Benefits in Seeking God’s Face

11246593_964162010313573_5345612100422823544_nThere are several benefits in seeking God’s face in the prayer room. God wants to bless us with His favor and Approval. 

Let’s look at several of these benefits:

  • We experience personal transformation – We become more and more fascinated with God rather than with the things of this world. We grow in intimacy with Jesus and develop a deep inner life with God.
  • We establish a lifestyle of encountering God in the place of prayer – Our heart connection with Jesus becomes stronger and stronger. We learn what it means to keep our lamp burning like the wise virgins at the midnight hour (Matthew 25:1-13).
  • We find corporate unity – When we are preoccupied with seeking God, our divisions disappear. Our unity empowers our prayers.
  • We find victory in spiritual warfare – The atmosphere is changed in a city through 24/7 prayer. The powers of darkness are forced to retreat, and they lose their hold because the presence of God dwells in the prayer room and over the city.
  • We are trained in the Word as we pray and sing it – Because there is such a focus on singing and praying the Bible, everyone begins to learn God’s truth in a deeper way.
  • We are prepared to reach the lost – There is an ability to receive the heart of God in the prayer room. His passion is for the lost, and he imparts that same passion and ability to reach out to the lost as one leaves the prayer room.
  • We realize God’s personal love for us – In the prayer room we can receive the Father’s embrace. We are empowered by God’s love and receive His sufficiency for any battle. Our lives become empowered with God.
  • We become more alive and can work harder for God – When we abide in His love, we work harder than we do when we are just being workers (Romans 6:13). His love gives us strength to work with great zeal.
  • We experience confidence in God – We find that we are not condemned because of sin, but are righteous in Christ. We realize our spiritual identity based on the finished work of Christ on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). We realize that we are pleasing to God (John 15:9).

Your first hour in the prayer room can be a scary thing, especially if it’s in the night. It’s a step of faith. You made a commitment to your first hour of prayer all alone in the prayer room, and you have no idea what it will be like. Let this testimony from Peter Greig—founding catalyst of the 24-7 Prayer community who has seen hundreds of 24/7 prayer rooms started all over the world—encourage your heart and the heart of multitudes who are just beginning to discover God in the prayer room.

Here’s the beginning. You arrive and the person prays for you and goes home:

“And that’s the defining moment: the click of the door as the previous person leaves. It’s the moment you find yourself alone in a room with God in the middle of the night, the moment you discover the reality of God’s promise to be found by those who truly seek him with all their hearts (Jeremiah 29:13). Suddenly all the talk about prayer, the guilt at your prayerlessness, the theory, the apathy, the hectic schedule, evaporates. It’s now or never. You and God, face-to-face at last, looking for words in the silence. In a complicated world, this is the simple, inevitable core. When you look at what happened next and the way that a solitary prayer room became a thousand by accident, the only rational explanation is that God turned up in that first 24-7 prayer room and that he has continued to turn up in prayer rooms ever since.”

God wants to show up in prayer rooms all over the world. He wants to transform our lives in so many ways if we seek Him. It’s time to seek His presence. It’s time to obey the first commandment and love God with all our heart (Matthew 22:37-38). He longs for us to develop a deep inner life with Himself and His Spirit. When we do, we receive instruction, strength, and supernatural courage to face everything.

God our Father longs for intimacy with His family.

He wants to bless you with His favor and approval. Think about this and let it capture your heart. He is your eternal Father who has prepared an eternal Kingdom for you from the foundation of the world (Matthew 25:34). He is thinking about you. You can relate to God just like Jesus does. You can call him “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15). Jesus wants you to receive the Father’s embrace. He takes all our brokenness and shame when we experience His Father’s touch in our spirit. It empowers us to live victorious lives. We need to know that God our Father is our greatest cheerleader who longs to partner with us in life.

Seeking God’s presence helps us to navigate through the ups and downs in life—times of joy or sadness, prosperity or adversity, love or loneliness. If we set our hearts to seek Him at all costs, we will find strength for any battle and sufficiency of His power for every moment.

Let’s choose to love Him in the good and the bad through this short window of opportunity called life. Let’s fix our hearts to draw near to Him rain or shine. It’s our primary assignment and greatest goal. It makes our obedience easier when we obey out of love rather than duty. We shall be blessed if we do (Isaiah 30:18; Matthew 5:6). Even in difficulty His song shall be with us (Psalm 139:5, 11-12; 42:1-2, 7-8).

