Then God said to Jacob, “Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau.” So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes. Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone.” (Genesis 35:1-3)
The first step in personal revival is hearing God speak. To hear God speak, we need to be abiding in God’s presence with righteousness. When God speaks, we must obey quickly, adjusting our lives to God’s voice, His Word. If God speaks a word of correction, we must always remember the point of departure is the point of return. Wherever it was that we stopped striving in our faith, wherever we failed to obey or just tolerated sin, this is the place to which we must return to start afresh with God. There are no shortcuts, no ignoring of the past. We are always required to face up to our mistakes, failures, and pride. We have to learn to live in a holy and humble relationship with God and others.
William C. Burns, a Scottish evangelist and missionary to China in the mid-1800s, said, “Oh, how is it that the Lord’s own people have so little perseverance? How is it that when they do enter into their place of prayer to be alone, they are so easily persuaded to be turned away empty; instead of wrestling with God to pour out His Spirit, they retire from the secret place without the answer, and submit it as being God’s will.” Oh, that we would begin wrestling with God to pour out His Spirit among us.
Additional Scripture on Hearing God: Genesis 3:8–10; Deuteronomy 8:20, 13:17–18; Psalm 29:3–9; Isaiah 6:8–9
Initiating Father, just as You spoke to Jacob, I thank You for speaking to me (Genesis 35:1). Let my ears be attentive to Your voice, and let my mind be focused on Your Word. Your Word is truth and nourishment to my soul. Speak to me through Your Word and ignite a revival in my spirit.
Just as Jacob arose in obedience to Your Word, teach me to arise from things that distract me, things that consume my time, energy, and resources so that I may obey You. Show me my sin and cleanse me. Teach me, Father, how to change, how to repent, how to be purified, so I can know You and walk with You (v. 2).
Let repentance flow through me like a mighty river. Give me a hunger for You. Teach me to recall Your faithfulness in times past. As You answered Jacob in the day of his distress, answer me, Lord (v. 3). Father, teach me to establish reminders of my meeting with You as Jacob did. Let me make spiritual markers, so I won’t ever forget our meetings or Your Word (v. 7). Let me build my own personal altar where I can run daily. Thank You for letting me hear Your voice. I praise You. Send revival to me, the church, and our land. All in Jesus’ name, amen.
–Adapted from Praying with Fire: Seeking His Presence through the Revival Passages of Scripture by Mark Partin. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise God as the blessed and only Ruler over all things (1 Tim. 6:15). Thank him for sustaining all things by his powerful Word and holding all things together. Confess any situation in which you have resisted God’s rule in your life. Commit yourself to knowing and doing his will. Ask the Lord to put a hedge of protection around you and your loved ones.
Pray that the lives of children will be filled with growing love, true knowledge, and mature judgment so they will be able to choose what is best (Phil. 1:9-10).
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