Isaiah’s Answer for how to Save America, Part 9: Praying in the Name of Jesus Christ

Isaiah 53:10 “When you make His soul and Offering for Sin…”

The polling company Gallup regularly publishes the American peoples’ most trusted and least trusted institutions. Every year, the #1 most trusted institution is the US Military, where 74% of Americans trust our military to protect and defend us. The next two are small business at 67% and our police at 54% (don’t listen to the media). The two at the bottom are the news media at 20% and Congress at a measly 11%.

The Congress is made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate. With 435 members, the House represents the people across all 50 states. The Senate represents the individual states, each state having 2 Senators. 9 out of 10 Americans say these 535 people we elected to represent us are not to be trusted.

Sadly, the latest evidence of how out of touch Congress is with the American people originates from our very state of Missouri. This past Sunday, Missouri Representative Emanuel Cleaver led the prayer for the swearing in of the 117th Congress. Below is the main content of his prayer to his god.

“May we so feel Your presence that our service here may not be soiled by any utterance or acts unworthy of this high office. Insert in our spirit a light so bright that we can see ourselves and our politics as we really are, soiled by selfishness, perverted by prejudice… May the God who created the world and everything in it bless us and keep us. May the Lord make His face to shine upon us and be gracious unto us. May the Lord lift up the light of His countenance upon us and give us peace… We ask it in the name of the monotheistic God and the God known by many names and faiths. Amen and Awoman.”

Cleaver petitions God for 2 things: 1) Congress would “feel God’s presence”, and 2) God would “insert a light into each member’s spirit” to see themselves for who they really are – selfish, perverted sinners. With an 11% approval rating, both petitions make a lot of sense. But he does not petition the God of the Bible. Since most Americans (including Missouri, whom Cleaver represents) still identify themselves as Christians and the Bible as God’s word, we again see an elected representative who does not represent us at all.

Cleaver did closely mimic the words from the Old Testament’s ‘Priestly Benediction’: “The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face shine upon you. The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26). The Hebrew name for ‘Lord’ here is ‘Adonai’, which is a direct reference to the God of the Bible. But Cleaver offers his prayer to any god you want: “We ask it in the name of the monotheistic God and the God known by many names and faiths. Amen and Awoman.” We’ll ignore the absurdity of the “Awoman” addition (political correctness is another reason for the 11% approval rating).

It is blasphemy to offer the sacrifice of prayer to God in any other name than His Son, Jesus Christ, which is what Cleaver did.

Our verse this week from Isaiah highlights the only offering that pleases God.

We have been examining Isaiah chapter 53. We now come to verse 10: “It pleased the Lord to crush Him; He has put Him to grief. When you make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the Lord’s pleasure shall prosper in His hand.”

“It pleased the Lord to crush Him; He has put Him to grief”: Isaiah prophesies that from eternity past, God the Father was pleased to place the sins of mankind on Messiah and then pour out His full wrath upon Him because sin demands justice. Here is the Gospel. In the New Testament Book of Matthew, right after Jesus is baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, God the Father announces, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). Jesus Christ, after demonstrating by baptism His obedience to offer up His life to His Father as payment for our sins, fulfills Isaiah 53:10 by gaining God’s pleasure.  

“When you make His soul an offering for sin”: King David reminds us that prayer is a sacrificial offering to God: “Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice” (Psalm 141:2). In Isaiah 53:10, God is most pleased when, during our prayers for the forgiveness of our sins, we do so in Messiah’s name, whose soul was the perfect offering to accomplish that very forgiveness we seek: “…the Lord’s (God the Father’s) pleasure shall prosper in His (Messiah’s) hand”. Cleaver got it wrong. It is only in the precious name of Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Isaiah 53, that the selfishness and perversion so rampant in our elected officials could ever be healed.

The Evidence of Faith’s Substance – Article #430

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