Jesus started his earthly ministry with these words, which His forerunner, John the Baptist, proclaimed before Him, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17).
Repentance means change your mind by changing the direction you are going. This leads to a change of behavior empowered by the grace and mercy of God.
In military terms, it would be an about-face. Here is the dictionary definition of the about-face.
a·bout-face (ə-bout′fās′) n.
a. The act of pivoting to face in the opposite direction from the original, especially in a military formation.
b. A military command to turn clockwise 180°.
2. A total change of attitude or viewpoint.
intr.v. a·bout-faced, a·bout-fac·ing, a·bout-fac·es
To reverse direction.
For the next couple of posts, we are going to look at prayers of repentance that was so necessary for individuals and nations as the consequences of their sins came crashing down upon their heads.
It would be good to mediate on these prayers, roll them over in your mind, and let them renew your soul. Cast down pride and especially, religious pride, which keeps us from admitting our sins and wrongs we have committed. The time for brokenness and humility is upon us and remember this precious truth, “But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word” (Isaiah 66:2).
The following is the prayer of Solomon as he dedicated the Temple to the glory of God. It is a long prayer that you can find in 1 Kings 8. For our purposes today, I’ll concentrate on this particular part of the prayer, since it is most relevant to our current distress.
When there is famine in the land, pestilence or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers; when their enemy besieges them in the land of their cities; whatever plague or whatever sickness there is; whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows the plague of his own heart, and spreads out his hands toward this temple: then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and act, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men), that they may fear You all the days that they live in the land which You gave to our fathers (1 Kings 8:37-40).
Take the time during this lock down to rebuild the family altar to calm the fears of your family and look to God who declares to all men and nations, “Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:22)!
Keep pressing on saints to the high call and prize in Jesus’ name!