Behold, I have caused thine
iniquity to pass from thee,
and I will clothe thee
with change of raiment.
(Zechariah 3:4b KJV)
When we come to God with our sin, it is like exchanging filthy garments for fresh clean clothes. The word raiment has a beauty to it. It derives from the word “array,” which means “to set or place in order.” This describes accurately what happens when we come to God in confession.
Array often is associated with richness. Often it used to describe those who clothe themselves with ornate, luxurious robes. Several times in Scripture the metaphor of being clothed is used to describe our condition before God. When we “wear” Jesus, we gain a robe of righteousness, a garment of praise and a beautiful spirit of grace. Not only does God cleanse us from our sin, but He adorns us in His best qualities.
Another way to display God’s goodness in prayer is the practice of thanksgiving. Most people will agree that is easier to give thanks when life is going well, than when it’s full of trials and despair.
In Prayers for People Under Pressure, Jonathan Aitken admits, “ . . . although praying to God when our lives are going topsy-turvy is an almost impossible challenge, we should reflect of the argument for trying to do just that.” And while I agree that it is beneficial to thank God for the difficult things in our lives, as well as the benefits, today it occurred to me that I very rarely thank God for taking away my sin and for forgiving me for my many faults. When I think about it this way, I have something to be thankful for everyday.
When we find it difficult to be thankful, maybe we should pray one of these two prayers from renowned English bards:
O Lord, thou hast give so much to me;
give one thing more; a grateful heart. Amen.
(George Herbert, 1593-1633)
O Lord, that lends me life,
Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.
(William Shakespeare, 1564-1616)
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