Thoughts On God’s Mercy | Musings From Mark Fields
Mark Fields, Director of Vineyard Missions USA, shares some thoughts on God's mercy and a story from John Wimber.
Director of Global & Intercultural Ministry, Vineyard USA
[Original Post By Vineyard Missions USA]
Recently I have had quite a few people ask me about resources related to the Jesus Prayer or share their experiences praying it themselves.
The Jesus Prayer dates back at least fifteen hundred years in some form and is grounded in the prayer of a blind man found in each of the Synoptic gospels, who cries out to Jesus as he passes, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” (Matthew 20, Mark 10, and Luke 18). The core of the Jesus Prayer is an acknowledgment of who God is and who I am and contains only a single petition… for God’s mercy.
I have been praying the Jesus Prayer as a part of my morning devotional life for a few years now and have come to realize there is no situation in which God’s mercy is not at least a big part of the answer.
Perhaps that helps explain the resilience of this prayer in the Christian tradition.
In one of those recent conversations, we chatted about the importance of God’s mercy. As he spoke, I remembered a vision of a honeycomb that John Wimber, founder of the Vineyard movement, had experienced. Through it John realized something about God’s mercy that became foundational to the Vineyard. John’s wife, Carol, recounts the vision in an article published on the Vineyard Churches UK & Ireland website:
“Whenever anyone asked John about the Vineyard, and how it all began, he always used to tell the story about the vision of the honeycomb. It has meant so much to us…. [John was] celebrating the fact that God had used him as a vehicle of his healing mercy. At that moment, in his mind’s eye, he saw in the sky a huge honeycomb, dripping honey out onto people below it. Some were joyfully weeping, tasting it, even sharing it; others were irritated, wiping the honey off themselves, complaining about the mess. “It’s my mercy, John,” he felt the Lord say. “For some it’s a blessing, but for others it’s a hindrance. There’s plenty for everyone.” In a nutshell, that’s what the Vineyard was founded on, the kingdom reality that there’s plenty for everyone. Plenty of mercy for sinners. Plenty of healing for the broken. Plenty of love for the outcast. Plenty for everyone.” [Excerpted from How The Vineyard Began, Vineyard Churches UK & Ireland].
God’s healing mercy… that is what I ask God for each day!
I believe it is limitless in its abundance, and God is generous with those who ask. That is why, everyday, I ask for God’s mercy in my life, and I hope to extend that same mercy to everyone I come across.
Mark Fields currently serves as the Director of Global & Intercultural Ministry for Vineyard USA. Prior to assuming his current position, he was the Senior Pastor of the Vineyard Community Church in Pomona, California, for more than twenty years. Mark is a lifelong learner and attended Fuller Seminary as well as the London School of Theology. He has traveled and ministered extensively around the world. Mark and his wife Karen have been married for nearly forty years, are the parents of three adult children, have a growing number of grandchildren, and reside in Southern California.