Oh, that You would rend the heavens! (
Prayer moves the hand of God. Prayer can do anything God can do, for it taps the power of the Almighty. John Wesley said, “God does nothing, but in answer to prayer.” In His sovereignty, prayer is God’s chosen method. The desperate need of our time is for a mighty revival to sweep
. That cannot be worked up; it must be prayed
down. America Isaiah 64 records such a prayer.
Revival praying begins with THE REQUEST FOR GOD’S PRESENCE (v.1). The prophet is fervently entreating God to manifest Himself. It was an hour in which the people of God had plunged into iniquity. The Holy God withdrew His glory. The heavens were sealed and silent. There was a desperate cry for God to open the heavens and come down! We don’t need another government program—we need God. We don’t need more laws—we need God. We don’t need a better economy and better education—we need God. We don’t need more church organization and activity—we need God!
Then we will see THE RESULTS OF GOD’S PRESENCE (v.1b-2). Notice what happens when God shows up! The mountains dissolve—whatever the spiritual obstruction is—mountains of unbelief, impurity, indifference, selfishness, all must go! The way of the Lord is prepared. Your life becomes a highway in which God can move. Not only are the mountains removed, the fire is, also, rekindled. Hearts once cold, now are aflame.
Such fire is rekindled with THE REMEMBRANCE OF GOD’S PRESENCE (v.3). We are not only motivated by the promise of what might be, but by the remembrance of what has been. They had known great blessing before, beyond their greatest hopes and dreams. I want you to know, God is still able to do exceeding, abundantly above all that we ask or think. The unchanging God who has moved in revival during dark days in history will do the same today!
Revival brings THE REVELATION IN GOD’S PRESENCE (V.4). We are most familiar with this from Paul’s quote in 1 Corinthians, that often is said to speak of the wonders of heaven. Certainly, there is an application, but the context demands another meaning. God reveals these wondrous things not in the sweet by and by, but the nasty now and now! When revival comes, we will sit back in amazement, for God shows up in power as we wait on Him in prayer.
Revival praying demands THE REPENTANCE IN GOD’S PRESENCE (v.5-7). To experience God’s powerful presence, the barrier of sin must be removed. Repentance demands honesty and humility. We are brought to conviction, contrition, and confession for we see the hideousness and hatefulness of our sin against God.
Revival is THE RESPONSE OF GOD’S PRESENCE (v.8-12). God responds as our Father (v.8a). If we human fathers know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more the Heavenly Father? In revival praying, there is submission to God’s will (v.8b). We may have made a mess of our life, but He is the Potter who shapes us. Revival praying appeals to God’s honor (v.8c). The quality of handiwork reflects upon the craftsman, and God will be honored in us! Revival praying casts us upon the grace of God (v.9). God responds—He gives grace to the humble—as we cry urgently (v.10-11). If we are unrestrained in our passion for Him, then He will be unrestrained in His presence with us (v.12). That’s revival! Oh, Lord rend the heavens!