Groaning with God
Pursuing revival in our homes and in our world is no easy task. In fact, it is a fight that often comes only through sweat and tears. Praying for breakthrough personally, relationally and globally takes time, effort and often comes with painful groaning as we contend and wait. When referring to the necessity of laboring in prayer, my pastor, Basil Watson, often says, "There is no resurrection without a Gethsemane."
A garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives, Gethsemane is where Jesus prayed on the night he was arrested, before his crucifixion. The gospel of Luke says it is there that "...being in agony (Jesus) prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground" (Luke 22:44, ESV). In Hebrews, we also read, "Jesus offered up prayers with supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence" (Hebrews 5:7, ESV).
Often, God allows tears and deep pain so that we will cry to him and with him in prayer. Because our pride blinds us, we often see a disconnect between our emotions (grief, lament, pain, etc.), and our priestly call to draw near to God and contend in prayer and intercession. We assume that our groans are irrelevant to God's heart for us, our homes and our world. This belief keeps us from intimacy with God and partnership with his heart. This could all turn around for us if we embrace the truth that, "He regards the prayer of the destitute and does not despise their prayer" (Psalm 102:17, ESV).
Are you groaning today? Is there pain in your heart? Let us not be quick to despise our own pain as irrelevant to our call to prayer in this hour. Take a moment to read Psalm 102 today. Consider the fight that many of the saints endured to experience breakthrough and acknowledge the role that grief and pain had in their journey. Repent of pride which has led you to isolate yourself from God during times of grief. Finally, consider the groanings of Christ himself and remember that he "always lives to intercede for (us)" even now (Hebrews 7:25, NIV). Let us learn to groan with Christ in God and see how he will use our prayers and our lives to transform a dying, destitute world!
With Christ, there is purpose in our pain and great gain in our groaning!