But now, says the Lord—
the one who created you, Jacob,
the one who formed you, Israel:
Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
when through the rivers, they won’t sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you won’t be scorched
and flame won’t burn you.
3 I am the Lord your God,
the holy one of Israel, your savior.
I have given Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in your place.
4 Because you are precious in my eyes,
you are honored, and I love you.
I give people in your place,
and nations in exchange for your life.
5 Don’t fear,
I am with you.
From the east I’ll bring your children;
from the west I’ll gather you.
6 I’ll say to the north, “Give them back!”
and to the south, “Don’t detain them.”
Bring my sons from far away,
and my daughters from the end of the earth,
7 everyone who is called by my name
and whom I created for my glory,
whom I have formed and made.
8 Bring out the blind people who have eyes,
the deaf ones who have ears.
9 All the nations are gathered together;
the peoples are assembled.
Which of them announced this?
Who predicted to us the past events?
Let them bring their witnesses as a defense;
let them hear and say, “It’s true!”
10 You are my witnesses, says the Lord,
my servant, whom I chose,
so that you would know and believe me
and understand that I am the one.
Before me no god was formed;
after me there has been no other.
11 I, I am the Lord,
and there is no savior besides me.
12 I announced, I saved, I proclaimed,
not some stranger among you.
You are my witnesses, says the Lord,
and I am God.
13 From the dawn of time, I am the one.
No one can escape my power.
I act, and who can undo it?
14 The Lord your redeemer,
the holy one of Israel, says,
For your sake, I have sent an army[a] to Babylon,
and brought down all the bars,
turning the Chaldeans’ singing into a lament.[b]
15 I am the Lord, your holy one,
Israel’s creator, your king!
16 The Lord says—who makes a way in the sea
and a path in the mighty waters,
17 who brings out chariot and horse,
army and battalion;
they will lie down together and will not rise;
they will be extinguished, extinguished like a wick.
18 Don’t remember the prior things;
don’t ponder ancient history.
19 Look! I’m doing a new thing;
now it sprouts up; don’t you recognize it?
I’m making a way in the desert,
paths[c] in the wilderness.
20 The beasts of the field,
the jackals and ostriches, will honor me,
because I have put water in the desert
and streams in the wilderness
to give water to my people,
my chosen ones,
21 this people whom I formed for myself,
who will recount my praise.
Listening to God: Never think you have me figured out. I am always doing something new. If you are too comfortable, you are probably not living close enough to me. Do no resist when life takes you out of your comfort zone. Do not struggle to hold on to the way things are or have been. I am a God of the future, and I am always walking with you into the unfolding surprises of my will. Relax and enjoy the journey!
Journal or lift up your prayers and reflections to God.
*Our season of prayer guide comes from Joan Gray’s book, Sailboat Church: Helping Your Church Rethink Its Mission and Practice.