Dear Father, every one of us has experienced failure. Many failures. They have left us broken, depressed, disappointed in ourselves, and full of regret.
Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: "Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times." And [Peter] went outside and wept bitterly. (Luke 22:60–62 NIV)
Dear Father, every one of us has experienced failure. Many failures. They have left us broken, depressed, disappointed in ourselves, and full of regret. There are times when flashbacks of those episodes return to haunt us. How distressed we can feel in those moments! Thank You for the remarkable transformation made possible by forgiveness. Thank You for understanding that we are but dust, often incapable of keeping our own promises or living up to our own expectations.
Renew our hope as we reflect on Peter, with whom we can so easily identify. Remind us that, just as You used him after his failures, You will also use us, by Your grace. In fact, help our memories of failure bring about a humility that sees Your grace as it really is . . . amazing.
Help us find fresh encouragement and new strength from Your Word. We look to You alone for the ability to hope again. Only You have the power to make something beautiful and good out of lives that are littered with the debris of thoughts we should never have entertained . . . words we should never have said . . . and deeds we should never have done.
Our only source of relief comes through Your grace. Bring it to our attention again and again in those critical moments when discouragement does a number on us . . . and make us grateful.
In the gracious name of Jesus we ask this. Amen.
See also Psalm 32:1–11; Micah 7:19; John 21:15–19; Romans 8:28.