“Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down…” Isaiah 64:1
Today’s churches seem to have everything: Theologically trained leaders; A committed core of lay people; Cutting edge technology, etc. Everything but the one thing we can least afford to be without…Passion! And nowhere is that more obvious than in prayer. I am reminded of the shut-in who asked her sister who just returned from a church prayer meeting, “Did anything unusual happen at church tonight?” The sister replied, “No! Just the same old people saying the same old prayers with the same old results!” We obviously are in need of both instruction and inspiration when it comes to passionate praying!
That brings us to the prophet Isaiah. Remember what the apostle Paul wrote to the church in I Corinthians 10:11 concerning the Old Testament writings, “Now these things…were written for our instruction…” So let us sit at the feet of Isaiah in chapter 64 of the book that bears his name with a teachable mind and heart, and allow the Holy Spirit to apply Isaiah’s words to both instruct and inspire us to passionate praying!
Passion in prayer in today’s churches should begin and end praying for the Lord’s manifest presence! Now I am certainly aware the Bible says where two or three gather in the Lord’s Name, He is there, but I am also aware there are unusual exceptions! Listen to the words of one of the great preachers of all time, George Whitfield, as he made notation in his journal concerning a service in which He was ministering in the English town of Cheltenham, “Suddenly, God the Lord came down upon us!” Did you hear that? There are exceptional examples of the Lord unusually making His presence known, and when He does, everything is different! All become aware of the One who is Holy, Holy, Holy, and the fear (reverence) of God is evident! This is exceptional! This is supernatural!
Listen to the terms Isaiah uses in his impassioned cry: Rend (tear open) the heavens; Cause the mountains to quake; Boil the waters (oceans); Cause the nations (saints and sinners) to tremble! If you agree this strikes at the heart of the need in today’s churches, the need in your church, I challenge you as I challenge myself to meditate on Isaiah 64 and ask the Lord to stir us up to passionate praying…