How do you respond to distress and hopelessness? Many cower, shrinking in fear. For others, depression and despondency take over. When Israel’s hope was gone, when they’d been turned into slaves with nothing to live for, they did the same. That’s when the prophet, Isaiah, steps in.
Isaiah cries out for them. How does he do it? He prays. This is not your ordinary prayer. He did not sit quietly with folded hands and closed eyes. Instead, he spoke with passion. I picture him pacing the room, stomping and screaming. This prayer was about making noise. He was calling upon God for attention.
Working a room, in passionate prayer is tough. Isaiah’s face was red and sweat gathered on his brow. Tears filled his eyes, but he would not be overcome by emotion. This was a desperate cry. He wanted help, yes, but it’s more than that. Isaiah needed God to show up. He knew God’s promises. He knew that when God stands up, nothing can stand in his way. Nothing can defeat him. No enemy, no ruler, no mountain is bigger than He. God will conquer all. He and he alone will free us.
What made Isaiah special? He was willing to rely on God. His response was dictated by his faith. How do you respond to repression and lack of hope? Prayer. That’s it. He didn’t push for everyone to go out and fight. He didn’t work to energize and motivate these hopeless people. He prayed. He didn’t tell them to pray, he prayed for them. He interceded with what he knew to be true.
Prayer is all that is required. Through it, we achieve the victory that God has promised. Like the Israelites, we will no longer say, “we are sick and hopeless, for the Lord will forgive.” (v24)