In the last 24 hours, God has really impressed upon me and so many around me how prayer is Everything. All the time. It’s life or death. There was a scripture I heard the other day that says to “shepherd those that are headed to destruction.” Shepherd.
Not get mad at.
Not make fun of.
Shepherding isn’t overt communication.
It’s a bit mysterious. It’s covert.
When humans communicate with animals to teach something, we don’t need to yell or beat them to be effective. That’s abuse.
However, neither do we expect them to speak our human language, although we know our words are understood. But how do they understand? There is a deeper level of communicating going on there.
There’s a parallel there to how we deal with people. Just because most of us as Americans speak a common language, we aren’t communicating, so we can’t shepherd.
The lines of communication must be opened. But how do we do that? We have to first gain trust by listening.
Listening is the most basic form of respect, and it is the first step to finding that common language with those who we are to shepherd, but believe so vastly different from us. When we listen, that unspoken communication starts to flow in the form of the relationship that is being nurtured and cultivated. That’s how we communicate with others who don’t communicate the same way.
When God called us to be Shepherds, He knew we were going to have to find that “language” to communicate with a different species. It’s just like Him communicating with us, a little at a time in a way we can understand with our limited perception and vision because He is so different from us.
We can’t hear all of His truth all at once. The same is true when we as believers speak to unbelievers. It takes a long-term relationship to establish that rapport. Effectively communicating with a magnificent horse or a valiant German Shepherd isn’t accomplished through spoken language – it’s the relationship that’s doing the communicating, not just words.
This is the secret to shepherding.
Build the relationship.
Build the trust by listening.
Open the waves of communication by gentleness, meekness and self-control. Then the shepherding will happen. This is what needs to happen for us, believers, the salt of the earth to take back this nation a second time. (Isaiah 61)
It’s through the Shepherding Process that we will know secrets on EXACTLY how to pray for those heading for destruction.