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The conflict in Israel has dominated the news for the past several days. This passage in the Book of Isaiah provides words to pray for both sides of the conflict.
If we pray for our enemies as Jesus taught us, it is a sign of a God-like character. Here is the way he put it:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
“But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
“So that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous” (Matthew 5.43-45).
With this in mind, let’s consider Isaiah’s words about the King of all kings and use them to pray for Israel, Israel’s enemies, our nation, and ourselves.
The King in his Beauty
A blind beggar shouted after Jesus saying, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Jesus stopped and asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”
The man said, “Lord, let me see again.”
Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has saved you” (Luke 18.39-43).
The man was instantly healed and the first person he saw was Jesus Christ. This experience revolutionized his life.
Our first prayer for the conflict in Israel, conflict in America, or the conflict within our hearts is to be able to see King Jesus.
Let’s turn Isaiah’s prophesy into prayer and ask that the eyes of all will see the King in his beauty.
Your eyes will see the king in his beauty;
they will behold a land that stretches far away. (Isaiah 33.17)
The End of Conflict
Jerusalem of Isaiah’s day faced a powerful enemy in Assyria. Today, Israel is at war with Hamas.
Isaiah’s prophecy was that the burden of the Assyrian rule would be removed.
Let’s pray today for the burden of war and conflict to be removed. We can ask God to do this in Israel, America, and for us.
Your mind will muse on the terror:
“Where is the one who counted?
Where is the one who weighed the tribute?
Where is the one who counted the towers?”
No longer will you see the insolent people,
the people of an obscure speech that you cannot comprehend,
stammering in a language that you cannot understand.
Look on Zion, the city of our appointed festivals!
Your eyes will see Jerusalem,
a quiet habitation, an immovable tent,
whose stakes will never be pulled up,
and none of whose ropes will be broken. (Isaiah 33.18-20)
A Vision of the King
God desires to meet humans face to face. There are three images of God’s character that are visible when we see him.
These qualities are most recognizable in the life of Jesus.
For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our ruler,
the Lord is our king; he will save us. (Isaiah 33.22)
(1) Judge – The fairness of Judge Jesus is revealed in the way he related to people.
How Jesus interacted with the woman who was discovered in an adulterous relationship is one of many examples of his fairness in judicial matters.
When the authorities wanted the woman stoned for the offense of adultery, Jesus said “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8.7).
After her accusers left he said to the woman, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again” (John 8.11).
People consistently demand their rights against one another. This is a cause of conflict among persons and nations.
If we embrace the justice and fairness of Jesus, we will be less apt to engage in conflict.
Let’s pray for people to see Judge Jesus and be revolutionized.
(2) Ruler – Jesus made his ability to rule critical for his followers.
He said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven” (Matthew 8.21).
When we see Jesus for all he is, we will be willing to do the Father’s will.
Many people address God as “Lord.” Let’s pray that God will use whatever means he desires to help them know and do his will.
(3) King – King Jesus humbled himself and died the death of a criminal. The Father will reveal Jesus’ royalty that was hidden in this act of love.
Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
So that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
And every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2.9-11)
The prayer, “Your kingdom come, your will be done,” is an easy way to ask for the people in Israel, America, and in your life to see King Jesus as exalted.
In a couple of chapters, we will have an opportunity to read the prayer of King Hezekiah. He had given up on alliances and human self-sufficiency. When he prayed, God quickly answered.
Hezekiah and other praying people should encourage us to pray and to see God at work.
About This Blog
Rudy Ross is an excellent student of Isaiah. Rudy and I have a video you can see on the Bob Spradling YouTube Chanel.
Rudy will bring a different dimension to Isaiah than what is in my blog. I hope you will check out and enjoy my interviews with him.
I am indebted to a book by Dr. John Oswalt on Isaiah for his insights into this powerful book.
If you have a prayer request, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood Baptist prayer team will pray for you.