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    21 days of prayer and fasting - Isa 59 

    Much of this chapter is a picture of society where people do not care for one another and do not seek peace.  

    We reap what we sow.  It is a natural and a supernatural principle.  Isaiah had to prophesy hard warnings to people sowing discord and then wondering why there was no peace.

    As we look around our own nation and other nations in the world we see the same dismal sight.  

    “Justice is turned back,

        and righteousness stands far away;

    for truth has stumbled in the public squares,

        and uprightness cannot enter.”

    This could be a description of the way unrighteous lifestyles are pushed in the media at audiences who have been conditioned to be passive.  Gratuitous violence and casual sexual encounters are made to seem common and normal.  Those who wish to keep pure and save sexual intimacy for the marriage covenant, as God intended, are often made to feel they are freaks.  Even marriage has been redefined by law in a way that contradicts the historic Christian understanding of God’s plan as revealed in the Bible.

    Truth has indeed stumbled in the public square.

    Truth matters to God.  The Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth (John 4:23 & 16:13) - God is true to Himself and produces truth.

    So there will come a time when He will judge - if He did not He would not be true to Himself.  He may delay judgment because He wants all people to be saved and to experience His truth/reality (1 Tim 2:4).  But He will surely judge.  Rev 19:11-16 gives a dramatic insight into this.

    Isaiah too gives us a glimpse of Jesus the Judge in verses 17 to 19.  The armour He puts on was in Paul’s mind when he wrote to the Ephesians about putting on the full armour of God.  It gives us a clue what Paul meant in Eph 6:10-20.  

    We often think of the armour as our spiritual defence.  Yet that is only a part of it.  Paul urges us to pray.  The context is calling the church to warfare.  As we pray we cause changes in the heavenly places with effects in the material world.

    Psalm 149:6-7 suggests that we have a part to play, through our praying and declaring the truth, in applying Jesus’ judgment to the demonic forces behind what is happening in the nation.  We have to stay close to Him and pray and declare only as the Spirit leads, but we have an awesome responsibility as we pray.

    The only reason we can be involved with Him is that we are free from judgment ourselves.  It is not because we deserve anything but because He saw there was no righteous person (verse 16) and made salvation possible Himself.  We now know it was the Cross and Resurrection that achieved this, but Isaiah had a prophetic glimpse.

    Free from judgement and anointed by the Spirit (verse 21) - that is the basis on which we can pray!