“The LORD looked and was displeased that there was no justice. He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intercede” (Isaiah 59:15-16).
Isaiah 59 speaks of a nation that was in trouble. There was no justice, was in the streets and the righteous were being preyed upon by the wicked. The Lord made His will very clear. He was displeased by what was happening in Israel and desired for matters to be made right. He was waiting for His people to pray, so that salvation and righteousness might be poured out upon the people. But as in Ezekiel 22:30, there was no one to intercede. In this case, however, the Lord allowed Israel to suffer in sin for hundreds of years until His people were redeemed by the coming of the Messiah. God always looks first for an intercessor. It is His plan to accomplish His will on this planet through the prayers of the saints.
It is for this reason that Jesus taught us to pray, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” God has given us the awesome privilege of partnering with Him in bringing about the advance of His Kingdom on earth.
As we ask ourselves, “why pray?” we can move from a lethargic attitude about prayer to a place of tremendous excitement as we join with God in what He is doing on this planet. Understanding the place of prayer in God’s plan can give us greater motivation and commitment to be the people of prayer that God is calling us to become.
Lord Jesus, You have taught me how to pray and because of Your own example of intercession, I should be thrilled to join You in this incredible privilege! Move my heart to be committed rather than simply convinced that prayer is powerful and effective. Help my weakness to be perfected in Your strength and continue to teach me to pray!
–Adapted from the article Partnering with God in Prayer by Dave Butts, author of the book Desperate for Change: Forty Days of Prayer for America. This resource is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.
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Praise God, the one who is your “light” and your “salvation” (Ps. 27:1). Thank him for shining his saving light in your darkness. Confess times when you’ve preferred to live in the darkness of sinful actions and habits rather than in the light of Jesus. Commit yourself anew to living in his light. Ask God to surround you every day this week with his light and salvation.
Pray for Christian ministries which bring healing light into some of our society’s darkest corners. Pray for those who work with the homeless, with substance abusers, with the poor, with persons in mental institutions, and others. Ask that the love of Jesus will soothe every hurting heart.
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