The place of prayer

To Follow Jesus

My notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.

May/June 2014 Issue – ‘Revive us again’

Today’s text for reading and meditation:

Zechariah 10:1-8 (NIV-UK): Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime; it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms. He gives showers of rain to all people, and plants of the field to everyone.

The idols speak deceitfully, diviners see visions that lie; they tell dreams that are false, they give comfort in vain. Therefore the people wander like sheep oppressed for lack of a shepherd. ‘My anger burns against the shepherds, and I will punish the leaders; for the Lord Almighty will care for his flock, the people of Judah, and make them like a proud horse in battle.
From Judah will come the cornerstone, from him the tent peg, from him the battle-bow, from him every ruler. Together they will be like warriors in battle trampling their enemy into the mud of the streets. They will fight because the Lord is with them, and they will put the enemy horsemen to shame.

‘I will strengthen Judah and save the tribes of Joseph. I will restore them because I have compassion on them. They will be as though I had not rejected them, for I am the Lord their God and I will answer them.

The Ephraimites will become like warriors, and their hearts will be glad as with wine. Their children will see it and be joyful; their hearts will rejoice in the Lord. I will signal for them and gather them in. Surely I will redeem them; they will be as numerous as before.”

[Even now and then, a part of the text will go ‘missing’, sometimes I notice it and fix it – but there must be times when I miss this type of error. Sorry about that.]

Selwyn starts today’s discussion with: “We continue looking at the question: how do revivals happen?” He then looks at two different schools of though: one, that it is entirely an act of God, and man has nothing to do with the time and place of a revival. The second view is that: ‘Revival can happen any time the church wants it – providing she is willing to pay the price.

He then offers this third option: “The truth, so I believe, lies somewhere between these opposing views. Revival is a sovereign act of God in the sense that He alone originates it, but I also believe myself that God deigns to hand over to His people the responsibility of bringing it down from heaven to earth, on the wings of faith-filled, inspired prayer.”

On thinking about this for the past hour or so; my position is that I tend to agree with Selwyn. To use an imperfect analogy; God is the manager and conductor of an orchestra, he decides what to play and when to play a particular piece of music; each of us has a particular talent (God-given) for playing a specific instrument, we can either play the music as provided by God to the best of our abilities, or, we can sit there and do nothing (with the idea that later, a piece of music might be chosen, which we would prefer to play.)

God presents the gift to us, of being involved in His work – I believe that He will often prompt people through His Spirit to prayer for a specific outcome that He is planning (for example, a revival), and those who respond to His prompting can enjoy participating in His work.

I believe, that God’s relationship with us is very personal – He is actively transforming us into the likeness of Jesus. This transformation is on-going, it is in progress every day. And, the main communication between our Lord and us – is through prayer. Do you agree?