A reading from the Book of the Prophet Joel 1:13-15; 2:1-2
Gird yourselves and weep, O priests! wail, O ministers of the altar! Come, spend the night in sackcloth, O ministers of my God! the house of the LORD, your God
is deprived of offering and libation. Proclaim a fast, call an assembly; Gather the elders, all who dwell in the land, Into the house of the LORD, your God, and cry to the LORD! Alas, the day! for near is the day of the LORD, and it comes as ruin from the Almighty. Blow the trumpet in Zion, sound the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all who dwell in the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming; Yes, it is near, a day of darkness and of gloom, a day of clouds and somberness! Like dawn spreading over the mountains, a people numerous and mighty! Their like has not been from of old, nor will it be after them, even to the years of distant generations.
REFLECTION: .... " the house of the LORD, your God is deprived of offering and libation...Gather the elders...and cry to the LORD!"
Everyday I am at peace knowing that God is in control and that with prayer His will will be done.
In Joel, we read about the value and the need for prayer--prayer of repentance, forgiveness, intercession and thanksgiving. .... " the house of the LORD, your God is deprived of offering and libation...Gather the elders...and cry to the LORD!"
Joel called his people to gather and have a prayer service in repentance for their sins. The priests had neglected God; therefore God called them to pray on behalf of the people of Israel who were suffering a great plague.
Intercessory prayer is such a beautiful tribute to God who is love. With love we pray for family members, friends, co workers, priests, the Church and even strangers. We take on their problems, their trials, their neglect of prayer or unbelief and even their sinful lives. We offer prayers of petition and repentance for them as well as prayers of thanksgiving. We stand between them and God and help build that bridge and keep the never ending attacks from the devil and demons away from them. We can even stand in front of God for them.
We can cite instances of answered prayer. We all have poured out tears over situations, loved ones, hardened hearts, people suffering from cancer, addictions, and wars. God will continue to answer our petitions according to His will.