About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Helps Us Pray For The Church
538 B. C. King Cyrus of
these people finally arrived in Jerusalem
they were appalled at what they saw (Ezra 9:3).
The Jews who had been living there for the last eighty years had
forsaken the building project. Worse
still, they had forsaken their God by compromising themselves with the
pagan world around them. Jewish
men married pagan women and formed business partnerships with pagan men.
They actually began to participate in pagan religious practices
resulting in Israel
losing her distinction as being the people of God.
They were no different than the pagan world around them.
this state of shock and despair Ezra fell to the ground, ripped his
clothes, pulled hair from his head and beard, and cried out to God (Ezra
9:3). Even though he had not
paganized himself like the others, Ezra came to the Lord in serious
repentance as if he had.
He was totally ashamed at what
general terms, itís my opinion that the church today is not that much
different than Israel
was in Ezraís day. In many
respects we have paganized and secularized ourselves as
often prayed about the state of our churches today. Iíve usually been
at a loss to know just how to pray.
I used to pray for another Holy Spirit revival, another
outpouring of the Spirit on us. Yet
even when praying for this I hesitated because I think we tend to waste
such Holy Spirit revivals. I
lived through the Charismatic Movement of the 1960ís and 1970ís.
Itís my opinion that we organized and structuralized much of
that revival of Godís Spirit out of existence.
finally know how to pray. We
should pray as Ezra prayed. We
should take personal responsibility
for the present state of the church, even if it wasnít of our making.
We should take this burden on our own shoulders, come to our Lord
in serious repentant prayer until a spirit of repentance comes on us
all. There is still time for Godís graciousness to come our way, but I
believe the time is brief as Ezra stated.
God gives us all space to repent, and thatís on all levels;
individually, collectively as the church, and nationally. Once
that time is over, itís over. Judgment