Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication. 2 Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise; 3 Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me. 4 My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. 5 Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me. 6 And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. 7 Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah. 8 I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest Ps 55:1-8
Beloved, it will be good for us to close the month with “forgiveness”. We read in the Gospel of Matthew: “Moreover, if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone; if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.” Then a little further on we read that Peter comes to Christ and says: “How oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times?” Jesus replied, “I say not unto thee, until seven times; but until seventy times seven.” Peter did not seem to think that he was in danger of falling into sin; his question was, How often should I forgive my brother? But very soon we hear that Peter has fallen. I can imagine that when he did fall, the sweet thought came to him of what the Master had said about forgiving until seventy times seven.
The voice of sin may be loud, but the voice of forgiveness is louder. When we become conscious of our sins it will lead to us to our father and it that rekindle the fire of “REVIVAL” in your camp, family, church, and ministry:
Lord, I have heard the report about You; Lord, I stand in awe of Your deeds. Revive [Your work] in these years;
make [it] known in these years.In [Your] wrath remember mercy!—Habakkuk 3:2
Only God can restore life to something that has died. If you find that your heart has grown cold to God, that the spiritual life of your family or church has waned, call out to God to revive you, for only He can give life. It is not your activity but your relationship with God that brings life!
Spiritual fervor can ebb if left unattended. We all begin our walk with the Lord enthusiastically, with an excited sense of anticipation. But over time, busyness creeps in. We become distracted and let our sin go unchallenged. We may take our relationship with God for granted and not notice the gradual decline until we find ourselves drained of spiritual vitality.
This descent can happen in your church just as it does in your personal life. Do you remember a time when the Holy Spirit was moving mightily in your church, and the members sensed God leading in an exciting direction? Are the services now lifeless and the power of God only a memory?
At a time like this it is futile to try to bring back life yourself. You can organize many activities and exhort those around you, but only God can resurrect what is dead. If God has initiated something in your life, or family, or church, only He can sustain it or revive it. If you sense that the spiritual vigor has gone out of your life or the life of your church, this is God’s invitation to pray. He wants you to intercede with Him so that He might revive His work. Jesus said that He is Life. It is unnecessary to remain spiritually lifeless when He has promised vibrant, abundant life if you will claim it.
Let us enter into David’s experience, when he said:
“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me; my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. I acknowledged my sin unto Thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.”
Prayer was so important to the disciples that they asked their Master Jesus to teach them to prayer:
“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, etc.” Matthew 6:9
This prayer begins where all true prayer must commence, with the spirit of adoption, “Our Father.” There is no acceptable prayer until we can say, “I will arise, and go unto my Father.” This child-like spirit soon perceives the grandeur of the Father “in heaven,” and ascends to devout adoration, “Hallowed be Thy name.” The child lisping, “Abba, Father,” grows into the cherub crying, “Holy, Holy, Holy.”
There is but a step from rapturous worship to the glowing missionary spirit, which is a sure outgrowth of filial love and reverent adoration—”Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Next follows the heartfelt expression of dependence upon God—”Give us this day our daily bread.” Being further illuminated by the Spirit, he discovers that he is not only dependent, but sinful, hence he entreats for mercy, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors:” and being pardoned, having the righteousness of Christ imputed, and knowing his acceptance with God, he humbly supplicates for holy perseverance, “Lead us not into temptation.”
The man who is really forgiven, is anxious not to offend again; the possession of justification leads to an anxious desire for sanctification. “Forgive us our debts,” that is justification; “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,” that is sanctification in its negative and positive forms. As the result of all this, there follows a triumphant ascription of praise, “Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever, Amen.”
We rejoice that our King reigns in providence and shall reign in grace, from the river even to the ends of the earth, and of His dominion there shall be no end. Thus from a sense of adoption, up to fellowship with our reigning Lord, this short model of prayer conduct the soul. Lord, teach us thus to pray.
Finally on forgiveness, David could look below, above, behind and before; to the past, present, and future; and know that all was well. Let us make up our mind that we will not rest until this question of sin is forever settled, so that we can look up and claim God as our forgiving Father. Let us be willing to forgive others, that we may be able to claim forgiveness from God, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said: “If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Asked the Holy Spirit to help you where you are finding it difficult to overcomer and it will be well with you. Call down the revival and don’t forget to learn the Lord prayer. All these we asked in Jesus Name.
Remain blessed in the Lord.
Evang Ifeoma Ohondu
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