradually impact us in countless ways. Pardon us for our lack of love for Your sheep. Forgive us for not strengthening the weak, not healing the sick, not binding up the injured, and especially not seeking after the lost.
Your word calls us to shepherd Your people gladly and willingly. Yet, we confess that often we serve out of a sense of compulsion. Duty rather than delight too often marks our shepherding. Pardon us for the times that we have been harsh with your sheep. Make us your willing and joyful shepherds.
Your word calls us to shepherd Your people eagerly. Yet, we confess that we do our work more for what we get out of it rather than for what we can give. Forgive us for our greedy, grasping and self-serving hearts.
Your Word calls us to serve as examples for Your people. Yet we ask Your forgiveness for too often using our positions of leadership as a means to domineer and control others rather than to serve them.
Inspire and encourage us today with the promise that the chief Shepherd is coming again to reward with glory every shepherd who has served faithfully.
Cause this future hope to pulsate in our hearts so that we have a renewed resolve to care well for Your flock.
This we pray in the name of our good Shepherd who laid down His life for us, AMEN!
Scriptures used: Ezekiel 34, 1 Peter 5, John 10