Day 37: Pushing the Re-Set Button
Our breath prayer for today: As you inhale, whisper, “You restore our souls… As you exhale, whisper, “…and lift our heads!
Slowly read aloud the following Scriptures
In that day I will restore the fallen booth of David: I will repair its gaps, restore its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old, so that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations that are called by My name—this is the Lord’s declaration—He will do this.
Hear this! The days are coming—this is the Lord’s declaration— when the plowman will overtake the reaper and the one who treads grapes, the sower of seed. The mountains will drip with sweet wine, and all the hills will flow with it. I will restore the fortunes of My people Israel. They will rebuild and occupy ruined cities, plant vineyards and drink their wine, make gardens and eat their produce. I will plant them on their land, and they will never again be uprooted from the land I have given them. Yahweh your God has spoken (Amos 9:11-16, HSCB)
For further exploration:
Heavenly Father, our souls honor You. Thank You for our family relationships. We thank You for Your peace umpiring our familial relationships and interactions. Lord, we thank You for fulfilling Your plans and purposes in our lives and for surrounding us with favor like a shield. Thank You for blessing us continually with Your loving-kindness and tender mercies. Lord, Your mercy endures forever. You are great and Your power is absolute. Your understanding is beyond comprehension. We love You and extol Your Holy Name. Out of the mouths of babes and infants, You have ordained strength. What are mere mortals that You should think of them, human beings that You should care for them?
Omnipotent Father, we acknowledge that we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies for our families, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, we gird ourselves with the full armor of God as we fight for the restoration of families in the United States of America. We rebuke every enemy that is coming against our families including: domestic violence, divorce, adultery, incest, selfishness, poor communication and broken homes. For the first time in recorded history, there are now more single adults than married adults. We understand that not all are called to be married, but we rebuke the spirits of pride, stubbornness, fear and greed that prevent those who are supposed to be married from fulfilling their purpose. Lord, You told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply; to fill and subdue the earth and to have dominion. Lord, it is Your will that the people created in Your image be in charge here and not the forces of darkness.
List those families that you know are in trouble. Now ask the Holy Spirit how you can pray for them:
Holy Spirit, help us, as a nation, to make the family a priority again. Help parents to stop being so focused on material items that they fail to spend time with their children and impart Godly self-esteem and emotional stability into them. Remind us that God’s Word should be our guide and not the norms and customs of the world. Help our parents to stop allowing the television, internet or video games to raise their children, but instead to spend time with their children and impart Godly values and wisdom into them so that when they have grown up, they will not depart from Your ways. Help our married couples to honor one another and not take each other for granted. Keep the lines of communication open in these marriages so that the marriage bed will not be defiled. Help our married couples to honor their marriage vows and not be so quick to look for a way out when things get difficult.
Merciful Father, please forgive our American families for sin. Forgive us for allowing our jobs to be a greater priority than our families. Forgive us for taking our loved ones for granted. Forgive us for not praying for our family members consistently.
Forgive us for strife, anger, envy, jealousy, adultery and for verbal or physical abuse within our homes. Lord, forgive me for (list any sins that you have committed).
Holy Spirit, remind us all of those we need to forgive and help us to be quick to forgive. As for me, Holy Spirit, bring to my remembrance those I need to forgive. (Take a moment and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you names or faces of people that you may need to forgive. As He reveals them say, “I forgive name of person(s).” Now, trust the Lord to heal any wounds in your soul caused by unforgiveness.)
Holy Spirit, help our families not to yield to temptation but deliver us from the evil one.
Sovereign Lord, You are King! You are robed in majesty and armed with strength. The world stands firm and cannot be shaken. Your throne has stood from time immemorial. You are from the everlasting past. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Concepts to Consider
God is in the “re-” business. And Sabbath is all about “re-.” Can you think of some “re-”words associated with God? Take a few moments to write them down:
Amos 9:11-16 are significant “re-”verses to re-member! Here God swoops in at the end of a pretty dismal set of prophecies and warnings to Israel’s ten Northern tribes (aka “Northern Kingdom”) to deliver a word of hope. Repeatedly the Lord encourages the people,
“I will restore I will repair, and I will rebuild.” (“ah-KEEM” translated in 9:11 as “restore” implies “I will raise up after having fallen;” “v’gah-DAR-tee” translated in
9:11 as “repair” is perhaps better rendered as “I will re-wall or to seal up”; and “oov-nee-TEE-hah” translated as
“rebuild” infers “I will rebuild so as to restore.”)
Further, the context of this final passage has an agricultural and nurturing overtone. The earliest commands about Sabbath are agricultural in nature (Exodus 34:21). The imagery here in Amos is clear. Not only will their economy and means of feeding themselves be restored, but they themselves, as the covenant people will be
Throughout the messages of the Biblical prophets we often see them reaching back to the creation story (Genesis 1-3) and looking forward to a new creation. Indeed, in the Book of Revelation we see an implied universal Sabbath being brought about through the re-creative work of God (Revelation 21-22).
Why does all this matter? Because God desires to bring us a word of hope today that is based in the concept of Sabbath. He desires to “raise you up, after having fallen” (Proverbs 24:16). He is working to seal up and re-wall the holes in your broken defenses. (We all have blind spots and no one can live a Christian life alone.) And when the Lord rebuilds, He doesn’t haphazardly throw up two sticks and a bit of stucco; He rebuilds with quality upon a Rock and sets our feet on a sure foundation (see: Matthew 7, Psalm 40).
- Personal Reflection: Sabbath gives us the time and space to hit the “reset button” on our lives. What needs to be repaired, restored, and/or rebuilt in your life?
- Kingdom Reflection: Our world needs an understanding of Sabbath Re-set. Our world is generally set on “overload” rather than the sacred rhythm of work/rest that God established. Where can you plant seeds of Sabbath around you?
Optional Time of Centering/Soaking:
If possible, take some time, perhaps 5 to 15 minutes, to get into a comfortable position and simply allow the Lord to minister to you at a deep level (Psalm 42:7). Turn off or put down all distractions. Close your eyes. Hold in your thoughts a meaningful word, phrase, or image from the Scripture passages you read today. Release all other thoughts and concerns into the Presence of the Lord. If your thoughts wander, that’s okay, just gently return to your Scriptural word, phrase, or image.
You may want to set a timer.