A Prayer for Owning Our Wanderings and Remembering God’s Mercies
Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” Lam. 3:19-24
Dear heavenly Father, a new day begins, replete with fresh mercies and sufficient grace. You overwhelm us with your patience, forbearance and kindness. We join Jeremiah today in calling to mind your great love and faithfulness; in fact, we can “call to mind” much more of your love and faithfulness than Jeremiah, because our place in the history of redemption is to be much preferred over his.
Jeremiah lived looking forward to the coming of Jesus and the fulfillment of the promises of the new covenant (Jer. 31:31-34); but we live on this side of those blessed events. How much quicker should we praise you and how much greater should our hope be!
Lord Jesus, you’re the reason we’re not consumed with guilt and paralyzed with fear, for you took the judgment we deserved on the cross. Because of you, God has forgiven all our wickedness and will never remember our sins against us (Jer. 31:34). You became sin for us, and in you we have received the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21). Thus, we look at you and loudly proclaim, “The Lord Our Righteous Savior” (Jer. 33:16)—the Lord, my righteousness!
Father, it’s only because of this gospel that we can also join Jeremiah in lamenting our wanderings. Your grace frees us, not only to rest in your love, but also to recognize and repent of our waywardness. With humility we still sing, “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it; prone to leave the God I love.” Oh, how we need the gospel every day and every hour.
Don’t let us wander far. When we lose sight of Jesus, make the gall more galling; make the bitterness more bitter; make downcast feel even more downcast. Don’t let us ever get used to feeling disconnected from the gospel, chilled in our affections or lukewarm of heart.
In view of your steadfast love and never-failing compassions, we proclaim, “The Lord is my portion” (Lam. 3:24). You are our peace, hope and joy. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ powerful and tender name.