Desperate Prevailing Prayer
Scripture Reading: Psalm 143
One of the many psalms we could turn to as an example of desperate, prevailing prayer is Psalm 143. What is the first reason that this psalmist (David) gives us as to why he is in this state of desperate, prevailing prayer? I believe it is his desperate weakness. He recognized that something was coming his way that he was not sufficient to meet and somehow we know that it was related to some of the human failure in his own life, perhaps his own sin. Notice that he asks God not to enter into judgment with His servant, "for in Thy sight shall no man living be justified" (Psa. 143:2). That is another way of saying, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23). The real secret of brokenness that leads to revival is knowing your weakness, knowing that you have no adequacy to meet the desperate needs of this hour. The only adequacy is God and the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Another factor that brings us to desperate, prevailing prayer is Satan’s desperate attack. "For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground…" (Psa. 143:3). One translation has it, "The enemy has pursued me; he has crushed me down to the ground." Have you ever been there in the battle with evil and darkness? Satan has been on your trail. He is pursuing you. He has crushed you to the ground. "He hath made me to dwell in darkness…" – you do not see any light – "…as those that have been long dead" (v. 3). It is like death has come. "Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate" (v. 4).
Those of us who have a vision for revival are greatly hated by the devil. He hates us with a cruel hatred. He will do everything to bring us down, but God is sufficient.
Spiritual Victory in Christ
A wonderful resource in our rescue is warfare praying. "Deliver me, O Lord, from mine enemies: I flee unto Thee to hide me" (v. 9). That is one of the greatest statements about the proper place in spiritual warfare that you will find in all the Scripture. It has to do with knowing who you are in Jesus Christ and hiding yourself in Him, hiding yourself in His name. Oh, how Satan trembles before that name – Lord Jesus Christ! You can have a hallelujah time just praying through that name – claiming your union with Christ and the triumph of His name. He is Lord. He is one with Jehovah God. He is Jesus the one and only Savior. He is Jesus, my Savior. And He is the Christ, the anointed Prophet of whom Moses spoke, the anointed Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek, and the anointed King who rules and will rule in absolute justice and truth.
Hide yourself in His name. Hide yourself in all of His work; hide yourself in all of His incarnation, His humanity. I never understood the importance of the humanity of Jesus until God took me into the study of my union with Him, that He walked as one of us in the path of humanity, fulfilling all righteousness, overcoming all evil, and His victory alone makes us worthy to expect God’s blessing while we walk before Him. We are one with Him in His Cross, the power of Calvary, not only to take away our sin, but also to destroy the one who has the power of death, that is the devil.
It is wonderful to hide yourself in the Cross of Christ, to hide yourself in His resurrection and the newness of life that flows from the empty tomb. Hide yourself in the authority of His ascension, where He ascended up far above all principalities and powers and then seated you there with Himself in the heavenly realms. You are one with Him in His glorification, one with Him in the hope of His coming. What a marvelous place to hide! And the psalmist knew that fact when he was in battle with the evil one. He fled to the Lord to hide himself in His Lord.
Notice the psalmist’s resolve for the glory of God’s name: "Quicken me, O Lord, for Thy name’s sake" (v. 11). For Your name’s sake, Lord, I need you to intervene. I need you to quicken me so that You will be glorified in my coming out of the desperateness. He wants the righteousness of the Lord to be honored and to bring about His victory: "For Thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble" (v. 11).
Those of us who see the problem and who pour our hearts out to God are the only ones who can do something to bring healing to the visible body of Jesus Christ. Wounded, struggling local churches need our desperate prayers. The broken, barely-surviving lives of people wounded by sin require desperate prayer. Let’s be a people of desperate, prevailing prayer; prayer that wins; prayer that glorifies God.
"Our loving Father in heaven, we are praying that the winds of heaven would again lovingly blow over the hearts of Your people, that the fires will burn, that You will revive Your church, O Lord, in the midst of the years; in wrath remember mercy and grace. Have mercy upon us. Help us to continue to hear all that You want to say to us. Might there be a deep, mighty moving of the Spirit of God flowing among us, awakening us, refreshing us, renewing us, glorifying Your name through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."
Adapted from the November 2002 issue of Herald of His Coming. The original message was delivered at the 2002 Heart-Cry for Revival Conference.