O Breath of Life, Come Sweeping Through Us

Lord, I have heard of your fame;
    I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord.
Repeat them in our day,
    in our time make them known;
    in wrath remember mercy.
God came from Teman,
    the Holy One from Mount Paran.
His glory covered the heavens
    and his praise filled the earth.
His splendor was like the sunrise;
    rays flashed from his hand,
    where his power was hidden.
Plague went before him;
    pestilence followed his steps.
He stood, and shook the earth;
    he looked, and made the nations tremble.
The ancient mountains crumbled
    and the age-old hills collapsed—
    but he marches on forever.

Habakkuk 3:2 – 6

Oh my! Habakkuk’s confession having heard of God’s fame, standing in awe of his deeds, and his plea for God to repeat them just resonate so deeply in my heart today.

Quite possibly we need to recount all the ways in which God has been faithful to us. We can start with Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Ruth, David, and so many of the saints who have gone on before us. When we get to our own blessings – there are so many! We experience what some call common graces – rain, sunshine, the beauty of nature. We experience family, success in vocation, the stuff of life. But greater than these blessings, is the truest blessing given to us in the life of Jesus – we’ve received the promise of the Spirit through faith!

Then Habakkuk prays for revival! Some time ago I heard Tim Keller speak on revival – how it comes, how to prepare for it. He suggested five elements of revival based on his study of historically great revivals.

  1. Extraordinary prayer – kingdom centered, corporate, prevailing prayer.
  2. Recovery of the gospel – not just a means of salvation but the power through which our lives are transformed.
  3. Informal leaders, early adopters, catalysts, people who are willing to admit fault, who are gracious, who have an electrifying effect on others.
  4. Venues that support community, sharing, processing of experiences
  5. Creativity – each ‘great’ revival in history had some unique characteristic.
Quote by John Newton, from the hymn, Thou Art Coming To A King

Could you be a catalyst? Could I? Are we willing to pray, to apply the gospel to our lives, to live in community with transparency? Might we pray for revival this Advent?

O Breath of life, come sweeping through us,
Revive thy Church with life and power;
O Breath of life, come, cleanse, renew us,
And fit thy Church to meet this hour.

O Wind of God, come bend us, break us,
Till humbly we confess our need;
Then in thy tenderness remake us,
Revive, restore; for this we plead.

O Breath of love, come breathe within us,
Renewing thought and will and heart:
Come, Love of Christ, afresh to win us,
Revive thy Church in every part.

Revive us, Lord! Is zeal abating
While harvest fields are vast and white?
Revive us, Lord, the world is waiting,
Equip thy Church to spread the light.

Bessie Porter Head, 1920, Public Domain

As you pray today, thank God for His many blessings – the stuff of life, but especially for the gift of the Savior! Then if you dare – pray for revival, and pray that it begins with you! Ask Him to give you opportunity to share the joy that is Jesus with someone this Christmas!

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