“Is not this the fast that I choose, to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free and to break every yoke. Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house? When you see the naked to cover him and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily, your righteousness shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer, you shall cry and he will say, “Here I am. If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness. If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted. Then shall your light rise in the darkness, and your gloom be as the noonday.” And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water whose waters do not fail and your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt. You shall raise up the foundations of many generations. You shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.”
– Isaiah 58:6–12
Isaiah 58:6–12 is one of my favorite passages in the entire Book of Isaiah. So I want to read all seven of these verses and then just go right into praying according to them. Isaiah 58:6.
Oh God, we pray that you would help us to honor you with this kind of fasting, with this kind of living, with this kind of worshiping, with the sharing of our bread with the hungry. Our resources with the needy.
God, we want righteousness like this in our lives. We want your glory to be our rear guard. What a phrase, oh God, may it be so. We want your glory to be our rear guard, we want you, we need you to guide us continually, to make us, our lives, our families, our churches like watered gardens, like springs of water whose waters don’t fail. God, we want to be instruments in your hands for your redemption to be made known among many generations to come.
Isaiah 58:6–12 Calls Us to Free the Oppressed
So help us to live like this, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free. God, we pray that you would help us to work justice, to care for those in need, to pour ourselves out for the hungry, to satisfy the desires of the afflicted, to let our light rise in the middle of a dark world. God, in a world where there is so much need around us.
Open our eyes to see spiritual need around us, physical need around us, and not just to see it, but to act with your grace, with the resources you have entrusted to us. Namely the gospel and then flowing from that all the other opportunities you have given us to do justice and love mercy as we walk humbly with you. God, we pray, that Isaiah 58:6–12 would mark our lives. That we would fast and pray and worship and live like this.
Praying for Those in Urgent Need
God, I’m compelled specifically to pray for the brothers and sisters we are supporting, working with urgent initiatives around the world in really hard places where there is urgent spiritual need, no gospel presence, and urgent physical need, all kinds of physical suffering. God, we pray that you would bless those brothers and sisters who are spending their lives for the hungry, for the spiritually and physically hungry there.
We pray that you would use our resources, whether through urgent initiatives or so many other ways to make your glory known. Your goodness known, your love known, your light known in a dark world of urgent spiritual and physical need all around us. We pray this according to your word in Isaiah 58:6–12. In Jesus’ name, amen.