Psalm 85:1-8 New King James Version (NKJV)
Prayer that the Lord Will Restore Favor to the Land
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.
1 Lord, You have been favorable to Your land; You have brought back the captivity of Jacob.
2 You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people; You have covered all their sin. Selah
3 You have taken away all Your wrath; You have turned from the fierceness of Your anger.
4 Restore us, O God of our salvation, And cause Your anger toward us to cease.
5 Will You be angry with us forever? Will You prolong Your anger to all generations?
6 Will You not revive us again, That Your people may rejoice in You?
7 Show us Your mercy, Lord, And grant us Your salvation.
8 I will hear what God the Lord will speak, For He will speak peace To His people and to His saints; But let them not turn back to folly.
"Revive us again," is a needy prayer for our world.
--America has many needs, one is a revival for God.
--"Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in you?" Israel prayed (Psalm 85:6).
--For over 3000 years, a prayer people have prayed.
--Let's make it our prayer. "Revive us again!"
How do you have a revival? First, be "born again."
--Get back to the Bible study. Repent of sin.
--Give ourselves to prayer. A love for the lost.
--Yielded to the Spirit. Let by the Lord Jesus.
Psalm 85 gives the Biblical plan for a revival.
--It begins with praising God, "You have brought back the captivity of Jacob" after 70 years captive.
--"You have forgiven..and covered their sin" (v 2).
--They pray, "Restore us, O God, of our salvation."
--Followed by, "Revive us again...so we may rejoice in you..show us Your mercy, Lord" (v 6,7).
--Note, "I will hear what God the Lord will speak."
--They were on their way to spiritual blessings!
The Bible records many great revivals, also we read of the word, "revive," as "O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years" (Hab. 3:2). God did.
--The prophet Habakkuk knew that revival begins with prayer and repentance, and repentance brings rejoicing and a spiritual harvest for eternity.
--Isaiah 57:15, God says, "I will dwell with him who has a contrite and humble spirit...to revive the spirit of the humble..to revive the heart..."
--I like Psalm 138:7, "Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me." What a prayer!
Are you "in the midst of trouble"? Many may be.
--Then, friend, let's get revived, back to God.
Some religions - even with a radical or terrorist element - are growing, despite hard rules and oppression of women's rights. Where do Christians fail?
--Is it because we need a more winsome, holy living?
Maybe you, as I, date salvation from a great revival.
--Or a fine sermon, Sunday School Teacher or parent.
--Mine was a tent meeting in Davidson, OK. I was afterward baptized by my Grandfather Stafford.
--I remember that day, as I have grown in the Lord.
However, we can get lax, cool off and need reviving.
--Israel and the Psalmist needed it. I need it.
--Maybe you need it. Churches need it. We all do.
--"Lord, will You not revive us again...?"
How do we go about being revived? We win, when:
1. Our lives in consecration to God are laid up.
2. Our differences with others, are made up.
3. Our concerns for lost souls, are prayed up.
4. Our offerings and vows to God, are paid up.
--As we "set our affections on things above," so God can do His work on earth, through us in revival.
--When we grow spiritually, so will the churches!
I've been praying for world-wide revival for God.
--May I invite you - all who will - to pray also?
I. LET'S PRAY FOR GOD'S SPIRITUAL DOWN-POURING.
--Like God's "Showers of Blessings," from heaven.
--Not just a little sprinkle, a down-pouring.
--It comes from God. By prayer. Not by our power.
--Not of us. Not from gimmicks. Or entertainment.
--Pleading for God's down-pouring, by true prayer!
Look at Psalm 85:8, "I will hear what God the Lord will speak..." By His Word. In our worship.
--We must be willing - as moist clay - God can use.
--To repent of all known sin. Surrendered to God.
--Humbling ourselves, before the cross of Christ.
--"Today, hear His voice, harden not your hearts."
We think of Jacob, Genesis 32, as God was so good to him - but Jacob lived selfishly, and deceitfully.
--He lived up to his name; spoiled, lies, deceives.
--Deceived his old, blind father, Isaac. Imagine.
--Cheated his brother out of his birth-right.
--If anyone ever needed a revival, it was Jacob.
My friend, God loves us all. Able to change all.
--If God can change Jacob, He can change anyone.
Jacob had to run away from home, fearing his life.
--He soon learned, "what you sow, you reap" (Galatians 6:7). He was living far away from God.
--Like the Prodigal Son, Jacob saw his need..spent all night in prayer to the Lord, confessing sin.
--Listen to him, with God, "I will not let You go, unless You bless me" (Gen. 32:26). And, God did.
--Let's join him, prayer like that is answered!
--Jacob got revived! A new name - Israel. Saved!
II. LET'S PRAY FOR A PERSONAL SPIRITUAL UP-RISING.
--To all wake-up! Get up! Pep up, to serve God.
--God can do wonders for people, families, churches, nations, when we give Him first place.
Remember Ezekiel 37, and his "dry bones," "dead."
--Dry that he saw in his day, and we see in ours.
--In our churches. Our families. All over.
--Ezekiel 37:3 asks.."Can these bones live?"
--God said, "they can!" The Lord has to give life.
--People, and churches, are dying without the Lord
O Lord Jesus, breathe on us, and all "dry bones."
--Give us a spiritual up-rising! Self examination.
--Lord, make right, our wrongs! Forgive us.
--Help us flee all evil. All unbelief and doubts.
--To be ever "filled with the Spirit" of holiness.
--To avoid the things that disobey, and displease.
--For if You are not Lord of all, You are not Lord, at all. "Will You not revive us again?"
We visited Coventry, England, much destroyed by the Nazi blitz of war - only a wall of its cathedral is left - on it, charred beams formed a cross.
--On that cross, the words, "Father forgive!"
--Not just Nazis - but forgive us all, our sins.
--As Jesus prayed on His cross, "Forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34).
III. LET'S ALL PRAY FOR A SPIRITUAL OUT-REACHING.
--Blessings, joys, Jesus, salvation, need sharing.
--Early Christians reached out to others in love.
--Are we reaching out to others for Jesus?
They used opportunities to give a good witness in a loving way for the Lord. "One accord in prayer..."
--As Jesus commanded, they joined in prayer in that Upper Room - and the Spirit came (Acts 1 and 2).
--They reached out to all in Jerusalem - from different languages and nations, hearing in their own tongue, the miraculous Gospel of a Risen Savior.
--Some 3000 saved in a day! But Pentecost went on!
--Let's have a small one in our midst, may we pray!
Who are you "reaching out" for, to reach for Jesus?
IV. LET'S PRAY GOD'S SPIRITUAL IN-GATHERING.
--Frankly, lots of us must be in "one accord" in the Lord, earnestly seeking Revival and working for it as well as praying for it, to have a great spiritual in-gathering. We compete with world sports!
--If we will reach-out, God will gather-in!
--Jesus said, "Go out in the highways..and invite people to come in." He said, "Bring them in."
--Give them a call, or send a note, offer a ride.
--Jesus said, "Be fishers of men." All of us.
Thank God for those who witness to win men to Jesus.
--Who knows what you can do in your own family, and friends at work or school..or a neighbor.
Wesley's Chapel in London and Bristol, England, are still holding services - where Wesley's pastored - and we have worshiped in each of these.
--They helped save England, when Jesus saved them.
--I've been all over those places, as holy ground.
--Quietly knelt and prayed, "O Lord, do it again!"
--"Lord, send a revival, in my heart, nation, churches, and over the world..to all people."
--It is the Living Christ in us, that motivates.
--It is His infilling, His Spirit, that empowers.
These are days of uncertainty. Our future unknown.
--What lies ahead for each of us? Our churches?
--Or what's ahead for our nation? Our children?
--With all Jesus has done for us, come, be saved.
--Receive His "Blessed Assurance," for God knows!
--Live for Him, and pray God to "Revive us again!"
--Begin today, I pray.
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD, DD. 604