Change our Hearts, Lord
Ezekiel 36:26-27 “I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed. (MSG)
I’m going to admit it, I’m a mess of emotions these days. I’m scared, confused, and, yes, angry! In spite of all the good in our world, I fear turning on the news with its constant heartbreak that fills the air-time. I am grieving over the loss of innocent lives and violence. I am grieving over the lack of respect I see for our fellow man. I am grieving that our children are not safe. I am grieving over the filth that Hollywood hails as award winning entertainment. I am grieving that God is not allowed in schools and activities. And, I am grieving that as our nation cries out for answers, we overlook The One who has the answers.
But, in the midst of all this heartbreak, merciful God does offer answers. Amazingly, one comes from the book of Ezekiel, certainly one of the lesser read books of the Bible due to its lack of “feel-good verses” that we favor. This significant verse of hope is surrounded by chapter after chapter detailing Israel’s corruption. Their acts included the murder of innocent people, a lack of respect for parents, the abuse of foreigners to their land, a lifestyle of cheating, lying, and stealing, involvement in numerous sexual sins, and idol worship to name just a few. As if things couldn’t sound worse, Ezekiel 22:26 sums up the entire sad situation when God says, “They (Israel) treat me as though I am not important.” ERV
Wait a minute! Does this have a glimmer of the six o’clock news? With all the good that is in our world, how have we let the corruption of the Israelites become the corruption of our world today?
Thank goodness for our theme verse of hope. There, in the middle of all the unspeakable sins of Israel, we find God announcing to Israel, “I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I will remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed.” MSG
One thing of which I am confident: with God, nothing is impossible. (Luke 1:37) So if God, in his infinite mercy, was once willing to change the hearts of sinful Israel, I know He can change the hearts of our country today.
So, friends, I implore you to join me daily in praying the prayer below for our country so that we return to a people and nation whose hearts belong to the one, the true, the living God. And, may we allow the goodness that is in our world today to trump its evil.
Father God, we are grieving that our nation, as a whole, treats you as though you are not important. Forgive us. Lord, give our citizens a new heart and a new spirit. Remove from our hearts the heart of stone that is self-willed and replace it with a God-filled heart that shares your love.
Blessings for a Brighter Tomorrow,