Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. Acts 3:19-21
Dear Lord Jesus, we continue in the Christian life the same way we began this journey with you: Through repentant faith leading to times of refreshing, leading to more repentant faith and more times of refreshing. This cycle of repentance and refreshment will only be finished when you return to finish making all things new---in us and throughout the cosmos. We not lessen our need for the grace until our glorification. Therefore, we cry out collectively, "Hasten that day, Lord Jesus! Hasten that glad and glorious day!"
Until then, deepen our repentance and multiply our times of refreshment. Why would we have it any other way? Who of us could improve upon such a glorious gospel state of affairs? How many different ways do you have to say it, Jesus? How often do we need to hear it? You resist the proud but give grace to the humble. Seriously, who wants to resist you---the author and perfecter of our faith? Who among us doesn't want more free, life-giving soul-restoring grace? Show me the man who prefers times of spiritual dryness, barrenness and parch-ness of heart over times of refreshing?
Jesus, by your life, death and resurrection, you've clearly shown us that the way up is down. Grace will always run downhill. You never sinned, yet you humbled yourself and became sin for us at Calvary. We have never not sinned, yet, in you, we have been declared as righteous as you. How can this good news not move us to a greater humility, softer hearts, and quicker repentances?
We "get" the gospel the best when we are face down and palms up before you in repentant faith---not in groveling despair, nor in face-saving penance, but in the beauty of non-excuse making carpet-hugging repentant faith. Forgive us when we offer explanations, shift the blame, or try to dodge the convicting work of your Spirit. All such madness simply demonstrates the insanity of sin. You promise times of refreshing. Why are we so afraid to repent? Why am I so slow to repent?
Once again, may your kindness lead us to repentance to times of refreshing. We ask you to pour out your Spirit and bring renewal, even revival to our churches. May the world believe we are your disciples by the way we love one another. So very Amen we pray, in your tender and tenacious name.