A New Prayer For A New Year

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While reading through the book of Jeremiah, I am touched by the fact that Israel is likened to a wayward child.  I believe that Jeremiah’s message speaks directly to the heart of so many who are now seeking a clear path back to God in 2017.

Wayward means deviating from what is desired, expected, or required, especially in being disobedient or in gratifying one’s own inclinations.

After many years of living this way, is it any wonder why it can be so hard to get back on track?

Jeremiah talks a lot about restoration. Restoration means the action of returning something to a former owner, place, or condition.

Jeremiah declared that restoration was not only possible but that it was at the heart of what God wanted to do for His people.

God is the same today as He was yesterday.

So, the invitation still stands.

Jeremiah 31:21, 22 says;

“I will invite him to approach me,” says the LORD,

“for who would dare to come unless invited?

You will be my people and I will be your God.”

God is speaking to a wayward nation whom He had cleansed through adversity. He is opening his arms to them- to return.

*What is the Gospel but an invitation?*

God’s arms are still stretched wide. Always ready to gather us up in an embrace that will make even the angels cry out with joy.

But, the spiritual journey can be arduous. Even more so than a physical one. As we make our trek back to God, we are weakened and riddled with guilt, shame, regret, and sheer brokenness.  God, in His mercy,  promises to smooth our path- home to Him.

He says,

“Tears of joy will stream down their faces, and I will lead them home with great care. They will walk beside quiet streams and on smooth paths where they will not stumble.” – Jeremiah 31:9

It is my belief that if we would just read, pray, and declare Jeremiah 31: 19 and part b of verse 18, we would be so much closer to our ultimate destination.

It says:

“”I turned away from God,

but then I was sorry.

I kicked myself for my stupidity!

I was thoroughly ashamed of all I did in my younger days.’

(Then follow up with verse 18b.)

“Turn me again to you and restore me, for you alone are the LORD my God.”

And there it is…

A new prayer for a New Year!!!

 

 

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I Will Exchange Sorrow For Rejoicing

Last week, I stared in the face of a teary -eyed receptionist. I asked if everything was OK. She reluctantly admitted that it wasn’t . She had just lost a friend to a tragic death. It was all over the news.

Her compassion for him, his family and the friends they shared together was blaring. She mournfully stated that he was all alone at the time of his death. It seemed to be the one thing that bothered her the most.

That’s when it occurred to me that he most certainly was not alone. Jesus was there. He always is. When her friend left this earth, Jesus didn’t miss it.

When that fact dawned on her, her face brightened. Her tears dried up. Her eyes began to sparkle even though they were still red and moist.

See, I believe that God gave me that word for that particular encounter with her. Isn’t it wonderful how God shows up when we need Him the most? He is always ready to comfort us in our sorrow.

Jeremiah 31: 13 says, “I will turn their mourning into joy. I will comfort them and exchange their sorrow for rejoicing.”

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