“9 ‘You saw the suffering of our ancestors in Egypt; you heard their cry at the Red Sea. 10 You sent signs and wonders against Pharaoh, against all his officials and all the people of his land, for you knew how arrogantly the Egyptians treated them. You made a name for yourself, which remains to this day.” NIV
‘’You made a name for yourself, which remains to this day’’ (10b).
This is what happens in ‘revival’. It is unmistakably God’s work. It also makes people acutely aware of God – of His presence and power. Many are drawn to Him.
The reference here is to the ‘exodus’. The Israelites looked back to this event repeatedly. It was a defining moment in their history, when the Lord dramatically intervened to free them from slavery in Egypt.
But note the link to prayer also: ‘’…you heard their cry at the Red Sea’’ (9b). The Bible commentator, Matthew Henry, famously said, ‘When God intends a great mercy for a people first he sets them a praying.’
Recently, while reading through a journal from around this time last year, I was reminded that I’d listened to an interview with an American pastor, David Platt. He described how, following a survey in his church in Washington DC, he realised there were programmatic/structural changes to be made. But he had recently visited South Korea where, in 1900 only 1% of the population was Christian. Today it’s 29% Christian. David spoke about how they have late night prayer meetings, all night prayer meetings, early morning prayer meetings in churches across that land. He also said he realised, to his embarrassment, that they had never prayed through the night at his church, and he came back and announced, ‘We’re going to do this’, and they did! He made this telling comment:
‘The last thing I want to do, as a pastor, is program my way through changes without desperate dependence on God.’
‘Desperate dependence on God’. I went on to write in my journal: ‘I do believe that for much of the time many of us live in spiritual unreality, and the only way to be lifted out of this is by taking prayer (God) seriously (and this includes fasting). For many of us, this world is what is real. And it is real; and all that is good about it is to be gratefully enjoyed. But I am convinced that we need to live in this real world from out of the reality of that other world – so that the larger world of spiritual reality is the one that is most real to us. It’s like we’re living in two worlds simultaneously, and we’re seeing this world in the light of that other world.’
The bottom line is this: I believe there is a place in prayer where we, the church, can be, to intercede effectively for the current crisis. It may be a ‘Red Sea’ moment, and this God is our God.
PRAYER: Lord, I make myself available for you to pray your own prayers through me. Please, again, part the sea and glorify your Name.
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