The bible talks about the Christian being the leader in the fight for justice. It is our duty as believers to seek justice, free the oppressed, and make peace.
learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. Isaiah 1:17
As the Almighty God has a heart for the broken and oppressed; His heart is to manifest itself through us and lead us to compassion towards those in need of justice and rescuing. The idea of compassion is not just a broken heart for those in this situation, but a broken heart that leads to action. How? For the longest time this questions has rung in my brain and my answer was an attempt to eradicate all injustice on my own. Idea after idea came through my mind on how I was going to do justice and free the oppressed. I remember a movie about a missionary in Africa who created a compound to help those in need and collected a small arsenal of weapons to defend the compound and those inside of it who were constantly under attack by rebel forces. This isn’t a blog to talk about whether that was wrong or right, the example was just one of those ideas that I had.
Today I was reading Psalm 10 and it lead me to prayer. As the Lord lead me to pray for those who don’t know Him and are speaking against Him; trusting in themselves as their own god I thought of all of the saints in other countries imprisoned and even killed for faith in Jesus. I asked how I could help them, how could I free them from this injustice? It came to me that the answer is exactly what I was doing. Praying.
Where does revival come from? Well, in Acts it all started in a room where all of the believers were praying. From there God grabbed the attention of the people in Israel and began to speak through the disciples, which lead to 3000 being added to the kingdom on that day alone. Where did the revival come from? You guessed it, prayer. Peter goes into a house to see this girl who recently died. He kicked everyone out, dropped to his knees and prayed to God. The result? God brought her back to life. As I looked through the book of Acts, the church spread throughout the known world through a series of the most amazing things happening. People being taken up out of nowhere and ending up in another city. Demons cast out, cities being changed, barriers being broken, and the gospel spreading throughout the world. God changed the heart of a man seeking to destroy His church, and shut down the enemy while trying to distract a leader from hearing the gospel. Stories that all begin with prayer the life of a pray-er.
Go beyond that and you will see the great warriors for the faith who have done wonderful things for the kingdom and you will see one common trait. Prayer. So how then do we “do justice” or free the oppressed? I probably don’t have to say it, but I will anyway. Prayer!
No gun, no protest, no action that we can take will ever do the job, it must come from prayer. Not what I heard as referred to a “prayer grenade” those prayers tossed up to heaven in hopes they will explode and reach our target, but those prayers saturated in the Holy Spirit and earnestly seeking His guidance and presence in our lives. When God leads us to pray, we see the results. What if… What if we prayed, or were a nation of pray-ers. I think of the Chinese church movement called “Back To Jerusalem”. They believe that it is their responsibility for bring the gospel from China all the way through Asia and back to Jerusalem, tackling the giants of Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. I read in a book titled with the name of the movement that if you were to ask a Chinese Christian how many would be saved in China, they would respond with a laugh, “All of them.”
What if we believed the same? What if we believed that the God of the Universe has the power to not only stop people from oppressing others, but turn them into free-ers of the oppressed? What if we began to pray, and I mean really pray for the souls of those who oppose the gospel? What if we started at home and prayed earnestly and faithfully for the fire of God to rain down and saturate or cities with the gospel? I believe that if we were to do that we would hear exactly what actions we are to take and see the Holy Spirit do His thing in the lives of people we touch! I’m not talking about the scripted prayer that we learn in our religious activities and recite on a daily basis trying to cover all of the areas in which Jesus told us to pray. What I am talking about is prayer as Dr. Fred Hartley III describes it as “Prayer on Fire.” Prayer that is lit on fire by the Holy God who manifests His presence in our lives. The kind of prayer that brings people to their knees begging for their lives from the Creator of all things is what it is takes to free the oppressed and do justice to those who are being treated unjustly.
I heard Dr. Chip Henderson of Pinelake Church in MS say that “Prayer isn’t what you do before you go and do something; prayer is that thing you do.” Like I stated above, I believe when you find yourself in the presence of the Living God you are moved to action, but the actions that He has called you to take and not actions manufactured by your heart which God says is:
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
No one can understand it, only God can, and only a heart submitted to His will and changed by the Holy Spirit can know what to do in order to please the Lord and accomplish His will.
I really think that when Jesus taught His disciples how to pray, He did so knowing that it was prayer that was going to be there biggest weapon against the powers and principalities in opposition to God’s will. When you pray earnestly and meditate on the holy scriptures you are equipped with the tools you need to do what God has called us to all to do; make disciples.
Before you move into action and start your fight for justice, drop to your knees and seek out the only One who can actually make a difference. If God will save me, He will save anyone. So let’s join together and lift our hearts to call down the fire from heaven and burn down the strongholds of this world. God’s desire if for the oppressed and hurting, let’s cry out to the God of compassion and love to free the oppressed and heal the hurting, after all, there is no other way.