Jesus said in Matthew 5:44 to “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
Today and every day going forward we will pray for those in the news and for those who need the love of Jesus in their hearts. If there is anyone you feel compelled to pray for in this blog, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andy Savage, teaching pastor at Memphis, Tennessee megachurch, recently admitted in front of his congregation that he was guilty of sexual activity with a teen when he was a college student on staff at a Texas church 20 years ago. He asked for forgiveness from the Memphis congregation.
In light of the sexual abuse scandals that have arisen in our culture in recent months, Savage has come under a great deal of scrutiny. His book, The Ridiculously Good Marriage, was recently pulled from literary roster of Bethany House and Baker Publishing. In a statement, Savage said this:
“This incident was dealt with in Texas 20 years ago, but in the last few days has been presented to a wider audience. I was wrong and I accepted responsibility for my actions. I was sorry then and remain so today. Again, I sincerely ask for forgiveness from her and pray for God’s continued healing for everyone involved.”
Andy Savage now has a difficult journey ahead of him. Therefore we pray:
“Lord Jesus, you are a God of grace and forgiveness, and we know that you have forgiven Andy Savage for the transgression he committed 20 years ago in Texas. We see that he has been repentant in his heart, and that he has obviously suffered and anguished over this incident for a long, long time. The ramifications of his actions, of which he is forgiven, are intensifying. Give him peace–the peace that surpasses all understanding–to be able to deal with everything that comes his way, including the loss of the book deal and any further disciplinary action his current employer might take. Let him know that You are with him. If there is still any sin in his heart and things he has not dealt with over the years, convict his heart and let him be overwhelmed with repentance. We pray for his wife, Stephanie, and for the pain this has caused her. We pray that you give her resolve to stand by her husband and to forgive him. We pray that you strengthen their marriage through this and that they are able to flourish despite the schemes of the devil that are trying to destroy him.
Help those involved, especially the victim, to reach down deep in their hearts and truly forgive Pastor Savage and to give him grace as You have done. Help the victim’s heart to heal and for her pain to heal. The enemy obviously is trying to destroy her through her hanging on to this pain from 20 years ago. Protect her from the wiles of the enemy, and help her to stand up to the enemy and say, “No more. It is done.”
We pray for Pastor Savage’s church and for the hearts of those who will hold this against him. Give them the fortitude to forgive and show him grace. In the mighty name of Jesus we pray. Amen.”
“But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.” (Eph. 4:7, MEV).
“And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” (Rom. 11:6, MEV).