“Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat” is the mantra that you’ll hear if you tune in to Fatboy Slim’s 2013 hit on YouTube, of the same title, which, by the way, has approaching 6 million views. Either that, or you take yourself along to your local gym and do a Les Mill’s BodyPump class, and the current shoulder track, which plays the same banging tune.
If you check this video out you’ll probably be quite surprised or even shocked by the rave scene that the young people are part of – including passing unconscious, paramedics, injuries, bloody noses, dehydration etc all in the cause of completing the marathon rave and being the ‘last man standing’ – literally.
What I’m thinking though is, flip me, young people have a massive endurance when it comes to this kind of thing, (or whatever their hearts are into), wouldn’t it be awesome if more young people had this endurance in prayer?
I love what is happening all across the world when it comes to prayer. And, as a Brit, I love what the guys are doing in Guildford at 24/7 Prayer, training and equipping young people in leadership and lifestyles of prayer. It’s a revolution in the making.
Isaiah’s Take on Rhythms of Endurance
Well, it struck me this morning that Isaiah spoke into our youth culture circa 2700 years ago, when he prophesied to the Nation of Israel, about the blessed reality for those who have come into relationship with the (Re)Creator God of Genesis – Yahweh.
Isaiah’s ‘gospel microcosm’ book of the Old Testament has highs and lows, as the Prophetic Books of the Bible tend to – great soaring heights of inspired, theological truth, contrasted with the grit and grime of the lower echelons of our human frailties – God is holy and we are being made holy but we’re of the same family (See Hebrews 2:11).
This issue of holiness (See the beginning of Isaiah’s prophecy) is directly related to prayer. Jesus says in John 15, apart from me you can do nothing. Meaning that a lifestyle of not abiding (or enduring) in prayerful rest and union with Christ will simply not produce any fruit. There will be a shrivelling up of our lives at the level of lasting fruitfulness (John 15:6), despite potentially apparent successes in other areas.
Eat, Sleep, Prayer, Restore (Renew, Rebuild)
One of the most beautiful passages of Scripture that I think you will ever read is Isaiah 61. The 11 verses of prophetic proclamation contain breath-taking promises including specifically about the church’s (Zion’s – v 3) call to endure in rebuilding, restoring and renewing. (v4). Up there as one of my favourite gospel principles is that God specialises in restoration and in actually ‘creating something better than before – such is the extent of his great power to restore.
Young people reading this – because you have been, and are being, restored, renewed and rebuilt, you are called by Jesus to (through whatever expression) restore, rebuild and renew the world in which we live. This includes the brokenness of people’s lives who don’t yet know Him, as well as your brothers and sisters in Christ whose lives are also being restored through the power of God. Yes, we’re all being restored, renewed and rebuilt (Isaiah 61 paints a picture of the church having been and being renewed in vv 1-7) but so that we then engage in that same rhythm of restoration in the lives of others.
Matthew 10:8 Amplified Bible (AMP):
8 Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons. Freely (without pay) you have received, freely (without charge) give.
So Isaiah’s take on Fatboy Slim’s invitation to our young people is two-fold:
1) Excel in your God-given strength of endurance but to
2) Eat, Sleep, Pray, Restore, Eat, Sleep, Pray, Rebuild, Eat, Sleep, Pray, Renew,