Isaiah is teaching us how to pray. We don’t learn to pray by listening to one another. We learn to pray by reading the Bible. God wants us to pray with boldness and passion for the growth of his kingdom. – Ray Ortlund Sr.
Ho do you talk in the presence of greatness? If that someone that you admire crossed your path today what are the chances that if you happened to be bold enough to say hello that an awkward silence would soon ensue? I wouldn’t know how to speak to a king, much less the King of Kings. Too often my prayers are repetitious, insincere, lazy, and without the proper degree of reverence. What if we talked to an earthly king in such a way? For how many of my prayers do I need to ask repentance? My heart comes full of greed, selfishness, and pride and I ask God to bless me? I ‘repent’ only so I can feel safe in between sins.
Isaiah teaches me how to pray, and oh how very unpopular is this kind of prayer. It is a lament. Lamenting is a lost art. This is why if we only take our cues from the prayers we hear we may never pray this type of prayer. Churches rarely have extended times of prayer in their services, less have regular meeting devoted to nothing but prayer, and fewer if any say lets get together to lament before our God.
Lament is the lover’s song of loss. People may lament the loss of health, wealth, or position, but the greatest lament occurs at the loss of a parent, a child, a spouse. If there is no lament, was there love?
Do we really want God in our lives, our churches, our communities? Sadly I think I would often be satisfied with really good music, and entertaining sermon, good media, nice lighting, friendly people, and lunch together after services. Would we be sad if God wasn’t there?
What do you leave church impressed with?
All is vain unless the Spirit of the Holy One comes down,
Brethren pray and Holy Manna will be showered all around.
Being biblical is not enough; we must be a people after God’s own heart, a people who do not merely want to know about God, but a people who know God, a people who desire a knowledge of the Holy.
God teach me to pray. Teach me to lament.