Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence. Isaiah 64:1
Isaiah’s prayer was formed by the Bible and his own experience. Isaiah knew from the Bible that God’s presence had come down to Mount Sinai, and when that happened, the whole mountain shook (Ex. 19:17-19). But this wasn’t just history to Isaiah. He had seen the earth-shaking glory of God himself (Isa. 6:1-4).
Isaiah felt the weight of the glory of God. He saw it in Scripture. He experienced it in his own life, and now he is saying to God, “I have seen your power and glory. But I live among people who do not know you. Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down! Oh that you would visit your people like you did at Mount Sinai! Oh that you would give them a glimpse of your glory like you gave me!”
Isaiah’s prayer is a passionate longing for a felt sense of the presence of God that will change his people. He is praying, “Come among us, Lord, in a way that shakes mountains. Come in a way that shakes us, that changes us and makes us different.”
Imagine what that would look like in your local church. In 1 Corinthians 14, Paul talks about an unbeliever coming into a worship service at Corinth. He hears the word of God with such power and conviction that he encounters God. He sees his own sin. He begins to worship, and he says, “God is really among you” (1 Cor. 14:25). That’s what Isaiah is praying for—a felt sense of the presence of God that would make even an unbeliever know that God is present.
Would you take a moment to pray for God’s powerful presence to convict and change your life and the lives of those around you?