“He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?”
Prayer and Justice
Whatever else prayer might be, it is about justice – not justice in the American sense of everyone getting their just deserts, but justice in the Biblical sense of fulfilling our obligations to God and one another. Jesus joins the prophets in declaring that our responsibilities to God are not the formal requirements of ritual and sacrifice, but fidelity to God’s way of compassion and mercy: the care of those in need, the refusal to take advantage of others, the love of neighbor.
Prayer finds its true center and power when we are in harmony with God. God will not ignore the desperate cry of those in need, but the prayer that changes the world begins where we do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God.