Day 12 – Pray Your Hunger
Welcoming the fire of God’s manifest presence is not complicated. We don’t need a twelve-step program of how to set our church on fire. We can hevea a big sigh of relief because fire is God’s work, not ours. All we need to do is pray our hunger and gather hungry people to pray with us.
If Anyone is Thirsty
Praying our spiritual hunger is the key to every revival. Jesus set this principle in motion in a booming voice to a crowd of “wannabe” worshipers:
37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
– John 7:37-39
I love the fact that Jesus made this statement in a loud voice. I guess He wanted everyone to hear it. In a sense, His words are still echoing through the ages of revival church history. The Welsh revivalist Evan Roberts loved these words of Jesus and used them as the catalyst of a profound move of the Holy Spirit that ran throughout the British Isles. In only six months of ministry, on hundred thousand people came to Christ during the Welsh revival. When the Holy Spirit comes, God can accomplish more in a day than we can in a year or even a lifetime.
Christian leaders throughout the ages have cried out to God for fire. Charles Spurgeon, perhaps the most quoted preacher in history, longed for the fire. “The kingdom comes not and the work is flagging. Oh, that You would send the wind and the fire,” he preached. Henry Martyn, pioneer missionary to India and Iran, longed for fire. “Let me burn out for God,” he cried. Jim Elliot, pioneer missionary to Ecuador, longed for the fire, “Saturate me with the oil of your Spirit-filled Wesleyan Methodist minister and author, longed for the fire. “The sign of Christianity is not a cross, but a tongue of fire,” he wrote. William Booth, the founder of Salvation Army, longed for the fire. He wrote in a hymn, “Thou Christ of burning, cleansing flame. Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!” Christmas Evan, the great Welsh leader, longed for the fire. “Revival is God bending down to the dying embers of a fire just about to go out and breathing into it until it bursts into flames, “he declared. Oswald Chambers, the inspirational author, longed for the fire. “The Holy Spirit must anoint me for the work, fire me, and so vividly convince me that such and such a way is mine to aim at, or I shall not go, I will not, I dare not… Nothing but the fire of the most Holy Spirit of God can make the offering holy and unblameable and acceptable in his sight.” Smith Wigglesworth, the great Pentecostal forerunner, longed for the fire. “A flame of fire! It is a perpetual fire; a constant fire; a continual burning; a holy, inward flame, which is exactly what God’s Son was in the world. God has nothing less for us than to be flames!
When Jesus wanted to set the church on fire, He gave them a command and promise. The command was that they were to gather, and the promise was that they would receive. Jesus repeated the promise on numerous occasions. Just as we don’t baptize ourselves but rather wade into the waters for the pastor to immerse us, so Jesus is the baptizer, or immerser, in the Holy Spirit. He is the one who fills us. Allow the Holy Spirit to take you beneath the surface with God. Jesus gave us promises so that we might believe them, pray them and receive from Him their fulfillment;
4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” – Acts 1:4-5
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 1:8
Receive the Holy Spirit – John 20:22
49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” – Luke 24:49
Take time right now to reword these promises as prayer. Don’t just pray – receive.
Jesus, What You are teaching me today is _________________________________
Jesus, the action step that I will take is ___________________________________