Isaiah 59:16 – Who will stand in the gap?
He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor… (Isaiah 59:16a)
Isaiah 59:16 paints a bit of a sad story – Isaiah looks around to see if there is anyone who would pray for Judah – a man that would stand in the gap and interceded for the nation and the people. And he found none.
Ezekiel found himself in a similar situation:
So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. (Ezekiel 22:30)
Here’s the picture – things were going downhill fast; politically, economically, and spiritually – yet no one was praying! They were searching for answers, but they were searching in the wrong places.
Does that apply to us today? I think so… There’s no doubt that things are going downhill in our country, and the world in general. Watch the news for one evening, and you’ll hear about the rapidly declining situation in the Middle East; Christians are being exterminated in Iraq and Syria; our supposed “economic recovery” is anything but, and Christians are in a pitched battle with the culture over “religious freedoms.”
And it’s not just the culture and the political system that needs our prayers, I’m quite sure there are situations in your life that need your prayers. I know there are in my life.
What’s the answer? Certainly not the next election. According to James, the answer is prayer:
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. (James 5:16)
But here’s the thing about prayer – for it to work, you have to actually do it! People say all the time “praying for you!” – “sending prayers and love!” – but are they actually praying?
The same question that Isaiah and Ezekiel posed is relevant to the church today – “Who will stand in the gap?” Because according to James, if we’ll keep our ledger with God clean (I. E. confess our sins), and pray fervently, GOD WILL MOVE!
I don’t know about you, but just considering where we’re at in our world, and in my life personally, I’m convinced that I need to pray more!
Be sure and join us this Sunday as I’ll be teaching about prayer, and why sometimes it seems as though God isn’t hearing.
We can change the world, one life at a time…