Are you one who desires to encounter God in the prayer room? Others will follow you as you do. 

“My heart says of you, ‘Seek his face!’ Your face, LORD, I will seek… I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD” (Psalm27:8, 13-14).

By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
IHOPKC

Places of Encounter with God

“Prayer rooms are places of direct encounter with God. So much of our faith, if we are not very careful, can be second-hand experience. We listen to talks that tell us what to think. We read books that inspire us with other peoples’ experiences of God. But alone with God in a prayer room, it’s time to get the Bible open for your self, going straight to the source. It’s time to dialogue directly with God face to face without a middleman. In such a context, God often is able to speak to us and touch us in a way that no ministry session could ever achieve.”

Isn’t a face-to-face encounter with God something you long for and desire? When I was in Germany, I was involved in teaching a course for God’s people who were working in different countries around the world. The course was called “Face to Face.” The goal of the course was to help bring individuals into a face-to-face relationship with God and also with one another.

The prayer room is the place of face-to-face encounter with God. I can’t think of a better description of the 24/7 prayer movement. The prayer room is the place to access the heavenly realm and hear from God. In the prayer room God purifies our life. As you and I spend time in prayer, we carry the very presence of God out with us into the world. Our faces can shine with the presence of God.

Moses is a good example of a Biblical character that sought the face of God. We read about his encounter with God in Exodus 33:11a: The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. When he came down from the presence of God, His face actually shone with the glory of God.

“When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD” (Exodus 34:29). 

There is an increasing hunger for the presence of God, not only individually but also corporately among His people worldwide. People from all denominations, cultures, and ages are beginning to seek after God’s face. Kim Catherine Marie Kollins has established a 24/7 prayer ministry among the world’s 100 million renewed Catholics called Burning Bush International.  She says:

“Everywhere I turn I seem to hear this same call to prayer being proclaimed—prayer for cities, prayer for nations. Everywhere I look I see writings calling the people of God to intense worship and adoration and intercession. Many new prayer initiatives are being called forth—houses of prayer are springing up, prayer mountains and prayer vigils are being held in response to this prompting of the Holy Spirit. Now is the time, and the trumpet is being sounded to the whole people of God. We are being called to awaken from slumber and be empowered anew by the Holy Spirit. We must become once again passionate adorers of the Lord and powerful instruments of intercession for the Church and the world.” 

God Radically Changes Us in the Prayer Room

When we stand in the presence of God, He does a radical work within our hearts. He removes the sin in our lives as we sit in His presence. When diagnosed with cancer, I learned about the power of radiation and chemotherapy because these are the primary ways the medical world treats cancer. Thankfully I didn’t have to have either one. Sin is like cancer. God’s presence is like radiation therapy on the cancer of sin in our lives. The more we are in His presence, the more powerful the radiation of His life and love. We change in His presence because we are exposing ourselves to the eternal forces of His radiating glory. We begin to die to the sin tendencies in our lives, and we begin to live more fully for Him.

Time in God’s presence is powerful.

“You most likely won’t realize it at first. A person who is exposed to the radiation of the sun’s rays often does not realize that he is sunburned until later. When you spend time in God’s presence, you may feel you are not accomplishing anything. The enemy may say something like this to you, “You’re just wasting your time. God won’t listen to you.”

But if you continue spending extravagant amounts of time in His presence, you will begin to see His life manifested through yours. It takes time, but everything within you begins to change—your desires, thoughts, actions, interests, and passions.

There is no quicker way to change as in the glory and radiation of His presence. I have seen people change right before my eyes as I watch them over time through exposure to God’s presence. We read in
1 Chronicles 16:11 and Psalm 105:4: Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Dr. Timothy John shares a personal testimony about how important 24/7 prayer has been in a small, inner-city church:

“Launching and sustaining a 24-7 prayer room in one of our inner city church properties has probably been the most important thing we have done to date. From inner city youth to suburban “boomers,” each person has profoundly experienced the manifest presence and love of God in their selected hour of prayer in our holy space. Some of our members have actually encountered the Holy Spirit in the parking lot or even on their way to the prayer room. Needless to say, this has resulted in a wonderful spiritual renewal in our midst. Eternity and the heavenly realm are no longer concepts but reality.”

