Advent 2017: Joy to the World: Day 8

The Second Sunday of Advent


Today's Text: Joel 2:12-13

Scripture Reading: Joel 2:12-13

A Prayer for the Second Sunday of Advent
Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Use this lock screen as a reminder of this truth throughout the week.


  • I think to rend your heart is to surrender unequivocally every thought, emotion, desire, action over to the Lord. I think it means to peer inwardly to every crevice every dark area of our hearts and allow the Holy Spirit to emerge Victor over every aspect if our lives. How often out outward appearances belie the truth of what’s going on within our hearts.

  • what does it mean to rend your heart. I know rend means to break and let it experience emotional pain. I understand that we have to break our own hearts to have a new heart with God, but on an everyday application – what does this mean? for my heart to be broken and experience emotional pain?

    thanks in advance

    • Nicolette

      I have been checking back in hopes someone would answer this question.

    • Dominique

      In the Old Testament the Jews used to tear their garments to show mourning or sadness, and sometimes repentance. This verse is NOT saying God wants you to break your heart. It’s saying he wants those outward signs of repentance to go inward. Really repent, don’t just show it on the outside.

    • Catherine Allen

      Hi Cailey; I was glad to see your question because it made me search a little deeper to seek that practical application for “rending my heart” before God. The most concise explanation I found was in an excerpt from Matthew Henry’s commentary in Joel:

      “Rending the heart is that which God looks for and requires; that is the broken and contrite heart which he will not despise [Ps. 51:17]. When we are greatly grieved in soul for sin, so that it even cuts us to the heart to think how we have dishonoured God and disparaged ourselves by it, when we conceive an aversion to sin, and earnestly desire and endeavor to get clear of the principles of it and never to return to the practice of it, then we rend our hearts for it, and then will God rend the heavens and come down to us with mercy.”

      In the Old Testament there were signs of mourning commonly recognized; rending of clothing, weeping, anointing oneself with sackcloth and ashes. In Joel I believe the Lord was saying, “Your external show of grief is not enough; ‘rend’ your heart instead and turn away from sin to Me.” When we forsake our sin for the Lord, nothing holds Him back from coming to us and pouring out His mercy and grace over us. This was clarifying for me; I hope you find it helpful, also!

  • Love this prayer on meeting Jesus with joy! Amen ♡

  • Needed.

  • The Lord greatly disappointed me this year and it’s something the Holy Spirit revealed to me in October. Long story short, the Lord did not heal my mom from pancreatic cancer. She passes away IN April and it was the most traumatic event I’ve had to experience.

    Spending time with Him has been hard. Praying had been harder. I don’t mind praying for others but praying for myself is difficult. I’m hurt. However, I can feel the Lord. He whispers to me despite my distance. I know he’s with me. This scripture really speaks to me during this season of grieving.

    • Ramona

      Sorry for all of your loss and pain, Maria. It truly sounds like a very hard year.

    • Joy

      I lost my mom 12 years ago. A woman who loved the Lord whole heartedly…. I too struggled…. but God is right there in the midst of your pain. Let him hold you. One day you’ll look back and see how he carried you. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5…. God has a plan we can’t always understand… I’ve met many whom my mom ministered to during her Illness … she breathed life into others while she was losing hers. God truly works in mysterious ways. He has a plan for you as well. Praying for peace and joy for you today.

    • Anne

      This happened to me with a friend, she had cancer and I prayed with faith believing she was going to be fully healed. Then she died and I was devastated. My belief in the Lord was being questioned. But then in prayer one day God spoke to me in my spirit and said “ I did heal your friend, she is with me, no more pain and suffering. Isn’t that what you want? To be with me in heaven? Oh yes it is Lord! That’s when my eyes were opened to what it meant when I prayed for God’s will in a healing. It may not be for me to be blessed but for that person to be free from earthly pain and suffering. I’m truly sorry for the loss of your mother.

    • Jeanna

      I’m so sorry for your loss, Maria. As someone who has suffered great loss myself, may I just reiterated your words, “season of grieving”, is just that. Give yourself permission to grieve…. our sweet and merciful Savior is with you.

    • Olivia Goode

      Maria, I am so sorry for your loss. I read this Advent Prayer and I never scroll over to see comments from other people but I did today for some reason, obviously the Lord! As I read your comment I think my mouth dropped open. My mom passed away this year as well in May, also to pancreatic cancer. My whole world has been shaken. I had the perfect family and now things are very different for us. Throughout the pain, I never got angry. I did have questions, but despite the pain, I still longed for Jesus because I know that He is good and faithful and He became all I had to hold onto in such hurt. Keep praying and spending time with Him daily and He will change your perspective. My family clings to Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to me and I will answer you, and will show you GREAT and HIDDEN things that you have not known.” And He already has! Praying for you during this Christmas season, Maria.

  • Along time ago…after many weeks of missing quiet time with the Lord, I was quietly reminded that he is patient with his children. That morning as I opened my study…the passage was talking about how he waits for us…and in spite of our faults he loves his children. We are precious to him. As I read that morning the woman speaking was quietly explaining why she had been away for a while…as in not following or studying his word…or even praying. As if a two way conversation was going on (It always is if we choose to listen) he sweetly said to her…”My daughter even though you’ve been apart from me for a time now…I’ve been here every single morning…quietly, yet eagerly awaiting your return.” He is never far…we just have to ask, for he is our Abba who adores us.

    • Maria

      Donna, this is beautiful. He truly is patient. I love how he doesn’t pressure us to do anything but gently waits for us.

  • This was just the verse my heart needed today! It reminded me that God doesn’t care if I look like I have it all together on the outside. Even if I’m putting on the “perfect Christian” show, He sees right through it. He really cares about the condition and attitude of my heart. It also brought me comfort by reminding me that He is patient with me! Even though I fail over and over again, He is right there cheering me on and overjoyed when I get back up and focus on Him again.

  • Kimberly Gilbertson

    I needed these words!

  • Courtney Renee


  • I love this season and everything that keeps pointing my attention back to Jesus

  • Love this scripture!!

  • Hannah Finley

    Joel 2:13 quotes God’s explanation of who He is (and the most quoted verse in the Bible by the Bible) from Exodus 34:6-7 “The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, The Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness…” I love that there are these reminders of God’s character all throughout scripture—He wants us to know Him! ♥️

  • Alyssa Nelson

    I love that it’s not about my “garments” or getting everything I have together before coming to Christ. He wants me heart in whichever state that is!

  • Crystal Mendez

    Jesus, I ask for Your help in obeying God’s word and surrendering everything to Him again. I know I cannot do this without You! Amen!

  • Rend your heart and not your garment…. Psalm 34:18 KJV
    [18] The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
    God wants your heart!

  • Kelly (Chataine)

    Rend your hearts and not your garments. God desires our hearts!

  • Churchmouse

    He is coming again. There are harbingers of that day. The Scripture speaks truth. May we repent of individual and national sin. May we rest in His forgiveness and unfailing love. May we tell others so that they are assured of eternal life on that day. May the “we” begin with me. Amen.

  • Yet even now….return

  • I have a degree in German but never used it after college. I’m reading all of our verses in German too, hoping God will use this for something! #awake

  • Amanda Mata

    I just keep coming across God’s mercy and love and grace over and over in these verses and the rest of Joel. He is LOVE. Thank You Father for loving us more than we could ever understand or put into words ❤️

  • Karen From Virginia

    Return to Me. Oh the prayer of my heart for the country, the church, my church, my family and friends and my heart. Open their eyes Lord to the beauty of redemption and the awe of Immanuel.

  • Amen, thank you God!

Further Reading...