“Restore our fortunes, oh, Lord, like streams in the Negev.”
– Psalm 126:4
The picture here in Psalm 126:4 is geographical talking about the desert, the Negev, and the picture is we want streams in the desert, streams in the desert. Now, the prayer is, “Restore our fortunes, oh, Lord.”
And if you look at the context here in Psalm 126:4, it’s a picture of a time in the past when God’s blessing was on God’s people in his land, when their mouths were filled with laughter and their tongues with shouts of joy and the nations were saying, “The Lord has done great things for them and they are glad in all the great things.” It’s a time of blessing, a time of closeness to God, walking with God, worship of God, and experiencing his blessing as they looked to God, trusted God, obeyed God.
Psalm 126:4 Leads Us to Pray For Revival
Lord, we play for revival. Restore us to a closeness with You that only comes through repentance for our good and Your glory.
That’s the picture that the psalmist is looking back to when he says, “Restore our fortunes,” in that way. Bring us back to a closeness with you and blessing from you flowing in that closeness to you. And as I read this, I think about places all throughout the Bible when God’s people were struggling and were distant from Him and were experiencing His discipline, and they’re crying out for that closeness that they once had and the blessing that they were experiencing in that.
And I want to be careful not to make a direct correlation between this picture of the people of God and the Old Testament and the people of Israel and the church today. But I think it would be accurate to say as we look back in the history of the church that there have been times when the church was stronger and healthier and experiencing closeness to God and blessing flowing from that than what I see in the church in my country right now.
And I long for the church in my country to experience a closeness with God and a blessing flowing from God’s presence. I just think about even in times of church history where there’s been spiritual awakening and revival, restoration, just many people coming to faith in Jesus and God purifying his church in powerful ways, bringing people to repentance, softening hearts, and just the blessing of God flowing in unusual ways, and I long for that. Don’t you? When you see God move in unusually powerful ways in history, don’t you want to be a part of that?
Psalm 126:4 Leads Us to Pray to God for Restoration
So God, I just want to lead us to pray right now that you would restore our fortunes. Lord I want to pray specifically for the church in my country. We have wandered from you. We have taken your word lightly. And we have turned from your word in so many ways in my country and we have compromised in so many ways as your church. And God, we are in need of repentance and we are in need of restoration.
God, we are in need of your mercy and your grace. Please don’t give us over to ourselves anymore. God, please save us from ourselves. We pray for a revival, a spiritual awakening, hearts softening towards you in my country, in the church in my country, among the leaders of my country, just for a spirit of confession and repentance and humility before you.
This Verse Leads Us to Pray for Other Countries
God, please restore us to a closeness with you, to a blessing that’s experienced in closeness to you, that only comes through forgiveness, that only comes through honest confession and humble repentance. God, please bring it about. I praise you for how you’re working in powerful ways in other countries around the world. Please continue to do that in your church. I pray for other churches in other countries that are in need of restoration. I’m praying for my own country as well. God, please bring it about.
Please bring it about. Cause your face, cause your mercy to be made known among us that we might be restored to you. Revive us in you and in closeness with you. So that we may experience your blessing in ways that would flow to many people. Revive us in ways that many people who don’t know you would turn to you. God, please do that. Like streams in the desert. We pray for restoration to you. And we pray for all the fruit that flows from that in our lives, in our families, and in the culture around us. We need your mercy, oh God. Restore our fortunes like streams in the Negev. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.