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How to Pray in the New Year

I long for God to do something extraordinary among us. But, as John Wesley said concerning revival, “God does nothing redemptively except through prayer.” So… how should we pray?

I believe that the prophet of old, Isaiah, has some new instructions for us in Isaiah 63:15-64:12. Open up your bible and read through these scriptures as you consider this commentary.

  1. Pray Passionately! (Isaiah 63:15)
To paraphrase, Isaiah (63:15) begins by saying, “Father, your mighty heart beats with so much passion for us. But you’re holding back. We need more of you!” Unfortunately, our religious experiences have often tamed and inoculated us against our passionate need for Jesus. Pray passionately for more passion.

2. Pray in alignment with God’s history! (63:16)
God has been our redeemer in times past… and He never changes. Time and time again, throughout history, God has redeemed and revived his people. And he can do it again.

3. Pray with sorrow (63:17)
We have all taken the wrong path, and as much as we’d like to blame someone or something else, we have to take responsibility for our actions that have taken us away from God. These wrong paths have hardened our hearts towards the tender mercies of God. And that is tragically sad.

4. Pray that holy people can possess holy places. (63:18)
Jesus gave himself up for the Church, longing that she be holy and spotless. As members of the Church, we need to live lives of holiness before God. As we prepare for revival, pray that God purifies us – and ask that he begin with you.

5. Pray that God will come down! (64:1)
“Oh, that you would burst from the heavens and come down!” For genuine revival to come, we must let God burst into our lives, Church, community, and every facet of this world. Pray that God would again “rend the heavens.”

6. Pray that something new will happen (64:4)
There are things that God wants to say to us that we currently can’t hear and a side of God so glorious that we have not yet seen it. Pray that God would help us to know what we do not yet know and see what we do not yet see.

7. Pray out of personal desperation (64:5)
Isaiah begs the question, “how can people like us be saved? “Great question! Spend some time considering how our deeds are like filthy rags (vs6) and how utterly lost we’d be without God’s grace

8. Pray with an openness to be molded (64:8)
He is the potter, and we are the clay. Ask God to shape and mold you into someone he can use mightily – even when the necessary transformation is challenging.

9. Pray that God will not refuse help (64:12)
We can’t fulfill the purposes of God on our own. Daily our media screams of humanity’s needs, and only through God’s help and strength can these be met. More than ever, we need His holy help.

…let us pray.

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