The “Day” & “Hour” for Worship [a prayer]
Earlier this year (1/26/21), I was reading where Jesus severely scolded people with Isaiah 29:8-14 (Mat 15:7-9) where Isaiah warns that those who worship with their lips, but not their heart, will become blind and deaf to God’s Word because of a spirit of deep sleep that will fall upon them.
Isaiah’s prophecy was actually fulfilled with those religious folks (priests, scribes, and Pharisees) of Jesus’ day. In fact, that “spirit of deep sleep” so numbed them to God’s Word that they ended up criticizing and finally crucifying the Living Word of God, Jesus Christ! That is scary stuff!
Paul referred to it as the “blindness of Israel” (the “hardening of Israel” in some translations). He called it a “mystery,” and he warns that a similar hardening and callousness can happen to us also if we are not careful:
For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.Romans 11:25 (NKJV)
Paul also explained that hardness as a “veil” upon their hearts:
But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ.2 Corinthians 3:14-16 (NKJV)
But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart.
Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
Yet, in spite of the grimness of his warning, Isaiah went on to prophecy of a day he called “that day” (a phrase Isaiah uses 45 times!) when eyes and ears will be opened to see and hear “the words of a Book” (God’s Word), and they will “increase their joy,” and those who erred in their attitude with criticisms and complaints would be healed so that they could “accept instruction”:
In that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book,Isaiah 29:18-19 (NKJV)
And the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.
The humble also shall increase their joy in the Lord…
Those who err in mind will know the truth,Isaiah 29:24 (NASB)
And those who criticize will accept instruction.
Similar to Isaiah message of hope, Jesus spoke about an “hour” that would come when true worshippers would worship in “spirit and in truth” which is the only kind of worshippers the Father seeks for:
But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.John 4:23 (NKJV)
These two Biblical phrases – “that day” and “that hour” – are actually prophetical promises for us to claim. As an example of how this can work, look at what happened when Mary asked Jesus to help at the wedding in Cana. Jesus told His mother, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come”. But Mary turned that “hour” into THE “hour” by acting in faith and preparing for what then became Jesus’ first miracle (John 2:1-11).
By believing, we, too, can turn “that day” and “that hour” into the “right now”! Therefore, I choose to believe RIGHT NOW for my “today” and my “hour” and this is my prayer:
Heavenly Father, by faith I prepare my heart and choose to make “that day” (as Isaiah called it) into “my day” TODAY; and I choose to make “that hour” (as Jesus called it) into “my hour” RIGHT NOW!
Today, I purpose to worship You with ALL my heart and to be the kind of worshipper that You, my Heavenly Father, are seeking for.
Holy Spirit, please let Your burning conviction drastically prevent me from worshipping with empty and useless “lip service” from an indifferent heart, crusted over with religiosity! I don’t ever want the “spirit of deep sleep”, the “blindness,” the “deafness,” nor the “hardness” that came upon Israel to come upon me and prevent me from beholding Your Wonderful Word of Life!
Holy Spirit, just as You inspired David to pray: “Enlighten my eyes lest I sleep the sleep of death” (Psalm 13:3), I also pray that You would be swift to awaken me out of even the slightest religious slumbering. I ask You to daily inspire and instruct me to be a true worshipper in Spirit and in Truth!
Dear Jesus, I claim Isaiah’s promises! I believe Your Word, that if I make my “now” into “that day” and that “hour” of worship, then You, Jesus, will fill me with fresh joy and cause my ears and eyes to behold wonderful things in Your Word!
Amen! Let it be so, Lord!