Sunday, July 29, 2007

Uncommon Prayer ~ From the Churches of Revelation

Praying Through the Mistakes of the Churches in Revelation

The seven churches of Revelation all experienced God's divine power as they began—everywhere God manifested, a church sprang to life. New believers were added daily. But a visit to those locations in present-day Turkey is a startling reminder that powerful moves of God can flourish and then man can cause them to fail. Something similar happened to Aaron and the elders of Israel. They saw God and even ate and drank in His presence (Ex. 24:9-11). But after this incredible experience, they returned to their people and participated in idolatry (Ex. 32).

As we pray for revival to come, perhaps we should also pray for hearts that will receive and retain it. Praying through the warnings Jesus gave to the seven churches can help us to avoid pitfalls and keep the fire burning.

1. Lord, bind our hearts to You so that we will not forsake the passion of first love. Recall to our memory every evidence of Your manifest presence so that we will not forget the excellence of the lofty position You have given us. We acknowledge our disobedience in not doing the things You've shown us to do at first. We desire to be obedient in the little things (Rev. 2:4-5).

2. Abba, help us to develop such a deep love relationship with You that all fear of suffering melts away, for Your Word says that perfect love casts out fear. Prepare our hearts for persecution so that we will stand strong and faithful even to the point of death (Rev. 2:10).

3. Holy Spirit, help us discern false doctrine. Teach us to rightly divide Your Word of truth so that we do not fall into apostasy. Give us a hunger for Your Word so that we desire to read it, memorize it, and meditate on it. That way we will be able to test every spirit to know if it is from You (Rev. 2:14-15).

4. Father, keep us from tolerance for the sake of tolerance alone. Help us to despise the things that You despise and love the things that You love. Grant us repentance quickly when we are in sin. Help us to recognize Satan's schemes and flee from them (Rev. 2:20-24).

5. We ask You to keep setting alarm clocks! Wake us up! Help us exercise the faith we have to complete what You have given us to do. Use whatever means necessary to help us remember what we've heard, to act on it quickly, and to turn from our wicked ways! Oh, Lord, we long to walk with You, dressed in white (Rev. 3:2-4).

6. Lord, we pray for an iron grip to hold on to what we have so that no one will take our crown (Rev. 3:11).

7. Father, turn up the heat so that we will remain hot. We accept Your counsel, Lord! Give us spiritual salve for our eyes so that we can see our true state: that we are pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. Refine us, please! Clothe us in Your righteousness. Lord, we desire to be earnest! (Rev. 3:14-19).

Above all, give us ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to us!

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