What better time to talk about prayer, and celebration in prayer, than on a day when many people across the United States are celebrating the moment that they received independence from Britain… or at least celebrating a day off work? And that is the Subversion of the Day: celebration in prayer. Once again, to a seasoned activist or a civil organizer/disorganizer or a monkey wrencher (which i am not yet any of these), this may seem like folly. What would being celebratory in our prayers do at all for subverting the powers?
More than you think, obviously.
To answer this, and to move along through the topic of prayer, i want to take a look at a portion of Jesus the Christ’s life that is represented in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 21. In the beginning of this section, Jesus was coming to Jerusalem on a mission that he had already been explaining to His followers- he was going to die. But to lead up to that moment, there were opportunities to teach, heal, and fulfill Hebraic prophecy along the way. In this first case, Jesus makes appropriate arrangement to enter Jerusalem in a pretty powerful way- as a coming king. And it seems pretty apparent that they people agreed because as he rode in on a borrowed donkey, they shouted “Hosanna to the Son of David! Hosanna in the highest!” So what does hosanna mean? It meant save, savior, or emphatically, SAVE US NOW! These people celebrating His arrival believed that He was the promised Messiah who would return Israel to it’s former glory and save them from Roman occupation. This is further verified when they call him Son of David, which was to say he was the true heir of the throne of David the great king, as opposed to the person that was currently on it.
So… what does this have to do with prayer?
Oh, yeah. In our prayers, as we come face to face with God through Jesus (see the post from the other day), we must celebrate the Savior that came, that is present, and that is coming again. We must celebrate that he came as the savior, but not to give Israel earthly power again, but to free the whole world from having to wear the chains of sin and death, to be able to choose life and love. When we pray in a celebratory fashion, it begins to destroy the foundations of a world that wants us to mourn, and says we refuse to cry anymore about the evil you propagate, but we choose to celebrate the One who has freed us. He said that we will be comforted, so lets believe Him now, and celebrate. Subvert the powers today.
God blesses those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
-The words of Jesus, Matthew 5:4