When you hear the stories that come out in the news, do you ever feel like our nation or even our world is on the brink of disaster? Our world is so full of sin and selfishness. As the prophet Habakkuk looked at his world, he too saw nothing but disaster on the horizon and he wondered what God was doing. If you remember, God gave the Children of Israel the land they lived in, but now a Babylonian invasion was imminent and he had to wonder what God’s intentions were. Would he take the land away from them after giving it to them? In the first two chapters of this book, we see the longest dialogue between a person and God as Habakkuk prays through faith and an undying hope that God would save them from the impending disaster. In his frustration, he pours out his heart. He recognizes the evil that thrived in Judah. It wasn’t even hidden. It was there, in plain sight. (Sound like America today?) As he cries out to God, we find him wondering where God is and wondering how long God would allow the evil to continue. God answers Habakkuk, but probably not exactly the answer Habakkuk was looking for. God tell him in Chapter 2 that the Babylonians were on their way and he would use them to bring justice to all the evil.
There is nothing like a nation falling to bring its people to their knees. A pride-filled nation would become a humble one. God is never totally silent and uninvolved in our world. Wherever there is evil, God will bring justice. Today, no matter where you look, there is evil. Whether it’s your city, neighborhood, or your own life, you have probably been impacted in some way by the evil that is on a rampage through our nation. Some of us bear scars from it. Some may feel trapped by it. But the short book of Habakkuk reminds us all that God is never short on grace and he can step in to the middle of the evil and chaos and set things right. The prophet is an example to all of us not to lose our faith or our hope in God, even when evil abounds. Even if it seems that God is not at work, we know that God is a sovereign, omnipotent God and he has everything under control. He is who He says He is and He keeps His promises…even the promise to punish evil.
Like Habakkuk, we need to get on our knees before God and pray that He would revive His works in our nation and beg for his mercy, even as he brings a well-deserved justice. We need to pray that God would sweep a revival across our land. Webster defines revival as “a period of something becoming popular again after a long period of time.” As Christians, when we pray for revival we are asking God to return our hearts towards Him with a passion and zeal for Him. When we pray for revival we are asking Him to restore this nation to the Godly and Biblical foundations it was built upon.
Revival begins within each one of us. We can’t pray for God to bring a revival to America. We need to ask Him to bring a revival within each one of us. Pray for yourself. Pray that you will experience revival. Therefore, as you pray, ask Him to reveal to you the areas of your own life where a revival needs to take place. Then take time to listen. If you do all the talking, your prayer will just be a one-way conversation and no communication has taken place. Allow God to point out the areas of your own life that needs changing. As you do, seek God’s face and develop a relationship with Him. For a revival to begin within us, we need to reach a point where we want more of God in our life than the sins we hang on to. We need to make Him our first priority and surrender every area of our life to Him. The more you get to know Him, the more sin He will reveal to you. The more of His holiness you see, the more of your unrighteousness you will see. The more He shines his righteousness on you, the more of those thing you hold on to will be revealed. This process is not to cause shame, discouragement, or frustration. The process is meant to grow you. So willingly repent when God exposes these areas of your life to you. The more you surrender them to Him, the more He will replace those dark, secret places and fill them with His love, joy and peace. Repentance begins by humbling yourself and seeing yourself as God sees you. It is removing the masks, pretensions, and fakeness and being who He created you to be…which is something pretty amazing and important because He sent Jesus, His only Son, to die in your place as the price for those sins you so want to hang on to.
The thing about revival is it’s very contagious. As God brings about revival in your own life, it will catch on to people you come in contact with and as they see the change God brings in your life, they will want to experience it for themselves. If you want to see this nation return to being a God-fearing nation, then join us in dropping to your knees and cry out as Habakkuk did. If you want to see revival in this nation, join us in this prayer:
“Lord, we know that you are all-powerful, all-knowing, all-righteous, and all-merciful. Our nation has become nothing more than a cesspool of sin and evil. Everywhere we look people have become lovers of themselves and of evil. But your great work was done through Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross and his resurrection that gave Him victory over sin and death. I humbly come before you, asking you to reveal sin in my life and I repent of that sin. Lord I surrender to you every area of my life and ask that you would begin a revival right here in my life. Lord, send a revival and let it begin in me. As the psalmist wrote, ‘Return, God of Hosts. Look down from heaven and see; take care of this vine.’ God we ask that you look down from heaven and return to this nation and to take care of it. Stir up your might and come save us. Restore us to Yourself so we may return; renew our days as in former times when we allowed you to lead this nation (Lamentations 5:21). Restore us, God; look on us with favor, and we will be saved. (Psalm 80:3)”