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“Day One”

10/01/2018                                                                                                  Elder Willard Proctor, Jr.

Father God, help us to Receive the “Returning Remnant” and their gifts!”

(Ezra 2:64-70)

Father God, in the Name of Jesus, You sit far above all kingdoms, powers, principalities and thrones. Your Reign extends beyond boundaries of space and time. There is no place or time when You have not been, or will not be, The Only True and Living God. Eternity cannot be date. Since You are the Eternal God, there is no date when You will ever cease Being God! Infinity cannot be measured. Since You are the Infinite God, there is no weight that can ever be ascribed to Your Worth! Supreme cannot be defeated. Since You are the Supreme God, there are no limits on Your Power!

Father God, the ends of Your Knowledge can never be found. The expanse of Your Love can never be equaled. And, the depths of Your Mercy can never be contained. You are Singularly, Exclusively and Alone God!  

Father God, with All that You are, and given everything that You do, it is truly amazing that You are so mindful of us. And for that, we are grateful. You genuinely care about the most trivial and mundane aspects of our lives. Every day, You load us with benefits. We find fresh, new mercies each morning. You protect us from dangers. Thank-You Jesus for being such a Great God to us.

Father God, You have once again blessed us to come to the place and time of the Holy Convocation. We do not take this blessing for granted. We understand that we are here only because of Your Mercy! During this past year, we have committed sins worthy of causing us to lose our souls. But, You forgave us, and kept on blessing us. We have come to understand that true change requires that we first be honest about who we are. Over these next thirty days, we will open up to You and pour out our heart to You. We will examine thoughts, lusts, desires, wishes, hopes and fears. We will dig deep inside our mind, conscience, spirit and soul to uncover everything that is sin. As we go through this process, turn us completely to You. Heal us completely from our sins. And, make us into the creatures that will always, only serve You.

Father God, we have come to know a truth - - there is nothing more powerful than the Name of Jesus! As a result, there is no addiction, no iniquity, and no sin that can prevail against us when You are in control of our lives. So, sprinkle the Blood of Jesus on our conscience and purge us thoroughly from every sin so that we emerge from this period of fasting and consecration without spot or blemish and as white as snow.

Father God, we are connected to each other. We need each other to survive. There is void in our lives that is left when Saints leave. There are a myriad of reasons why Saints no longer fellowship with the brethren. Whatever the reason, it hurts and pains us for them not to be a part of the congregation. Today, we pray that You will help us to receive the returning remnant and their gifts.

Father God, we have come to understand that a remnant is a small remaining quantity of something. It is the remainder, remains, residue or left-overs. Ezra gave an account of what happened when the residue, remainder and left-overs captured by Nebuchadnezzar were allowed to return to rebuild Jerusalem. Erza noted that 64 The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore, 65 Beside their servants and their maids, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and there were among them two hundred singing men and singing women. Ezra 2: 64 – 65. Father, we pray for the return of the remnant. Many have been captured, enslaved and died in a modern-day Babylon. Drugs, sex, pride, and money have lured some away. Others have been run out of by Saints, who, through lies, deceit and hypocrisy, have forced them to return to the lifestyles that had them bound. Today, Father, bring the remnant back.

Father God, when the remnant returns, bring them back with possessions. Ezra noted that when the Saints returned to Jerusalem, 66 Their horses were seven hundred thirty and six; their mules, two hundred forty and five; 67 Their camels, four hundred thirty and five; their asses, six thousand seven hundred and twenty. Ezra 2: 66 – 67. The gifts and calling of God are without repentance. There are Saints that are among the remnant that will return that are talented and skilled. Some have used their gifts to make them wealthy. Others are using their gifts to make the world wealthy. They have businesses, positions, and possessions that are beneficial assets. Father, bring the returning remnant back into the Kingdom with their possessions.

Father God, when the remnant returns, give them a heart to give back to Your Kingdom. In Ezra 2, Ezra noted 68 And some of the chief of the fathers, when they came to the house of the Lord which is at Jerusalem, offered freely for the house of God to set it up in his place: Father, give the remnant which will return a heart to give freely for Your House to set it up. 69 They gave after their ability unto the treasure of the work threescore and one thousand drams of gold, and five thousand pound of silver, and one hundred priests' garments.

Father God, just as the Saints did when they returned to Jerusalem, place it in the hearts of the returning remnant to give after their ability. Move from them the heart to hide their gifts, talents and possessions from the Kingdom. Put it in the heart of contractors, plumbers, HAVC technicians, electricians, carpenters, roofers, IT personnel, masons, and asphalt workers to set up and complete the buildings owned by the Church using their skills, talents and resources for no charge. Put in the heart of the financiers, accountants and money managers to fund and manage all of the operations of the Church using their skills, talents and resources for no charge. And, put it in the heart of every other Saint that returns with whatever gift, talent or resource that they might have to give these assets to the Church at no charge. There are singers, musicians, organizers, planners, teachers, doctors, lawyers, social workers, nurses, and so many other skilled and talented Saints that we ask that You cause to be among the number that returns.

Father God, when the remnant return with their gifts, the work of the Church can prosper even more. As Ezra noted,   70 So the priests, and the Levites, and some of the people, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, dwelt in their cities, and all Israel in their cities. The ministers, the choir and the ushers can work in their own particular areas and enhance their skills, talents and gifts when they don’t have to focus on doing the jobs of missing Saints. We don’t mind multi-tasking, but we need the remnant to return so that we can do what we are called to do better. The work is great, but, the laborers are few. Lord of the harvest, send the remnant back!

Father God, finally, when the remnant returns, help us to receive them and their gifts. Move out debate, fighting and arguing. Move out jealousy and envy. Put a watch over our tongues so that we don’t say things that would be offensive or disheartening to those that will return. Give us wisdom so that every action that we take when dealing with returning Saints will be seasoned by grace. Father, in sum, give us love for the returning Saints. At times, love will cause us to forbear. At times, love will cause us to suffer wrong. At times, love will cause us to give up our positions. But, in the end, love is that bond of perfectness that will help us to receive the returning remnant and their gifts. We are excited about the return of Saints! So, help us to recieve them and their gives!

We ask all of these things in the Name of Jesus. Amen.