Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Thanksgiving Prayer

He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. Isaiah 61:1-3 (ESV)

The voice of Isaiah can be heard in this passage, but for all who know Christ the Redeemer, it’s His voice that carries the great hope of deliverance. In the fourth chapter of Luke, Jesus reads the passage from Isaiah and declares that He is its fulfillment. While the passage holds a clear message of hope for the Hebrew people in captivity, the prophetic implication reaches far beyond to future generations, to all imprisoned. The verb in the ancient text referring to the opening of the prison doesn’t imply a door is flung wide or bars are torn down. But rather it suggests that eyes are opened and darkness is dispelled.

In the fulfillment of the prophecy it was Jesus who came to bring good news, to heal broken hearts, to set sinners free, to conquer death, to proclaim victory, to destroy evil, and to bring comfort. He came to give beauty where there was once only destruction, joy where there was once only sorrow, and gratitude where there was once only hopelessness. We are the righteous oaks—not by our righteousness but His. We stand in faith and God is glorified as the One on whom our faith is built.

 Father, here is the root of my thanksgiving: You redeemed me by the blood of Your Son. This was the good news that came to my poor and broken spirit. You restored my ruined soul and set me free from the darkness, which once held me captive. By His resurrection Christ conquered death and proclaimed victory over it. Evil is destroyed—its end is near. Your comfort holds me. Your beauty covers me. Your joy sustains me. If I stand, I stand by your grace. You planted me in the righteousness of Christ for Your glory. And so may You always be glorified. And so may I always be grateful.                                                                                          Amen

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