“The Lord comforts Zion;
he comforts all her waste places
and makes her wilderness like Eden,
her desert like the garden of the Lord;
joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and the voice of song…
Thus says your Lord, the Lord,
your God who pleads the cause of his people:
‘Behold, I have taken from your hand the cup of staggering;
the bowl of my wrath you shall drink no more.'” Isaiah 51:3-4a,22a
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” Romans 8:31-34
“I love the Lord, because he has heard
my voice and my pleas for mercy.
Because he inclined his ear to me,
therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
The snares of death encompassed me;
the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
I suffered distress and anguish.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
‘O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!..’
For you have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling.” Psalm 116:1-4,8
We earthlings have so many pleas! How easy it is to interchange the two four-letter-beginning-with-P words, where pray means plea. While prayer is far more that pleading, the Lord God faithfully, lovingly envelops our every plea in the grace of His own for us. What a Savior!
He knows all about us, our inner workings, mind meanderings, snippets of jealousy, doubt, pride, and ire. He knows what we have endured, what is ahead, and what we need. We cry out from personal agony, desperate lack, and fear of what might be. Our imploring is bound by a perspective limited by temporal flesh, cultural pressure, and a sin-tainted atmosphere. Coincidentally, our pleas coalesce with the incessant intercession of the God of the universe to accomplish His sovereign will. He advocates for us, and His purposes are always fulfilled. (Psalm 139:1-16)
I plead from the pit, He from His throne. I plead seeing only impossible obstacles, He with eternal vision and already-accomplished possibility. I plead in weakness and finite understanding, He in infinite strength and wisdom, and for mine. I plead from battle, He from the side of victory.
So with every yearning and need, would we boldly claim the Lord’s providential care, His omniscience, the astounding fact that He is on our side? What is against us that God’s for is not larger and more powerful? What inner angst buffets that He in us is not greater and abler? Our every plea can turn to gladness and thanksgiving song when we call on His name and seize, and rest in, His loving, redemptive, potent, sufficient, majestic response. (1 John 4:4)
Father, teach me to bring my pleas to you in confidence that You plead Your best and highest for me, to the praise of Your glory.