Turn us back to You, O LORD, and we will be restored; Renew our days as of old,Lamentations 5:21
One term we hear applied to times of spiritual stirring is “renewal.” I came into the Kingdom in the latter part of the so-called “Charismatic Renewal.” Something was being restored that had been lost or ignored. Biblically we see the English term used in several places. Here in Lamentations, the word used means to rebuild or to repair. The author is asking that the people be restored to the way they were in the past. There are other prayers and promises that stir my heart:
- Psalms 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
- Psalms 103:5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
- Isaiah 40:31 But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
It seems that the writers recognize that life causes us to lose something as we walk. Sometimes the battle is hard. We need new strength. Other times, we wear down as our frail bodies get old and energy is less than it once was. In Psalm 51, David was repenting for his sin. It seems that his failure had sullied his heart and caused him to be unable to stay steady in his service to God. I believe that sometimes, for those who have been Christians a long time, we learn to go through the motions of faith without the joyous freshness of faith. We need to recharge.
Before we gather with the family of God today, how about each one of us pick the verse here that is most appropriate to us personally, and ask God to renew. (You can use more than one if that’s appropriate.) I know these are prayers that God wants to answer. Have a fresh day!
Lord, renew me today. Restore me to the joy that was mine in the beginning. Renew the strength of my body and the steadfastness of my heart. Remind me again of the new birth glee of realizing the God loves me and Jesus paid the price for me. Renew my spiritual youth and zeal, let my heart be as innocent and motivated as I was in the beginning. Stir up my first love! Amen.