I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, 7 and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth. (Isaiah 62:6-7)
The final chapters of Isaiah crescendo to the climax of history, detailing the perfection, wonder, and joy of the coming kingdom. In the midst of this crescendo, the Anointed One—Jesus, our coming King—appoints a group of faithful intercessors to pray ceaselessly for the consummation of history. Those who pray faithfully are truly guardians, zealous for the triumph of the heavenly city. They pray without ceasing, crying out to God to remember his promises, knowing that he has ordained their prayers as a vital component in his implementing his promises.
The Anointed One implores these praying guardians to give themselves no rest until his kingdom comes in its fullness. Indeed, in a shocking statement, Jesus admonishes us to give God no rest until he brings history to its glorious end! One thinks of the persistent widow, who keeps knocking at the door of the unrighteous judge until he relents and gives her justice (see Luke 18:1-8). Considering we bring our petitions to a Father who reigns with perfect justice and righteousness, how much bolder and more confident should we be when we approach him? Remember, he asks us—even commands us—to approach him with boldness, freedom, and confidence (see Hebrews 4:16; Ephesians 3:12).
In recent months, the church has prayed earnestly for God to act. We have pleaded with him to remove the plague from our land, restore our fortunes, bring reconciliation and healing to a divided nation, and send revival. I would guess we have even prayed for each of these more than once. But could we say that we have given him no rest—still give him no rest, since none has happened yet? I do not know that I would characterize the American church, generally speaking, as a church that prays ceaselessly. We are (and I include myself in this number) half-hearted creatures, prone to distraction, apathy, and sloth. Could this be why we see so little movement of God in our day?
Church, let me encourage us to give God no rest until he accomplishes what he purposes to do in these dark times. Both hiding in our prayer closets for concentrated times each day and gathering (virtually or in person) weekly to seek his face as his body, let us pray without ceasing until revival comes, justice rolls on like a river and righteousness like a never-failing stream (Amos 5:24), and the King establishes his forever kingdom. Do not grow weary. Persist in prayer.