Why, O LORD, do you make us wanderfrom your ways and harden our heartsso we do not revereyou? Returnfor 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 For all practical purposes, in the lives of many Christians and even churches, the presence of God could be withdrawn and no one would notice.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.
–adapted from HeartCry for Revival devotional 2011 by David Butts, author of Prayer and the End of Days
Praise God for his non-condemning attitude (Jn. 8:10-11), which gives you hope when you fail. Give thanks for help in seeing the “plank” in your own eyes before looking at the “specks” in another’s (Mt. 7:3). Confess the many times you judge by appearance rather than by facts (Jn. 7:24). Commit yourself to God’s judgment (1 Cor. 11:32), and be disciplined by him, learning from your mistakes (Heb. 12:10-11). Ask God to help you learn from other’s judgments of you.
Pray that your loving and nonjudgmental attitude toward one who has wronged you will give you opportunity to present Christ to that person, realizing God will bring every deed into judgment (Eccl. 12:14).
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend