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The Interceders Encourager No. 16

The Promptings, Provocations and Promises of Scripture in relation to Revival

Introduction

In the Interceders Covenant, we commit ourselves to giving God no rest until He fulfils His promises; and in the records of revival we read of how believers have prayed many of the verses of Scripture until they were answered. Some of the Bible verses they used I have already mentioned, but in this Encourager I am seeking to bring together all or most of the exhortations, promptings, persuasions and promises of Scripture that have been used, so that we can pray with more confidence, more boldness and more authority.

We pray for revival not because we think it is a good idea, or we see it as a last resort, but because God has revealed His mind and will concerning it. Therefore, in obedience to Him, we can pray with assurance, knowing that this is what He wants to do. It is true that we long to see revival and awakening partly because we can see the need all around us, as the prophets did, but even more it should be because we know that it is Godís will that righteousness should exalt our nation and that His glory should dwell in our land.

Before we ask for God to do anything for us, we need to make sure:

a) We have confessed all our sins, and repented of them. (see Ps.51:1-3 & 9, Ps.24:3-5)

b) We have forgiven everyone of anything wrong done to us. (see Mt.5:23-24)

c) We are completely surrendered to the will of God, and to obeying His word and His Spirit. (see Rom.12:1-2)

d) We come with praise and adoration on our lips.

"Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty. For all that is in the heaven and the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head over all." (1Chron.29:11)

"Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. Be thankful to him and bless his name, for the Lord is good, His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations."(Ps.100:4-5)

"Get linked to God. Adore and trust Him as the Omnipotent One, not only for your own life, but for all the souls that are entrusted to you. Never pray without saying `Mighty God, I claim Your Almightiness`, and the answer to the prayer will come. Like Abraham, you will become strong in faith, giving glory to God, because you account Him who has promised, able to perform." (Andrew Murray)

e) We thank Him for all He has done in the past, and His favour shown to us.

"You are the God who works wonders. You have displayed your power among the peoples. With your mighty arm, You redeemed Your people."(Ps.77:14-15)

"Lord, You have been favourable to Your (this) land....You forgave the iniquity of Your people and covered all their sins. You withdrew all Your wrath and turned from your fierce anger." (Ps.85:1-3)

f) We come before Him in humility and contrition.

"This is the one I esteem, the one who is humble and contrite, and who trembles at my word." (Is.66:2)

"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise."(Ps.51:17)

"Let us be thankful, so that we serve God with reverence and holy fear. For our God is a consuming fire." (Heb.12:28-29)

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you in due time." (1Pet.5:6)

"Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land."

(Ps.85:9)

g) Yet we also come before him with assurance and boldness.

"We have confidence to enter the most holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He opened for us through the curtain, (that is, through His human nature), ..so let us draw near to God with a sincere heart, in full assurance of faith." (Heb. 10:19-22)

Jesus said to them, "Have faith in God. I tell you the truth. Whoever says to this mountain, remove yourself and throw yourself into the sea`, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him." (Mk.11:22-23)

"This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to his will, He hears us; and if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have whatever we asked of Him. (1 Jn.5:14-15)

"The fervent, inspired prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (Js.5:16)

h) We remember that The Lord Jesus Christ, our advocate, is praying for us, the Holy Spirit wants to pray through us, and angels are sent to help us.

"He is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them." (Heb.7:25)

"The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express, and.... makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God." (Rom.8:26-27)

"Angels....are ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation." (Heb.1:14)

"Jesus knelt down and prayed.....and an angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him." (Lk.22:41-43)

i) We get the victory over the evil one, by claiming the victory of Jesus on the cross.

"He (Jesus) disarmed the principalities and powers, and made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. (the cross) (Col.2:15)

"They overcame him, (the dragon), by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony." (Rev.12:11)

"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world, but ones with divine power for pulling down strongholds. We demolish arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God; and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2Cor.10:4-5)

j) We determine that we will continue to pray for revival and awakening until God answers.

"In due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (Gal.6:7)

The Promptings of Scripture

"The Lord is righteous in all His ways, and gracious in all His works. The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfil the desire of those who fear Him. He also will hear their cry and save them." (Ps.145: 17-19)

So ask Him to fulfil the desires of your heart, according to His will.

"The arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear." (Is.59:1)

"The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayer. (I Pet. 3:12)

"I, the Lord, do not change." (Mal.3:6)

He hears our prayers. Nothing is impossible for Him, so plead His character.

"Break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, until He comes and reigns righteousness on you." (Hos.10:12)

So seek the Lord and ask Him to do His ploughing in your life, so you are ready for the rain of righteousness to come down.

"Ask the Lord for rain in the time of the latter rain. For it is the Lord who makes the storm clouds and gives showers of rain to them and plants of the field to everyone." (Zech.10:1)

"As the earth brings forth its plants, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations." (Is.61:11)

Isnít this what we long for? Ask the Lord to fulfil His word.

"Come, let us return to the Lord, for He has torn, but He will heal us; He has injured us, but He will bind us up. After two days, He will revive us; on the third day, He will raise us up, that we may live in His presence. Let us acknowledge the Lord. Let us press on to know Him. For as surely as the sun rises, He will appear. He will come to us as the rain, like the latter and former rains that water the earth." (Hos.6:1-3)

What a beautiful word of comfort and assurance this is. Claim it.

"Declare to my people their rebellion, and to the house of Jacob their sins, for day after day they....seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right. `Why have we fasted?` they say and You have not seen it?` Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen.. to loose the chains of injustice...to share your bread with the hungry, to provide the poor with shelter, to cover those without clothes, and not hide yourself from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break out like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; the righteous will go before you and the glory of the Lord will be your rearguard. Then you will call and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and He will say, ĎHere I am.`" (Is.58:6-9)

"Darkness will cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples, but the Lord will arise upon you, and His glory will be seen upon you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. (Is.60:2-3)

These are wonderful verses to hold on to and claim, as I have done for years.

"No good thing does the Lord withhold from those who walk uprightly. (Ps.84: 12)

"He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered him up for us all, will He not with Him freely give us all things?" (Rom.8:32)

All things must include revival and awakening and everything promised in Godís word, so we have every right to pray expectantly for them.

"If our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God, and we receive from Him whatever we ask, because we keep His commandments, and do what pleases Him." (1Jn.3:21)

"Since the beginning of the world, no one has heard, nor understood in their hearts, nor seen with the eye a God besides You who works for those who wait for Him. You enter into covenant with the one who gladly does what is right, and remembers You in all Your ways. (Is.64:4-5)

"O Israel, hope in the Lord. With the Lord, there is mercy, and with Him is full redemption, for He Himself will redeem Israel from all its iniquities." ((Ps.130:7-8)

"The Lord will comfort Zion, and will look with compassion on all her waste places. He will make her deserts like the garden of Eden, and her wilderness like the garden of the Lord . Joy and gladness will be found in her; thanksgiving and the voice of singing." (Is.51:3)

Claim that all the spiritual deserts and waste places in this country will become like the garden of the Lord.

The Provocations of Scripture

"Even now, says the Lord, turn to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend your hearts, not your clothing. Return to the Lord your God. For He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in love, and He relents from sending calamity. ..Gather the people...let the priests who minister to the Lord weep between the porch and the altar. Let them say, `Spare Your people, O Lord, and do not make Your heritage an object of corn, that the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the nations, ĎWhere is their God`" (Joel 2:12-17)

Why indeed? Ask the Lord to make you really jealous over the honour of His name and His people, so that you truly fast and mourn and weep before Him, and see your prayer answered.

"You who are the Lordís remembrancers, do not keep silent, and give Him no rest until He establishes Jerusalem, (i.e. the heavenly Jerusalem, the Church), (Heb.12:22-23), and makes her the praise of the earth." (Is.62:6-7)

These were the main verses used to pray down the awakening in Lewis in 1949, so claim them now.

"Cry aloud to the Lord, O daughter of Zion. Let your tears stream down like a river day and night. Give yourself no rest, and your eyes no respite. Arise, cry out in the night....Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord." (Lam.2:18-19)

These verses are some of the most challenging in the Bible. Our concern should be as great And as deep for our Zion, the Church here in Britain, as Jeremiah`s was for the Zion of that time, the earthly city of Jerusalem; so that God answers our prayers and our tears, as He did for the believers in Lewis in 1949.

"Those who sow in tears will reap in joy. He who continually goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, bringing his sheaves with him." (Ps.126:5-6)

"The Lord Jesus, Himself, in the days of His flesh, offered up prayers and petitions, with loud cries and tears, and was heard because of His godly fear." (Heb.5:7)

"You, O Lord, sit enthroned for ever. Your renown endures through all generations. You will arise and have mercy on Zion, for the time to favour her, the appointed time, has come... ..The nations will fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth will revere Your glory. For the Lord will build up Zion. He will appear in His glory. (Ps.102:12-16)

What a wonderful affirmation to pray confidently before the Lord.

