Zechariah has a startling encounter with an angel while in the temple performing his priestly duties. The angel informs Zechariah he will have a son and what that son will do. He and Elizabeth will be the parents of the guy who will dial in the hearts of the people to be receptive to Jesus when he comes. This is highlighted in Luke 1.16, “he will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God.”
The theological word for “bring back” is repentance. Repentance begins when we stop trusting in our idols and place our faith and trust in Jesus alone. We don’t need to pray that prayer again. However, learning to follow Jesus is a life-long process of repentance because we wander from his ways.
Repentance requires humility to admit we commit daily acts of selfish disobedience against God and others. Little resentments, petty complaints, and subtle moments of ingratitude creep into our lives. Our daily prayers of repentance bring us back to God by changing the way we think, act, and speak.
God loves prayers of repentance. Today, ask God to search you and examine your heart. Write down this phrase, “Today my heart is…” and fill in the blank. The goal is to ask God to turn your heart toward Jesus however necessary as you go about your day.