Day 17: To Experience Revival
Psalm 86:6 Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?
Psalm 80:18-19 Then we will not turn away from you; revive us, and we will call on your name. Restore us, LORD God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.
2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
It is pointed out that 2 Chronicles 7:14 is addressed specifically to Israel. That is true. But surely the passage shows God's heart for any people, any land.
What does God want from us? First, we must humble ourselves. We must admit that God is God and we are not. We must submit to God and come to Him in brokenness and repentance.
Second, we must pray and seek God's face. No revival or awakening comes without prayer. Extensive prayer. Fervent prayer. Corporate prayer. Continual prayer.
It is worth noting that the prayer here is focused on seeking God's face and not God's hand. We are seeking God for Himself and not for what He gives us. We are locked in on God's glory, not on our need.
Third, we must turn from our wicked ways. God wants obedience, not religious ceremony. We cannot just say the words of repentance and pray the prayers of repentance. We must do the deeds of repentance and obey God in every part of life.
If we do these three things, then God promises to respond in three ways. First, He will hear us. He will hear those prayers. Second, He will forgive our sin. He will remove our sin as far as the east is from the west. And third, God will heal our land. He will pour out His favor and blessing upon us. He will heal our land.
In 1861, Abraham Lincoln had just been elected President. The nation was tottering on the brink of war. There was cruel slavery in the land. The President faced widespread opposition and hostility. He issued a proclamation for our country, a proclamation which expresses the spirit of this passage.
"Whereas a joint committee of both houses of Congress has waited on the President of the United States requested him to recommend a day of public humiliation, prayer and fasting to be observed by the people of the United States with religious solemnities, and the offering of fervent supplications to Almighty God for the safety and welfare of these states, his blessing on their arms, and a speedy restoration of peace. And whereas it is fit and becoming in all people at all times to acknowledge and revere the supreme government of God, to bow in humble submission to his chastisement, to confess and deplore their sins and transgression, in the full conviction that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and to pray with all fervency and contrition for the pardon of their offenses and for a blessing upon their present and prospective action. Therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do appoint the last Thursday in September next as a day of humiliation, prayer and fasting, for all the people of the nation. And I do earnestly recommend to all the people, and especially to all ministers and teachers of religion of all denominations, and to all heads of families, to observe and keep that day, according to their several creeds and modes of worship, in all humility, and with all religious solemnity, to the end that the united prayer of the nation may ascend to the Throne of Grace, and bring down plentiful blessings upon our country."
During this time of prayer and fasting, have you humbled yourself before God?
How will you continue having a humbled state before God when our 21 days of prayer and fasting end? Is there a practice you can commit to, such as kneeling before Him at the beginning of every day to recognize Who He is?
How will you continue to pray and seek God’s face when our 21 days are over?
Father I pray for a marketplace revival to sweep through our community and for revival to break out in your streets, in schools, government, business, media, entertainment, and congregations -- especially in your congregations as we are reflecting who You are. I ask, Lord, that you raise up dedicated Christians who will become a voice to reform our region and to make a difference in the lives of all who live here