A prayer for revival
One of the first things that happens when bad things start taking place and we are not grounded solidly in our faith or we have let our guard own, our spiritual guard down. It could come from a lot of reasons such as busyness, exhaustion, stress, pain, suffering, sorrow, what ever the case may be keeping our minds focused on Jesus and His spiritual truths takes work, and discipline. When we experience a blow in life then we open ourselves to spiritual lethargy and complacency. You may even be doing business as usual and say to yourself you know I have a new job, or a new situation in life, i need to focus on and that becomes a door for the enemy to exploit. Even something good can effect our spiritual walk in a negative way. New job, new home, new relationships, new baby, new school, new weather, all are good things but how many times do these good things get between us and God? Next thing you know our spiritual walk is faltering and we have allowed something take our attention. The main thing in our lives does not become the main thing anymore. Oh and we will justify ourselves and say this was a blessing from God and He wants me to focus on this. So the door is cracked and we stop reading our bible like we should, we stop praying like we should, we stop going to church like we should and all of these protections that we have placed around our lives now have gaps. and our fortifications ain’t as strong as they should be. And when the storms of life come we get hit hard.
We may make it through the pain, hurt, and sorrow but at what cost? If the things of God are not priorities in your life you a living a half life. If the Bible is not your life daily food, if prayer is not your daily breath that you will never be able to make Christ a priority. If coming to church and listening to the public reading of scriptures , being attentive during the sermon is important for your spiritual growth. When we read the scriptures it is not sermon, but the sermon is in the scriptures. And it is quiet essential to your spiritual growth. Fellowship and cooperate worship is also essential. The truth is we can only run on fumes for so long then next thing you know you are crying out… Why lord why? instead of yes lord yes.
You are in need of spiritual revival. David found himself in this predicament a few times in his life. When he failed to make the main thing the main thing he was lovingly forced back to place where he had to focus on the things that mattered most. Today we read an account of David praying for an awakening praying for revival, after a period of despair.
Lets turn to Psalm 13 and read
The long periods of silence from God can seem excruciating like I said there can be many reasons why God would seem to distance Himself from us sin, pain, sorrow, and sometimes to let us learn from experience. For many the sad part that when they feel that God has distanced themselves they fail to act on it. Rather they may go further into their spiritual funk, get depressed, bemoan and make even more excuses. Now what David has experienced is something we all have faced. Crying out to God why oh why Lord? However the sweet spot comes when we recognize it and take proper actions to remedy that situation. What we need is spiritual revival in our lives.
The structure of this psalm is pretty simple but should be a model for us as an example of what we should do when we recognize spiritual lethargy in our lives
The cry of Despair - vs 1-2 Then
The cry for revival - vs 3-4
The song of faith -vs 5-6
Now the first part of this psalm David does have a moment of sorrow. He cries out 4 times “How long oh Lord” he is in darkness and a question I have to ask you is how much darkness is in your life? People, places, things, even your thoughts. They are a fog that needs to be wiped away so that you can see clearly. You need revival. A renewal of your walk with the Lord, a renewal of your faith our zeal, your focus. David had His time of doubt and despair He wiped the tears away and did what he absolutely needed to do, Pray! His pray was nothing fancy or long but it was a prayer that was fervent, repentive, and clarifying.
He recognized that he was focusing on the wrong things - His despair came from his enemies vs 2 He focused his attention back on his Lord, and God (we tend to focus so much attention on ourselves and situations around us, we lose focus on God) Heb 12:2-4 “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” Isa 26:3 “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
He knew he was blinded by darkness - We need to be aware of when we are walking close to darkness. John 1:5 “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Acts 26:18 “to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’” 1 John 1:5-7 “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”
Enlighten - Means to give light, to become illuminated, to kindle and set on fire
3. He knows what is at stake - “Lest I sleep” God has his purpose for David and had promised David a long and successful reign, If, if he followed and obeyed God. This is covenant relationship. David knew he was following a path that would lead him astray. Deut 30:15-20 ““See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers,…”
With this “Awakening” David’s faith was rekindled. We need an awakening a revival of our commitment to our God so not only can we walk in covenant, and bring God glory, so that we may live the life that He has purposed for us, not only individual but also as a church.
There are three anchors that David remembered and relied on
I. God’s Steadfast Love - David put his trust, his faith in God’s love, that love has sustained him in the past and he know that God always had been faithful. Lam 3:22-23 “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Deut 7:9 “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,”
II. God’s Salvation - He rejoiced in God’s salvation, he rejoiced when it didn’t seem logical. You see David’s reaction of joy is so contrary to the worlds reaction. When the world is wringing its hands people of God, people of faith are finding Joy within God’s salvation.
ps 51:12 “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” John 15:11 “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” Rom 14:17 “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
III. God’s Graciousness - He David is at home because of God’s graciousness of sustaining and protecting drove him to worship. David was no stranger to worshipping God he perfected it as much as any man could. Not only that but God have lavished upon David all blessings and goodness and David remembered God’s grace, mercy and compassion
James 4:6 “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”” Ps 11:5 “The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.” Ex 34:6 “The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,” Isa 30:18 “Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.”
What a reason to have faith, joy , and worship, oh we need a revival. We need revival in our hearts, home, church, and nation. We need to walk out of the darkness, wipe the fog away and see clearly. Fanny crosby who was blind at a very young age saw the glory of God. Writing the words blessed assurance Jesus is mine! Visions of rapture now bursts on my sight.
Maybe you are here today because your eyes have been darkened and you need true revival, maybe you are here today and you have not recieved the gift of salvation that Jesus purchased for you. are you here today to make Jesus your Lord and savior By faith repent of your sins and be saved, commit your life to Christ today. If you are in need of personal revival, today is the day to ask God. I am going to give you an opportunity to respond to what ever God is telling you. During our closing hymn if you feel you need to respond the alter is open, If you need Jesus as your savior and want to pray to God to save you I am here and will pray with you.