Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Remember Revival Requests

Psalm 85:4 Restore us again, O God of our salvation,
and put away your indignation toward us! 5 Will you be angry with us forever?
Will you prolong your anger to all generations? 6 Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you? 7 Show us your steadfast love, O Lord,
and grant us your salvation.

How often I forget one of the most important prayer requests. How can I forget to cry out as the Psalmist here does? “Restore us please!

As I pray this, I am reminded of God’s glory and His sovereignty. “Revival is a work of God where He enlivens His people by accelerating and intensifying His work in individual’s lives” (Jonathan Edwards). If enough people have this personal renewal at any one time and in any one place, then the reality of God’s presence is demonstrated in spiritual sensitivity and a community pursuit of holiness.

So as I pray this, I am reminded that revival begins in me.

Isaiah 64:1 Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down,
that the mountains might quake at your presence—
2 as when fire kindles brushwood
and the fire causes water to boil—
to make your name known to your adversaries,
and that the nations might tremble at your presence!
3 When you did awesome things that we did not look for,
you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.
4 From of old no one has heard
or perceived by the ear,
no eye has seen a God besides you,
who acts for those who wait for him.
5 You meet him who joyfully works righteousness,
those who remember you in your ways.
Behold, you were angry, and we sinned;
in our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved?

Do I really desire this? Is there not a sense of fear that God would actually do this? Is there not a subtle secret doubt that God actually can or will do this anymore?

J.I. Packer gave a lecture at a “Desiring God Conference” in 2003. He made some interesting points about the nature of revival that come from his study of the theology and thoughts of Jonathan Edwards.

#1 Revival is more about holy living than new conversions
#2 We cannot pray revival down – we cannot force God’s hand. It happens in His timing.
#3 Revival will not solve all of the churches problems. It can even create more!
#4 Revival is tied up in a deep desire to glorify God.
#5 Revival causes a deep repentance, responding in holy living, which draws outsiders in.

I ask that Saints everywhere join me in keeping this a regular request- Soli Deo Gloria!

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