Summary: You are called to shepherd the people God has given you.

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Lighthouses of Prayer – The Call To Shepherd January 13, 2008

Review of Lighthouses of Prayer

Last week I introduced the idea of lighthouses of prayer. It comes from Luke chapter 10 where Jesus sends out the 72 Disciples to go into the villages around the country.

This is his commission: "When you enter a house, first say, ’Peace to this house.’ If the head of the house loves peace, your peace will rest on that house; if not, it will return to you. Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, … Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ’The kingdom of God has come near to you.’

From this passage we receive a way to impact our neighbours for Jesus:

The Luke 10:1-9 The Model

5-6 - Bless Your Neighbours

“When you enter a house, first say, ’Peace to this house.”

7-8 Develop relationships with your neighbours.

“Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you”

9a - Pray for their needs

“Heal the sick who are there”

9b - Share the Gospel

“…and tell them, ’The kingdom of God has come near to you.”

Now we have taken this model and organized it so that it is something that you can do as part of your daily routine: we’ve suggested that you take the five houses on either side of you, and the 11 across the street and begin to pray blessing on each of them.

You can do this by walking up and down your street and blessing each house – (it is easier to do this nonchalantly if you have a puppy or a small child in tow) Or you can make blessing your neighbours part of your daily devotions, you could bless a neighbour as you bless your food…

This might be new to you, or you may have heard me, or someone else speak about this. For some of you the idea of blessing people in Jesus name might seem strange – isn’t that best left up to the professionals?

Priesthood of all believers – permission to bless

1 Peter 2:4,5,9

4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by human beings but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

…you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

You may have never thought of yourself this way before, but if you have given yourself to God through Jesus, If you have accepted his death and resurrection as payment for the things we have done wrong in life, then God gives us the Holy Spirit and he makes us priests – every one of you is a priest!

Duties/privileges of a priest:

Proclaim forgiveness

John 20:21-23 Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of anyone, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."

Proclaim blessing

In Numbers, God is setting out the whole religious system for the Jewish people, and this is what he says to Moses:

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