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The Scriptorium

A Call to Pray for Revival

They needed it then; we need it now. Psalm 44

Arise and Redeem Us! (7)

Opening Prayer: Psalm 44.3, 4
For they did not gain possession of the land by their own sword,
Nor did their own arm save them;
But it was Your right hand, Your arm, and the light of Your countenance,
Because You favored them.
You are my King, O God;
Command victories for Jacob.

Sing Psalm 44.3, 4, 23-26

(Faithfulness: Great is Thy Faithfulness)
Not by their sword did they drive out the nations; not by their arm did they settle the land.
Your saving mercy and light triumphed for them: Victories for us, our King, please now command.
Refrain vv. 23-26
Rise up, awake, O Lord! Hide not Your face from us,
see our affliction, our suffering and pain!
See how our soul is sunk down with oppression;
Rise up and help and redeem us we pray!

Read Psalms 44
; meditate on Psalm 44.3-8.

Preparation
1. In what things would the psalmists not put their trust? Why?

2. How would they show that they trusted in God?

Meditation
In a time of increasing faithlessness and danger to the nation (vv. 9-16), the sons of Korah composed this psalm to refocus the people on God and His salvation. Outwardly, the people must have considered that they were right with God (vv. 17, 18). He was blessing them abundantly, after all (cf. 1 Kgs. 10), and they enjoyed their majestic temple and the glorious worship they experienced there. Israel was the envy of the nations, which sent emissaries and tribute year after year.

But the sons of Korah heard the resentment and scorn of the nations as they came to visit Solomon and gawk at his riches and wisdom. The psalmists winced to see Solomon taking foreign wives and setting up altars for them to worship their gods. They heard the mutterings of people coming and going from the temple, and doubtless were aware of the growing hostility without and discontent within the nation (1 Kgs. 11.1-40). They knew that Israel needed God to arise among them once again and to restore them to righteousness before Him (vv. 23-26).

By recalling what their fathers had told them about how He had driven out the nations of Canaan and settled Israel in the land of promise (vv. 1-3), the psalmists encouraged the people to invoke God’s help once again, for victory over their enemies, even if those enemies were their own hearts (vv. 4-8, 18, 21).

Revival begins in prayer. Thus, by providing this prayer for contemplation and worship, the sons of Korah sought to unite the hearts of God’s people in confessing the “bowed down” condition of their souls (v. 25) and seeking the blessing of the Lord once again. This is what faithful gatekeepers do. As the Lord’s gatekeepers today, we should follow the example of the sons of Korah in calling our generation of the people of God to seek Him for revival, renewal, and awakening.

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
We must pray for revival. Revival first for our own hearts, then for the Church, and then the world.

Our hope is not in politics, presidents, good judges, dynamic fun churches, or anything else that comes to mind. Our hope for revival is in God alone. We mustn’t put our hope in bows or swords, or anything our strength can muster. We are to pray that God our King will command victories! “Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless. Through God we will do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies” (Ps. 60.11, 12). And again, David writes, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the LORD our God” (Ps. 20.7).

God specializes in uncanny victories. Think of Moses and the escape from Egypt, or Joshua and the defeat of Jericho, or Gideon with his whittled down army. God never wants us to go in our own strength lest we think we have achieved it. He wants us to say with the sons of Korah, “But You have saved us from our enemies, and have put to shame those who hated us. In God we boast all day long, and praise Your name forever” (Ps. 44.7, 8).

And how do we approach our own salvation and revival? Was there something we did to earn this victory over sin and death? God is still in the business of commanding uncanny victories all by Himself! And we, too, look only to Him for salvation. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph. 2.8, 9).

As we pray for revival, let’s look only to God. Only He can save us. Only He can revive us.

And what does a revived believer look like? “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2.10).

Revived to boast in God and praise His name forever!

Reflection
1. Why is praying for revival a necessary condition for revival? What are we saying to God as we pray for revival?

2. What would be some indicators suggesting that we need revival today?

3. How will you use this psalm to seek the Lord for revival?

[God] fought for Israel, else they had fought in vain. This is applicable to the planting of the Christian church in the world, which was not by any human policy or power. Christ, by his Spirit, went forth conquering and to conquer; and he that planted a church for himself in the world, will support it by the same power and goodness.
Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Psalm 44.1-8

Closing Prayer: Psalm 44.5-8, 23-26

Call on the Lord to bring a new measure of His great salvation to light in your walk with and work for Him today. Devote yourself to Him, and offer yourself as a living sacrifice for His pleasure and glory.

Sing Psalm 44.5-8, 23-26

(Faithfulness: Great is Thy Faithfulness)
Through You shall we all our enemies vanquish; them will we trample in Your mighty Name.
We will not trust in our strength or our wisdom; Jesus will save us; we’ll boast of His fame!
Refrain vv. 23-26
Rise up, awake, O Lord! Hide not Your face from us,
see our affliction, our suffering and pain!
See how our soul is sunk down with oppression;
Rise up and help and redeem us we pray!

T. M. and Susie Moore

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore

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