Isaiah 64:7-9 (NIVUK)
7 No one calls on your name
or strives to lay hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us
and have given us over to our sins.
8 Yet you, Lord, are our Father.
We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand.
9 Do not be angry beyond measure, Lord;
do not remember our sins for ever.
The Old Testament rarely talks about God as our Father, which may partially explain confusion and outrage when Jesus claimed to be God’s Son. Isaiah 64 is one of the few passages that do. I can’t but feel that it is a good prayer for us to use today. We live in an era when the culture around us has turned away from the Christian faith, and perhaps God seems distant, but this reminds us to pray for our communities, reminding God that he is our father – the our encompassing all people – the one who made us and the one who can forgive and restore us. It is also a good reminder to us to not divide the world neatly into Christians and non-Christians, and stray into looking down on those without faith. We all let God down, and yet God is the Father of us all and loves us all.
Do not be angry with us Father, nor our communities, but in your love restore us.