Thinking back to high school physics, you might remember the phrase “minimum energy and maximum randomness.” Does it not also speak to the state of our spiritual lives? Our passion for God and his Word tends to cool down, and our hearts and mind drift away. A heart once focused and enflamed with the things of God can easily become distracted and cold. The Psalmist understood this and cried out,
Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? (Psalm 85:6)
As you reflect on the state of your soul, are you spiritually dry? Do you lack power in your spiritual life? Is the flame of gospel fervency only a flicker? Is the burden for the lost a mere fraction of what it once was?
The Call of 1784
In 1784, a call to prayer was issued among Baptist churches in England. These churches were in a state of serious decline, both in number and in spiritual vitality. However, God used the writings of Jonathan Edwards to stir the heart of John Sutcliff to pray. Sutcliff was the Pastor of Olney Baptist Church in Buckinghamshire, England. In turn, Sutcliff summoned his fellow ministers to join him in prayer “to bewail the low estate of religion, and earnestly implore a revival of our churches, and of the general cause of our Redeemer, and for that end to wrestle with God for the effusion of his Holy Spirit, which alone can produce the blessed effect.”
The focus of their prayer was for the Holy Spirit to be poured out upon pastors and churches to reverse the declines, that people might be saved, that the church would be built up, that spiritual hunger would be stirred up, that the gospel would be taken to all the earth, to the end that the name of the Lord is glorified. Aren’t those the same things for which we need to pray in our day?
Our Call to Prayer
When religious fervour was in decline in 1784, Christian leaders, burdened over the state of the church and convinced of the power of prayer, prayed boldly for a moving of the Holy Spirit. Over 230 years later we find ourselves in a similar state. Will these declines be reversed? Will our hearts be humble enough to admit our state? Will God revive us again as He sends His Spirit to move among us?
David Mathis writes: “God loves to answer the prayer ‘Show me your glory.’ When your soul hungers, when your tank feels empty, when you’re running on fumes, when you open your Bible in the morning and ask for God’s help, a great go-to request is this simple, honest, humble plea: ‘Father, show me your glory.’”
God in his steadfast love and mercy will answer us as we pray! He will revive our hearts by the power of his Spirit. God our Father promised to give the good gift of his Spirit to those who ask him. Therefore, we must pray!
Are you burdened for the renewing power of God in your own life and in the life of your church? Are you hungry for a move of God? Will you pray for God to move in your life and upon your corporate worship gatherings? God in His sovereign goodness will respond as you pray!
Prayer for the Moving of the Holy Spirit
Father God, by Your grace, may our eyes be opened to see our true heart condition. Our love is cold and our hearts have drifted. We need revival. Gracious God, our hearts long for Your presence. We are a people utterly dependent upon Your grace and power. Move upon our disordered hearts and re-order our affections.
Holy Spirit, teach us, sanctify and empower us. Lead us to the cross that we may run to our Redeemer. Take the things of Christ and show them to our souls. Open our eyes to see more of Jesus’ grace, faithfulness, and glory.
Lord, we cannot worship well without the life-giving work of Your Spirit. In our lives and in our worship gatherings, manifest Your power among us. May the preaching of the Word be done in Your Spirit’s power. Give us receptive hearts and help us hear, understand, and rightly apply the Word of God. Without Your work in our midst, all our efforts are in vain.
Lord, by the gospel, revive us. Show us Your glory. Jumpstart our hearts. Rekindle a fire in us. Awaken us from lethargy. We want to know Jesus and make Him known. For Your glory, and in Your name, we pray. Amen.
“O Breath of life, come sweeping through us,
revive your church with life and power.
O Breath of life, come, cleanse, renew us;
and fit your church to meet this hour.”