"Our God will come and will not keep silent. A fire will devour before Him, and around Him a tempest will rage. He will call to the heavens from above and to the earth, that He may judge His people. Gather my saints together to Me, those who made a covenant with Me by sacrifice. Let the heavens declare His righteousness, For God himself is judge. (Ps.102:3-6)

These words were used by Godís saints in Lewis in 1949. Use them today.

"The Lord Almighty has a day in store for everything proud and lofty, for all that is exalted...when they will be humbled. For the arrogance of man will be brought low and the pride of man humbled, and the Lord alone will be exalted on that day."(Is.2:12&17)

"Every valley will be lifted up, and every mountain and hill made low; the uneven ground will become level, and the rough places a plain; and the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind will see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken. (Is.40: 12-17)

"The Lord will lay bare His holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God."(Is.52:10)

"The Lord most high is awesome. He is a Great King over all the earth. He will subdue peoples under us, and the nations under our feet. (Ps.47:2-3)

Why should these prophecies not be fulfilled in our day?

"If you fully obey the Lord your God, and carefully follow all His commands, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.....the Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face. They will come out against you one way, and flee from you seven ways.....Then all the peoples of the earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will be afraid of you." (Deut.28:1-10)

Our God does not change.

"From the west, men will fear the name of the Lord, and from the rising of the sun they will revere His glory. For He will come like a rushing river, that the breath of the Lord drives along." (Is.59:19)

This is one of the great promises of the Bible. Let us claim it in faith.

"Your God will come with vengeance, with divine retribution. He will come and save you.. .For waters will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The parched ground will become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water....and a highway will be there. It will be called the way of holiness. The unclean shall not travel on it, but it will be for Godís people....The redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the Lord will return and come to Zion with singing. Everlasting joy will crown their heads. They will obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing will flee away." (Is.35:4-10)

One of the most wonderful passages in the Bible. Plead it before our gracious God.

"He will see the result of the travail of His soul, and be satisfied." (Is.53:11)

This verse was pleaded and answered in the North Uist Awakening.

"All who despised you will bow down at your feet. They will call you the city of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel....Violence will no more be heard in your land, nor devastation or destruction within your borders.....The Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.....and your days of mourning will be ended. (Is.60:14-20)

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me....to comfort all who mourn and to console those who mourn in Zion: to bestow upon them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated. They will repair the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations."(Is.61:1-4)

What wonderful assurances these are for those today "who mourn in Zion," those who are really burdened with the sins of Godís people, and the consequent devastation caused in the Church and in the world. The results of sin, even generations of sin, can be repaired.

"To Him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever. Amen." (Eph.3:20-21)

The Promises of Scripture (The words of God to us)

"If you walk in my statutes and keep my commandments.....I will give peace in the land.... and the sword will not pass through your country. You will chase your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before you. Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will put ten thousand to flight....for I will look on you with favour."(Lev.26:3-9)

"Call upon me in the day of trouble. I will deliver you and you will glorify me." (Ps.50:15)

"No weapon fashioned against you will prosper, and you will refute every tongue which rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from Me," says the Lord. (Is.54:17)

"This day I will begin to put the fear and dread of you upon all the nations under heaven. They will hear reports of you, and will tremble and be in anguish because of you." (Deut.2:25)

This is Godís purpose for His people. Pray it into existence, and pray for workers to reap the harvest. (See Mt.9:37-38)

"Ask of me and I will give you the nations for your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for your possession. (Ps.2:8)

As He is, so are we in the world, so in Christ we can ask for the nations, including our nation.

"Do not be afraid....for I myself will help you," declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. I will make you into a threshing sledge, new and sharp with many teeth. You will thresh the mountains and crush them, but you will rejoice in the Lord and glory in the Holy One of Israel." (Is.41:14-16)

Pray for God to make His people like a threshing sledge so that the obstacles to the Churchís progress are removed, and His people rejoice in Him.

"This is what the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, says, `I am the Lord, your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river and your righteousness like the waves of the sea; your descendants would have been like the sand, your children like its numberless grains." (Is.48:17-19)

"O that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways. I would quickly subdue their enemies, and turn my hand against their adversaries." (Ps.81:13-14)

Confess the sins of Godís people. Pray for their repentance, their revival, their restoration and their fruitfulness.

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." (2Chron.7:14)

The great promise of the Bible regarding national transformation. Believe it. Pray it.

"Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it.... Call to me, and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, which you have not known." (Jer.33:3)

"I, the Lord will hear them. I, the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys. I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water....so that all may see and know, may consider and understand together, that the hand of the Lord has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it."(Is.41:17-20)

"I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground. I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. They will spring up like grass in a meadow, and like poplar trees by flowing streams.(Is.44:3-4)

These are the great classic verses that have been pleaded in prayer many times, and have been answered. So plead them again.

"Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old, for I will do a new thing....I will even make a way in the wilderness, and make rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people.....so that they may proclaim my praise."(Is.43:19-21)

"Ask Me of things to come concerning My sons, and command Me concerning the work of My hands."(Is.45:11)

These words were used to great effect in North Uist. Have we got the faith to do the same?

"Then they will know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted what was desolate. I the Lord have spoken it, and I will do it." (Ez.36: 36)

"Thus says the Lord God, `I will again yield to the plea of the house of Israel, and do this for them: I will increase their people and make them as numerous as a flock of sheep, like a flock offered as holy sacrifices, as numerous as the flocks for offerings at Jerusalem during her appointed feasts. So will the ruined cities be filled with flocks of people. Then they will know that I am the Lord." (Ez.36:37-38)

These are wonderful promises that were claimed in the last Welsh Revival (1904-6), and in the awakening in Lewis in 1949, even though, in Lewis, they seem to have misunderstood them! This shows that the Lord can answer our prayers when we quote His word, even when we do not understand it properly. He still honours our faith in His word. So claim them again.

"For my nameís sake, I will defer my anger, and for the sake of my praise, I will hold it back from you, so that I do not cut you off. See, I have refined you, though not as silver. I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For My own sake, I will do this. How can I let myself be profaned? I will not yield My glory to another." (Is.48:9-11)

How we need to hear this in these days. This is such an incredible declaration of the patience and longsuffering of our God, and such an amazing promise that we must continue to stand on it, praise God for it, and ask Him to have mercy.

"This is what the high and lofty One says, He who lives for ever, whose name is holy, `I live in a high and lofty place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit; to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite." (Is.57:15)

"I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten....and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you. Never again will My people be put to shame. You will know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I, the Lord am your God..... .Afterwards, I will pour out My Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams and your young men will see visions....I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth.....before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. (Joel 2:25-31)

This prophecy has never been fully fulfilled. Claim it for these days.

"I bring My salvation near. It is not far off. My salvation will not linger. I will put salvation in Zion, for Israel, my glory." (Is.46:13)

"Look at the nations and watch. Be utterly amazed and astonished, for I am going to do a work in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told." (Hab.1:5)

The son of God declared: "When He (the Holy Spirit) comes, He will convict the world of sin and righteousness and judgment; of sin, because they do not believe in Me, of righteousness, because I am going to the Father, and you will see Me no longer, of judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned." (Jn.16: 8-11)

These promises were claimed with great authority in the North Uist Awakening. Claim them now.

"The mighty One, God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth. From the rising of the sun to its going down, out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God will shine forth. Our God will come, and will not be silent. A fire will devour before Him, and around Him, a tempest will rage. He will call to the heavens above and to the earth, that He may judge His people. ĎGather my saints together to me. Those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.í Let the heavens declare His righteousness. For God Himself is judge." (Ps.50:1-6)

Call upon me in the day of trouble. I will deliver you, and you will glorify me. (Ps.50:15)

To him who orders his way aright, I will show the salvation of God." (Ps.50; 23)

These words were sung at Shader, Barvas on the Isle of Lewis, on the 11th of December 1949, the day that the awakening broke out.

They also sang from Psalm 132: "David swore an oath to the Lord, and made a vow to the Holy One of Jacob, ĎI will not enter my house, or go to the comfort of my bed. I will not allow my eyes to sleep, or let my eyelids close in slumber, until I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of JacobÖArise, O Lord, to Your resting place. You and the ark of Your strength. Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let Your saints shout for joy." (Ps.132:1-5, 8-9)

I find these verses incredibly humbling and awe inspiring, as if I am walking on holy ground. They take us back to those days nearly sixty years ago when they really did deny themselves sleep until they had found a resting place for the Lord and the ark of His strength. Our God still wants to come. We have made a covenant with Him. He has promised that if we order our way aright, He will show His salvation. So let us deny ourselves sleep until we find a place for the Lord, a resting place here in Britain for our Great God.

"The things that are impossible with men are possible with God."

(Lk.18:27)

"If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask for whatever you want, and it will be done for you." (Jn.15:7)

"If you ask anything in my name, I will do it." (Jn.14: 14)

"Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full." (Jn.16: 24)

"A life abiding in Christ and filled with the Spirit; a life entirely given up as a branch for the work of the vine, has the power to claim these promises, and to pray the prayer that is powerful and effective." (Andrew Murray)