If depended on my prayers, I pray in the Spirit

Hearing-the-Holy-Spirit-_2000x800

How would I answer this question on a daily basis?

“If revival in this land depended on your prayers, your faith, your obedience, would we ever experience revival?”  – Del Fehsenfeld Jr.

Psalm 80 challenges me right in this area and leaves me with a message.

I should pray earnestly for revival among God’s people.

With impending doom in sight, mostly due to the unfaithfulness of the people in following God, there is a prayer, an earnest prayer, asking God to send revival. In fact, it is repeated three times.

Bring us back, O God!
    Show us your mercy, and we will be saved! Bring us back, Almighty God!
    Show us your mercy, and we will be saved! Bring us back, Lord God Almighty.
    Show us your mercy, and we will be saved. – Psalm 80:3,7,19 GNT

The prayer format goes something like this –

  • restore and save
  • how long will You be angry?
  • here is what has been happening when You were involved and then when You were not
  • God come and take care of Your people again – restore and save them

How can I develop greater faithfulness and fervency to pray for revival?

When Paul was writing the Corinthian church  he quoted a passage from Isaiah that just might shed some light here.

If you won’t listen to me, then God will use foreigners speaking some strange-sounding language to teach you a lesson. He offered rest and comfort to all of you, but you refused to listen to him.  – Isaiah 28:11-12 GNT

When I read this chapter, this verse sticks out like a sore thumb for it does not fit into the context of the chapter at all. Of all the verses Paul could have quoted when speaking about the abuse of the gift of tongues and all things relevant, he picks this little verse from Isaiah to explain what God was talking about. This is what God was going to do – God was going to pour out, over the church, the gift of speaking in tongues and it was going to be a restful experience to those who exercised it.

And I have found that in my own devotional life, when I have a problem and I don”t know how to pray over a particular situation, or I have a problem and I want to praise God and I feel a total inadequacy in English, that as I begin to praise the Lord in the Spirit or I begin to pray in the Spirit that it is such a restful experience. And I just find great rest in it. Great peace in it.  – Chuck Smith

Make conscience of daily exercising thy graces in meditation as well as prayer. Retire into some secret place, at a time the most convenient to thyself, and, laying aside all worldly thoughts, with all possible seriousness and reverence look up towards heaven; remember there is thine everlasting rest; study its excellency and reality; and rise from sense to faith, by comparing heavenly with earthly joys. Then mix ejaculations with thy soliloquies; till, having pleaded the case reverently with God, and seriously with thy own heart, thou hast pleaded thyself from a clod to a flame; from a forgetful sinner, and a lover of the world, to an ardent lover of God; from a fearful coward to a resolved Christian; from an unfruitful sadness to a joyful life; in a word, till thou hast pleaded thy heart from earth to heaven; from conversing below, to walking with God; and till thou canst lay thy heart to rest, as in the bosom of Christ, by some such meditation of thy everlasting rest as is here added for thy assistance. – Baxter

 

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Pray for help

pray for help

Leviticus 18 has some actions listed that people might have done and would be considered as something that could push their relationship away from God.

You know that whoever does any of these disgusting things will no longer be considered one of God’s people. – Leviticus 18:29 GNT

It is not the evil one who will punish those who commit these sins but God. I suppose if I were to fall into the hands of the evil one, I could pray, and God would help me. But is there a place for me to go when God decides to not call me one of His?

It happened to Jesus and I saw it through the eyes of Psalm 22 today. This is where the gospel of Matthew correlates between what Jesus was seeing, experiencing and saying. There were four of them.

  1. Matthew 27:35 GNT – They crucified him and then divided his clothes among them by throwing dice.

Psalm 22:18 GNT – They gamble for my clothes and divide them among themselves.

2. Matthew 27:39 GNT – People passing by shook their heads and hurled insults at Jesus

Psalm 22:7 GNT – All who see me make fun of me; they stick out their tongues and              shake their heads.

3. Matthew 27:43 GNT – He trusts in God and claims to be God’s Son. Well, then, let us see if God wants to save him now!

Psalm 22:8 GNT – “You relied on the Lord,” they say. “Why doesn’t he save you? If  the Lord likes you, why doesn’t he help you?”

This next one is where I noted the abandonment of Jesus by God.

4. Matthew 27:46 GNT – At about three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud shout, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why did you abandon me?”

Psalm 22:1 GNT – My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? I have cried desperately for help,     but still it does not come.

How do I pray Psalm 22 with Jesus in mind? How do I meditate on what Jesus experienced and prayed? The Psalm jumps back and forth between the Messiah describing His experience and then praying.

When I feel abandoned —

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
I have cried desperately for help,
    but still it does not come.
During the day I call to you, my God,
    but you do not answer;
I call at night,
    but get no rest. – Psalm 22:1-2 GNT

When I want to remember Christ’s presence —

But you are enthroned as the Holy One,
    the one whom Israel praises.
Our ancestors put their trust in you;
    they trusted you, and you saved them.
They called to you and escaped from danger;
    they trusted you and were not disappointed. – Psalm 22:3-5 GNT

What I do know is that I can cry out to God for help.

Lord, don’t stay away from me!
Come quickly to my rescue!
Save me from the sword;
save my life from these dogs.
Rescue me from these lions;
I am helpless[d] before these wild bulls. – Psalm 22:19-21 GNT

This is why I can pray and ask God for help for I have not lost my confidence in God’s ability to rescue. Though He may seem far, He is near. My crises of life should never become a crises of faith.

Discipline

BY GEORGE HERBERT

Throw away thy rod,
Throw away thy wrath:
                  O my God,
Take the gentle path.
For my heart’s desire
Unto thine is bent:
                  I aspire
To a full consent.
Not a word or look
I affect to own,
                  But by book,
And thy book alone.
Though I fail, I weep:
Though I halt in pace,
                  Yet I creep
To the throne of grace.
Then let wrath remove;
Love will do the deed:
                  For with love
Stony hearts will bleed.
Love is swift of foot;
Love’s a man of war,
                  And can shoot,
And can hit from far.
Who can ’scape his bow?
That which wrought on thee,
                  Brought thee low,
Needs must work on me.
Throw away thy rod;
Though man frailties hath,
         Thou art God:
Throw away thy wrath.