Why, O LORD, do you make us wander from your ways and harden our hearts so we do not revere you? Return for the sake of your servants, the tribes that are your inheritance. Isaiah 63:17
One of the critical steps in revival is seen in this rich verse. There had finally come an awareness that the presence of God was missing among the people of Judah. “Return!” became their cry. They realized how necessary the Lord’s presence was for their peace, prosperity, and very existence.
How aware are you of the Lord’s presence or absence? Does it even matter to you? Is the Lord’s presence seen as a nice thing to have…or have you been brought to the point of desperation where His presence is your greatest longing?
Let’s talk theology for a moment. Obviously, the omnipresent God is present. But we can walk in unawareness of His presence. For all practical purposes, in the lives of many Christians and even churches, the presence of God could be withdrawn and no one would notice. Isaiah recognized that something (Someone) was missing. Return for the sake of your servants!
Lord, I long for Your presence. I know that You have come to take up residence in me through Your Spirit, but I also know how easy it is for me to forget that. Help me to walk in continual awareness of Your presence in my life. And what I ask for myself, I ask for Your Church. Lord, forgive us for having “services” without paying attention to you. May all that we do when we gather as Your people be done in awareness of Your Divine presence. Give us hearts that continually seek Your face.
–By David Butts, author of Prayer and the End of Days: Praying God’s Purposes in the Troubled Times. This resource is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.
Praise Jesus, the gentle shepherd. Thank him for walking beside you and showing you the way. Ask God to make his presence obvious to you. Confess those times when you failed to recognize the Lord’s guidance and protection. Commit yourself to thanking God for his quiet presence.
Pray that the voice of the shepherd will break the hearts of those who desire to be led. Ask that you will be a reflection of his gentle nature (Phil. 4:5).
“The more we receive in silent prayer, the more we can give in our active life.” —Mother Teresa
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