by Pastors Norman & Barbara Miller, Centre for International Reconciliation and Peace, Cairns.
Putting a priority on the things that really matter.
“Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honoured,” says the Lord. “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home; I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house. Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the olive oil and everything else the ground produces, on people and livestock, and on all the labour of your hands.”
Haggai 1: 8-11
The Lord is saying here to the people of Judah that work on rebuilding the temple after they came back from captivity in Babylon to their home Jerusalem had halted because they were too busy building their own luxurious homes.
This was a rebuke. Also, there had been opposition to the rebuilding from their enemies and they had let this deter them. We need to stand firm in the face of anti-Christian forces that have been gathering momentum in our nation. Because the people didn’t put the Lord’s house first, they were experiencing drought which affected their crops and livestock.
The Lord had also caused them to have holes in their pockets so they had no money when they needed it. We need to get our priorities right. As the Gospel says, put God’s kingdom first and all these things will be added to us.
The Lord describes Himself in Haggai as the Lord of Heaven’s Armies and says He will shake the heavens and earth, the sea and the dry land. He will shake all nations and fill this house with His glory. He is shaking Australia with this drought so we will turn to Him, and this month of prayer and fasting shows that it’s working.
But we need to do more than pray. We need to build the Lord’s house. As we complete the foundation of the Lord’s house, He will start to bless us again. We will notice a shift in the heavenlies over our nation.
Lord, we repent and humbly pray for forgiveness that we have not put You first. We repent and ask forgiveness that we have not put building Your house first, which includes building up Your people, who are the living temple You dwell in. We ask that You would help us not to be selfish and self-centered. We want to honour You Lord, and we want You to take pleasure in our houses of worship and our hearts of worship.
We acknowledge that You are the Lord of the universe; that You are the one that provides the rain to water our earth so crops, livestock and ourselves can flourish. We ask that in Your mercy, You will send the rain. We pray for physical rain and the spiritual rain of revival to flow through our nation.
We thank You Lord for past revivals, and we pray that the latter rain would be even greater than the former rain, that You would bless the work of our hands, especially the farmers on the land, and give us peace. We thank You for renewal of our land and renewal of our faith.