The church that I am interim pastor at is having a very hard time. They are extremely small, and not wanting to grow. On sunday, while preaching from Joel chapter 1, I challenged them to step up. Wednesday we have set aside for a fast and to seek the Lord's will for this church. Later in the week we will get togther and pray more and talk about what the Lord has shown us. Please join us in prayer that the Holy Spirit would come and fall over us.

I am reminded of the words of the prophet

Wail like a virgin girded with sackcloth For the bridegroom of her youth. 9 The grain offering and the drink offering are cut off From the house of the LORD. The priests mourn, The ministers of the LORD. 10 The field is ruined, The land mourns; For the grain is ruined, The new wine dries up, Fresh oil fails. 11 Be ashamed, O farmers, Wail, O vinedressers, For the wheat and the barley; Because the harvest of the field is destroyed. 12 The vine dries up And the fig tree fails; The pomegranate, the palm also, and the apple tree, All the trees of the field dry up. Indeed, rejoicing dries up From the sons of men. 13 Gird yourselves {with sackcloth} And lament, O priests; Wail, O ministers of the altar! Come, spend the night in sackcloth O ministers of my God, For the grain offering and the drink offering Are withheld from the house of your God.
14 Consecrate a fast, Proclaim a solemn assembly; Gather the elders {And} all the inhabitants of the land To the house of the LORD your God, And cry out to the LORD. 15 Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is near, And it will come as destruction from the Almighty. 16 Has not food been cut off before our eyes, Gladness and joy from the house of our God? 17 The seeds shrivel under their clods; The storehouses are desolate, The barns are torn down, For the grain is dried up. 18 How the beasts groan! The herds of cattle wander aimlessly Because there is no pasture for them; Even the flocks of sheep suffer. 19 To You, O LORD, I cry; For fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness And the flame has burned up all the trees of the field. 20 Even the beasts of the field pant for You; For the water brooks are dried up And fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness.

To you O Lord, I cry! Even in the times when it seems like we cannot survive, the grain is ruined, the oil is low and I cannot see, and the new wine, the things you have given us we waste away, we run to you. I see the church and my own life Father, and my heart weeps. Father break my heart for people around me. Break my heart for my life, let me weep and cry and mourn for them. Help us to mourn for the lost like a virgin mourning for the bridegroom of her youth. Father it grieves my heart that the church in the world is not doing what you called us to do, and that breaks our hearts. The people of the earth wander aimlessly, because we are not who you called us to be. Because sometimes we don't care. Alas, the day of the Lord is near, Father, do not let us waste the time you have given us.


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