In recent years, our culture has exploded with cries for "justice" regarding a number of issues related to politics, racism, economic disparity and health care. Protests and riots in the streets, political tensions and social media vitriol have highlighted the growing sense in our society that something is not right.
This desire for justice is God-given. The brokenness of our world is a result of sin, and a longing for restoration is a normal part of the human condition. We long to see wrong things made right.
As Christians, our hope for ultimate justice is found in Christ. We await His return when He will finally make all things new. But what is our approach to justice in the meantime? As we await the Second Coming of Jesus, how should the church engage in our culture?
Lisa Koons, the director of 24-7 Prayer USA, says the answer is in the convergence of prayer, mission and justice. In this episode of Presence Pioneers on Charisma Podcast Network, she says that "prayer is breathing in, mission and justice are breathing out."
Our pursuit of justice in this age—our care for the poor, our pursuit of racial reconciliation, our attempts to be salt and light, the advancement of kingdom principles in all facets of society—these biblical efforts must overflow from our time in prayer. When we have been with Jesus, it is only natural we would begin to care for the people He cares about. Jesus actually owns the market on true compassion and justice.
In fact, Koons argues that our care for the marginalized and oppressed is intrinsically linked to our effectiveness in prayer, according to Isaiah 58. Many who are passionate about prayer may need to get out of their closet and show love to their neighbors. Likewise, many who are zealous for justice may need to root themselves in a place of prayer before trying to change the world in their own strength. We need to breathe in and breathe out.
Matthew Lilley is an author, worship leader, intercessor and Bible teacher with a passion for God's presence, extravagant worship and prayer and a desire to see cities transformed by Jesus. In 2004 he founded Presence Pioneers to help fulfill his calling to connect, equip and plant presence-centered Christian communities. He has helped launch two houses of prayer in North Carolina and has also served in national leadership roles in worship and prayer movements such as Burn 24-7 and Awaken the Dawn. Check out his new book, David's Tabernacle: How God's Presence Changes Everything.
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