How to Respond in Faith in the Midst of Fiery Trials

13260085_1175217259208046_4893245932471638029_n“At times God puts us through the discipline of darkness to teach us to heed Him. Songbirds are taught to sing in the dark, and we are put into the shadow of God’s hand until we learn to hear Him… Watch where God puts you into darkness, and when you are there keep your mouth shut. Are you in the dark just now in your circumstances, or in your life with God? Then remain quiet… When you are in the dark, listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else when you get into the light.” 

Are you presently facing a fiery testing of your faith? Are you in the dark regarding circumstances in your life? One of the things that we find hardest to handle is the testing of our faith. It calls for too much internal struggle for us to come out on the other side. We want to know the answers. We want to see the light at the end of the tunnel far in advance. It is just too much of a challenge for us to go through a long testing of our faith and the discipline of darkness, yet God requires this of each one of us if we are to grow spiritually.

I’ve taken many college courses and been to many schools. One thing I can assure you is that it is far easier to take a course where we know exactly when it will end, or the day of the final exam so that we can prepare for it, than it is to go through a life testing. But the testing of our faith is so unpredictable. It throws us off guard. We have to muster up our courage and passionately seek God deep within if we are to make it through uncharted waters. We don’t like what we can’t see.

But God engineers and even brings us into the very thing that tests our faith. Why does He do this? What we rarely can comprehend at the start – especially of a life challenge – is that He permits this type of unrelenting trial for our good and benefit. He doesn’t intend to do us harm. He intends to bless us if we move closer rather than farther away.

If you are facing fiery trials, you are not alone. God is with you and can give you confidence in the middle of your trials. You are in the loving hands of the Almighty like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. He is aiming carefully at something that you cannot see. He is stretching, pulling and straining you into His purposes. Oswald Chambers, one of my favorite Christian authors who lived out his faith with deep reality, says:

“Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading.”

In days of difficulty, how can we respond in faith? How can we rise up in confident faith in God when the world around us seems to be crumbling? We must find the way of faith if we are going to live in victory. After all, faith is foundational in the Christian life. God releases His blessings in our life and circumstances according to our faith (Matthew 9:29; 21:21-22; Mark 11:23-24; John 5:14-25). Look at what Jesus says happens through our faith:

  • “If you have faith… nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20).
  • “Daughter, your faith has made you well” (Luke 8:48).
  • “If you believe, all things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23).
  • “as you have believed so let it be done for you” (Matthew 8:13).
  • “According to your faith let it be to you” (Matthew 9:29).

What is God doing in this test of faith in the midst of our fiery trials? What does He want us to know and do at this time? We all have trials. Many around the world are going through severe trials. They can be anywhere from the less threatening persistent health issues, difficult relationships, a loss of our job, lack of promotion and recognition…. to actually losing our life for our faith. Trials come in all shapes and sizes. Life was never meant to be a paradise. We may be entering a trial, leaving a trial, or actually right in the midst of a severe trial.

The key that opens the door to blessing is the key of faith and confidence in God. In Kansas during a severe drought, a group of people came together to pray for rain. As they met together, they found only one girl had brought an umbrella! She was the one who responded in believing faith and confidence in God.

How to Respond in Faith

“Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.”

Let’s see God’s purpose in our difficulties and learn to respond positively. He will give us a precious message for others if we learn to trust Him in the fire. The following are ways to respond in faith:

  • Know that faith releases more blessing into our life circumstances – We read in Matthew 9:29 that according to your faith it will be done to you.
  • Don’t be consumed with trying to figure everything out – Cultivate a trusting attitude of faith in God and His goodness even when you don’t understand.
  • Watch your thoughts and your tongue – Our thoughts follow wherever our mind goes. Our tongues can reinforce the negative, so speak positive words and worship God, knowing that He is in control. Learn to sing in the dark.
  • Let go of unproductive thinking about your problems – Don’t keep asking “Why God” or “When God.” Remain quietly listening, learn to hear God’s voice, and ask Him to show you Himself. He wants to reveal Himself to you.
  • Don’t listen to the devil’s lies – Listen to God’s Word instead. Learn the truth and it will set you free. Don’t let lies become your reality.
  • Meditate on God’s Word and talk to Jesus about it – Let God speak to you as you meditate. Then pray with our eyes on God and not on your difficulties.
  • Talk yourself into faith instead of anxiety – Don’t talk yourself into a negative mood by rehearsing your problems apart from God’s promises. Learn to declare His promises from His Word and your feelings will begin to change.
  • Learn what God’s Word says – Especially study about who you are in Christ and how God will work in your life. The enemy will always strike at our identity in Christ when we are facing fiery trials. Study Psalm 139.
  • Be confident that God is working – Even when you cannot see or feel his work know that God is working in your life (Philippians 1:6).

You may feel like you have failed in your response of faith. Life is a process, not an event. You can start now. It is never too late for a new beginning or to start believing the right things. Push delete and rise up in new faith. Let’s step out afresh in faith and entrust ourselves into God’s loving hands.

A Prayer of Faith

Lord, I ask You to enlarge my faith (2 Thessalonians 1:3). I know that faith will release more blessing in this fiery trial I am facing in my life. Please remove doubt and help me to stand firm in my faith (1 Corinthians 16:13) and faithfully pray through (Name your fiery trial). Give me a supernatural faith to believe You and to fix my eyes upon You instead of the storms around me. I ask for patient trust. I refuse to try to figure everything out, and I let go of unproductive thinking about this problem. I refuse to listen to the devil’s lies. I choose to trust in your goodness and character. I want to believe You for marvelous breakthroughs in (name situation) for Your honor and glory.

I ask that You help me to be a person of prayer and faith in the impossible. Teach me to listen, meditate on Your Word, and hear Your voice. I ask You to give me faith-filled prayers that are created and fashioned in heaven. Break every area of unbelief in my life. I choose to declare Your promises over my circumstances. Increase my faith to believe that You will answer my prayers in Your timing (Mark 11:22-24). I thank you that I am Your beloved child and that my identity is in You. I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139), and I am confident that You are working deeply in my life through this fiery trial. I entrust myself into Your loving hands today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“Patience is more than endurance. A saint’s life is in the hands of God is like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, and He stretches and strains, and every now and again the saint says – ‘I cannot stand anymore.’ God does not heed, He goes on stretching till His purpose is in sight, then He lets fly. Trust yourself in God’s hands. Maintain your relationship to Jesus Christ by the patience of faith.” Quotes by Oswald Chambers

By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOPKC)
www.intercessorsarise.org

Are You Living a Focused Life? 

946444_1077690778960695_8044411060511755856_nThe biggest battle we each might fight is to stay focused on God long enough to learn to abide in His presence. Before we can redeem the world, we must redeem our time. And we would think that with all the time saving conveniences we have in life, that this would be easy but it is not.” Francis Frangipane

This year we became the proud parents of a 9-year-old chihuahua dog named Mozzy. During the last several months I learned so much about dogs since it was our first one. He is extremely loyal and loves to be with us all the time. I especially get a lot of attention from this little six pound dog who thinks he is a human. He has big brown eyes and watches everything I do. His eyes are fixed on me at all times. He follows me around the house except when he is sleeping or taking a rest.

Although sometimes this is aggravating, I am impressed with Mozzy’s focused gaze. When I move, Mozzy moves. When I stop, Mozzy stops. When I come home, he jumps around in circles out of sheer joy. His gaze is unrelenting. When my husband and I are gone for a few hours, he sometimes howls and cries. He longs for our presence and trusts us unconditionally. Because of his small size, everyone else seems like a huge giant, but Mozzy feels secure when we hold him in all kinds of ominous situations. He is undistracted in His pursuit of our presence.

This is such a reminder to me of what God wants from us – He is calling us to live a focused life of intimacy and trust. 

A focused life is not scattered in many directions because of the distractions. A focused life always moves to the center even in the busiest times because it is like a magnet attracted to Jesus, knowing that He alone is the one who makes everything work when priorities are in order. While we were traveling over a four-month period of time, there was the possibility of getting distracted by all the changes. We had been living in ship cabins, houses in various countries, hotels and rooms. In being in a city or nation for a limited period of time, I had a desire to redeem the time and make the most of every opportunity. In the midst of it all, I had to ask God to always keep me focused on Him. And He helped me to keep focused.

Even when settled in our home, everything seems to be rushing forward at an incredible pace that is characteristic of most of the world and especially cities. I find the same necessity to ask God for a focused life. And this is something every one of us should do wherever we are. The days are evil. We do not know what will happen tomorrow. Our times especially with God must be without distraction so that we can focus on His plans and purpose even in our prayer times. There are issues in our nations for prayer that we must focus on in intercession. We want to always concentrate on God’s best and not let the good things steal our time. Let us remember that prayer and abiding in his presence are of utmost importance to God.

“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil”  (Ephesians 5:15-16).

