November 6, 2006
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the story of the fall of Israel and of the faithfulness of Hezekiah in Judah, and how he destroyed all the high places and even the brass serpent of Moses (which had started out as a wonderful gift from You, but had become a snare as people started to worship it. It was a great "tradition" and a "precious icon" but it had been perverted from being a memory of the power of God, into an idol in itself). Lord God, thank You for showing me every day new ways in which we too have turned from the pure worship of You alone, to bringing in the things of the world (as the people who replaced Israel worshiped both You and other gods - as did Israel and Judah themselves), but also to perverting the very worship of You by worshiping the objects and methods related to the worship, and by trusting in the rituals rather than in You!
Oh dear God, purify Your church! Purify Your people, individually and as the church, the Kingdom of God. Please continue to open our eyes, that we may truly see the truth of our condition, and come before You in true repentance, and utterly cast aside all that has replaced You in our hearts and minds and beings, and help us to turn unto You alone with our whole hearts, with all that we are, and lay ourselves on the altar of sacrifice before You and cry out to You to bind us to the altar and destroy all that is in us that separates us from You, that draws us away from worshiping and following You alone. Thank You for the great love You showed in giving Your Son as our substitute Sacrifice, to rescue us, to save us from the power of sin and death. Now, oh dear God, please make us daily, continuous living sacrifices before You of all we are, all we cherish, all we value and hold dear, and make our hearts and minds and bodies and emotions - all that we are - single minded before You, dear Lord.