Mike Leake on When the Smoke From Our Prayer for Revival Smothers Real Revival

I’m going to sound curmudgeonly here, but please hear me out. We’ve had about a week now of cities being torched by riots and stores being emptied by looters. There is a great deal of unrest in our nation. And I see many of our religious leaders calling for real revival. Here’s the curmudgeonly sounding point:

“What we really need is revival”, whiles a true statement, can also be used as a smokescreen for inaction. Yes, it is true that the most powerful thing we can do is pray and entrust our situation to God. However, I believe the prophet Isaiah has a bit to say to this. Consider Isaiah 1:1-18.

In verse 7 we read that “your country lies desolate; your cities are burned with fire…” And notice what the people did in response to this. They ramped up the religious festivals. They called a solemn assembly. This is your good ol’ SBC, “let’s set apart a time for prayer for our nation and seek God’s blessing.” These Israelites gathered more and sacrificed more than they had previously.

Notice God’s response to all of this. “I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly”. Their fervent prayer was nothing more than a noisy gong. Their trampling of the courts did nothing to move the heart of God but only stirred up even more indignation.

“When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood.” Isaiah 1:15

What about the promises given to Solomon? What about 2 Chronicles 7:14. These people were turning to God in prayer and religious practices and signs of repentance. So why isn’t God listening? Because they were missing a key component to that promise; namely the “and turn from their wicked ways.” You see, prayer (calls for revival and all that spiritual sounding stuff) can just be a way for the bloody-handed religious elite to remain in power.

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Source: Church Leaders