It is the place to leave the problems of earth behind and listen to the still small voice of God in such a way that inner transformation occurs. It happens individually and corporately. I have seen it in myself and in others. You can’t stand in the presence of God without being changed. Most of us are busy people. You can’t spend time in the prayer room without having it change your prayer life. Prayer becomes a delightful reality.

“One of the great things about a well-led season of 24-7 prayer is that it helps busy people like you and me to live up to our aspirations in prayer. It can even enable non-church-goers to prioritize prayer in their daily lives… 24-7 prayer is able to turn the idea of daily prayer from a guilty “should” into an exciting “could.” Suddenly, a regular hour or more of solitude for personal prayer and Scriptural meditation becomes a delightful reality for people who normally don’t find such things easy—people in ordinary places who desperately need an extraordinary outpouring of prayer and a deeper discovery of the glory of God.”

Our Prayer for Foundational Strength

Lord, give us a heart for 24/7 prayer in our city. Like Zinzendorf, make us into men and women who are fervent in prayer and are committed to radical holiness. Teach us to walk in unity, and help us to do everything in love. As we pray for 24/7 prayer, give us expectant hearts. Help the churches in our city grow in prayer and commitment. Make the Church of [Name your city] a praying church. We long to do great exploits for Your glory. Help us to align ourselves with Your heart. Let prayer and praise permeate our city.

As we begin to lay the foundations for 24/7 prayer here, make us steadfast and persistent in prayer. Help us to build a foundation that is deep and strong. Keep us from growing weary in well doing. Help us to have realistic expectations and understand that it takes time and patience. Help us to be faithful. Teach us to pray your Word individually and corporately. Give our city a unified vision for day and night prayer, and teach us to seek You in prayer together. Help our churches to grow in prayer, intercession, and worship.

We thank You for being our faithful intercessor who will help us. You will give us guidance all along the way. Thank You that Your peace rules in our hearts. We thank You for the House of Prayer that You will establish in our city. You will give us the burning, driving vision to go deep with the foundation. You will enable us to pursue the deeper lifestyle of abandonment to You and Your vision for our city. We give You all the praise and glory for all that You will do. “We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your Name is near” (Psalm 75:1a). In Jesus’ name, amen.

Verses to Memorize

By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:10-11).

Building Foundations Life Application

How to Build a Foundation for a House of Prayer

Whether you are a forerunner leading the way, a support person, or just beginning to learn about Houses of Prayer, this assignment will help you to start moving into the prayer arena in your community. As you think about a House of Prayer in your city, begin by doing the following:

  • Develop your personal prayer life by learning to pray the Bible regularly – Practice praying Scriptures in your own prayer times with the Lord. Begin incorporating Paul’s apostolic prayers into your prayer times. See chapter four for these prayers.
  • Pray that a House of Prayer would start in your city and that pray increases in your church – Pray persistently for God to raise up those who will begin to pray for 24/7 prayer.
  • Make a list of like-minded people in your church and city who have a heart for prayer – Begin to pray through your list, asking God to give them the same vision.
  • Partner with others with the same vision for Houses of Prayer – Get together to strategically talk about how to start a House of Prayer in your city. Try to include individuals from different churches. Or you may want to start by seeing more prayer in your own church. Partner with those in your church who have a vision for prayer, and talk about how to see it grow.
  • Discuss the “How to Lay a Strong Foundation” keys – Talk over these points together as a group, asking God for His wisdom as you lay the foundations. Brainstorm together as a group, adding other like-minded people in your church and city to your list of contacts. End with praying “A Prayer for Foundational Strength.”

Taking it into the Prayer Room

Meet weekly for persistent prayer. If you can’t meet weekly, meet as regularly as you can. It could be in a church, home, or in a designated place in your city. Decide on the amount of time you will pray and be consistent. Give sufficient time for worship and thanksgiving because this will bring you into the presence of God. Thank God for what He is going to do, and then thoroughly pray for a House of Prayer in your city and for increased prayer in your church. Let the Holy Spirit guide you in your prayers. Have someone write down what has been emphasized in your prayers, specific burdens, and Scriptures prayed. You will be amazed at the insight the Lord has given you in prayer.

 

How to Lay a Strong Foundation for a House of Prayer

Persistent prayer will pay off as you lay the foundations of a House of Prayer in your city. You will move forward by God’s grace because it’s His ability, not yours. Notice these important keys to laying a strong foundation.

  • You must be willing to dig deep. Remember we must dig a big hole first in order to build the foundation. This is not a superficial undertaking. You must believe in the power of prayer and be strong in prayer yourself. Develop a strong personal relationship with God. Strengthen your personal devotional life and love for God.
  • Partner with others. Look for others who have the same vision in your city, and partner with other prayer ministries in your area. God will give you a core group of dedicated and like-minded people.
  • Cast the vision for day and night prayer. Do this week after week. People need encouragement.
  • Realize that there is an incubation stage. In this stage many in the area either have or are getting the vision, and there are many prayer meetings in the city in various churches. This stage may last for some time.
  • Develop your personal prayer life through learning to pray the Scriptures. Practice praying Scriptures in your own devotional time with the Lord. I write about this in chapter four.
  • Develop some corporate prayer meetings in local churches. Unity is essential and adds power to the prayer meeting. Also try combining worship and prayer together throughout some of the prayer meeting. This is called “harp and bowl”.
  • Have realistic expectations. Start small with a few prayer meetings in your church or in your city. Realize the value of a slow beginning. Strategize carefully and incorporate existing prayer activities. Understand the pressure people face in your society. Don’t be critical, but make it easy for others to join in prayer at their own pace.
  • Understand the establishing stage. This relates to the Church in the city or region and is not just one church. There is a need for a unified vision with unified values. Pursue the value of unity in the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:3, 13; Colossians 3:14).
  • Realize that faithfulness and a marathon pace are essential. God is not looking for quick starts but for steady faithfulness over time. Keep it simple. Basically you are praying and calling people to pray. God’s strategies are not complex, but they do require faithfulness (Galatians 5:22; Psalm 18:25; Romans 12:12).
  • Know that Jesus is in charge. The House of Prayer will prevail because Jesus is the leader and the eternal intercessor for He rules as King in his high priestly ministry of intercession (Hebrews 7:25; Isaiah 53:12).
  • Go forward in faith and with God’s peace ruling your heart. Know that day and night prayer is God’s desire. He will bless and sustain it. To be a House of Prayer is not a challenge but a Biblical command (Matthew 21:13).

A stonecutter may hammer away at a rock for a hundred times without seeing even a crack showing. Yet it may be the 101st blow that splits the rock apart. It is not the one blow that will lay a strong foundation, but it is the consistent hammering in prayer with a steadfast vision that will do it. God will give you and others that burning, driving vision to go deep with the foundations. He will enable you to pursue the deeper life and the lifestyle of abandonment to Him and His vision for your city.

Laying the foundation will take a long time. Keep the peace of God ruling in your heart. Day and night prayer is God’s desire, and He will bless and sustain it with His power. Trust Him to build a strong foundation. Establishing day and night prayer is the most exalted occupation to those nearest His throne in heaven (Revelation 4:8). Set your heart to persist regardless of difficulties. God desires to find a resting place. Let’s advance with faith and a determination to work. Let’s keep the vigorous, steady glow of prayer burning.

“Praying that influences God is said to be the outpouring of the fervent, effectual righteous man. It is prayer on fire. It does not have a feeble, flickering flame or a momentary flash, but shines with a vigorous, steady glow.

 

A Call For Steadfast and Persistent Prayer

“Persistent prayer is a mighty move of the soul toward God. It is a stirring of the deepest forces of the soul toward the throne of heavenly grace. It is the ability to hold on, press on, and wait. Restless desire, restful patience, and strength to hold on are all embraced in it. It is not an incident or a performance, but a passion of soul. It is not something half-needed, but a sheer necessity. The wrestling quality in persistent prayer does not spring from physical violence or fleshly energy. It is not an impulse of energy or a mere earnestness of the soul. It is an inward force or ability planted and aroused by the Holy Spirit. Virtually, it is the intercession of the Spirit of God in us. It is “the effectual fervent prayer that avails much” (James 5:16). The divine Spirit supplies every part of us with the energy of His own striving. This is the essence of the persistence that urges our praying at the mercy seat to continue until the fire falls and the blessing descends.”

