Friday 25 November 2016

Do you pray for the Holy Spirit to be at work in the church?

We recently had Iain Murray come to preach in Sheffield and it was a blessing. He helpfully highlighted the need of our dependence upon the Holy Spirit in the church. I am sure we all agree that our nation needs a spiritual awakening. Here are two verses for us to consider.

Luke 11:13 "If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”.

John 16:13-15 "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you".

I have blogged on the church for years, preached on it and prayed for her. We must pray for our own congregation where we are a member, but also for the whole body of Christ as well. We are part of "one body".

The need of the hour in the United Kingdom is urgent and therefore let us pray for an increased effusion of the Holy Spirit. What will such an answer to prayer look like?

1. Additional blessing upon the marks of a true church; which are the preaching of the word of God, the right administration of the sacraments and church discipline, that is the church being well ordered.

2. The Lord's Holy Spirit will raise up elders who will uphold these biblical patterns. Acts 20:28 "Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood".

3. It is common in times of awakening and revival, for there to be an increased sense of reverence and the fear of God among God's people. In Isaiah 11:1-3 we learn of the different aspects of the Holy Spirit and one of them is "the fear of the Lord".

These are just some points for us to consider. John chapters 14-16 show us some of the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ on the Holy Spirit, the one whom he calls the helper/comforter and the Spirit of truth. Therefore, increased effusions of the Holy Spirit in the church would lead to increased measure of holiness, comfort and truth.

How we need the blessed comfort of the Holy Spirit in such difficult days? May we pray for the good of the church. May we pray for the prosperity of Zion, as it were. Ultimately, the Lord's purposes are primarily outworked in the government of His church, with Christians in community together, worshipping the Triune God through Jesus Christ.

No comments: