Prayer for the day
Hallelujah! Praise the Name of the LORD, give praise, you servants of the LORD, You who stand in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God. Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; sing praises to his Name, for it is lovely.
Scripture for the day
The Israelites went to Ezekiel and asked him to inquire of the Lord. They wanted him to seek God’s will for them, to figure out what God would have them do. For most of us, that sounds like a great thing. Seeking wisdom from God is excellent! Yet God rejects the leaders of Israel, calls them out and refuses to answer them. This seems like cruelty until we read God’s reason for refusing the people.
It is not that God does not want the people to pray. It is not that God does not want to hear from his people. It is simply that the people are treating God as a last resort, as icing on the divine cake, as an option in the pantheon. Instead of worshipping God as the one and only, the people are living however they want to live, disregarding God’s law, and then wanting God to answer their prayers and do their bidding.
James says that God is the God who wants to, and does, answer prayer. The difference, James says, is that the prayers God hears and responds to are the prayers that come from the life of faith. The life of faith denotes that life that speaks to God believing in the God to whom the prayers are directed, and the life that is lived in accordance with the laws and precepts and desires of that God. The life of faith is the prayer life that is effective, because it seeks to live what it believes.
May we be the faithful.