Are you convinced that 24/7 prayer is needed in your city? Do you see how it will change our cities as we unite in prayer?

We want God to stimulate us all to a higher level of steadfast, persistent intercession in order to see day and night prayer established. God will do it in His perfect timing, but we must be steadfast. He is working in our hearts, but it takes great prayer to see Houses of Prayer started and continue consistently day after day. It will take the unity of the Church to see this happen. Everyone is needed and vital. God is right now calling for the whole body of Christ to increase in steadfast prayer. He always lives to make intercession for us, and we are called to be like Him (Hebrews 7:25).

Intercession is growing all throughout the world, and people of all denominations are beginning to unite for the purpose of prayer. It definitely is time to drop our differences, rejoice in our diversity, and come together for the great purpose of seeing the Kingdom of God dwell in the nations. Although the enemy will oppose continuously, it is as we unite that we shall see the victory. The heart of God is for unity (John 17:20-23). When we are united, we can support and build one another up as each one of us does our part in serving God (Eph. 4:3, 11-16). Through day and night prayer and worship the presence of God can reign in a city, multitudes can be saved, and ministries and churches can prosper. Night and day prayer changes the spiritual atmosphere of a city dramatically.

Justice is released in the city through 24/7 prayer. The International House of Prayer here in Kansas City began praying for several years regarding the problem of human trafficking around the world. Shortly after they started corporately praying for human trafficking, the police uncovered a huge trafficking ring from clues that just kept “popping up”. This was a big answer to prayer as a result of united prayer.

An Architect’s Mindset

To begin laying this great foundation in our cities for prayer, we need to have an architect’s mindset. Like an architect, we need to see the big picture. So often we are overwhelmed as we think only of our own personal problems or what our own church is facing, but we need to begin to see our entire city through the eyes of God. We need to have a vision that is persistent. Seeing life from God’s point of view changes everything. Our own problems become small in light of the needs of our city.

An architect can see a big, beautiful building even as he sees nothing tangible in front of him. He knows there is much work ahead for the workers in order to dig deep, and they must be willing to pay the price of hard foundational work. We also need to dig a deep foundation because we are building something of great significance and stature. We must be steadfast in prayer as we begin. Mike Bickle, founder of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, says the following:

The first key is to be steadfast in prayer regarding a 24/7 and to have an architect’s mindsetThe architect’s mindset sees the big picture. To work with others to build a house of prayer, we must all think on the big picture. The more I understand the big picture, the more sense of responsibility I feel about getting the foundation right. What are we doing today that will impact tomorrow? I remind our staff that a building site starts with digging a large hole to build the foundation.13

It takes time and patience to build a solid foundation for day and night prayer. It takes great persistence in prayer. It can start with a couple two-hour segments with a committed group of people made up of worshippers and intercessors who will be faithful and steadfast. It may start with a one-month or one-week House of Prayer. Or it could start with increased prayer in your own church and your own life. We must pray that the foundation will be laid properly. We must have the persistence and steadfast heart to see a House of Prayer started in our church or city. We won’t see it with a microwave mentality, but God is looking for long-term faithfulness and persistence.

There are many examples of those who have stood the test of persistence. One was the American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh who discovered the planet Pluto. Astronomers calculated its’ probable orbit, but being only a “suspected” heavenly body, it wasn’t even tangible. Tombaugh took up this challenge in March of 1929. Time magazine recorded the investigation: It was the most dramatic astronomic discovery in nearly one hundred years.

He examined scores of telescopic photographs each showing tens of thousands of star images in pairs under the dual microscope. It often took three days to scan a single pair. It was exhausting, eye-cracking work—in his own words, “brutal, tediousness.” And it went on for months. Star by star, he examined 20 million images. Then on February 18, 1930, as he was blinking at a pair of photographs in the constellation Gemini, “I suddenly came upon the image of Pluto!”14

You may not be trying to discover a planet, but you are attempting something that is challenging and may be exhausting at times. But it will be worth the effort. Astronomer Clyde Tombaugh saw Pluto with the eyes of faith, and you are beginning to see the possibilities of prayer in your city through the eyes of God. The day of smallness has great significance in God’s sight (Haggai 1-2; Zechariah 3-4). Every House of Prayer will start small, but we can’t despise the day of small beginnings. We read in Zechariah 4:10:

Who despises the day of small things?

