{Re:} "Even now, Return"

Welcome to Prayer 556 - Our Lent 2022 prayer journey!

I am so excited that you have decided to join us this year as we journey through this Lenten season together. In these six weeks, we will take time each morning to read, reflect, and pray as we seek God in our daily lives.

Each day we will read a passage of Scripture, feel free to read the chapter surrounding the passage that I give. Following that, I will list a few questions or prompts. You can use them to enter some quiet contemplation, grab a pen and journal your answers, or simply sit in silence. Whatever you do, get rid of the distractions and invite the Holy Spirit to meet you. Each day will close with prayer from a variety of historical periods and styles of church. I cannot wait to hear what you experience and how you grow!

There is a place to comment at the bottom of this post in case you want to share anything on your heart!

Monday: Even now, return.

Read: Joel 2:12-14 (NRSV)

"Yet even now, says the Lord,
return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
rend your hearts and not your clothing.
Return to the Lord, your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love,
and relents from punishing.
Who knows whether he will not turn and relent,
and leave a blessing behind him"

In this passage, the prophet Joel is calling the people back to God with all their heart (i.e. with passion, fervent desire). As you think about this passage, ask yourself these questions:

  • Where have I moved away from God?
Be honest here. If nothing comes to mind immediately, ask God to search you and show you.

  • Where have I been just going through the motions?

  • What parts of my life have I made off limits to God?

  • What spiritual disciplines or rhythms might help me turn back?

This Lenten season is a chance to be really honest about the ways that you have moved away from God. It is also a chance to return to God with all your heart, to be transformed.

The Message translation says it this way - "Change your life and not just your clothes. Come back to God, your God!"

As you close your reflection time, I would invite you to imagine what it might look like for you to "return to your God." What would change? What would it look like? What would it feel like? What sacrifice would it require?

This Lent, you are invited into deeper transformation (changing lives and not just garments). It's time to return.


O Merciful God,
grant that I may ever perfectly
do Your Will in all things.
Let it be my ambition to work
only for Your honour and glory.

Let me rejoice in nothing
but what leads to You,
nor grieve for anything
that leads away from You.

May all joy be
meaningless without You
and may I desire
nothing apart from You.
May all labour and toil
delight me when it is for You.

Make me, O Lord,
obedient without complaint,
poor without regret,
patient without murmur,
humble without pretence,
joyous without frivolity,
and truthful without disguise.

- Thomas Aquinas


O Susan Blais - March 7th, 2022 at 4:38am

As I read the scripture this morning I reflected back to the sermon yesterday about how I could continue to work for the kingdom of God. Even with my limitations, I know I could be doing more to work for the kingdom of God and returning to him. Lord, help me to See the needs of your church end of your body so that I might serve you more completely.

Peg Ash - March 7th, 2022 at 4:51am

I woke up this morning I’m around 430 just waiting with anticipation for the message to come crossed to start my day in Gods word. I do every morning put on my suit of armor and pray for others but it’s not enough for me inside my heart. I am hoping with this and sitting and reflecting will help me find what I’m looking for to be closer.

Nick Tebordo - March 7th, 2022 at 5:52am

I have been singing Maverick City Music’s “Take me back-back all the way back-back to my first love.” Praying that I will be on fire for God as I was when I was first born again. I want to put that garment on! Peggy, it is so good to hear from you. Looking forward to this time each day. Thank you Kaitlyn!

Melody - March 7th, 2022 at 9:17am

I'm so late today, because so many things cried out my time, steal my attention.

The concept of returning to my first love is apparently important this week--I wrote a prayer asking God's help for this yesterday in church, and that

Melody - March 7th, 2022 at 9:21am

Hmm. Sorry about that.

Today, my short reading from my Franciscan email (pause & pray) had the same scripture as its basis, and now this. I'm asking God for guidance in what to bring back on and what to leave behind permanently, so that the "time of locusts" (AKA COVID) will but be wasted time. I want to remember that ease of prioritizing God's time over the time for others.

David Edelstein - March 7th, 2022 at 9:51am

Last night we watched the Chosen and saw the desperate searching that Matthew and Nicodemus had for Jesus. When Matthew comes near to Jesus as He is fleeing the Romans with His disciples, Jesus senses Matthew and turns around. His look beckons Matthew to follow and come with Him on His journey. For me returning to Jesus is experiencing again that same pull to come with Him.




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