A Prayer of Thanksgiving for “Thornbushes”

I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, “I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.Hosea 2:6-7

Dear Lord Jesus, I’ve praised you for the fall foliage of western North Carolina; the panoramic wonder of Cape Town, South Africa; everything topographical about Switzerland; the Eden-like echoes reverberating in Butchart Gardens on Victoria Island; and the azure blue waters, kissing the sugar-white beaches of Destin, Florida. But today, I praise you for the gift of thornbushes—prickly, painful providences of great mercy.

Jesus, you love us so much that, when we love you less, you come after us with tenacity and uncomfortable providences. You are unrelenting in your commitment to rescue our hearts from illusions, mirages, broken cisterns, idols, and wannabe lovers. I wish you didn’t have to be, but I am grateful you are so doggedly committed to keeping us from self-destructing.

O blessed and beloved thornbushes, ever block my path when I begin chasing after lesser gods and other lovers. Hedge me in like a formidable fortress—an indefatigable defense against my wandering heart. When I set my GPS for an affair of any kind, cause me to lose my bearings and my way. Frustrate my every attempt to look for more, or settle for less, than Jesus.

Jesus, that you …

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A Prayer in Praise of Jesus’ Persistent, Pursuing Love

     Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. Rev. 3:19-20

Dear Lord Jesus, because the gospel is true, every day is an experience of living the hymn “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go,” for you love us tenaciously and you pursue us constantly. As hard as it is to imagine, you desire fellowship with us more than we do with you. It’s even harder to imagine that you actually enjoy being with us—that you constantly delight in us. We believe, Lord, help our unbelief.

In the gospel we enjoy an eternal unbreakable union with you; but for various reasons, we tend to flow in and out of vital communion with you. The sad thing is, sometimes we don’t recognize our heart drift for a quite a while—days, even months. It’s usually the people around us who first recognize our being out of fellowship with you; for being with you changes the way we relate to everyone in our web of relationships.

Jesus, that’s why there’s no greater rebuke than to hear you knock on the door of our hearts; yet, at the same time, that knock comes as an expression of great love—like a kiss. Indeed, nothing is more convicting than to hear your voice on the other side of that …

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A Prayer of Gratitude for Well-placed Thornbushes

     I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, “I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.” Hosea 2:6-7 

     Dear Lord Jesus, I’ve praised you for the fall foliage of western North Carolina, the panoramic wonder of Cape Town, South Africa, everything about Switzerland, the Eden-like echoes in Butchart Gardens on Victoria Island, and the azure blue waters kissing the sugar white beaches of Destin, Florida. But today, I praise you for the gift of thornbushes.
     Jesus, you love us so much that when we love you less, you come after us with tenacity and uncomfortable providences. You are unrelenting in your commitment to rescue our hearts from illusions, mirages, broken cisterns, idols, and wannabe lovers. I wish you didn’t have to be, but I am grateful you are so doggedly committed to us.
     O blessed and beloved thornbushes, ever block my path when I begin chasing after lesser gods and other lovers. Hedge me in like a formidable fortress. When I set my GPS for an affair of any kind, cause me to lose my bearings and my way. Frustrate my every attempt to look for more, or settle for less, than Jesus.
     Lord Jesus, that you are jealous for …

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