Realize that the starting of every House of Prayer is a dramatic accomplishment in God’s eyes. It will change the face of your city. Increasing prayer in your church is also big in God’s eyes. Right now you may be looking at starting 24/7 prayer in your city, but think about your church as well. Scale it down to size and adapt this to your church even as you consider your city. Think about it. How do we begin to lay a strong foundation?

 

Displaying Strength and Taking Action

Well-known prayer author, Francis Frangipane, emphasizes the Biblical truth that if we know God, we will be able to display strength and take action:

“If we are fully given to knowing Christ intimately, not only will we enjoy His presence, but also we will gain spiritual strength for whatever the future holds! The key, therefore, to living victoriously in the last days is not knowing timetables, but knowing God. Daniel foretold that, in the midst of worldwide distress, those who ‘know their God will display strength and take action’ (Daniel 11:32). From a position of knowing the heart and nature of God, in the midst of great difficulties we will “display strength and take action.”

The King James Version of this verse says that God’s people will do great exploits. The definition of exploits in the Dictionary is “a heroic act, a deed of renown, a great or noble achievement.” This is what we must pray for in the Church. The Church of Jesus Christ will take action, do noble achievements and heroic acts for God that shall be known worldwide! But it starts in the prayer room. The governmental center of the world is in the prayer room. God’s power is released through corporate intercession. What a weapon for the Church! There are three realities mentioned here for the church:

  • Know God. We will know God in spiritual intimacy.
  • Be strong. We will be strong in spirit to stand victoriously against evil.
  • Do exploits. We will do great exploits and experience the pow-er of God.

In looking at our personal foundation, one of the most important truths that we must individually know is that God loves us deeply. We must know our identity in Christ. We are lovers of God and are deeply loved by Him. This will keep us strong and stable during difficult times. This will give us the confidence we need to do great things for God.

When we are called to lead or support the prayer movement, we must have the foundational knowledge that we are greatly loved by God. Although many believers do not have this knowledge in their heart because of past wounding, spending time in the presence of God in a House of Prayer can make it “real” personally. When we are alone in an atmosphere of praise, worship, and prayer, then we can hear from God more clearly.

Daniel needed to know God’s love personally. He sought the Lord in a 21-day fast (Daniel 10:2-3), got a vision from God (Daniel 10:5-6), lost strength because of the vision (Daniel 10:8-10), and then received a word from the angel Gabriel. He was told that he was greatly beloved and highly esteemed by God three times (Daniel 9:23; 10:11, 19).

Wouldn’t that dramatically affect your life if an angel told you that?  

And yet, God wants to affirm each one of us in the prayer room corporately and in our own prayer closets in our home as well. Many times I have gone into the prayer room struggling with a personal issue and have come out with the assurance of God’s love and concern for me.

It is there, in that secret place dedicated to prayer, that we can hear the affirmation from our Father. And when we find it hard to receive His love, others in the body of Christ can help. We must know that God loves us because it will be our strength in hard times. Because Daniel knew in his heart that he was loved and highly esteemed by God, he was able to rise up in strength and do mighty things for Him. He stood up renewed in his spirit (Daniel 10:11).

We all feel the need to be loved and have a bigger purpose outside of ourselves. A visitation from heaven calling you beloved of God would change your life. It would give you an inner strength that would affect everything you do for God. You would become bold and fearless in knowing that God was on your side and highly esteemed you. You would have an inner peace that no storm could destroy. Daniel had that kind of foundational strength.

It is time for us to align ourselves with God’s heart for us personally and corporately. As the Church of Jesus Christ, let’s build our foundational strength and receive the revelation that we are the “beloved” of God in our personal lives, our churches, and our city. When we truly have this revelation, we will praise Him from the depths of satisfied souls. We will want to be worshippers of God.

God desires that prayer and praise permeate every nation. We must align ourselves with heaven in order to see the powers of darkness broken over our cities and see revival break out. If all the Christians in a city knew their personal identity in Christ, they would be a powerful force in that area against the powers of darkness.

Through developing intimacy in the House of Prayer, we shall do mighty exploits for God’s Kingdom. Jesus is our model who continues to govern through prayer and reaches the nations through intercession (Hebrew 7:25). Let’s strengthen our foundation and align our lives with Him. In the prayer room we build intimacy through worship, reading and praying His Word, quietly listening, and many other ways.

“It is possible for Christ’s church to be so properly aligned with heaven that the Holy Spirit actually displaces the power of darkness over our cities. To the degree that the church is so joined to God, the Lord’s presence guards the city: crime and immorality proportionally decline; revival breaks out.”

Areas Needing Foundational Strength 

The Lord will test the endurance of this new praying church, but gradually the power of God will be released in the cities of prayer. The extraordinary presence of the living Christ will make miracles seem ordinary. Faith will once again rest on the demonstration of the Spirit and not upon the wisdom of man; multitudes will be genuinely saved… The only way we can stand victorious before our enemies is if we kneel humbly before our Lord together.9

In order to stay stable and secure in difficult days, there are several areas where we need to be strong. Building strength in the following four areas will help us to stand strong against the enemy:

  • Personally – In personal prayer and intimacy. Our entire lives must be built upon our relationship with God. Intimacy and praise is the key to living strong personally during times of stress. Knowing God and His character calms our heart and gives us courage.

    You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely (Psalm 59:17).

  • Corporately – In corporate prayer and worship. We must pray that the Church of Jesus Christ in every city increases its focus on prayer and worship, and becomes a praying Church and a praying community. As life becomes more difficult, praying corporately will become necessary. Together in prayer we will find God as our refuge.

    God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).

  • Relationally – In all our relationships. We must learn to walk in peace, forgiveness, and repentance on a continual basis with everyone. We cannot afford to become bitter or judgmental. It is time for the body of Christ to unite and to realize the power and strength of that unity.

    The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace (Psalm 29:11).

  • Spiritually – In the Word of God. We cannot listen to the enemy’s lies any longer. This is a season where we must hold onto the Word of God as our truth in every situation we face. Learn more about praying the Word of God in chapter four.

    My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word (Psalm 119:28).

We need to be like Noah who knew God intimately and obeyed Him. He built an ark when people were partying and having an easy time. Could you have taken the courage to do that? Noah knew what God told him to do even when outward signs did not speak of a flood that would cover the entire earth. He continued in obedience and faithfulness even when he was the only one.

Many of you are called to be forerunners. You are called to promote, lead, and encourage the prayer movement in your church and city. You know what the Lord wants. You know that 24/7 prayer is critical for your city. The highest identity of God’s people now and throughout all of eternity will be through intimacy-based intercession as Sons of God and as the Bride of Christ. We are created to interact deeply with God’s heart. He will govern the universe in partnership with us through intercession.

This is your time to build a strong foundation. You may not be building an actual ark, but you are building a House of Prayer in your church or city. Like the ark Noah built, when the storm comes the Houses of Prayer will protect people from destruction and will provide a covering, bringing more mercy to that city or town being prayed for. You must faithfully build one brick at a time, believing by faith that when the storms come, your city will stand because it is built on the rock of Christ and on prayer (Matthew 7:24-25).

There are others of you who are not the ones to lead in building a House of Prayer in your city, but you are the supporters. You say, “Yes” to prayer in your heart. You are the ones who pray and hold up the arms of those who lead the prayer movement in your city or in your church. You know how necessary prayer is for your city and you support it willingly in mind, heart, and action. You want to know God deeply and are willing to unite with others even from different denominational backgrounds than yours. You are a very needed part.

Foundational Strength

“You may feel your community is relatively safe, that the oppression upon the land does not concern you. Your optimism is a delusion. Unless there is a buffer of prayer and aggressive Christianity in your town, it will only be a matter of time before it is invaded by the advancing flood of evil. Jesus is seeking to bring His church to the place where it becomes, literally, a house of prayer.”

When things do not go our way and when storm clouds come, where do we get our strength?

When I went through dark storm clouds in the fall of 2005, I couldn’t suddenly get something I wasn’t cultivating day by day. I had to get my strength in what was already there on the inside. It was frightening and shocking to say the least when I came face-to-face with the news from my doctor, “Debbie, you have breast cancer.” Could this be “me”?

