Listen and hear my voice; pay attention and hear what I say. 24 When a farmer ploughs for planting, does he plough continually? Does he keep on breaking up and working the soil?
25 When he has levelled the surface, does he not sow caraway and scatter cummin?
Does he not plant wheat in its place,[c]barley in its plot,[dand spelt in its field?
26 His God instructs him and teaches him the right way. 29 All this also comes from the Lord Almighty, whose plan is wonderful, whose wisdom is magnificent. Isaiah 28:23-26, 29
I’ve often thought that the hugely important role of counsellor is a little bit like being a farmer. These verses of Scripture contain at least three crucial verbs which ought to be the watch words of any skilled counsellor: ‘listen’, ‘hear’ & ‘pay attention’. Isaiah is reminding his hearers of God’s real intent in ploughing – fruit! God, like a counsellor with a client, isn’t just digging for digging’s sake! Not at all! He digs so that he can plant, so that he can grow, so that he can reap. It’s all about the fruit at the end, not the digging at the beginning – digging tough is crucial if there is going to be fruit. In the short term, this can be painful, but in the long term, always profitable. As verse 29 says, God’s desire through all the digging, growing and harvesting is that we will experience his wonderful plans and magnificent wisdom.
Prayer Points –
- that CT would becomes even more effective in listening, hearing and paying attention both to clients and to the will of God for their ministry.
- that as Counsellors engage in the ‘digging process’ that there will be great fruit.
- that CT and their clients would know the reality of God’s wonderful plan and magnificent wisdom
Chris Brockway – Christchurch Baptist Church
Dear friend, listen well to my words; tune your ears to my voice. Keep my message in plain view at all times. Concentrate! Learn it by heart! Those who discover these words live, really live; body and soul, they’re bursting with health. Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts. Proverbs 4:20-23 (The Message)
Listening and watching are key skills in counselling and indeed in life itself for any person. This famous Bible verse suggests that real life as God intends, or wholeness as it might be described is enhanced by the way we attend both to God and to our own hearts. How can this be seen to be true physically, psychologically , emotionally and spiritually? How can we be people who ‘listen well’, ‘concentrate’ and ‘keep vigilant watch’ as we live our lives and impact the lives of the people we come into contact with?
Please Pray –
- giving thanks for this ministry that develops and matures us as God’s children.
- that our clients would find the answers they need to cope and even thrive in their situations
- that our counsellors will be able to ‘guard their hearts’, manage their emotional load issues and get the support that they need
- for the Trustees and the whole service for God’s clear direction for the future of the charity
Eddie Boon – Cornerstone URC, Hythe
The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” – Zephaniah 3:17
At times especially when we ‘mess up’ we feel that we are not good enough for God, yet that is not how God views us. This beautiful verse from Zephaniah shows what God really thinks of us. To him we are special, precious as his beloved children. What joy and assurance it is to know the warmth of the metaphorical hug from our Lord who loves us and delights in us. As Jesus lavishes his love on us daily we simply need to receive it and know his special peace in our lives.
- thanking God for the way he has sustained and grown Counselling Together over the last twelve years. We pray for every client that has used the service that they will grow in strength, and security, in a faith and knowledge of God.
- for the service as Chris Bray lays down the responsibility of leading and guiding the team.
- that the service will continue in strength leading many others to wholeness and we pray that Chris and his wife Viv will be fully blessed in retirement.
John Fowler – New Life Church, New Milton
When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked. “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 2 Kings 6:15-17
What a privilege to engage with people in their problems and to have the knowledge that our God has the answers. To be there when finally they cry out for help and to be involved in God opening their eyes to see his provision. You might be tempted to look to other sources for the solutions but remember, all other helps are but empty wells compared to the vast springs found in Christ!
- Praising God for his glorious provision in Christ
- That all the counsellors would have their eyes fixed firmly on Jesus
- That the clients would have their joy restored as they turn to Christ
Simeon Woodcraft – New Milton Evangelical Free Church
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. Mark 4:39
The severe storm that caused experienced fishermen to be utterly terrified, questioning whether in fact their Leader loved them at all, was brought to an immediate stop. What a dramatic display of the power of Jesus to bring calm, order and rest simply by His word of command. He is in control of every storm we find ourselves in and though we may question why He allows such turbulence in our lives, we can know not only His authoritative power but also His love for us, perfectly demonstrated as He dealt with the greatest storm, of sin and death, on the Cross.
Wow!, Sorry, Please
- Wow! Praise God for the truth contained in these verses.
- Sorry Confess to God those times when we don’t live in the truth of what we learn in these verses.
- Please Pray that you, along with all the clients, will be able to come into an experience of Jesus being present in the storms we face and live with.
Dave Gooderidge – Lymington Baptist Church
Please join with us and other Christians across the New Forest to pray for Counselling Together. Each day a pastor from one of the New Forest Churches will share a Bible verse and encourage us in prayer for the work of the charity and it’s upcoming challenges.
To join us, please follow the link each day to our News Page at http://www.counsellingtogether.wordpress.com
Why not bookmark the page, or follow our news feed on Facebook
“THE PASTORAL/COUNSELLING CROSSROADS TRAINING COURSE”
When: Saturday 19th March, 9.30am- 1pm
Where: Hythe Cornerstone Church
Course Contribution: £5
Presenters: Dr Don Bargh, Mrs Ginny Balchin, Mr Chris Bray (Ct founder)
How to Book? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07983 320450