Monday, March 23, 2009

Weekly Prayer Thought

Let justice run down like water,
And righteousness like a mighty stream. Amos 5.24

It's pretty simple to read over a statement like that one and not pay any attention to it. We can be tempted to count it as an affirmation of God's power, vengeance and justice. It is all that, but it is so much more. You see, at it's heart this is a verse about prayer.

The one addressed in this passage is not the reader. You and I are incidental to this exchange between man and God. This is a prayer petitioning God for his justice. Often we are tempted to neglect praying about such matters. After all, we believe, God is omnipotent, all-powerful. He does not need our prayers to do the right thing. God's justice will be done, we assume. We must never forget that an important element in God's righteous judgment is our participation. We are called to pray for God's will.

There is one other thing to consider here. When we pray about injustice and unrighteousness, our lives, our hearts are changed. We move from being an interested bystander to being a concerned participant. You cannot seriously pray for oppressed peoples without becoming concerned about them. You cannot pray for justice without being offended by the oppressor.

It will soon become clear that you cannot pray without being changed. Your heart will not only ask for justice, your mind and body will begin to work toward it.

PRAYER: Lord God, today I pray for the oppressed people of this world. Bless, comfort and heal those who are enslaved, exploited and marginalized. Make all things new. Use me to bring justice in my home, church and community. For the sake of all your children I pray in your name. Amen.

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