Questions to Help Eliminate Distractions

“Often, it is not evil pursuits that rob your time. Rather, the temptation is to sacrifice what is best for what is good. The enemy knows that blatantly tempting you with evil will be obvious, so he will lure you with distractions, leaving you no time to carry out God’s will. He will tempt you to so fill your schedule with good things that you have no time for God’s best. You may inadvertently substitute religious activity for God’s will, pursuing your own goals for God’s kingdom instead of waiting for His assignment. Time is a precious commodity. Be sure to invest it wisely.” Henry Blackaby

The following are some personal questions to ask yourself relating to distractions and living a focused life. Spend time before the Lord carefully praying through each question and making life adjustments where necessary. Write everything down, especially what the Lord is saying to you. Ask yourself:

  • What are some ways the enemy is distracting me?
  • What good things in my schedule are leaving no time for the best? What can I eliminate?
  • Is there any priority in my life where I am losing focus?
  • What am I doing to keep prayer as a top priority in my life?
  • Is there anything I am doing that is a waste of precious time?
  • Am I keeping God as my main focus? Am I abiding in Him daily, or am I too busy?

Ask God to help you live with Him as your focal point in all that you do. Weekly do this evaluation, asking God for help in any weak areas and rejoicing in any progress you are making.

Make prayer and intercession a top priority in your life. I encourage you to choose prayer as a top choice when you have to make a decision between two alternatives. I have found that choosing prayer above other things in most decisions is a very good choice. I have tried to do this for years. It has made choices easier to make, and I have found that God redeems the time in many varied and unusual ways. You can never lose if you choose prayer. Abiding in God and prayer saves time more than we could ever realize.
 
“The real test at the end of the age is: can we live in a place of focused renewal? Those whom I have known who have fallen into sin, never were taken in suddenly by the enemy. Their failure was always precipitated by an earlier erosion of their focus; their time with God was incrementally replaced with non-spiritual things. Left without the help of God, Satan’s temptation came to a heart vulnerable and without strength to resist.” Francis Frangipane 

By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOPKC)
www.intercessorsarise.org

A Prayer for a Greater Vision of God

“Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise” (Psalm 96:1-4a).

We are in a time of incredible change all over the earth. God is up to something big, and in the midst of it all we need a greater vision of Who He is. He wants to bring us into a new perspective—out of confusion, fear, loneliness, hopelessness and all the negatives that may threaten us during seasons of change.

A few years ago my husband and I were staying for a few days in a beautiful home hidden out in the country on a water inlet in eastern Virginia. One breathtaking evening we took a telescope and walked out on the dock overlooking the water. He then carefully positioned the telescope so that it squarely faced the moon. I looked through it and was absolutely fascinated when I saw the moon with my own eyes. I could see the craters on the face of the moon so clearly. We were both quite impressed, and I thought to myself:

“God is so big! He is so much greater than any of us give Him credit for. Here I am looking with amazement at the craters on the moon, but just think about the entire universe and how He is so much greater yet. He is mighty and beyond all comprehension.”  


God wants to give us a greater vision of Himself in the midst of the changes we are facing personally. He wants to breath His life into us. We need the breath of God to blow on our lives because people all around us are looking for life. There is so much sickness and death in this world. God wants to transform us as He brings revelation to our heart and as we pray, think, and talk about His greatness.

The Bible is our manual to help us to get through difficulty times. In fact, the book of Revelation is our prayer manual for the end-times. God wants to change us through praying, reading, and speaking His Word. He wants to bring us to a new place in order that we might bring others higher. God wants to breathe in our life so that we can breathe His life into others until it overflows. John 10:10 in the Amplified Bible says:

“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).”


We must adjust to something higher and bigger than we ever dreamed possible. God is preparing us right now for a worldwide harvest. He is training us through struggle. He is in the process of positioning us for an end-times revival. It is time for the Church to come to life and get a greater vision of God. He has a dream for each one of personally and for His church corporately. He wants to breathe life into impossible dreams. He is the God of the supernatural and the impossible.

Heaven is struck with the majesty of God. There is glory available for the Church. So few have grabbed hold of the fullness available to us. The problem is that we get so caught up in our problems down here on earth that we miss out on what heaven is all about. The thief has destroyed and stolen what is ours. Many of us have lost the power to be astonished. We can be so astonished by the moon, but what about heaven?

It is time for intercessors to arise. We must understand the supremacy, sovereignty, and glory of God. We must have a greater vision of God in this hour. We must live the dream that is Gods and let it come to life. Warfare is not about taking on the enemy but releasing the majesty of God wherever we go. It is time to release the good news on earth through the avenues God has given each one of us personally. We’re made for heaven and for living heaven here on earth.  We need to sing, dance, and proclaim the glory of God.

A Prayer for a Greater Vision of God

“Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker” (Psalm 95:1-6). 

The following is a prayer for a greater vision of God in your own life. Pray it often and ask God to make you one who helps others to see His greatness:

Lord, I praise you for inviting me into your eternal purpose. I thank you that you are working out everything in conformity with the purpose of your will (Ephesians 1:11). You are the master strategist. Give me a greater vision of your purpose for my life. Awaken my heart and establish your reign in my life. Out of Your glorious riches strengthen me with power through Your Spirit in my inner being and give me a spirit of wisdom and revelation that I may know you better (Ephesians 3:16-17). Make me fully alive to your destiny in my life.

