"I charge you to lead from your knees" That's what Joan Grey, moderator of the Presbyterian Church (USA) told us as she came before the plenary of the Presbyterian Global Fellowship. It could have been a time of great tension -- for this gathering was born out of dissatisfaction with denominational status quo. More than 1000 Presbyterians gathered last week to seek a way of faithfully moving forward in spite of the dysfunction of the institution.
And yet Joan Grey came. And she told us that we were to lead from our knees -- to be so humble and fervent in our prayers that we recognized that we could do nothing without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, graciously given by the living Lord Jesus Christ. She reminded us that Jesus is the vine -- we are but the branches -- without him we can do nothing. So if we would lead, we must lead from our knees. And then she charged us to dream big -- for our God is able to do more than we can possibly imagine.
Then, we gathered around her in prayer -- she sat in a chair and dozens of elders and pastors laid hands on her shoulders. More of us knelt in the aisle. And we began to pray -- first a prayer of repentence. We didn't begin with a happy confident prayer that God would bless us. As was right, we began with a prayer of corporate repentence for our blindness to truth and goodness -- for our smallness of mind -- for our own personal sin. We lingered there in repentence for a season before we started to pray for God's protection and direction for our Moderator.
Looking back -- I believe that was a defining moment. In my study of Revivals, all revivals begin in repentence and prayer. I've been encouraging our congregation to engage in fasting and prayer for this season of our life in the church. And then here is our Moderator challenging us to that very discipline -- an unwavering dependence upon the empowerment and leading of Christ.
Might this have been the catalytic moment where the call to prayer and repentence and fasting went viral -- might this have been the tipping point where a sufficient number of people feel led by the Holy Spirit to make prayer a discipline for revival? We will only know from when we are years down the road and look in the rear view mirror. I hope that this event will have been more than a pep rally and that across the land we'll take seriously what it means to lead from our knees.
Soli Deo Gloria
Resources for Revival Index:
* From the Book of Order
* Prayer and Forgiveness
* Andrew Murray on corporate prayer
* Bill Bright on fasting and prayer
* Longing for revival: resources for revival
Other Revival oriented posts
* A Call for fasting and prayer
* Thomas Watson on prayer
* National Day of Prayer retrospective
* Longing for revival: a reminder from history
* Longing for Revival in the presbyterian church
* The foolishness of preaching
* Fasting and Prayer
* A running theme: revival
* Advice from Africa: Start with Prayer