Revival Praying From Psalm 107
  By Dave Butts

    Anyone who has studied the issue of revival knows that prayer is absolutely essential. It appears that every revival is preceded by a movement of prayer. The question for us today concerns how we should pray for such a move of God. Holy Scripture is filled with examples of the way that the people of God through the ages cried out to Him for revival.

    Psalm 107 is one of the clearest and most powerful pictures of revival praying in Scripture. Four times in this Psalm, the people of God find themselves in dire straits and desperately needing Godís intervention. As they pray, Godís response is recorded and His Presence and Power are made manifest to His people.

    It is really all about Jesus. Psalm 107 begins and ends with the Lord. In between it marks the way the Lord steps into the lives of His people when they get serious about calling on His Name. Use this article as a prayer guide to pray your way through this powerful Psalm of revival.

Begin with Worship

    We begin, as always, with worship. "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say thisÖ" (Psa. 107:1-2). Because we have time and again experienced the Lordís love and goodness, we launch our prayer with worship and thanksgiving.

Cry out to the Lord

    The heart of this prayer centers around four groups of people who find themselves in dire straits. Though the primary group, of course, refers to the people of Israel, it most certainly can be used to apply to the people of God down through the ages. The key to Godís response in each case was the crying out by Godís people. If we want to see God move in our midst, there must be a serious crying out of the Church. Iím glad it says "cried out" instead of prayed. Weíve watered down prayer to make it what we want, rather than what God wants.

The Wanderers

    The first group is described in verses 4-5 as those who, "wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. They were hungry and thirsty and their lives ebbed away." What a picture of the Church today! In so many ways we find ourselves without direction and guidance, desperately needing even the basics (food and water) of our spiritual life. Hungry for Godís presence (a city), we wander in dry places.

    As we pray for the Church and our own relationship to God, we need to ask Him for the wisdom He promises (James 1:5). We need wisdom for direction and guidance, trusting the Holy Spirit to bring us out of the dry places into the city promised to us, where the Presence of God provides sustenance for all of life. "Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle" (Psa. 107:6-7).

The Rebellious

    The second groupís story is found in verses 10-12: "Some sat in darkness and deepest gloom, prisoners suffering in iron chains, for they had rebelled against the words of God and despised the counsel of the Most High. So He subjected them to bitter labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help."

    Submission to the Word of God always results in a life of greater effectiveness in the Kingdom and joy in the Presence of the Lord. The believers in this passage discovered to their dismay that the opposite is true as well. Their rebellion against what God had said brought them to a point where they were literally in bondage. The practical result in their lives was bitter labor, which is work with no results. It is ineffective. How many of us have felt that way about our service to God? We work, we serve, but to what end? That is bitter labor.

    What does it mean to rebel against Godís Word? Certainly there are those who simply deny Scripture. Thatís an obvious means of rebellion. But most of those who read this article firmly believe in the authority of the Bible. I want to suggest strongly that many of us who fervently believe Godís Word are often still walking in rebellion because we hear the Word, but do not do it. James warns us about this type of rebellion: "Do not merely listen to the Word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says" (James 1:22). Such rebellion is rampant in the Church today. We have Bible study after Bible study and yet our lives are no different. My brothers and sisters, this must change. God Himself has subjected us to bitter labor, dooming us to fruitless ministry until we submit ourselves to Him in obedience to His Word.

    As we pray this Psalm we must ask ourselves, "Is there something God is calling me to do that Iím ignoring? Is there something my congregation needs to submit to regarding the Word?" Pray over this situation and offer yourselves back to the Lord in submission to His Word. "Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains" (Psa. 107:13-14).

The Spiritually Ill

    Group three has literally become ill because of their rebellion against the Lord. The Psalmist says, "Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities. They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death" (Psa. 107:17-18). Sin can have fearful consequences in our lives, even as believers. Because these people continued in rebellion without repentance, God allowed them to "suffer affliction because of their iniquities."

    If we are experiencing physical or spiritual illness because of our sin, the Bible is quick to show us the way for healing. Confession and healing are always paired together in Godís plan. "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed" (James 5:16). In 2 Chronicles 7:14, the healing of the land is promised after there is a humbling of the people before God and a turning from sin. Confession always agrees with God concerning the nature of sin and implies a turning from the commission of sin.

    If we look to the Body of Christ today and see spiritual and physical illness as a consequence of our rebellion, it is time to confess our sin. Would you take some quiet time before the Lord and ask Him what sins He sees in the life of the Church today? On behalf of the Church, quickly confess all that you hear before Him as sin. Plead the blood of Jesus Christ over the sins of the Church so that we might be healed: "Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress. He sent forth His word and healed them; He rescued them from the grave" (Psa. 107:19-20).

The Fearful

    The last group is a bit different from the others, but dear reader, you might find yourself right in the midst of these saints. These servants of the Lord are described as seafarers who "saw the works of the Lord, His wonderful deeds in the deep" (v. 24). But as storms arose, they found themselves fearful. In verses 26-27 we read, "Öin their peril their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at their witsí end."

    Do you find yourself fearful as you consider the world around you and what seems to be a rise of wickedness? There is a real tendency for Christians to hide behind church walls, or in our fellowships, fearful of what may await us if we continue to serve the Lord. Many today face a spirit of timidityÖa passive spirit that has given up on any hope of revival in the Church. We sit and wait for the Rapture to take us away, as though the Lord was done with His work on this planet.

    It is time for the Church to rise up! We must encounter this spirit of passivity head on with the courage that God gives us. Godís word to Joshua as he led Israel into the Promised Land was: "Be strong and courageous." We need to pray those words over one another today. "Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and He guided them to their desired haven" (Psa. 107:28-30). To strengthen us, let us allow these words of Jesus to flow into our prayer lives: "Take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

    We find ourselves in the midst of great trouble and turmoil as the people of God today. The solution is as clear for us as it was for these Old Testament saintsÖwe must cry out to God! The revival of the Church is awaiting those who will give themselves to God in serious intercession for His Bride.

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