A Prayer for Shepherding Your Flock
By: Chelsey DeMatteis
“…shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you;…” - 1 Peter 5:2
As Christians, we are all called to shepherd, though it varies season by season. Whether you’re shepherding littles in your home, a team at work, or a body of believers at your church; shepherding is a high and holy calling. One that the Lord has laid out clear instructions for through His Word.
Often times, people have the misconception that God’s Word isn’t clear. This is why we have to spend time learning and growing in our knowledge of the Word. You see, there may be a vagueness in the mention of God’s timing for things to take place, but His commands for righteous living are concrete and laid out simply. And shepherding is one of the many commands he gives us with complete clarity.
We’re told in Peter’s letter exactly how we are to shepherd and lead those God has entrusted to us:
So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. - 1 Peter 5:1-3
We are the partakers in sharing the good news to the ends of the earth. No matter where God has us we are set in motion on His behalf. Through this letter, the Lord states clearly that we are to absolutely exercise oversight. We are to oversee and watch the footsteps of those we are called to lead. We are called to always point them to truth, lead them away from danger, and steward them to a deep relationship with the Lord.
This letter reminds us that we are to do so with willing, obedient hearts, that live by example. This means we must be walking the walk!
We see how important this is to God’s heart when we also focus on what He tells us not to do as we shepherd our flock. We’re told not to lead out of compulsion, not to steward for shameful gain, and not to domineer over those who He’s entrusted to you. We can’t miss this, God knows the desires of our flesh and right here, He called it out boldly.
Let’s pray now for our calling as shepherds, and for the sheep entrusted to our care:
Lord, I pray that my heart would seek to follow you. Father, open my eyes to see the flock in which you’ve entrusted to me. Thank you for the high calling of being a shepherd. Help me lead those you have put under my care with humility, patience and mercy. When my fleshly desires begin to take over I ask that your Holy Spirit would convict me through 1 Peter 5:1-3.
Lord, strengthen the hearts of those under my care. I pray they know you in real, lasting ways. I pray that they grow in humility, patience and mercy. Help them to know the love you have for them, now and always. Allow them to see your love through me.
In Jesus’s name, Amen.
You can find more from Chelsey DeMatteis on her website, https://www.chelseydematteis.com/.
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Originally published Wednesday, 20 April 2022.