“Help us, God our Savior, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name’s sake” (Psalm 79:9).
Desperation should cause us to get honest with God. One pastor was so desperate that he asked the entire congregation to prayerfully examine themselves and confess any sin. Things got quiet and still as sins were expressed openly.
Finally, one man said, “We mistreated a former staff member, our former youth pastor. We owe him and his family an apology. We need to seek his forgiveness. We need to make things right.” Others agreed, yet no one knew where he was or how to reach him, but they drafted a letter of apology so it would be ready when they located him.
A few weeks after that meeting, a member of that church was attending an “Experiencing God” weekend and the leader asked those attending to share what God was doing in their churches. This man could not wait to share how mightily God was moving. As he shared about people being saved and lives transformed, he also told how they had hurt and offended a former staff member. He said they were trying to locate the man to apologize. Suddenly, from the back of the room, a man started to weep audibly and uncontrollably.
The room became quiet. The weeping man said, “That’s me. I’m that former youth pastor.” There was stunned silence for a moment and then reconciliation poured forth. One pastor’s sense of desperation for his church to be right with God led to reconciliation and forgiveness. A burden was lifted as one church sought to get right with a former staff member, so that they could continue moving forward with God.
When we get comfortable in our service to God, that’s when we need to be cautious. You cannot be comfortable and desperate at the same time. Spiritual desperation comes only when we realize nothing, absolutely nothing, can satisfy us other than Jesus Christ. When we cry out to God in desperation, God will respond. But then we must follow. Where and how He will lead is amazing.
G. Campbell Morgan said, “We cannot organize revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people again.”
Father, I want my heart to be so desperate for You…above all other things, people or situations…that I will cry out for revival! It begins with me…in my own sin-sick heart. Show me the evil, dark places within me that must be brought into the light so that I can openly confess them. Reveal to me the wrongs that I can right through forgiveness and grace. Refresh and restore my soul to live fully for Jesus Christ each and every moment of my short life on this earth so that others will be drawn to the light of Your presence and captivated by all that You are!
–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, the changer of times and seasons (Dan. 2:21), who is in control of all of history. Give thanks for this new day. Confess any misuse or waste of time. Commit yourself to taking hold of today’s opportunities and to enjoying the special pleasures God provides during this season. Ask him to guide you to make wise and efficient use of your time.
Pray that your church leaders will be protected from overloaded schedules. Ask God to give them wisdom as they lead the church and care for their other concerns.
“When we say to people, ‘I will pray for you,’ we make a very important commitment. The sad thing is that this remark often remains nothing but a well-meant expression of concern.” —Henri Nouwen
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend
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Connection (Devotions for Everyday Life) © 2014 is published daily by Harvest Prayer Ministries.