121 Days of Prayer

The purposes of this prayer are: Obedience, Mercy and Holiness/Righteousness.

Gracious Lord, the Israelites grumbled to you that they fasted as part of their spiritual devotion to you, yet you seemed not to be answering their prayers. You responded to them through your prophet Isaiah, saying, “’I will tell you why,’ I respond, ‘It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves. Even while you fast, you keep oppressing your workers. What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarreling? This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me. You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads like reeds bending in the wind. You dress in burlap and cover yourselves with ashes. Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the Lord?” You then explained to them that true fasting included freeing the oppressed, and feeding, clothing and sheltering the hungry, naked and homeless: “Then when you call, the Lord will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply. ‘Remove the heavy yoke of oppression. Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors! Feed the hungry and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.’” Isaiah 58:3–5, 9–11 (NLT). Lord, we pray that our worship of you is always sincere. Help us to realize that our worship of you must include caring for our neighbors as we care for ourselves. Amen.

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