I checked my phone after leaving the Fusion Conference in 2019. I’d been added to a group chat with 8 other friends from church and read the first message. For this group of friends, 2019 had been a year of grief, challenge, and isolation, but as I read the text, I realised that I was not the only one who felt this way.
The group chat was an invitation to pray together weekly. After a year of struggle, it was time to commit everything back to God and pursue holiness as a group of 20-somethings. It was the starting point of not only life-long friendships, but a commitment to seek God’s provision through prayer, out of our place of grief.
We would gather once a week at 7am to pray. Our prayers began as mainly inward looking, asking for provision for jobs, good exam results and health for our families, and although we saw a huge breakthrough in all of these things, we knew we were missing something. We shifted our focus outwards. We began to pray for our church, our city, our university campuses and for our country. We began to intercede for others and declare revival!
There began a shift in our own hearts and a courage that rose up as we declared God’s power over all these areas, but it wasn’t easy.
Where there was breakthrough, there was also challenge.
Where there were miracles, there was also pain.
Isaiah 61:3 teaches us the God’s provision can coexist with grief. Our bold prayers of revival did not always alter the circumstances we found ourselves in, but choosing to focus on God’s bigger purpose taught that even in grief, He provides all that we need.
A lot has been lost in the last 12 months, and for many, it has been a time of grieving. But in that, it has also been a time of provision. Much like Easter itself, mourning and sadness, and joy and celebration can co-exist.
Whatever the next few months look like for you, I pray that you find grace in allowing yourself to grieve what has been lost, and find joy in all that has been given.
Keep praying for jobs. Keep praying for good exam results. But how can you challenge yourself to commit to praying for your university, your city, and for revival to come? As you commit to praying, watch in wonder as you witness what God will do.
We invite you to join us as we journey slowly and prayerfully through Isaiah 61 - line by line over forty days.