Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your unfailing love, LORD, and grant us your salvation. Psalm 85:6-7
Jesus, I’ve read tantalizing stories about the First Great Awakening—about the grand visitation of the Holy Spirit in New England in the 18th century; when the gospel swept through hearts, churches and the culture with transforming power and beauty. I read these accounts and with a holy lust, my spirit drools and my heart aches with longing. Why not again? Why not in our churches? Why not now?
Jesus, for the fame of your name… for the praise of your glory… for the satisfaction of your people… for the humbling of our country… for a testimony to the nations… as a preview of life in the new heaven and new earth, will you not revive us again that we may rejoice in you?
Restore in us the love we had at first—unfettered love for you and tangible love for one another. Remind us of how new we felt when the weight of our sin lifted and the weight of your glory came down on us in the gospel; how free we felt when we actually hated our sin and finally trusted you plus nothing for our salvation; how grateful we felt when you first rescued us from our unrighteousness and our self-righteousness; how focused we felt when you first took up residence in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Nothing else really mattered but you and your kingdom. So how in the world did we stark leaking grace?
Where did the pickiness and pettiness come from, Jesus? How did we move from organic reality to obsession with organization? When did we fall back into performance-based spirituality and score-card relationships? When did childlike intercession get replaced with eye-browed-raised suspicions? What caused the sweet to turn into mean? How did the unity of the Spirit get trumped by the disunity of distrust? When did we get so bored and boring that we started playing church rather than being the church? When did we start keeping a better record of wrongs done, than stories of gospel wins and kingdom advances? How is it possible to be so zealous for lyric of the gospel but lose its music?
Jesus, will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your unfailing love, LORD, and grant us your salvation, again and again and again. That’s all we want, that’s all we need. So very Amen, we pray, in your most loving and faithful name.
A Prayer Expressing the Longing for a Gospel Renewal is a post from: Heavenward by Scotty Smith