Email Archive

The Greatest Prayer
for Revival

21 May 2022

“Oh, that You would
rend the heavens!
That You would
come down!”

As we have shared in recent Notes, the Lord is looking for some of His people to rise up and cry out to Him for the sake of His testimony; only then will He begin His work among us anew. (See “When Will the Lord Arise?”)

If we desire to enter into such a prayer, we might be helped by considering what is perhaps the greatest prayer for revival in the entire Bible. I first noticed it in the title of a book I was reading, Rent Heavens, which is a very good, spiritual account on the Welsh Revival of 1904; it shows that this revival, one of the greatest in the history of the church, did not simply happen, but rather was brought about by the prayers of many saints, including many young people, over a number of years.

The title “Rent Heavens” is taken from Isaiah 64 and the prophet’s prayer there. That chapter begins:

Oh, that You would
rend the heavens!
That You would come down!
That the mountains might
shake at Your presence—
As fire burns brushwood,
As fire causes water to boil—
To make Your name known
to Your adversaries,
That the nations may tremble
at Your presence!
When You did awesome things
for which we did not look,
You came down,
The mountains shook
at Your presence.
— Isaiah 64:1-3

When we look at the situation in this country, and its ever-increasing moral degradation, and the lack of testimony among God’s people overall, we should surely feel that we need to Lord to rise up in such a way today!

At the end of the previous chapter the prophet had lamented over the destruction of God’s sanctuary:

Your holy people have
possessed it but a little while;
Our adversaries have
trodden down Your sanctuary.
We have become like those of old,
Over whom You never ruled,
Those who were never called
by Your name.
— Isaiah 63:18-19

Like the psalmist, and like Nehemiah, he was deeply grieved over the destruction of God’s building, so that he could bear it no longer (Psalm 102:13-14; Neh. 1:11). It was this that brought forth his great prayer.

He also laments, in Chapter 64, regarding God’s judgment:

There is no one who calls
on Your name,
Who stirs himself up to
take hold of You.
— Isaiah 64:7

May we, like the prophet of old, also see the situation of God’s house today, and its desolation, so that we “stir ourselves up” to “take hold of the Lord” and pray, and cause the Lord to begin His work among us in a fresh way!

Lord, revive Your work among us in these days!

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— 21 May 2022 —