“Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you! As when fire sets twigs ablaze and causes water to boil, come down to make your Name known to your enemies and cause the nations to quake before you! For when you did awesome things that we did not expect, you came down, and the mountains trembled before you. Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.”
As I have been reflecting in recent weeks upon the subject of intercessory prayer I have found myself becoming increasingly aware of the importance of our developing a ministry of intercession for the world in which we live. We live in a world that seems to be facing increasingly complex challenges. We face terrorism, natural disasters, political leadership that increasingly fails to live up to our expectations, financial challenges, and the constant threat of recession or worse. One by one all of those things in which we have placed our hopes have failed to provide us with the security that we desire. Isn’t this the point, however? There is only One who is worthy of our trust. I am firmly convinced that what we have been struggling with over the past years has been permitted by God in order to wean us away from all of our false trusts so that we will finally turn our trust back to our God. This is what Isaiah the Old Testament prophet points to in the sixty fourth chapter of his prophesy when he calls upon God to rend the heavens and come down. What we need is God Himself among us. Listen to what Arthur Wallis wrote in In the Day of His Power.
“The prayer that is answered. When the glory of the Father Is the goal of every prayer: When before the throne in heaven our High Priest presents it there; When the Spirit prompts the asking, when the waiting heart believes: then we know of each petition everyone who asks receives.”
Moving the hand that moves the world. But there is a power, which man can wield when mortal aid is vain, That eye, that arm, that love to reach, that listening ear to gain. That power is prayer, which soars on high, through Jesus to the throne, and moves the hand that moves the world, to bring salvation down.”
What we need, in our communities, our cities, our nations, and our world is such an awareness of the reality of the living god that everything is changed as a result. In the early eighteen century many nations were struggling with great moral challenges, then, in response to prayer, the Great Awakening came. There was such a powerful awareness of the holiness and love of God that people came to Christ in the thousands. What they needed then was Christ. We face the same need today. The solution is to hear and obey God’s invitation to intercessory prayer. Our only hope today, just as it has always been, is that God would reveal Himself to us once again.
The fruit that comes from such praying is that people become Christ-centred in their living. Listen to how Nadia Hattingh, a missionary with New Tribes Mission in Mozambique describes that type of Christ-centredness. “May my life reflect the death of self and shine with His life in me! May I not live for myself, but give it up for Him.”
God’s word calls us to pray for revival. This is at its heart intercessory praying that has as its goal the glorification of God as He rends the heavens and comes down among us revealing His holiness, and gracious sacrificial love for us. Such love was revealed in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. Will you join with me in praying for such a revival?