Hannah wept and mourned for a child from God, and a child she wanted to consecrate to serving God for life. We too should weep and pray for such children. We must be a barren church that mourns and longs for new life.
We, the body of Christ, mourn and long for Christ's return and to be with Him forever. A body separated from its head is never satisfied.
We mourn and long for Christ to be formed in us, in the local church, in His Body worldwide.
We mourn and long for the glory of God and of His Christ to fill the heavens and the earth.
We mourn and long for the filling of the Holy Spirit.
We mourn over the sin in us and all around us and long for the people of God to be Holy, undefiled, blameless and for the earth in its present unrighteous form to pass away.
We mourn in anguish and long for more laborers in the field to bring salvation to the ends of the earth.
Now that the doors of the churches are shut, perhaps we should assess in ourselves whether we are a church that mourns and longs. Passion, zeal and relentless laying down our life for the Kingdom is birthed in mourning and longing. My estimation is that in many places, the womb of the church is barren of these things.
Here is an oversimplified statement of the heart condition, the womb condition, of much of the church:
1. We want Jesus to return but just not yet. No hurry on this account.
2. We want to be better people and better in our homes, but sacrifice and suffering for the world, especially the church in other places, are to be avoided.
3. We want the glory of God to fill our churches during worship services on Sunday. That is the extent of our seeking of the glory of God.
4. We are suspect of the filling of the Spirit and in our need to be cautious and wise, its best just to leave it up to God if He wants us to be filled. He will give us what we need as He sees fit.
5. The world is a sinful place but it's not my job to worry about everybody else, I've got my own responsibilities and troubles.
6. I give my contributions to missions and that should be satisfactory.
The church's lukewarmness, the Christian's lukewarmness, her barrenness, is bound up in and marked by a lack of mourning and longing for Jesus and His Kingdom to come, a lack of zeal for the glory of Jesus to fill the earth, a heart that is nowhere near the heart of God. Nowhere near. A heart that is not near God's heart has no fellowship with God. Such a heart has made a deal with God. I'll believe in you just don't ask me to be like You. It's too much.
The legalist church of today is not a church that asks how much do I have to do to be accepted by God. The legalist church of today asks and seeks to find the sweet spot of "how little do I have to do to make it to heaven?"
The Spirit filled church says I mourn and long for Christ to be glorified in my body, whether by my life or by my death. The Spirit mourns and longs for the glory of Christ to fill the earth especially through the sacrifice and suffering of God's people for the sake of glory and the good of people. Are we walking in that Spirit ? Have we got that passion birthed in mourning and longing?
The biggest indicator of mourning and longing is our prayer life. What you pray for and how earnestly you seek it is all God needs to see in order to know if your share His passionate heart or not Mourning and longing doesn't take time, it takes your life.
A post like this is meant to cut the heart, to expose some cool attitude towards the glory of Jesus, to expose where our desires and passions really are, to cause us to mourn and long for something different. Everything I've said in this post is right out of Scripture and everyone knows that. The trouble isn't not knowing. The trouble is not caring.
The prayer of a Hannah church is a prayer from barrenness to a life devoted to the glory of Jesus no matter what.