[Revision 2017 is forty plus days of prayer for spiritual renewal in us as individuals and as a church that we might be used to bring renewal to our neighborhoods. We will conclude with our Good Friday celebration just before Easter.]
Week Two: Spiritual Renewal
What exactly is this "Revision" thing about anyway? It is just some attempt to make us feel like we are an active church, that we have successfully survived a difficult transition in the church? Or is it just a waste of time, one more thing to add to the busy schedule?
Well I am glad you asked. Here is the point of Revision 2017: that we would have a deeper encounter with Jesus in our lives, in the church and that others would notice. As we contemplate all that we have in Christ, forgiveness, justification, new life; we want to be so in love with Jesus that we can't help but share him with other wretched sinners that some would be saved. And it all starts here, with renewal in our own hearts.
Bill, one of our elders, sees this week of prayer for Spiritual Renewal as turning the mirror on ourselves, not looking at others, or corporate actions, but asking the Lord to work in our individual hearts, bring us to repentance, to reminder of his grace and to new depths of gospel life, for his glory and our good.
The Apostle Paul always prayed this for those he pastored and trained up. We see it in most of his letters, that spiritual insight would come ahead of a responsive life and mission. See this in Ephesians 3.
"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:14-19 (ESV)
We have all gone through seasons of spiritual dryness. Wondering what God is up to and if he is still active. But we are also meant to experience seasons of spiritual vitality and growth in Christ. This is a gift of the Spirit and this is what we are seeking this week. That according to the riches of God's glory, we would be strengthened in our souls, that Christ would dwell in our hearts in abundant faith. That we would be more deeply rooted in him, grounded in his love for us, that with each other we could grasp the enormity of his love. His peace and grace to us that is beyond human knowledge.
Our prayer is personal this week. That each one of us at Grace Church would be filled with all the fullness of God.
Turn the mirror of prayer to yourself this week. Petition the Lord on your behalf, that he would grants spiritual renewal. Deepening your grasp of the gospel. Astounding you with him love. Filling you by the Spirit with all his fullness. That you would be forever changed by his grace, in fresh ways this week.
And pray that this renewal would be a spark, that from your heart it would spread to others. That Jesus would send an outpouring of his kindness and grace to us and to our neighborhoods. That he would start something in us that flows out, as living water to others.
That we would abide in him and he in us. Renew us Lord.