Summary: This sermon looks at four words and their meaning that should be an integral part of our prayer lives. They are "spare," "restore," "draw," and "revive," and then why we pray and ask this in Jesus's name.
Four Words To Pray
Audio File: https://mega.nz/#!CJ8GkIiK!mwuzQSEJEuTH4kut2JiDUfCp6IFmcJ91sze_jMBK-kU
Today, I’ve been lead to set aside our next teaching on establishing those lasting biblical values in order to properly build up God’s House within us, which is part two of a two part series on discipleship that we’ve been on this year.
What I believe the Lord would have me share with you today, however, are some words that He has laid upon my heart when it comes to our prayer life and what we are praying for, especially as it relates to both a personal and corporate revival.
I shared these four words at our men’s study this past Wednesday, which was something I thought I wouldn’t do, seeing that I’m looking for the Lord to intercede as I am using these in my prayer life.
And since I’ve been praying these, and looking to write on what the Lord has been showing me about prayer, a battle has begun to rage, because I am asking for the Lord to stop the enemy’s advancement, which has only increased the battle.
But, instead of saying more about what is prayer and why we need to pray, which is something I will shortly be writing in my doctrinal cliffnotes series, let me kind of jump right in and give you these words, and hopefully you’ll take them to heart and start incorporating them into your time of prayer.
I was first introduced to this word in a promise given to me by God over 30 years ago, and one that is still working itself out in my life and in the ministry.
“Let the priests, the Lord’s ministers, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, ‘Spare Your people, O Lord, and do not make Your inheritance a reproach, a byword among the nations. Why should they among the peoples say, ‘Where is their God?’” (Joel 2:17)
Here the priests were commanded to say, “Spare Your People.”
The meaning of this word in the Hebrew language is to look upon and extend compassion and pity. It can also be asking for God to extend His mercy and grace towards us.
Nehemiah asked this of the Lord when he made a kind of unpopular decision to stop commerce on the Sabbath and to shut Jerusalem’s gates so that the Sabbath day could be kept holy to the Lord.
“Remember me for this also, my God, and show mercy to (spare) me according to your great love.” (Nehemiah 13:22)
Here the same word for “spare” is used to “show mercy.” Just a short definition that I’ve come up with to explain how these two words, mercy and grace work together.
Mercy is God not punishing us as our sins deserve, and grace is God blessing us despite the fact that we do not deserve it.
Mercy is then deliverance from judgment.
What the prophet Joel is bringing out in our passage is a serious call to prayer, because God’s people are moving away from their covenant relationship with the Lord through outright disobedience to His commandments, and as a result the Lord has sent an army of locust against them, which was eating away at their crops and everything green.
The types of locust mentioned in verse 25, the swarming, crawling, consuming, and chewing locust basically describes each phase of a locust swarm and their annihilation of crops.
So Joel was asking God for mercy, to have compassion upon them, and to spare them of this judgment. And the reason is so that God’s name would not be profaned among those nations that surround them, or those outside the faith, who began to question God’s power when they saw what was happening.
And it is no different with us. The Bible says that all have sinned and come up short of God’s holy and righteous standards for life (Romans 2:23). And if we’re honest with ourselves, then we have to admit that we haven’t been living up to God’s word in various areas of our lives.
And so, we need to pray, to weep and mourn asking for God to spare us, to have compassion upon us, to extend to us His mercy and grace, and this, not just for our sakes, but also for His holy name’s sake.
This was God’s promise to Israel and why we, not only in our prayer life, but in our words and actions, need to bring honor and hold as holy the name of the Lord, as Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.” (Matthew 6:9)
So what was God’s promise?
"Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God: I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name's sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went. And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord,’ says the Lord God, ‘when I am hallowed in you before their eyes.’” (Ezekiel 36:22-23).