Recently the Lord has had me meditating on the book of Ezra, and specifically his prayer in Chapter 9. It has caused me to ponder our own prayers for revival, especially here in North America where so much of this easy-believism is rampant and so many "christians" are pursuing the wrong things. I found Ezra's prayer of repentance an interesting one. He had been confronted by the priests about the people not separating themselves from the other people of the land, having entered into a covenant of marriage which was against the Lord's commandments. This revelation thus caused Ezra much distress and weeping. But, it then spurned him on to pray.
5But at the evening offering I arose from my humiliation, even with my garment and my robe torn, and I fell on my knees and stretched out my hands to the LORD my God;
6and I said, "O my God, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift up my face to You, my God, for our iniquities have risen above our heads and our guilt has grown even to the heavens.
7"Since the days of our fathers to this day we have been in great guilt, and on account of our iniquities we, our kings and our priests have been given into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity and to plunder and to open shame, as it is this day.
8"But now for a brief moment grace has been shown from the LORD our God, to leave us an escaped remnant and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our bondage.
9"For we are slaves; yet in our bondage our God has not forsaken us, but has extended lovingkindness to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us reviving to raise up the house of our God, to restore its ruins and to give us a wall in Judah and Jerusalem.
10"Now, our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken Your commandments,
11which You have commanded by Your servants the prophets, saying, 'The land which you are entering to possess is an unclean land with the uncleanness of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations which have filled it from end to end and with their impurity.
12'So now do not give your daughters to their sons nor take their daughters to your sons, and never seek their peace or their prosperity, that you may be strong and eat the good things of the land and leave it as an inheritance to your sons forever.'
13"After all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and our great guilt, since You our God have requited us less than our iniquities deserve, and have given us an escaped remnant as this,
14 shall we again break Your commandments and intermarry with the peoples who commit these abominations? Would You not be angry with us to the point of destruction, until there is no remnant nor any who escape?
15"O LORD God of Israel, You are righteous, for we have been left an escaped remnant, as it is this day; behold, we are before You in our guilt, for no one can stand before You because of this."
Even though Ezra himself did not have a foreign wife to repent of, he still felt burdened to come to the Lord and repent for all of Israel, for all of the remnant that had returned. He didn't see it as HIS guilt, but OUR guilt.
So what about all of us as one body, the Body and Bride of Christ? I have heard it said that those who have decided to chase the delusion of "health, wealth and prosperity" and all that is coming out since Lakeland, have been "given over" to this delusion and covetousness, having exchanged the truth for a lie. (Rom 1:24&25) Does that mean they are no longer part of the body of Christ? Are they lost forever? Or are these the ones we are praying for? That a true revival would come to them? If that is so, should we not consider them as weaker members of the Body....
1 Corinthians 12:12-27
12For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.
13For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
14For the body is not one member, but many.
15If the foot says, "Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body.
16And if the ear says, "Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body.
17If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?
18But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.
19If they were all one member, where would the body be?
20But now there are many members, but one body.
21And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; or again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you."
22On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary;
23and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable,
24whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked,
25so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.
26And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
27Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it.
I especially like verse 26 - if one member suffers, do we not all suffer? Is that not our lost brothers and sisters? Are they not suffering for believing these lies, being led astray by false teachers and prophets? Yes, they have chosen to pursue these false teachers due to their own soulish desires and they need revelation and repentance in their lives. **But what I have been pondering is: perhaps as members of the Body, that the Lord has protected from this deception through His kindness and grace, we could be praying for those of US who are suffering from it in repentance of OUR covetousness and OUR lusts for soulish satisfaction. For we are all ONE BODY. **(edited for clarification)
Anyway, my brothers and sisters, these are just recent thoughts and meditations and I humbly ask for any further insight on the matter or if anyone else has had a similar thought from the Lord. If nothing else, may it stir up more prayers for revival.
your sister - Amy