I know it happens to other people, but certainly not me. Thoughts flooded my mind—I still have so much life to live, so many plans and dreams. I don’t have time for cancer. I’m too young. Cancer just happens to other people.

But after the initial shock waves subsided, I realized that it was me who did have breast cancer and that God was the only one who could carry me through it. I learned in those months that the relationship I had built with God throughout the years would sustain me. I realized how important foundational strength really is.

The well-known hymn, On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand, proves to be so true when facing a life-threatening disease or tragedy in life. In those months of uncertainty, I realized that my strength was cultivated through years of walking with Jesus. That’s what sustained me. It’s choosing to live for God and for Him alone in the easy times. Our foundation must be strong. We can’t suddenly manufacture strength during a moment of need. It has to be there ahead of time.

Our hope is in Jesus. We need a strong relationship with Him. The Bible says in Hebrews 6:19, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” I lived on a ship sailing around the world for many years, preaching the good news of Jesus and encouraging the churches through Biblical seminars and training. We had two anchors on that ship. There were times when we were not able to go into port because of bad weather. You can only imagine what that was like. During those times the captain would let down the anchor outside the port city.

I remember being outside Auckland, New Zealand during bad weather. The swells on the ocean were huge, possibly fifty feet high. Although the ship would rise high and dramatically fall, it stayed steadfast in that area without moving an inch. Thanks to the anchors, we weren’t pulled out to sea or thrown into port. The anchors were essential. They kept us firm and secure until we could enter the city. There is a great need for 24/7 prayer in our cities because continuous prayer helps the Christians to develop a deep relationship with God. Then they won’t crash in hard times. A city can stand firm and secure in the storms of life when day and night prayer permeates the atmosphere.

The Church of Jesus Christ is going to rise up as a praying Church (Isaiah 56:7). Already many churches are putting a greater emphasis on prayer; there are Houses of Prayer arising in many cities in the world. Although the strength of our endurance in prayer will be tested severely as the times grow harder, the Church will rise up as a victorious, faith-filled Church (Hebrews 10:38-39; 11:1-40).

 

The Biblical Examples of Prayer

God’s plan for intercession is central. Before looking at how a hundred-year prayer meeting started, let’s take a few moments and look at what the Bible says about day and night prayer. Take time to study these Scriptures. God has so much to teach us about prayer as we look at Biblical history.

Did you know that the first prayer meeting started in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:8)? The priests in Exodus and Leviticus had to keep the lamps in the temple burning day and night (Leviticus 6:13). They worked in shifts with non-stop prayer, worship, and singing because the fire on the altar was never allowed to go out.

Did you know that Israel began as a nation at a prayer meeting when called to rule as priests after leaving Egypt (Exodus 19:6; Revelation 5:10)? The first project given to Israel was to build a worship sanctuary (House of Prayer) (Exodus 25:2). When King David became king over Jerusalem, he established day and night worship (1 Chronicles 15-16).

In the New Testament, we see that Jesus Himself began His public ministry in the wilderness where He fasted and prayed for forty days (Matthew 4), and He ended His life in a prayer meeting in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26). During His time the Essenes, one of the four branches of Judaism, believed in praying for 24 hours. The early Church began in a prayer meeting (Acts 1-2) and will end in a global prayer movement (Isaiah 62:6-7; Luke 18:7-8; and Revelation 5:8; 8:4).

The very end of the age will be a huge battle over two Houses of Prayer—the Holy Spirit’s prayer movement and the antichrist’s end-time worship (Revelation 13:8). In Revelation 4-5 we will worship around God’s Throne in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 4:8). And there’s so much more, but we don’t have the time to write about it here. But the fact is clear—God’s plan in the Bible was to make intercession central.

And something on a huge scale is presently developing.

The prayer movement is quickly spreading around the world, but it is not without persistent prayer and hard work. As you read about the establishing of Houses of Prayer in cities and see the largeness of the task, you may be tempted to ask yourself several questions:

  • Is 24/7 prayer possible for my city?
  • Has this ever been done before?
  • Can we have faith for such a big venture as day and night prayer
    where we live?
  • What is the value of such intensity in prayer hour after hour and day after day?

These questions are legitimate because we need to really believe in prayer in order to pay the price. It will cost each one of us time and effort. We can’t begin and then quit. We are in this for the long haul. These questions have an answer that should motivate each one of us.