Ray Ortlund writes, unpacking Isaiah 62:6-7, that we are to be the pray-ers that give God no rest until a revived church astonishes the world. It is my hope that Ray’s and Isaiah’s words will inspire you to pray for God to do just that through the gathering of God’s people that you come together with tonight, or tomorrow morning.
6 On your walls, O Jerusalem,
I have set watchmen;
all the day and all the night
they shall never be silent.
You who put the Lord in remembrance,
take no rest,
7 and give him no rest
until he establishes Jerusalem
and makes it a praise in the earth. (ESV)
From Pastor Ortlund:
We are the “watchmen,” like sentries on the city wall, keeping our eyes peeled for what God is doing in the world today. We encourage one another about these momentous events. We also speak to God. In fact, with language I wouldn’t have dared to use, our prayers are to give God no rest until a revived church astonishes the world.
Jonathan Edwards wrote a famous appeal to the Christians of his day to unite in prayer for revival. At the end of the appeal he wrote this:
It is very apparent from the Word of God that he often tries the faith and patience of his people, when they are crying to him for some great and important mercy, by withholding the mercy sought for a season; and not only so, but at first he may cause an increase of dark appearances. And yet he, without fail, at last prospers those who continue urgently in prayer with all perseverance and “will not let him go except he blesses.”
Otto Kristian Hallesby was a Norwegian theologian who resisted the Nazis during World War II and suffered for it in a concentration camp. He understood what it means to pray all the way through until God answers. He said that prayer is like mining. Prayer is like boring holes deep into the rock of human hearts. It’s work. It tries our patience. We can’t see results. But in God’s time, he places dynamite and lights the fuse, and the rocks crumble. God has called us to give him no rest until he makes a revived church the praise of the earth.
God, as it were, overcome by prayer.
Jacob wrestled with God, and God said to him, “You have striven with God and men, and have prevailed” (Genesis 32:28). Jesus compared prayer to a man pounding on his neighbor’s door late at night until, “because of his impudence,” the neighbor gets up and helps him (Luke 11:8). The Apostle James says that the prayer of a righteous person “has great power as it is working” (James 5:16). And God has positioned you and me in this generation to pray down his power upon the ministry of the [good news of the Kingdom of God] and not quit until the whole world is praising God.
Yes and very amen, in Jesus name.