It’s completely unpopular and frowned upon in some Christian circles to use the language of repentance. However, I’m one who still believes the Christian Scriptures, the Bible, to be infallible and inerrant. I believe Scripture is the “Manual”. The Bible is our instruction book on who God is, how to know him, how to follow him and what to obey in order to see Jesus’ kingdom fully come in power and glory.
We’ve been without rain for a long time. It’s dry. The fires are continuing to burn. The air has been smokey. The wind will blow a lot today. Fires could get worse. It has rained a tiny bit in the mountains and the cars had some sprinkles on them this morning. But it’s gone with no rains on the radar.
Lots of folks have been encouraging everyone to pray, and I say “YES”! Please pray. However, since the Manual is our instruction book I am left with a thought of “incomplete”. Pray, yes! But the text also says a lot about something that goes with prayer like a hand in a glove, socks and shoes, hammer and nails…you get the point. The text is also full of admonitions to repent and pray. Repent and pray. Repent and pray. I just did a handy-dandy little search with a little computer bible tool for the words “repent” and “pray”. They really go together. It’s worth looking up.
So, let me encourage all of us as we call out for rain to also reflect on ways we are not following Jesus as well as we should. What are the clear ways we can and should shed unnecessary things for obedient things? What are some actions we need to take that we know we need to take? What are some hidden things that we believe no one sees that God sees that we need to lay down? What are some attitudes that need to be corrected? What are some relationships that can and should be mended? Are we in fellowship with believers in covenant in a local church? Are we seeking the Lord Jesus in his Word and walking in obedience to the Spirit?
You get the point. Pray, yes. Add repentance to that mix.
“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.
“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’”
There is no mention of praying in that passage. I’m sure it’s safe to assume we can pray too, But Jesus is concerned with these cats acting in righteousness first. It’s in the Manual.
I know some will cringe at the use of a passage like this. It’s just not en vogue to use the bible to address our needs much less to talk about what we need to do in order to, perhaps, get some rain. But talk of prayer without repentance is perhaps incomplete. So, here is a little perspective that I hope will help as you seek the Lord for our region, state and neighboring states.