In chapters 61 and 62 the prophet Isaiah uses poetic language to describe God’s royal city, shinning and blazing from the fuel of righteousness and salvation. He blends this image with others so that, from our perspective, Isaiah’s vision of the future merges with history past and present.
In past times, there was an impassable span that separated man from God. That span can now be crossed through the cross. There is also a span in another sense. This span is the span of time we humans experience. In this span we can talk about a beginning a middle and an end. We can think of events arranged from the beginning of human history through Isaiah’s day all the way to ours and on to future times.
The Anointed One Prays
It is in this span that God’s Anointed prays and acts to save a city he has yet to publicly name (Isaiah 62:1-2). He prays before he crosses that once-impassable span to become a God-man and then, in the span of history, he prays in the dessert and in the mountains. He prays in a garden and eventually on a cross. He left Earth but he prays still (Hebrews 7:25) for those who will one day inhabit that shinning city Isaiah described.
God-Appointed Guardians Pray
The prayers of the Anointed One are essential, but he is not the only one who has prayed and who still prays. God-appointed guardians are praying too and history has not been, and will never be, able to stop these persistent watchmen. We see them here in Isaiah.
I have appointed watchmen on your walls;
they will never be silent, day or night.
There is no rest for you,
who remind the Lord.
Do not give Him rest
until He establishes and makes Jerusalem
the praise of the earth (Isaiah 62:6-7, HCSB).
After Isaiah, hundreds of years pass in God’s story and, about mid-way through his book, we see another guardian, a prophetess named Anna.
She did not leave the temple complex, serving God night and day with fasting and prayers. At that very moment, she came up and began to thank God and to speak about Him to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem (from Luke 2:36-38, HCSB).
Others Pray Now
Anna is not the last of the appointed guardians for others since have been appointed.
And what I say to you, I say to everyone: Be alert! (from Mark 13:33-377, HCSB).
In the poem below I hope that you will feel a sense of time – past, present, and future. I hope that you will feel the wonder of prayer though which God brings about his promises. I hope that you will feel the honor of joining with God-appointed guardians throughout time. But most of all, I hope that you will pray, pray, pray, pray until you finally find yourself full of joy in the wondrous city of God.
Painting by Hardy, Frederick Daniel, A Prayer for Those at Sea, [Public domain], accessed from Wikimedia Commons