Renew & Revive: 18 days of prayer
Join CityLights from January 8 to 25 for Renew & Revive: 18 Days of Prayer for 2018.
Prayer is not something that comes easy. We are pulled and pushed in many different directions. We drift towards self-reliance, distraction, apathy, Netflix — we don’t drift towards prayer. It is easy to listen to some inspiration from "God-talk" on Sundays or podcasts and much harder to be still and have God-talk with God himself. Yet, we need God. We need a renewal of devotion and a revival of heart. We do. So does our nation. This is not a time only for the experts or experienced, the passionate and emotional, or only the desperate and hurting. This is a time for all of us — our whole church. The benefit of this time won’t happen by accident but intention. But it is worth it. May we hear the invitation of God and may we renew our devotion to him — together. Let us humbly come to him and trust that he will come to us and revive us again.
Do you think the Scriptures have no meaning? They say that God is passionate that the spirit he has placed within us should be faithful to him. And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honour. —James 4:5-10 (NLT)
“Your loyalty is divided.” Isn’t this true? Aren’t we glad God is gracious and patient! He invites us to come as we are but we must choose to come, we must be willing to repent, refocus, and renew our devotion. This reminds me of King David and Solomon. King David’s desire for his son Solomon was that he would serve God with an “undivided heart.” He states in 1 Chronicles 28:9: “And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole [undivided] heart and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you.” Solomon did encounter God and was greatly blessed but in the end "when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly [undivided] true to the Lord his God” (1 Kings 11:4).
Often we can too get get distracted, our focus can drift, and our heart, our loyalty, can become divided. God’s desires for us to desire him for he is the source of life and knows that the life we desire only he can give. He wants us to mature spiritually, walk in greater freedom and victory, and to know more of himself. As we start a new year, let’s come together and renew our devotion, purify our hearts and allow God to revive our passion and boldness.
We devote 2018 to be a year where we grow in knowing Jesus and making him known in everyday life — together.
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