Arise, LORD! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless. Why does the wicked man revile God? Why does he say to himself, “He won’t call me to account”? But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless. Break the arm of the wicked man; call the evildoer to account for his wickedness that would not otherwise be found out. The LORD is King for ever and ever; the nations will perish from his land. You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror.
Ishmael is an orphan. He never knew his mother or father. Instead he knows the emptiness of being fatherless and motherless. One day a family took him in…to replace their son that had died. Ishmael’s presence could not assuage their deep grief so they “returned” him like a pair of pants that didn’t fit. But God saw his trouble.
The day he was returned, two board members from ANA Panama were in the office for other business. When they learned of the boy’s situation, now orphaned twice, they decided to place him in one of their transition homes. Now Ishmael is thriving in a home where he experiences love from adults who promise not to send him back and sees the example of the love of Christ who promises to be with him forever.
Prayers for God to come to the aid of others do not exclude our willingness to get involved in the process. When we pray for God to “hear the desire of the afflicted,” “encourage them,” “listen to their cry,” “defend the fatherless and the oppressed,” we must add, “And Lord please use me to be Your hands and feet.” Conversation with God is not a passive plea for God to go “fix it.” Prayer includes the willingness to participate in the fix.
Father, I don’t want to be passive in my praying. Show me where I can get involved as Your instrument. I want to be a part of the answer to the prayer I am praying. In Jesus’ name. Amen.