Imagine what it would look like if genuine gospel renewal came to your church. Just imagine! Can you see the building full on a weeknight to pray? Imagine elders, deacons, and other leaders of the church openly confessing their sins. Imagine long-standing conflicts between congregants settled by the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit. Imagine young people stepping forward to give themselves in consecration to Christ, recognizing their call to serve with all of their lives. And imagine us acquiring a clear sense of what exactly God is calling us to do in the areas of discipleship and evangelism. Imagine.
I believe that God is not only capable of answering this prayer; he desires to do it. It is the longing of the divine heart and therefore it is appropriate for it to be the burden of our human hearts. No, we cannot predict exactly how or in what time frame such activity will happen. Nevertheless, we pray in faith, asking God to extend his renewing presence in fresh, unexpected ways.
As we pray for the Holy Spirit to come in this season and renew our church, we should pray with faith and humility, trusting the promise of God as expressed through his prophet, Isaiah.
For thus says the One who is high and lifted up,
who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
“I dwell in the high and holy place,
and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly,
and to revive the heart of the contrite (Isaiah 57:15).