Lord, You have been favorable to Your land; You have brought back the captivity of Jacob. You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people; You have covered all their sin. Selah. You have taken away all Your wrath; You have turned from the fierceness of Your anger. Restore us, O God of our salvation. And cause Your anger toward us to cease. Will You be angry with us forever? Will You prolong Your anger to all generations? Will You not revive us again, That Your people may rejoice in You? Show us Your mercy, Lord, and grant us Your salvation” (Psalm 85: 1-7).
Polycarp was a disciple of the apostle John and an early church leader whose life ended when he refused to betray his Lord. Asked one last time to disavow Christ, the old man replied, “Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He has done me no wrong. How can I speak evil of my King who saved me?” Even in his death, he testified of Christ.
Every born again person has a testimony. In fact, we have many testimonies. We have a salvation testimony. We have a testimony of God’s provision, healing, or deliverance. Our testimony always is to honor and exalt God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is this testimony we are to be proclaiming to the world. We are to testify (to tell forth) what we know and have experienced in Christ Jesus. This testimony is always Christ centered and Christ honoring. It is not human centered or human exalting. In revival, bearing testimony to the glory of God is contagious. It flows as we know His presence and movement in our lives. Testifying is not done by the prompting of humans, but by the prompting of the Holy Spirit. It is done for God’s glory.
In Psalm 85, the children of Israel had returned from Babylonian captivity, so the passage is a prayer for the afflicted people of God to know the mercy and favor of God once again. They begin by giving testimony of the greatness of God. “Lord, You have been favorable to Your land. You have brought back the captivity of Jacob. You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people. You have covered all their sin.”
After they bear testimony to the greatness of God, they begin to pray. Their prayer was for a national revival. Oh, that we also would pray for a national revival in our land.
Additional Scripture on Bearing Testimony
2 Chronicles 20:15; Matthew 5:14–16; 1 Corinthians 1:4–7; Revelation 1:9, 12:11
O God of my salvation, You have shown great mercy to Your people! May my life be a testimony to Your greatness and draw others into Your presence so that they too may experience the blessing of Your saving grace. Forgive me for my sinfulness! As You peel away the layers of my weaknesses and strengthen me with Your might, I am renewed! You have promised to forgive and then to forget what I lay before You with a repentant heart so that my life can be a demonstration of the goodness of Your promises! As You have restored me, I ask that You will bring healing and restoration to this nation as Your people cry out to You with desperate hearts! Revive us, O Lord, so that Your people will rejoice in You!
–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 for being the Creator and Lord of the Sabbath. Give thanks for a weekly “day of rest and gladness.” Confess any lack of commitment to the holiness of the Christian Sabbath (Ex. 20:8-11). Commit yourself to seeking Jesus’ honor in all your Sabbath activities. Ask God to make it a day of true joy and light for you and your loved ones.
Ask God to bring about the day when his people in every nation will “live in peaceful dwelling places . . . in undisturbed places of rest” (Isa. 32:18).
“Prayer is the language of a man burdened with a sense of need.” —E. M. Bounds