I’ve been looking through some old journals.
I came across a reflection on Isaiah 62:6-7 that I wrote a few years ago. I had forgotten I had written it, but in the light of the sort of things I have been meditating on recently it was a timely reminder. Most of the following is a complete re-write, but the essence of the initial thoughts remain.
On your walls, O Jerusalem,
I have set watchmen;
all the day and all the night
they shall never be silent.
You who put the LORD in remembrance,
take no rest,
and give him no rest
until he establishes Jerusalem
and makes it a praise in the earth.
If ever you wanted a clear instruction to keep praying until God does what He has promised – here it is.
As I sit here writing this my mind wanders back to when I was (much) younger, of nagging my mum for things. I would ask and ask and ask – often several times an hour. Being of a Scottish extraction, I have little doubt that at times she would respond with “Oh gie me peace!”. I’m also pretty sure that at times, that response would be accompanied with the very thing I was asking for.
Now, as a father, I recognise that very process – an incessant request, resulting in me relenting, simply because I want peace and quiet.
The whole point of the nagging was to get something I wanted. And (often), the only reason I got what I was asking for was to get me to be quiet. The only reason I felt free to ask was because I knew I was loved.
God wants us to be the nagging child, the one constantly pulling on the clothes asking for sweets.
If the people were to see Jerusalem re-established, the people were to give the Lord no rest, to keep on and on at Him, day and night, 7 days a week, for as long as it took.
Israel was in exile – but God had promised that Jerusalem would be rebuilt. Things would get back to how they were. Normality would return.
It wasn’t here yet – but it was coming. If the people would only pray. Constantly. The danger was that they would simply accept things as they were. To roll over. To begin to conform to how things were, not how they could be. God had given them a vision; would they chase it? Could they own it? While they were in exile, there was only one thing that would see that vision become a reality. Were they prepared to do it?
I believe we have been given our own vision. Something to chase after. Something that God wants us to pursue. For each of us, this will look different. We all have different dreams. I think it is reasonably safe to suggest that they can all be summed up within the prayer that Jesus taught us – “His Kingdom come, His will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.”
I don’t believe that Jesus would have told us to pray it if it wasn’t possible. Sometimes we see heaven come in a heartbeat. We pray, heaven comes. Sometimes, our vision, our dream needs persistence before we see breakthrough. If God has given you the dream, and you haven’t seen it yet – don’t give him any peace, until your breakthrough comes.
For me – it is healing. I long for the day that I can walk in the assurance that those I pray for are healed every time. When I first started to pray for people, God gave me a vision to pursue. I knew I was to heal the sick, just like Jesus did. To see Heaven touch earth. I was to pursue diabetes and metal.
Both have touched my life in different ways. Metal is relatively easy to pursue. If it’s there it is generally doing a job. If it goes, great, if it doesn’t, no harm done. Diabetes is a bit more complicated. Often the people I pray for with diabetes are young. If they aren’t healed immediately not only do they have to continue to live with diabetes, their faith may take a serious hit.
Should I stop praying for them? Should I stop pursuing the vision that God has given me? Should I stop asking God for breakthrough?
I want to keep going – to see heaven on earth, now. I want to see more on the now, and less of the not yet.
I intend to keep praying until it happens.