The Wilderness, where miracles are born

Our wilderness exposed our weaknesses. It always does; that’s the nature of every wilderness experience.

Consider this: as a servant of Christ, you will one day enter a season of helplessness where you no longer call the shots and know what to do. It will seem as if you don’t have what it takes to survive—finding yourself in a place and a season where only Christ will be your strength.

The One whose name is Living Water is within you. This wonderful Jesus brings you a life-giving stream, fulfilling every need no matter how difficult the many surprises of life can be. He is within you as a well of water “springing up into everlasting life!” (John 4: 14).

This “springing well” begins to flow inside until praise rises up out of you again. Before you know it, the springs are watering everything around you—and every dry place within you. You will see things differently, you will feel differently about the people around you, and you will see things you didn’t even notice before. When Jesus shows up in the wilderness, it disappears. It becomes a garden.

The Lord will always show you where to go and what to do, filling you with refreshment when you are dry and in a difficult place. He will continually restore strength to you. You will flourish like a well-watered garden, and be like an ever-flowing, trustworthy spring of blessing. (Isaiah 58: 11)

Grace makes cut flowers bloom forever

We learn in our difficult season that even though we may be in a wilderness, our hearts don’t have to be a barren wasteland. Our wilderness starts growing flowers when Jesus flows from within us. His presence satisfies the deep thirst that dries up the soul and places us in a weary land or a weary season. Whoever heard of roses blooming in a desert?

Even the desert will bloom like a rose. Every dry and barren place will blossom abundantly, singing joyously of the new day! (Isaiah 35: 1–2)

Miracles are waiting to be found in your wilderness. Even in a wilderness, God can work in power. He doesn’t need perfection to pull off a miracle. He’s done it before with nothing but chaos all around. It was called creation! There is no shortage of power with God. He can make lame ones leap and broken ones sing.

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A PRAYER THAT IS CONFIDENT “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” JOHN 11: 40

Great God of Creation, Lord of the Universe, the God who parted the Red Sea, You are the God of the impossible who makes a way when there is no way. We worship You as our God. We exalt You as One whose Name is above every name. You have no equal. You stand in the solitude of Yourself.

Your righteous right hand hung the stars in space, shattered Your enemies, and holds us, Your children by covenant, safe and secure. Who is like You—majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?

By Your word everything was made that is in heaven or on earth or under the earth. We worship You as One who maintains Your faithfulness to all generations. You keep Your “covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love [You] and keep [Your] commandments.”

We know Your timing is perfect even if we see no outward evidence that You are intervening in the affairs of men, we trust You. If we see no sparks of revival in the church, we trust You. If we see no cessation in hostilities and persecutions against those who are called by Your Name, we trust You. If we do not receive an answer to our prayers when we want it, the way we want it, how we want it, we trust You.

We are confident that Your greatness and power are the same yesterday in Creation, in the Exodus, in Daniel’s day, as it is in our day, as it will be at the end of time. Your greatness has not been diluted or depleted over the ages. You cannot be more great than You are. You are the All-Mighty God. And we worship You.

You have said that You are holy, high and lifted up, but that You are moved to come down—to dwell—with those who are contrite and lowly in spirit. We believe You! You have said that You will revive the heart of the contrite. We believe You! You have said that if we repent of our sin, times of refreshing will come. We believe You!

So now we want to honestly confess that in our previous prayers we have not been focused on You. We have focused on our circumstances and have therefore been defeated. We have focused on others and have therefore been deluded. We have focused on ourselves and have therefore been deceived. We compare ourselves with others so that our perception of who we really are therefore is distorted. We are so sorry.

We confess that we have cared more about what our neighbor says, than what You say; of being more afraid of what our employer or government official thinks, than what You think; of being so intimidated by the opinions of others that we have been silent and do not boldly proclaim who You are.

We turn to You now and ask that You shine the light of Your truth into our hearts and what we feel and into our minds and what we think so that we see ourselves as You see us, and truly repent of our sin.

Strip us, most Holy Lord, of any pride or self-righteousness or judgment as we pray for others. Teach us to first take the plank out of our own eye before trying to remove the splinter in someone else’s eye. We long for You to send revival to the hearts of Your people. Let it begin with us. Teach us to pray in such a way that Heaven is moved and hearts are changed.

We pray in the name of the One who was so confident in Your Word that when facing the threats of His accusers, He issued a solemn warning that in the future, their roles would be reversed. He would be their Judge. They would see Him sitting at Your right hand and coming back on the clouds of glory.

We pray in the name of the One who was so confident in You that He placed His very life in Your hands, and then refused to draw the next breath.

We pray in the name of JESUS. For the glory of Your Name. Amen.

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