“Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your recovery will speedily spring forth; And your righteousness will go before you; The glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’” Isaiah 58:8-9a (NASB)
The people of Israel were complaining that God did not recognize their religious actions. God responds to them that their fasting was half-hearted and done with the wrong motivation. Insincere fasting resulted in contention, fighting, and pretense. Fasting consisted of more than just an outward ritual and a mock penitence, it involved repentance over sin resulting in humility. Turning from sin, and caring for those in need was required for God to acknowledge their obedience in fasts. In contrast with the complaint of v. 3, a time will come when the Lord will be completely responsive to the prayers of His people. This will be done when they are converted and giving evidence of the transformation in the kind of works that reflect a truly repentant heart This verse is an interesting way to describe what happens when we pray. Seek God with the right heart and God will pour out His blessings. God has a way of letting us know that He is listening when we pray. When we are praying in earnest we’ll be aware that God’s is there and listening because He has promised to be there.