One of the most heartfelt prayers is found in Psalms 51. I pray it often myself. The words of truth get right to the heart of the matter. It was sung/written by David after he finally admitted and repented his adulterous sin with Bathsheba to God. He cries out in prayer…
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
During his lifetime, King David did what had pleased the Lord, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite whose wife he took from him. King David then sent Uriah to battle to the frontlines to certain death so he could bring Bathsheba into his court as his wife. David tried to cover up his sin then he merely ignored his sin. God made David king of Judah because this once shepherd boy was known as “one after God’s own heart” who wanted nothing but to please the God he loved. But sin cannot and does not go unnoticed and oh, how it breaks the heart of God.
God sends Nathan, His prophet, an influential person to whom David will listen, to confront David of what he has done to himself and those around him. David’s prayer of confession to God shows true repentance for leaving God, while showing a heart that truly wants to come back into God’s Presence
If only God’s people would repent and follow God’s plan is what Jeremiah must be thinking as yet another battle is brewing that will be used to discipline his people who have turned their backs on him to go their own way with their own fool-hardy plans.
Jeremiah 47, The Message
It’s Doomsday for Philistines
1-5 God’s Message to the prophet Jeremiah regarding the Philistines just before Pharaoh attacked Gaza. This is what God says:
“Look out! Water will rise in the north country,
swelling like a river in flood.
The torrent will flood the land,
washing away city and citizen.
Men and women will scream in terror,
wails from every door and window,
As the thunder from the hooves of the horses will be heard,
the clatter of chariots, the banging of wheels.
Fathers, paralyzed by fear,
won’t even grab up their babies
Because it will be doomsday for Philistines, one and all,
no hope of help for Tyre and Sidon.
God will finish off the Philistines,
what’s left of those from the island of Crete.
Gaza will be shaved bald as an egg,
Ashkelon struck dumb as a post.
You’re on your last legs.
How long will you keep flailing?
6 “Oh, Sword of God,
how long will you keep this up?
Return to your scabbard.
Haven’t you had enough? Can’t you call it quits?
7 “But how can it quit
when I, God, command the action?
I’ve ordered it to cut down
Ashkelon and the seacoast.”
WHAT DO WE LEARN—HOW DO WE RESPOND?
Going against the will of God only leads to more trouble. Assuming we know better than God (“No, let’s go to Egypt where it is safe!) is not a great idea—ever.
Notice that David’s prayer of repentance expressed three major requests:
Cleanse me, restore me, and use me. “Cast me not away from Your Presence” means that David does not living on his own any longer. He longs to worship with a pure heart, hear and talk with God once more and follow God’s best plan for his life once more.
God restored David with lessons to learn with wisdom for impending life circumstances. David was back in God’s Presence. Being in God’s Presence is worship. Worship of God is where our sustained joy and steadfast spirit comes from!
PAUSE TO THINK AND PRAY…
Is there something God is calling to mind, unconfessed, that you have ignored for far too long? Confess it now.
Is your heart longing to be back into communion with your Creator? God made a Way to come back. Jesus invites all of us to come back into His Presence with uncompromising forgiveness.
Has the eternal joy you once had after accepting Jesus as Savior and Lord faded with worry and fear seeping into your being? Ask God to cleanse, restore and renew your spirit for following Him in service once more. He can and He will!
Dear Friends, I know God! This is truth! Take it from me, who has prayed this repentant prayer often…God forgives, heals the brokenness, restores the joy of knowing and following Him, while renewing a right and holy spirit within us when we pray in Jesus Name. All this occurs, courtesy of His Holy Spirit who lives in those who believe.
Cleanse all that offends you that is lurking in me ready to wreak havoc on my life. Create in me a pure heart. Renew a right spirit in me by the power of your Holy Spirit working in me to guide, lead, confront, comfort, encourage and challenge me. Restore the joy I once had at rebirth when I first asked for forgiveness and gave my life to you. Thank you for your healing, cleansing, and transforming love, mercy and grace.
In Jesus Name, Amen