Lent 2009 (27) – Spent prayer

Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,

and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday. Is 58:9-10

In our staff prayers yesterday, one of my colleagues draw on the whole of this remarkable passage in Isaiah. The worshipping people of Israel were concentrating so much on their fasting and prayer that they failed to recognise that it was the whole of their lives which needed to express the priestly duty of bringing worship to God. God was silent to their cry for help, not because they hadn’t called out often or loudly enough, but because they failed to act on the behalf of the oppressed.

Perhaps the most helpful insight in our reflections, was that we often are very careful in recording how much we have spent in cash. But how careful are we in recording how much we have spent of ourselves in the service of others?

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