Isaiah 59 speaks of a nation that was in trouble. There was no justice, violence was in the streets and the righteous were being preyed upon by the wicked. Verses 15 and 16 show us the Lord’s response to the evil that was going on. 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 again, 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.
–Adapted from the article Partnering with God in Prayer by David Butts, author of Asleep in the Land of Nod
Rock and Redeemer, how small my wants and needs are compared to Your immeasurable desires for Your kingdom! Help me to be attentive to Your voice whenever You are searching for someone to intercede! Let my voice be the one that says, “Here I am, Lord, send me!” May my prayer life be birthed out of desire rather than duty, and joy rather than obligation! Thank You for the amazing privilege of partnering with You to bring about the advance of Your kingdom through Christ Jesus!
Praise God that you are his temple (1 Cor. 3:16). Thank God for the work he’s given you to build up Christ’s body, the church (Eph. 4:16). Confess those times you do not honor God with your body, as he has purchased you with the price of his blood (1 Cor. 6:19-20). Commit yourself to Jesus’ cleansing of your total being (Jn. 13:8-10). Ask God to reveal to you daily the mystery of his glorious riches (Col. 1:26-27).
Pray that your family and friends will not dwell on outward beauty but on the unfading beauty of the inner self, a gentle and quiet spirit (1 Pet. 3:3-4).
“Prayer enlarges the heart until it is capable of containing God’s gift of himself. Ask and seek, and your heart will grow big enough to receive him and keep him as your own.” —Mother Teresa
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend