Photo by The Kenneys Photography
My younger sister got married a couple weeks ago and what a glorious celebration it was! There is so much planning and preparation that goes into the wedding day. The one thing I heard family and friends tell the bride over and over was, “enjoy every moment of your wedding because the day goes by so fast.” And it’s true. Thanks to professional wedding photography, she can remember and cherish those quickly passing moments that made her day so special. One of my favorite parts of my sister’s ceremony was when both families prayed over the couple before they exchanged their vows. What a blessing it is to have a Christian heritage.
As a mother, I want the same moment for my daughter on her wedding day. I want to see her kneeling next to the godly man that my husband and I have prayed for since before she was born. I want her to marry into a family with a rich spiritual heritage—a family that will not only be present on her wedding day, but will come alongside her, praying God’s best for her marriage and family.
Is this a realistic desire in today’s world or just a fantasy?
When I look at the moral condition of our country, I see indifference, selfishness, immorality, rebellion, inhumanity and spiritual ignorance. I’ve heard all of my life that our country needs revival (A spiritual awakening and return to God with a renewed, more active attention to His Spirit.) That statement is truer today than it was yesterday. I have always been intrigued by revival. I have thought about it, prayed for it, and longed to see it. The stakes are so much higher now that I am a mother. My spiritual apathy will cost my children more than it will cost me.
I am not an expert on revival. After all, I’ve never seen it in thirty-five years! I truly hope in my lifetime I will see an outpouring of the Spirit like never before. I desire it because it comes from the heart of God. He is interested in future generations, therefore I must be. His mission is one of reconciliation, so I must seek our city’s renewal. It’s exciting to envision our nation’s restoration—hope, healing and harmony all come to mind. But let us not overlook the hard part of this message: repentance always precedes restoration (2 Chron. 7:14).
We see time and time again in Scripture that God’s people repented not only for their personal sins but for their nation’s sins. We cannot separate ourselves through moral superiority and lay blame on our church, our city, and our nation as though we are faultless. This is OUR responsibility. As God’s people, we must cry out to Him in humility and repentance to forgive OUR land for sacrificing our children in the name of choice and convenience (Lev. 18:21). We must seek His forgiveness for OUR arrogance and unconcern for the poor, weak and powerless (Ezekiel 16:49). We must confess to Him OUR rebellion and unfaithfulness to heed His voice and walk in His ways (Daniel 4:5, 6).
May we pray like Daniel, who prayed fervently for his city:
“O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies. O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.” (Daniel 9: 18, 19)
It would be easy to get overwhelmed, for our task is great. We are raising the next generation, and the future is unknown. But we know the One who is on the throne.
Donna Gaines reminds us in Leaving Ordinary, “God’s throne is the center of all that is happening… And where is the Spirit of the living God now? He is in the center of my being- in my inner man. All of my life is to radiate out from that center where Christ dwells.” She goes on to say, “Turn inward to the Spirit of God who lives within you, and make sure He is on the throne of your life.”
We must prepare our hearts for revival for the LORD is searching for those whose hearts are loyal to Him (2 Chron. 16:9). A couple of years ago, I began praying for revival to start in my own home. I offered my home to the Lord that it would be a house of prayer and a place where the Word of God was exalted. I’ve seen God answer big, kingdom prayers in the lives of women who have met in my living room for prayer. Something I remind myself often is to “be a lover of the small things.” When two or three mothers get together to pray, the impact is eternal. A revived church can impact a city for Christ and a city revival can spread throughout the country. Do not despise small beginnings.
Revival that is conceived in the heart and birthed in the home grows to change the course of history.
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