Let’s begin again with worship with Psalm 80:16-18.
- Contemplate places of loss you may have experienced or are currently experiencing.
- Where does your hope lie?
- What would it look like for you to call upon God’s name today?
Psalm 80:16-18 English Standard Version (ESV)
16 They have burned it with fire; they have cut it down;
may they perish at the rebuke of your face!
17 But let your hand be on the man of your right hand,
the son of man whom you have made strong for yourself!
18 Then we shall not turn back from you;
give us life, and we will call upon your name!
After your time of worshipful calling upon God’s name, allow your heart to linger in silence before this great Answerer.
- What are you bringing to this prayerful time with God today (worries, hopes, fears, etc.)?
- What are you most longing for Him to hear and answer?
Allow yourself whatever time is necessary to get in touch with these longings.
Isaiah 64:1-9 English Standard Version (ESV)
64 Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down,
that the mountains might quake at your presence?
2 [a] as when fire kindles brushwood
and the fire causes water to boil?
to make your name known to your adversaries,
and that the nations might tremble at your presence!
3 When you did awesome things that we did not look for,
you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.
4 From of old no one has heard
or perceived by the ear,
no eye has seen a God besides you,
who acts for those who wait for him.
Yesterday, we spent time together in Mark 13 where we came face to face with Jesus’s challenge to us to live awakened lives, to not sleepwalk through life. This ‘awake-ness’ is often a real challenge to us iPhone-addicted, sleep-deprived, Netflix-binging followers of Jesus.
All of our frenetic activity can fool us into thinking we are awake.
The reality is we often sleepwalk right past people, sunsets, and orphans, never lifting our eyes from our screens to even notice.
Why don’t we hear the trees of the forest singing today (Psalm 96:11-12)? Is it because their chorus isn’t on Spotify?
Why don’t we notice?
Could it be we’ve fooled ourselves into thinking we are the ones who have to act, that there’s no time to waste?
If it is to be, it’s up to me.
Have you ever felt that way?
With this posture, we cram so much into our schedules and lives that we miss all the good stuff in and outside of our work, and opt instead for the numbness of binge-TV.
But Isaiah shows us a different posture. Like our beginning time of worship in today’s reflection where we focused our praise toward calling on God’s great name, here we find Isaiah calling on God to rip open the heavens and to come to earth with mountains shaking in His coming.
Isaiah is calling upon God to move, to kindle a great fire. Isaiah is pleading in His waiting – can you feel his hopeful expectancy?
Isaiah knows it’s not up to him.
And this God whose name we call upon Isaiah says is a God no one has ever seen or heard before. What is our God like?
Our God acts for those who wait for Him (verse 4).
And so here we return to our wonderful Advent theme of waiting once again. We are waiting for a God who acts; we are waiting for a God who is coming.
This Advent, we wait.
- When you look around our world globally, where are you burdened to cry out to God to come quickly ripping open the heavens to act? Do you pray fervently for God to come? Will you pray for this today?
- Are there places in your life where you need God to come down? Talk to Him about that.
- How does it make you feel to know you worship a God who acts for those who wait for Him?
- Does knowing God will act for those who wait in trust for Him change how you want to spend time with Him?
Who is one person, perhaps an adversary, you could pray for today so that God might make His name known to them (verse 2)?
A Closing Prayer
You are God and I trust you. I know that once the kindling gets lit, your fire will not stop. Your glory will fill the earth. Lord, I call upon your name to act.
This Evening and Tomorrow Morning
- This evening, pray through Psalm 80:16-18 keeping one area of your life where you need to call upon God’s name in mind as you pray this scripture.
- When you awaken tomorrow morning for prayer, consider journaling all the awesome ways God has moved in your life unexpectedly (Isaiah 64:3) as an act of starting your day with worship and praise for what He has done.
Scriptures from Our Advent Series
Texts for First Advent Week: Isaiah 64:1-9; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37; Psalm 80:1-7, 16-18