“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
~ Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)
Heavenly Father, we come before you – worn, weary, and hungry for the fruit of the Holy Spirit to fill out hearts and minds. Accepting this fruit – incorporating these gifts into our daily lives – is so difficult when we see what is happening around the world:
~ We read that there are over twenty million people suffering severe hunger in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan, and Nigeria. The United Nations states that this is the worst hunger crisis since it was founded in 1945.
~ We are told that the hardest drought in more than twenty years is occurring in southern Europe and will cripple wheat and olive harvests in Italy and Spain.
~ We hear of the deaths of Hindu pilgrims in a bus crash in Kashmir, India, and of the deaths of a family in a flood in Arizona, US.
~ We see images of fires spreading rapidly, destroying hundreds of acres of land, and creating the evacuation of people from across western Canada, southern France, and California, US.
And yet, Lord, and yet… accepting Your fruit doesn’t have to be that difficult when we see what else is happening around the world:
~ We read that the International Rescue Committee and seven other organizations have joined forces to help fight the global food shortage in eastern Africa by providing water and food to hard-to-reach areas, providing sanitation support, and assisting with mobile health centers.
~ We are told that a group of conservationists in Iceland has formed the Icelandic Wildlife Fund so that they can fight plans to increase industrial-scale salmon farming in order to help preserve and protect fjords and rivers.
~ We hear that a Member of Parliament from Quebec addressed Canada’s House of Commons in Mohawk, speaking in the indigenous language for the first time since the Canadian legislature was established in 1867.
~ We see photographs of inter-species bonding which were taken at the Ngorongoro conservation area in Tanzania where, for the first time, a wild lioness was seen nursing a baby leopard.
Heavenly Father, we know there is political unrest, oppression, and violence of every kind in this world, but we also know there are people helping people every day, and people volunteering their time, talent, and money to make this world better. Lord, stop us from being worn and weary, erase any barriers stopping us from fully accepting Your gifts, open our hearts and minds, and fill our lives with the fruit of the Holy Spirit:
Help us love everyone the way You love us.
Help us lead joy-filled lives as an example to others that joy changes mindsets.
Help us live in peace and offer peace to each other as a way of life.
Help us be patient in every circumstance and with every person we meet.
Help us offer kindness to each other every chance we get.
Help us choose to be good to one another all the time.
Help us be faithful to You, Lord, and to our spouses, children, family, and friends.
Help us opt for gentleness whenever possible.
Help us practice self-control in every facet of our lives.
By leading lives filled with the fruit of the Spirit, Lord, help us change the world we live in and the lives of those around us.