Tonight, I participated in the Clearfield observance of the National Day of Prayer. I was asked to lead in prayer for “personal revival.” I don’t normally write out my comments/prayers, but I wanted to for this event, so here it is.
My Prayer for Revival
There aren’t many things more dangerous to life–to spiritual life–than apathy and indifference. Apathy and indifference make us satisfied with the way things are. Spiritually, we don’t care enough to seek God!
We need revival!
When I think of revival, I think of passion for God and love for people, a desire to honor God with one’s life, a desire to be a lifelong, growing disciple of Jesus Christ.
I think of images like fire, for “our God is a consuming fire.”
I think of wind — the rushing mighty wind of God’s Spirit, the outpouring of God’s Spirit on a life.
I think of a sponge, a person soaking up, and soaking in, God’s Word and in God’s Spirit.
And I think of an altar, an altar on which a person surrenders his or her life to God. We don’t do it because we’re good or because we’re spiritual. We do it because we see ourselves in the shadow of a blood-stained cross!
As much as I wish revival could be manufactured, packaged, and distributed, it can’t. Revival happens only when we, in the shadow of a blood-stained cross, surrender our lives to God!
James 4.7-10 (The Message) …
So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.
O God, we come to you with broken and contrite hearts. Our hearts are broken, Lord, because we, your followers, have trampled on your grace. We have taken your will and your way lightly. We are so sorry, Lord, that we have been apathetic and indifferent!
O God, you have held nothing back from us. Because you love us so much, you gave your only Son so that we might not perish, but that we might have life now and in the life to come. Your son willingly took on our sin and became our sacrifice. Your Son, Jesus, suffered and died for us!
So, God, in the shadow of a blood-stained cross, we ask you, please, don’t write us off just yet! As we confess our sin to you, have mercy on us, forgive us, and breathe new life into us!
But, Lord, Jesus not only suffered and died for us, he was raised to new life. Raise us to new life, too! Pour out your Spirit on us, consume us, burn away everything in us that’s not like you! Help us to live lives that honor you. Help us to live by faith, to be known by love, and to be a voice of hope in the world!
We believe, Lord, that revival happens when we, in the shadow of a blood-stained cross, surrender our lives to you! And so, God, we surrender our lives to you, our whole lives — our hands, our feet, our hearts, our voices — our whole bodies!
Have your way in us so that we can say with Paul …
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
In the shadow of a blood-stained cross, we surrender ourselves to you, God, and we do so in the name of the one who said, “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” Amen.