Father, thank You for Your Word that guides me every day in my prayers and in the choices I make in life. In today’s scriptures there are many reminders of things that deserve my attention.
First, like Ezra, I need to remember that my actions speak louder than my words, and my actions reveal what I believe about You. Ezra didn’t ask for a military escort because it would look as if he didn’t trust in Your protection. What do my actions say to others around me about my faith in You? When I seem afraid and worried over circumstances, does that show others I don’t really trust Your protection and provision? Father help me show my faith in You in my responses to difficulties.
When things don’t go my way, remind me that You are in control, and that You have my back! There is absolutely nothing that can happen to me that You are unaware of. And I believe that You filter everything that comes to me, through Your fingers of love. Even in the bad times, You have prepared me, and You are with me. Thank You that You never, ever leave me.
Ezra fasted. I believe this is something that You honor. And it is good for me to relinquish something in order to spend time in prayer and humble myself before You. Sometimes it’s food. Sometimes it’s an activity, like the internet, or tv, or addicting games. Whatever it is, I believe it is the act of focusing my attention and energy on hearing from and submitting to You. Father, I express my desire for You to ‘clear my plate’ of anything that is not of You. Help me see my attitudes and actions from Your perspective, and tap into Your power for course correcting changes.
Ezra felt personally the burden of the sin of his people and interceded for them. I also have a burden for the ‘corporate’ sin of my nation. I think of how far my country has come away from Your precepts, from Your commands, and I weep. I cry out with Ezra, “O my God, I am too ashamed to lift up my face to You, my God, because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached the heavens…we have disregarded the commands You gave…”
But Father, I have faith that You are still in control. That You have the power to move in the hearts of men and women, young and old, and call us back to You. “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord; He directs it like a watercourse wherever He pleases.” Your work is not done and You are not finished with my country yet. Or my family. Or me.
Thank You Father for the hope You give me. You are my “rock of refuge, a strong fortress”. And I trust in You. Amen