Justice in a Paintbrush


“Father of glory, thank You for leading me in the way of justice and righteousness through the perfection of Your Son, Christ Jesus. I earnestly desire the mind of Christ so that the oppressed may go free. Would You give me eyes to see, ears to hear, a mouth to speak, and hands that heal?”

We love this prayer from this week’s Lectio 365 with Jonathan Tremaine.

In 24-7 Prayer, we often talk about how God invites us to become the answer to our own prayers. Corrie ten Boom famously said, “We never know how God will answer our prayers, but we can expect that He will get us involved in His plan for the answer. If we are true intercessors, we must be ready to take part in God’s work on behalf of the people for whom we pray.

Early on, we as 24-7 Prayer learned that even while we gather in our prayer rooms and pray, “Come, Lord Jesus“, Jesus is actually often out in the streets of our towns and cities, wherever it is darkest and most lacking in hope, calling to us, “Come, my people, come join me here.

So when we pray this prayer along with Lectio 365, do we know what it looks like to have “eyes that see, ears to hear, mouths to speak, hands that heal”? What does justice look like when it goes from a whispered prayer in a cosy prayer room to accepting Jesus’ invitation to join him in his work amongst those for whom we are praying?

Our national co-ordinator Crystal had the opportunity a few weeks ago to experience first hand what this looks like when she and her fiancé and some friends came together to deep clean and paint an older man’s flat.

This man who we will call Angus for the purpose of protecting his privacy had lived for years in appalling conditions. Very few furnishings, no carpets or any flooring but merely original floorboards, no bed or bedding, just an ancient dirty mattress on the floor. He was one of many who had slipped quietly through the cracks because he didn’t fit into the boxes of the system. After being continuously ignored and no one to advocate for him, his own sense of worth diminished, on top of walking through deep grief and loss, and he gave up, resigning himself to merely existing in the circumstances he found himself in.

But Crystal’s fiancé had eyes that saw, ears that heard and he used his mouth to speak to advocate for Angus to bring change to his circumstances. And used his mouth to share with Crystal about Angus and together they prayed for healing for Angus’s heart, for restoration of his hope and sense of worth. They then used their mouths to raise awareness of Angus’s need and friends from various churches rallied, deep cleaning and painting Angus’s tiny flat. All together, their hands brought healing – the healing of Jesus that restores dignity, worth and value and hope.

Jesus saw Angus and he called to his people to join him in his work in Angus’s life. They saw and heard and followed Jesus, playing a small part in his plan for the answer to their prayers for Angus and the many more vulnerable and marginalised like him across Scotland.

How is Jesus inviting you to join him in his work in the lives of those you are praying for? How is he inviting you to put feet to your prayers for justice in your town or city?

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