ISAIAH 61:1-4

ISAIAH 61:1-4

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me and has anointed me to
Preach the good news to the poor. .
Bind up the brokenhearted,
Proclaim freedom for the captives,
Proclaim release from darkness for the prisoners,
Comfort all who mourn
Provide for those who grieve in Zion to bestow on them
The oil of gladness for mourning
And a garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Pleading Divine Intervention Versus Submitting to God’s Sovereignty

We know the prayer so well. We recite it. We sing it. We teach it in Sunday School. “Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Luke 1:2)

Only occasionally, during times of duress when life has sent us one of those incomprehensibly difficult moments do we really think about the words. We know, also, that Jesus prayed thy will be done: “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Luke 42:22) With 2,000 years of hindsight, we now understand that his crucifixion was necessary. Only in moments of illumination (Maybe watching The Passion of the Christ?) or times of stress do we have a glimmer of understanding of Christ’s agony in facing his final hour.

There is immense release, freedom and a “peace that passes understanding” that accompanies yielding to the sovereignty of God against our human desires, our finite understanding of the situation.

On the other hand, we know well that God intervenes supernaturally in human situations even in the face of sin and failure. Moses recounts his prayer on one such occasion, Deut 9:25-29: "So I went down on my face in prayer before the Lord for forty days and forty nights; because the Lord had said that he would put an end to you. And I made prayer to the Lord and said, O Lord God, do not send destruction on your people and your heritage, to whom, by your great power, you have given salvation … Or it may be said in the land from which you have taken them, Because the Lord was not able to take them into the land which he said he would give them, and because of his hate for them, he has taken them out to put them to death in the waste land. But still they are your people and your heritage, whom you took out by your great power and by your stretched-out arm.

Moses had the chutzpah to remind God that people are watching, that the world (the land from which they had been redeemed) would judge the outcome. So today, will you join me in a two-fold prayer:

“O Lord God, send healing and wholeness to Victor today. We have followed your leading, have listened to your voice. The situation is well beyond human control and we’re asking for your divine intervention. Let this situation become a testimony in the community to your goodness, to your power, to your glory. I know that you are well able to overcome medical difficulties and we’re asking you to do so. However, God, I also acknowledge your sovereignty and declare wholeheartedly: ‘Not my will but Thine be done.’ AMEN


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