The Cry For Advent Renewal (P&P)

December 3, 2023 | Prayer & Praise Services

Rev Lilian Ang
The Cry For Advent Renewal (P&P)

December 3, 2023 | Prayer & Praise Services

Rev Lilian Ang
Scripture Passage: Isaiah 64:1-9 (NRSVUE)

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Summary l Isaiah 64 is a heartfelt cry for God’s intervention and restoration.  It is a prayer to restore God’s presence amongst His people.  The themes in this passage are related to the Advent season – time of reflection, anticipation and preparation for the coming of Jesus Christ:

  • Desire for God’s presence
  • Recognition of sin & the need for redemption
  • Appeal for God’s mercy
  • Metaphor of God as Potter
  • Hope for restoration

a) The Plea v1-5

  1. Deep longing for God to reveal His presence. This resonates with the Advent message where Christians anticipate the coming of Christ and the embodiment of God’s presence amongst humanity.
  2. Isaiah pleaded for God to come to their aid so that the nations may know the name of God. When these nations see God blessing and defending a transformed people, they will recognise Him. God’s actions in the past demonstrated that this petition is not a fantasy – God parted the Red Sea and stopped rain for 3 years.
  3. What was God like? He was the God of the unexpected, unique and righteous.
  4. God can act, He has acted, and we can ask Him to act again. Advent invites us to express our deepest desires and to align them to God’s desires. Cry out and pray for an encounter with God, to live in the light of His daily presence.
  5. Why should God intervene?
  6. Conditions for God to act:
    i. He acts on behalf of those who put their trust in Him. God works for the man of prayer and mindful of God’s past mercies, not those who wait passively doing nothing.
    ii. Moral requirement of doing right expresses an unchanging state of heart and life – practical obedience.
  7. How then can we be saved if we continue to sin and make God angry?

b) The Plight v6-7

  1. Human Condition. Sin is defiling and destructive. It is the offence against the nature of life and will end in death and decay. Unclean speaks of unfitness for the fellowship of God and exclusion from God’s people.
  2. Sin creates a barrier between God and man. Man does not want to pray, and God will not hear us.
  3. Sin and God’s absence. We cannot have a living relationship with God if we live lives contrary to God’s holy character. It is like a life of sleep. Advent calls us to repentance and spiritual renewal.
  4. Life as a believer. Lay hold and call on His name to have a living relationship with God, dependence on Him, and renunciation of self.

c) The Promise v8-9

God can break the cycle, stop the punishment and restore the people to Himself.

  1. Hope for Advent renewal. Isaiah points to the hope that is found in God. God invites us to a transformation that is the renewal of heart and spirit.
  2. The Confession and The Plea.
  3. Ground for continual pleading. Our God is unchanging in grace and mercy. The nation exists because of God – the Father who brought them into existence; the Potter who formed the clay. God should not let the people’s sins make Him forget that they are His creation.
  4. The relationship of the Father and His children is Permanent. As a result of the love of the Father, the children can always ask to come home. We all have choices to make regarding the purpose of life and we are accountable for our choices. Obedience will reap a harvest and bear fruits in the end, while sin has its consequences.
  5. Any one can be converted regardless of our past life because God can remake us.
  6. Begin our new life in Christ. God is our Father and we are His people. Prayer is a means of seeking God’s presence.

We are wasting away in our sins because we do not want to turn to God, and God has hidden His face from us. As we journey through Advent, let us heed the cry of Isaiah. This season of Advent is an invitation to open our hearts to repent, hope and to actively participate in the renewal that God offers.

How to actively participate in Advent Renewal:

    1. Devote one hour to our monthly Wesley Prayer Service
    2. Engage in acts of love and service
    3. Make room for God (intentional practices)

    May the longing of our hearts be met with the assurance that God our Father hears and responds to the cries.

    (Sermon notes by Honey Vreugdewater)


    A. The Plea (v1-5) 

    1. How does this passage connect with the themes of Advent, especially the anticipation and longing for the coming of Christ? 
    2. How does the imagery of the heavens opening and God coming down resonate with your personal understanding of God’s presence in your life? 
    3. In what ways do you find yourself longing for a renewed sense of God’s presence and intervention in your current circumstances? 
    4. In what areas of your life do you feel the need for spiritual renewal and restoration during this Advent season? 

    B. The Plight (v6-7) 

    1. As you read the confession in verses 6-7, are there specific sins or shortcomings in your life that come to mind? How might you bring these before God in confession? 
    2. Reflect on instances in your life or in history where God has shown faithfulness despite human failures. How does this history impact your current hope and trust in God’s redemptive power? 

    C. The Promise (v8-9) 

    1. How does the acknowledgment of God as the potter and His people as the clay influence your attitude of surrender and submission? 
    2. In what practical ways can you open yourself to God’s transformative work in your life during this season of Advent? 
    3. What is your response to this statement? “We cannot think or talk, let alone taste revival without intercessory prayer”. 
    Wesley Communications Team
    Posted by Wesley Communications Team

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