“There is no one who calls upon your name, who rouses himself to take hold of you…” (Isaiah 64:7)
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (Rev 3:20)
If you’ve been a Christian for a significant amount of time, the above verses will probably be familiar to you. Isaiah 64 is that great chapter that prays for God to rend the heavens and to come down. It contains one of the Bible’s great revival prayers. Revelation 3 contains one of the most famous promises that Jesus gives to His people. A promise of deeper communion, of refreshment, of His returned presence.
But have you ever seen, how they both speak of the individual?
This is what is so astounding. Isaiah 64:7 comes in the context of a corporate yearning and repentance. The people as a whole confess their sins and shortcomings, but they also throw out this lament: no individual is taking hold of God. Similarly, when Jesus addresses the church in Laodicea, He is addressing a church body; but within this address, He gives a promise to an individual.
It is as if an individual can lay hold of God; can open the door of heaven, and bring down blessings for others.
It only takes one.
Of course, supremely we know this in the gospel. Jesus ultimately is the one; the only one who truly obeyed, and the one through whom we receive the blessing of God. But Kingdom dynamics seem to work in a similar way. In the context of corporate lethargy, a singular individual may take hold of God in prayer for the benefit of the rest. The Hebrides revival broke out with the heart-cry of an individual lamenting how his hands were not clean and his heart was not pure, and God swept through multiple communities.
So, the next time you bow your head in prayer and an inner voice tells you, “this is useless”. The next time you get discouraged at the low turnout at your church’s prayer meeting: Remember, it only takes one!
Father, we thank You that You provided the One – Jesus.
We delight in Jesus today.
We plead upon his merits today
We surrender our lives afresh to Him today
By faith we take hold of You, and by faith we open the door.
Meet us in our need we pray,