praying with hesed

We’ve been reflecting on the Hebrew word ‘hesed’ during the last two weeks, since it first came to our notice following one of our pray-ers reading about it in a daily devotional.

our god is love

‘Hesed’ is covenant love – a word which embodies both commitment and feeling, and is used frequently in the Old Testament to describe God’s ‘unfailing’ or ‘faithful’ love.

To us it feels like a headline glimpse into his multi-faceted goodness. In the heart of God that breaks for the pain of individuals, communities and nations is both an unrelenting steadfastness, and a depth of compassion that is beyond what we can imagine.

At the Sanctuary’s centre we choose a different element of God’s character to specially focus on each day- and as we meditate on his nature expressed as mercy, justice, faithfulness, refuge, kindness… we ask Jesus to help us embody this more ourselves in our prayers, and in the welcome we offer to those who visit.

It’s the same with hesed…This is the kind of love we want to offer to the people who come through our doors every day.

And it is the kind of love we want to express as we pray day by day.

We are committed to persevere in prayer – to cry out to God for personal, local, national and international situations – and to remain faithful and hopeful that change is coming through miracles of transformed situations and softened hearts that are moved to acts of mercy.

But we’re also determined to keep passionate – even about issues that come up again and again before we see the change we so desperately long for.

We don’t want to ever reach the stage where we’re just praying because it’s the right thing to do… we want to genuinely mourn with those who mourn as if it was our pain – because through sharing God’s heart, it is.

Hesed is challenging. It’s uncomfortable and at times deeply painful. But it is real, perfect love.

It is what Christ embodied with outstretched arms on the cross.

Jesus, source and perfect representation of all that is faithfulness, commitment and passion – help us to intercede with hesed – because we know you do, and we would be like you even in this.

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