Rightly Praying for Revival
15 Aug 2013
Have you ever wondered if you have what it takes to serve the Lord as He deserves to be served? Have you ever seriously contemplated in what way the Lord deserves to be served? A common malady in our modern world is that many of us presume that we have almost no time to meditate on the nature of God. The outworking of this assumption stunts our natural growth and ability to serve God as he deserves since this assumption provides for hearts that are inhibited in their understanding and appreciation of the awesomeness of God.
A.W. Tozer in his book The Divine Conquest, quotes Novatian from the third century as follows: “ In all our meditations upon the qualities of the attributes and content of God, we pass beyond our powers of fit conception, nor can human eloquence put forth a power commensurate with His greatness. At the contemplation and utterance of His majesty, all eloquence is rightly dumb, all mental effort is feeble. For God is greater than mind itself.”
Perhaps a place of considerable understanding is reached when we, like Novatian, humbly realize that God cannot be completely comprehended.
It is not our intention to attempt to elucidate the extent of the greatness of God but rather to bring encouragement to all of us to give some serious thought and effort to this matter. God has in His Word revealed some of His attributes. He has revealed, in terms no doubt elementary to Himself, His strength and His wisdom and His love couched in words and language that is reasonably understandable to the limited mental powers of frail humanity.
Below is a small sampleof scripture revealing the nature of God. Look carefully at the scriptures below asking yourself this question: …… what is God’s word saying about God?
Jeremiah 10:10 (AMP)
10 But the Lord is the true God and the God of truth (the God Who is Truth). He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth quakes, and the nations are not able to bear His indignation.
1 Timothy 1:17 (NASB95)
17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
Acts 4:24 (AMP)
24 And when they heard it, lifted their voices together with one united mind to God and said, O Sovereign Lord, You are He Who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything that is in them,
If we were to be asked to serve as a representative of a new business venture we would naturally want to know quite a bit about the nature and objectives of those who are leading the organization. Likewise, as ambassadors of the triune God, if we are to serve Him satisfactorily it is important that we regularly ingest the truth about God to the extent that it can be known. But of course knowledge alone is insufficient.
Tozer in the book mentioned above shares these thoughts: “The blight of the Pharisee’s heart in olden times was doctrine without love. With the teachings of the Pharisee’s Jesus had little quarrel, but with the pharisaic spirit He carried on unceasing warfare to the end. It was religion that put Jesus on the cross, religion without the indwelling of the Spirit.”
Tozer in his comments quoted above seems to use interchangeably the love of God and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We are told through the apostle Paul that the love of God is poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. [Romans 5:5 ] Just think, these words were written by the Holy Spirit Himself!
God has given us His Holy Spirit to indwell our bodies and also the Word of God that has been shepherded and garnered by the Holy Spirit to allow us to serve God as we ought. We cannot serve Him as He deserves from our best thoughts. We cannot serve God as He deserves by our best plans.
1 Corinthians 2:11 (AMP)
11 For what person perceives (knows and understands) what passes through a man’s thoughts except the man’s own spirit within him? Just so no one discerns (comes to know and comprehend) the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
We can only serve God as He deserves to be served as we are completely controlled and empowered by His Spirit, guided by His Word. For example we can plan to witness but we can only witness effectively when we are controlled by the Spirit. We can assist the poor, and we should assist the poor, however we must be filled by God’s Spirit if we are to assist the poor in ways that are to bring glory to God.
How do we know if we should assist the poor or witness, or proceed to any of the myriad of other opportunities to serve God? The answer in theory is clear; we are to be under the control of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit of God knows the plans of God and He knows the part that God desires for us to play in His plans. How then do we practically determine daily direction from the Holy Spirit? This may be more difficult. It seems among other things there is to be a gradual growing in love and the desire for His Word that the Holy Spirit desires to develop in our lives. When these, the working of the Spirit, are active in our lives and on the increase we likewise experience growth in our understanding and confidence in the direction of the Spirit. This is rarely like a light switch, but more likely the result of consistently and persistently choosing to seek the love, power and sound mind given by the Spirit [2 Tim 1:7]
Tozer, in the book previously mentioned sums up some of his perspectives with these thoughts: “The Spirit-filled walk demands, for instance, that we live in the Word of God as a fish lives in the sea. By this I do not mean that we study the Bible merely, nor that we take a “course” in Bible doctrine. I mean that we should “mediate day and night” in the sacred Word, that we should love it and feast upon it and digest it every hour of the day and night. When the business of life compels our attention we may yet, by a kind of blessed mental reflex, keep the Word of Truth ever before our minds.
Then if we would please the indwelling Spirit we must be taken up with Christ. The Spirit’s present work is to honor Him, and everything He does has this for its ultimate purpose. And we must make our thoughts a clean sanctuary for His holy habitation. He dwells in our thoughts, and soiled thoughts are as repugnant to Him as soiled linen to a king. Above all we must have a cheerful faith that will keep on believing however radical the fluctuation of our emotional states may be.”
It is my tightly held opinion that if we are to effectively pray[serve God] for revival we must prepare to pray as outlined by Pastor Tozer above, immersed in the word, seeking constantly to please and honor Christ, and with cheerful persistent faith believing in God and His Word no matter what disobedience, deterioration or disillusionment we may see or sense around us. Our hearts must constantly seek the face of God as He is revealed, and humbly come to Him with clean hands and pure hearts. It is in this place, praying in the Spirit, we can be sure that He will hear from heaven and heal our families our communities and our land.
Isaiah 64:1-2 (AMP)
1 OH, THAT You would rend the heavens and that You would come down, that the mountains might quake and flow down at Your presence—
2 As when fire kindles the brushwood and the fire causes the waters to boil—to make Your name known to Your adversaries, that the nations may tremble at Your presence!