30 July 2016
Reading: Isaiah 60-62; John 1
6 O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls; they will pray day and night, continually. Take no rest, all you who pray to the Lord. 7 Give the Lord no rest until he completes his work, until he makes Jerusalem the pride of the earth. (Isaiah 62:6-7 NLT)
The prophetic book of Isaiah is divided into two main sections. The first 39 chapters speak mostly of coming judgment and the final 27 chapters speak mostly about the coming Messiah, salvation, and restoration. These words in chapter 62 emphasize an important aspect of prayer – reminding God of his promises of restoration and blessing, and asking him to do what he has promised.
Prayer isn’t about trying to convince God to do what we want him to do, or to change his mind and get him to do something he doesn’t want to do. It’s about finding what God has said in his word – the things God has already said he will do – and allowing his word to become faith in us so we can “give him no rest until he completes his work!”
What a privilege to partner with God in fulfilling his purposes by reminding him of his promises! I must think through the things that God has promised – what he has promised generally for all, and what he has promised specifically to me – and then pray passionately and fervently – “keep at it day and night” – until he does it. This is my opportunity to be a partner with God.
Take some time now to think of things God has promised. Think of his promises to guide and provide. Think of his promises to bless his people so we can be a blessing to others. Think of specific promises you have from God. Take time to remind him of his promises, to express your faith in prayer, to partner with God in his purpose.
Father, my prayers are so small, short range, and self-focused! I tend to pray mostly for my own needs, for what I’m feeling, and about what is going on at the moment. Help me to add to that the diligent prayers of a watchman who keeps at it day and night, reminding you of your declared purposes and your gracious promises. I don’t fully understand why you choose to involve my prayers in your answers, but you do. So I will. May it be unto us according to your word and your will. Amen.