Lord, You look upon the sinfulness of His people - and Your heart is filled with sadness. If we truly love You, we will have great sadness when we see people turning away from You and ruining their lives. We have joy in You, Lord - ‘Rejoice in the Lord always’ (Philippians 4:4). There is also ‘great sorrow’ in our hearts when we think of those who refuse to come to Christ for salvation. This ‘sorrow’ leads us to pray: ‘My heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved’ (Ezekiel 19:1,14; Romans 9:2; 10:1). Help us, Lord, to pray for our ‘dry and thirsty land.’ We pray that You will come to our ‘wilderness’: ‘He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.’We pray that people will ‘return’ to You. We pray that they will ‘press on to know’ You (Ezekiel 19:13; Hosea 6:1-3).
What great things, Lord, You did for Your people, Israel. You ‘brought them out of the land of Egypt.’You led them to ‘a land flowing with milk and honey’ (Ezekiel 20:6). We think of what You have done for us. You have brought us out of our sin and into Your salvation: ‘He called you out of darkness into His marvellous light’ (1 Peter 2:9). Lord, You saved Your people, Israel - and they were to live for You: ‘I am the Lord your God. Obey My laws and My commands’ (Ezekiel 20:19). You have saved us: ‘You have been saved by grace through faith. This is not your own doing. It is the gift of God.’You call us to live for You. We have been ‘saved... for good works.’ Our ‘good works’ are to ‘bring glory to our Father in heaven’ (Matthew 5:16). Help us, Lord, to ‘walk in the light’, rejoicing in our Saviour - ‘the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin’ (1 John 1:7).
You speak to us, Lord, about Your purpose for our lives: ‘Through you I intend to display My holiness for all the nations to see’ (Ezekiel 20:41). You want other people to notice that we are different. You want them to see that You have changed us: ‘As the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like Him’ (Ezekiel 20:2 Corinthians 3:18). May this be our testimony: ‘What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought since Jesus came into my heart!... I have ceased from my wandering and going astray since Jesus came into my heart! And my sins which were many are all washed away since Jesus came into my heart!’ Lord, help us to live as ‘a new creation’, being ‘renewed every day.’ May we make it our ‘aim’ to ‘live’ for You and ‘please’ You (2 Corinthians 4:16-18; 5:9,15,17).