#DailyDevotion You Need A New Heart To Have God Hear Your Prayers
Isaiah 586Isn’t this the fasting I choose: to untie the ropes of wickedness, undo the bands of the yoke from among you, let the oppressed go free; yes, and tear off every yoke? 7Isn’t it to share your food with the hungry, take poor, homeless people into your house, cover with clothes anyone you see naked, and not turn away from your own kin? 8Then your light will break through like the dawn, and you will quickly be healed. Your righteousness will go ahead of you, and the LORD’s glory will protect you from behind. 9Then you will call, and the LORD will answer. You will look for help, and He will say, ‘Here I am!”
What is the kind of fasting the LORD will honor? When the ropes of wickedness are untied and the bands of yoke among us are undone. What does this mean? First, inwardly we are to recognize our sins against the LORD and against our neighbor and confess them to the LORD with a contrite heart and a broken spirit. We are to cast ourselves upon the mercy of our God found in Christ Jesus. Then we are called to loose any bonds that we may have bound upon others, literally i.e. enslaved them and spiritually, we forgive them their sins and have mercy upon them.
The LORD wants us not so much to not eat to share our food with those who have none or who are lacking. The LORD wants us to provide shelter for the poor and homeless even if it means taking them into our own homes. The LORD wants us to clothe those who are not clothed appropriately for the season. The LORD wants us to take care of our own people, our relatives. “But wait!”, you may say, “I thought you said it wasn’t about works and rituals.” And you are correct. If you are doing these things just to try to manipulate the LORD your God and it’s not because your heart compelled you to do these things out of love for your neighbor, the LORD still isn’t going to listen to you. But that is why I started off with having a contrite and broken heart that trust you are forgiven for Christ’s sake. If that is your starting point, then you will be doing these things for the right reason, love for your neighbor.
For if the LORD our God, Jesus Christ, has fed us with daily bread, if he has given us his own flesh to eat in his body and blood in the Lord’s Supper, if we recognize he has clothed us with garments and wrapped up with his own righteousness, if we believe he has given us our house and home now and has gone to prepare an eternal home for us at his return, if we believe he clothes us with our raiment and also clothes us with his righteousness, then we will have the heart that compels us to do the things our LORD and Father requires of us with a right spirit. We also won’t be doing them to manipulate God nor because they are commanded of us but with the heart of God. Chances are, the things we are praying for will also be different and not selfish and self-centered.
Your righteousness, Christ, will go before you and the LORD’s glory will go behind you, just like the Israelites at the Red Sea. You will call for God’s help and he will answer you, for having such a heart is praying in Christ’s name. You will look for help and he will say, “Here I am!”
Heavenly Father, may your Holy Spirit produce in us contrite hearts and a broken spirit that we may look for your mercy in Christ Jesus your son and having received mercy from you we would extend that mercy to those we meet. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.