Have you ever noticed how many of us have little quirks and sayings that accompany our prayers? Some people with ordinary talking voices will suddenly change tone when they pray. Others rock back and forth on their toes.
One of the prayer habits I often hear is using the word ‘just’. For some strange reason, many of us have learned to insert the word ‘just’ in our prayers. I’m sure that it is mostly a habitual word that we reserve for our prayers. ‘Lord, we just pray that…’
Come to think of it, prayer is an activity that needs to be ‘just’ or centered in God’s justice. When we ‘just’ pray, perhaps we need to be conscious of the fact that we usually asking God for his justice in the answer.
Justice is all about the right treatment of people in relationship to the Law. The good news of Jesus Christ has to do with God providing a just way for lawbreakers to be pardoned. The mercy of God is mingled with the justice of God in the person of Jesus Christ.
So what does prayer have to do with the justice of God? Prayer is the way that we get an audience with God the Judge. Prayer is the method with which we can make an appeal and present our requests to God.
Going before a judge is necessary when we need clarity about right and wrong. A judge weighs all the facts presented and makes a decision about what must happen to settle an injustice. Injustice always involves another party that must be considered. Both parties need clarity and judgment.
Are there times when you need a hearing with the Merciful Judge? Do you need to present your case and appeal for a wise decision? In God we find that righteousness and mercy hang in balance. While the Old Testament prophets and poets prayed for God to bring revenge on enemies, Jesus teaches a new Law. Love your enemy and pray for the one who spitefully uses you.
In your PSL classes, learn to pray with the language of God’s justice and mercy. Ask God that the intentions of the Law be fulfilled; the Law of Love.