Summary: "A PRAYER FOR REVIVAL"
"A PRAYER FOR REVIVAL" Isaiah 63:17 - 64:12 It is as though the prophet were saying, Where is the God that brought us up out of Egypt? Where is he that put his Holy Spirit in our midst, brought us into the land of Canaan, drove out our enemies, and caused us to dwell in safety, to make himself a great and glorious name? I. THE ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF GREVIOUS FAILURE. 17-19 O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants’ sake, the tribes of thine inheritance. 18 The people of thy holiness have possessed it but a little while: our adversaries have trodden down thy sanctuary.19 We are thine: thou never barest rule over them; they were not called by thy name. Here the prophet acknowledges... The Sovereignty Of God O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, The Sin of the Nation and hardened our heart from thy fear? The Source of Salvation Return for thy servants’ sake, the tribes of thine inheritance. 1. We Need A Divine Intervention “Oh, that thou wouldest rend the heavens!…(and) come down” We must have a volcanic “spiritual happening” in the church of Jesus Christ, if modern man is to be impacted. 2. We Need A Divine Revelation “…come down… to make thy name known to thine adversaries When We have lost the Sense of God’s Presence, We have lost the Sign of God’s Power, We have lost the Scope of God’s Purpose. 3. We Need A Divine Visitation “…come down…That the nations may tremble at thy presence!” (a) When God visited His people in Egypt, Ex 12:33 And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men. (b) When God visited His people on the day of Pentecost, unbelievers cried out, “What shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). What would be our response if God were to visit us in our time? Mal Ch 3 v 1 ¶ Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: Ps110:3, “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power” Descend upon us gracious Lord, With your reviving power, And search us, cleanse us by Your Word – To match this present hour. S.Oford. The Hour of Desperation! by Stephen Olford It is my conviction that we are never going to have revival until God has brought the church of Jesus Christ to the point of desperation. As long as Christian people can trust religious organization, material wealth, popular preaching, shallow evangelistic crusades and promotion drives, there will never be revival. But when confidence in the flesh is smashed, and the church comes to the realization of her desperate wretchedness, blindness and nakedness before God, then and only then will God break in.
Yes, there must be the point of desperation but there must also be the point of intercession. Oh, that God would bring us to this place of intercession! We cannot think or talk, let alone taste of revival, without intercessory prayer. Indeed, the reason for an unrevived church in the last analysis is the sin of prayerlessness. Certainly there are individuals who are praying for revival, and God is graciously meeting them at the point of their need, but where are the prayer groups, where are the companies of intercessors, where are the churches united in an agonizing, that God would rend the heavens and come down and cause the mountains of hindrance and sin and unbelief to flow before His presence? Yes, there is only one thing that will save us in this hour of desperation and that is prayer. II. THE ANSWER OF GENUINE FAITH In ch 64, vs 1-3, Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens A PRAYER FOR GOD’S MANIFEST PRESENCE, POWER, GOODNESS, AND GLORY. He opens the Heavens! Listen to Isaiah's great prayer, one born in a longing for God's Presence and for true Revival! (a) Here are the heavens opened for God's PRESENCE! Isaiah 64:1 --- "Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence." (verb "rend" means to tear open!) He is asking the Lord to come to earth! (b) Here the heavens are opened for God's POWER! Then one day in Jesus public ministry (just as it began) the Lord opened the heavens for sure! Jesus was being baptized! Matthew 3:16 tells us about it. "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him." The Holy Spirit descends upon Jesus in a visible manner! (c) Here the heavens are opened to fulfill God's PROMISE! But there is yet another day coming, a day in which the heavens will open yet again! John tells us about it in Revelation 19:11-16. "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." Jesus is coming again! (d) Here the heavens are opened to secure God's PARDON! Matthew 27:51 --- "And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent." Heb 10:20 that "veil" represents Jesus' Flesh too! "By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh." Jesus' very Body being OPENED has made possible all the other openings of Heaven on our behalf! (e) Here the heavens are opened with God's PROVISION! Malachi 3:10 --- "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." III. THE ADORATION FOR GRACIOUS FAVOUR. v. 4-5 For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. 5 Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways: behold, thou art wroth; for we have sinned: in those is continuance, and we shall be saved. A. The Glory Of It He was overwhelmed at the thought of what God has prepared for his chosen Ps. 31:19; Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! I Cor. 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. His Great Salvation! His Heavenly Glory! B. The Grace Of It we have no claim upon his goodness by virtue of our own goodness, v. 5"for we have sinned." C. The Gain Of It - Even in the acknowledgment of God’s holiness and the people’s sin, He says, "We shall be saved!" IV. THE ACCEPTANCE OF GOSPEL FACTS SIN HAD VINDICATED GOD’S JUDGMENTS (vv. 6-7). [1. Our Sin] A. "We are all as an unclean thing." Unfit for God's acceptance! [2. Our Self-Righteousness] B. "All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags." [3. Our Sickness] C. "We all do fade as a leaf." [4. Our Straying] D. "Our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." [5. Our Sluggishness] E. "There is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee." [6. Our Separation] F. Thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities." V. THE APPRECIATION OF A GREAT FATHER v.8 But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. God is Sovereign; But now, O LORD, thou art our father; God is Supreme we are the clay, and thou our potter; God is Sinless Whatever God does with us is right. God is Saviour and we all are the work of thy hand. "Salvation is of the Lord! Eph. 2:10 - VI. . THE APPLICATION FOR GRACIOUS FORGIVENESS v. 9 & 10 Be not wroth very sore, O LORD, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people.10 Thy holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation. It is a prayer based upon three things. Blood Atonement - God cannot forgive sin except by blood atonement. Divine Election - "We are thy people." Desperate Need (v. 10). Thy holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation. VII. THE APROACH OF GODLY FEARLESSNESS v. 11 & 12 Our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised thee, is burned up with fire: and all our pleasant things are laid waste.12 Wilt thou refrain thyself for these things, O LORD? wilt thou hold thy peace, and afflict us very sore? We do not just need you. Lord God, we must have you. Without you, we can do nothing and we are nothing!