Isaiah 64:8–9 (ESV) … “But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. Be not so terribly angry, O Lord, and remember not iniquity forever. Behold, please look, we are all your people.”
Isaiah is teaching us how to pray in this portion of his writing. We don’t learn to pray by listening to one another. We learn to pray by reading the Bible. In verses 8 & 9, we find the elements of confession, faith, and humility. We also see the deeper inner workings of our relationship with our Heavenly Father.
There is one company of late that has made a few commercials about our becoming our parents. I know that for some young people this is a most terrible thought. That somehow, we could actually grow up and become the very people we said would never become. Yet isn’t it funny how often this happens rather than not?
In these verses, Isaiah gives us an appeal to our Heavenly Father, this time accompanied by the recognition that He, Yahweh is also the potter (v. 8). Like the father image, we see this potter image earlier in the book, and the prayer reworks both of them again here.
This verse acknowledges that God is God and that in the end, human beings have to trust themselves to God’s insight and purposefulness. This prayer appeals to the helplessness of the clay, which pictures us. This image drives home the desires that our prayer should voice that God is to have his way with us. Later, the Apostle Paul would explain in his letters that we do become more and more like our Heavenly Father. Not that we become a god ourselves, but that we become holy and sinless like Jesus, who is the express image of God. To this purpose, our Heavenly Father is committed. This prayer recognizes this purpose, our need for divine daily help, and our confession with repentance when we fail to trust in God’s ways by living for him.
Verse 9 gives us great hope, in that when we do blow it, we can have forgiveness from God our Father. That God will not remember our sins, and even better, not hold them against us.
By trusting Christ, we become the children of God and with that so many blessings befall us. We become the very works of his hands and the love of his heart. In our prayers, today, let us lift the promise of Isaiah up and give thanks unto the Lord for being our Father and Potter.