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“Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.”

– Mark 6:34

You’ve seen the conversations that happen on social media. You’ve watched news commentators dissect current events. You’ve overheard office gossip in the break room.

And what is it all missing? Compassion. That ability to see that a person has deep wounds or stinging scratches that motivate him or her to act, think, or do something that causes us to cringe.

When toddlers have a fit, we know it’s usually because they are tired, hungry, frustrated, or a combination of all three. We are not OK with tantrums, but we understand there are forces at work they may not be able to communicate in a healthy way or make good decisions.

We forget that this doesn’t necessarily go away as we get older. The ways teenagers and adults have fits look different, but they are fits nonetheless.

Crowds of people followed Jesus nearly everywhere He went. They asked questions, asked for miracles, asked for sight, asked for healing, asked for more miracles. (Again, sort of like a toddler.) And day after day He answered, healed, and loved. He had compassion.

It’s hard enough for us to continue in compassion when our toddlers refuse to eat or have a crying fit in the grocery store. Yet, Jesus calls us to have compassion on everyone around us even when their fit looks like a social media tirade, a family drama carried on too long, or that woman at church who said that thing that one time.

Humanity has been having a fit since its creation. We don’t like to share our toys, we’re hurt by those around us, and we’d really like to have the sandbox all to ourselves.

Jesus’ compassion brought Him to the cross. He saw us in all our humanity and loved us anyway, making a way back to Him.

Compassion: that ability to see that a person has deep wounds or stinging scratches that motivate him or her to act, think, or do something that we may not be OK with, and to love them anyway.

Related Scriptures: Exodus 34:6, Psalm 103:8, Luke 6:36, Philippians 2:1

  1. Who is someone you can show compassion to?
  2. When was a time you needed compassion?
  3. What does compassion look like when you have a difficult disagreement with someone?
Cara Day

Cara Day

Director of Marketing and Communications

Prepare the Atmosphere

Playing quiet worship music will help set an environment for prayer.

Our focus for this month is on the Power of Compassion.

Read: Psalm 145:9 (NASB)

“The LORD is good to all, and His mercies are over all His works.”

Pray: Heavenly Father, we worship You; not just because of what You do for us, but because of who You are. You are marvelous, holy, wonderful, and magnificent! You are perfect in all of Your ways. We are grateful for Your goodness to us and that You cover us with Your mercy. We thank You, too, that Your Word says that Your mercy endures forever and extends from generation to generation toward those who fear You.

Thank God:

* That His mercies are new every morning

* For His mercy to you personally

* That His mercy extends to your family

Pray for Your Group’s Upcoming Outreach Event

Read: Matthew 18:33 (TLB)

“… shouldn’t you have mercy on others, just as I had mercy on you?”

Pray: Jesus, as our planning team prepares for our next event, we ask that You help us to remember to be compassionate with one another. It is easy in the busyness and sometimes stress of preparations to get short or upset, so if that happens, help us to remember how patient You always are with us.

Pray:

* For the ability to see others with compassionate eyes and invite them

* That guests will hear and receive the message of salvation

* For God’s Holy Spirit to be present in all that is said and done

Sharing Your Faith

Read: Nehemiah 9:27b (NASB)

“You heard from heaven, and according to Your great compassion You gave them deliverers who delivered them from the hand of their oppressors.”

Pray: Oh Lord, there are so many people all around us who are being held captive by the enemy! They are oppressed, bound by sin, and covered in shame. Help us to see them the way You do and fill our hearts with compassion for them. You send us out with the message of deliverance, the message of salvation. Help us to be faithful to the work!

Pray for:

* Open eyes to see the lost

* Open hearts to treat them with compassion

* Open mouths to witness to them

Pray for our Nation and Leaders

Read: Daniel 2:20-21

“[Daniel] said, ‘Praise the name of God forever and ever, for he has all wisdom and power. He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars.’”

Pray: Oh Holy God, we approach Your throne of grace on behalf of our nation. In the presence of Your holiness, all we can do is fall down before You and cry out for Your mercy and grace! We are surrounded by all manner of unholiness. We know by the escalation of evil that the day of Your coming is getting closer, so let us not become complacent but be diligent to pray for our country and our leaders. Help us to pray more and complain less.

