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Isaiah was a man of great faith and prayer. His encounter with God that is recorded in the sixth chapter shaped his relationship with God and his understanding of the world.
More than anyone else of his generation he understand God’s deep desire for the world to know him correctly.
He knew the history of God’s work with Israel and how God overwhelmed the people with his power and presence in the Exodus and giving of the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai.
He prayed for God to once again shake the world with his presence.
O that you would tear open the heavens and come down,
so that the mountains would quake at your presence—
As when fire kindles brushwood
and the fire causes water to boil—
to make your name known to your adversaries,
so that the nations might tremble at your presence! (Isaiah 64.1-2)
If you are like Isaiah and believe that the most important thing for a person is to have a life-giving relationship with God, then this prayer is one you can imitate.
You can ask God to reveal himself to the world in a way that gets our attention. The best gift humans can receive is to know God for the great Being he is.
Taught by God
God loves the world so much that he is willing to be our teacher. What subject does he teach?
He instructs his students that there is no God like him. He is in a class by himself.
From ages past no one has heard,
no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you,
who works for those who wait for him. (Isaiah 64.4)
God is the One and Only God. He is also our Savior.
He acts on behalf of those who wait for him. This is the central message of Isaiah’s book.
“Wait” is a very significant word in Isaiah. It shows the kind of trust that a human is willing to commit to God in all circumstances. The person who waits, continues to rely on God when others have given up.
Soak up these words about “waiting” and let them inform and inspire your praying.
Isaiah 8.17 – I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him.
Isaiah 25:9 – It will be said on that day,
Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us.
This is the Lord for whom we have waited;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
Isaiah 30:18 – Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you;
therefore he will rise up to show mercy to you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
blessed are all those who wait for him.
Isaiah 33:2 – O Lord, be gracious to us; we wait for you.
Be our arm every morning,
our salvation in the time of trouble.
Isaiah 40:31 – But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 49:23c – Then you will know that I am the Lord;
those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.
As we learn to pray like Isaiah, let’s pray with a heart and life that waits on God. Prevailing prayer is that which remains in a relationship of trust with God no matter what.
Prior to his arrest, Jesus said this to Peter: “Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail . . .” (Luke 22.31-32).
Let’s join Jesus and pray for our friends that their faith will not fail them. We can pray that they will continue to “wait” on God for his work in their lives.
Action in Waiting
Waiting on God is not passive. Instead, it is the active pursuit of the right – of honesty, faithfulness, mercy, generosity, and self-denial.
You meet those who gladly do right,
those who remember you in your ways. (Isaiah 64.5)
There is a promise to those who actively wait on God with the right character traits. He will meet with us.
Praying persons, who are willing to rely on God no matter what, will experience God. He will meet with us.
Our world needs people who will pray like Isaiah. This is what we can learn from Isaiah.
(1) The most important need in the world is for people to know God correctly.
(2) God calls us to wait on him. He wants us to trust him and rely on him at all times.
(3) Waiting on God is an active exercise. As we wait on him, we seek to live what Dallas Willard calls, the Jesus-kind-of-life.
(4) God will meet with people who imitate Isaiah’s message in chapter 64. A personal relationship with God will be our experience.
About This Blog
Rudy Ross and I have a YouTube video on this chapter. It can be found on the Bob Spradling channel. Rudy has insights that come from years of Bible study and devotion to God.
I am indebted to John Oswalt for his excellent commentaries on Isaiah.
Please email your prayer requests to email@example.com or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.