Pray for:

* Leaders who have wisdom to know truth and courage to walk in it

* Revival in this land

* Evil to be thwarted

* The church to become a force of influence once again

Pray for Stonecroft

Read: Jeremiah 29:11

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the LORD. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’”

Pray: Lord, we know that without a doubt, You birthed Stonecroft and have been with this ministry for 80 years. We sense in our spirits that You aren’t done with us yet and that Your plans for us are for good; that You have a future and hope for us. “Rally” us, Oh Lord, around Your Word and infuse us with encouragement and strength to continue working for Your Kingdom.

Pray for:

* A renewed vision and purpose

* More leaders

* God’s provision

* More conversions

Pray for Friends of Stonecroft

This month’s Friends of Stonecroft is about a group of 10 volunteers from Fremont, Ohio, taking Stonecroft Bible Studies (SBS) into four assisted living facilities in their area. Other Stonecroft groups across the country have similar outreaches.

Pray for:

* Nonbelieving women at the end of life to put their trust in Jesus Christ

* The presence of God through SBS groups across the country to impact the environment of the facilities, making them joyful communities, full of life.

* More groups across the country will be inspired to take SBS into their living facilities

* Administrators will be open to allowing SBS in their facilities.

Pray for Stonecroft Staff

Robyne Baker – Writer and Editor

Prayer Points: 1) Pray for wisdom in working with and helping my elderly parents living in another state.

2) Pray for wisdom and finding time as my husband and I begin efforts to downsize.

3) Pray for a smooth transition for my son who graduates from seminary in early summer and begins work on his Ph.D.this fall. He’ll want to find a job during school in the vicinity of the seminary, preferably in his field of study.

Scott Wright – Chief Financial Officer

Prayer Points: 1) Good Health

2) Good management skills

3) Praise the Lord for great opportunities for ski and bicycle trips

Dawn Venneberg – Accounting Clerk

Prayer Points: 1) Pray for wisdom and strength each day

2) Pray that I would be a good listener to what God wants to say to me

3) Pray that I would have a thankful heart at all times

Pray for All Divisional Field Directors (DFDs):

Read: Exodus 18:25

“He chose capable men from all over Israel and appointed them as leaders over the people. He put them in charge of groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten.”

Pray: Gracious Father, You have given us capable women across this country and appointed them as leaders. We are grateful for each one of our DFDs and for the work they do. We pray Your blessings on them today.

Pray for:

* Each DFD by name – Sarah LeBlanc (Director of Field Ministry), Suzy Shepherd, Emma Reynolds, Anne Schneider, Traci Crowder, Autumn Katz, Maddison Berciunas

* More volunteer leaders to join them in the work

* Wisdom to find balance between work and home life

* Courage and strength

* Their walk with God to deepen

Stonecroft Board of Directors

Read: Deuteronomy 1:13

“Choose some well-respected men from each tribe who are known for their wisdom and understanding, and I will appoint them as your leaders.”

Pray: Thank You, Oh Lord, for the well-respected women You have chosen to help govern Stonecroft’s affairs. They are women of wisdom and understanding, prayer and devotion, dedication and excellence.

Pray that:

* They will be energized by the power of the Holy Spirit

* They will be guided by the voice of God

* They will lead in unity

* They will have great wisdom in their decision-making

Stonecroft International Partners

Read: Deuteronomy 31:8

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

Pray: Oh Powerful God, we lift up our international partners in all the corners of the world. We are grateful for the level of influence You have given Stonecroft within these nations and for the men and women who carry on Your work there.

Pray that:

* Our international partners would not be afraid or discouraged in the face of opposition

* They will know God’s presence with them – that He never abandons them

* God will go before them into villages and remote places to prepare the way for the Gospel

* They will have the courage to keep going, even when the work is hard

Share Personal Requests

Pray for each other and any personal requests of your group.

Closing Prayer

Lord, in a world full of division and strife, help us to love those around us, even when they aren’t acting or thinking the way they should. Help us how to show compassion as You did, and may we always follow Your model of love so others will be drawn to You. Amen

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