I pray that you will give me a greater vision of who you are. I acknowledge my dependence on you and thank You that impossibilities in my life give you freedom to work. Your mighty power is shown through my weakness. Your are positioning me for your end-time harvest. You breathe your life into my impossibilities. [Name a difficulty in your life.] Help me to walk in a new level of trust in You. You have plans to prosper me and to give me hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). You promise me an abundant life (John 10:10). Help me to understand Your supremacy, Your sovereignty, and Your glory. Help me to align with You and make Your presence the central theme of my life. “The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty—Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea—the LORD on high is mighty” (Psalm 93:1-4). In Jesus name, amen.

Watch the following videos and meditate on the greatness of God.  Let’s learn to declare the glory of the risen Lord everywhere we go.

God Declares His Glory
The Awe Factor of God

“Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth. Say among the nations, ‘The LORD reigns.’ The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity. Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy” (Psalm 96:9-12).

By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOPKC)
deb@intercessorsarise.org
www.intercessorsarise.org

Could Your Waiting be a Strategic Delay?

“The Lord, in the time of strategic delay, will bring the peoples of the earth to the point at which His intervention is absolutely necessary, and He will orchestrate the timing of that intervention to bring maximum glory to His own Name. Those who have oil in abundance, who have cultivated intimacy with Jesus by the Holy Spirit, will understand with a much greater degree of peace and rest what His strategies are, and will find the grace to cooperate with them.” 

Are you waiting for something you’ve been praying about for a very long time and the answer has not come? Do you sometimes feel stretched to the very limit of your endurance? I don’t think there is one of us who hasn’t felt like this at times. In the fast-paced society in which we live we often feel that waiting is a complete waste of time. We are often consumed with activism and a results-oriented lifestyle. We want immediate results and find it so difficult to wait.

Did you know that waiting could actually be strategic for breakthrough in prayer? 

We see the importance of spiritual preparation during a time of waiting in the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25:1-13. This parable compares the Kingdom of God to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five were wise, and five were foolish. The wise virgins took oil with their lamps, but the unfortunate happened. The bridegroom was delayed.

Imagine the disappointment—the perplexity—the bewilderment. Where was he?

Suddenly without warning at midnight they discovered that the bridegroom was coming, and they all arose and trimmed their lamps. The foolish virgins’ lamps were going out so they asked the wise virgins for some of their oil. But the wise ones said “no,” and while the foolish virgins quickly went to buy oil, the bridegroom came.

Those who were ready went in with Him to the wedding, and then the door was shut! When the foolish virgins finally came, the bridegroom said he didn’t know them—and to their utter dismay—he wouldn’t let them in. Imagine how you would feel in their situation. Then Jesus gave this warning and said:

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour” (Matthew 25:13).

Jesus spoke this parable shortly before his death on the cross. It was important for Him to speak about the marriage celebration of the Bridegroom and the Bride. He speaks of the Kingdom of heaven as the soon return of the Bridegroom to claim His Bride. He exhorts each one of us to keep watch.

Those who are waiting for the return of the Bridegroom each carry a lamp. Perhaps these lamps represent various ministries and the lives of each Christian. The contrast is between the wise and the foolish, those who have oil and those who do not. The fuel for that oil is our intimate relationship with Jesus and the fullness of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

In the beginning all ten virgins have enough oil in their lamps, but the Bridegroom doesn’t come as expected. There is a big delay. He is late and everyone falls asleep! It is an unexpected delay, and their timetable is disrupted. Perhaps you can understand this clearly, because I am sure this has happened to you as well.

We have all felt the inconvenience of an unexpected delay.

Five of the virgins were wise and had extra oil. Perhaps we could call it bridal intimacy. They are the ones who cultivated a deep relationship with the Lord—a deeper intimacy. They loved God for Himself, not for what He could do for them. They had enough oil in their lamps to sustain them during an unexpected delay. They had built a deep relationship of intimacy with Jesus before the delay.

When the others ran out of oil, they refused to give them any of theirs. After all, it is impossible to give our relationship of intimacy away to someone else. Each of us must cultivate intimacy with Jesus ourselves. Nobody can do it for us. It takes months and years of prioritizing that relationship above all others. But this is the secret to breakthrough prayer.

Many believers are presently facing the reality of strategic delay. They are in a stage of waiting. It’s taking longer than expected. Could all of these delays possibly be engineered and designed by the Lord Himself? Could He be preparing His people for something really big, and only He knows how He must make them ready in the place of prayer and intimacy first?

Are we not moving into end-time situations where we need to be rooted and grounded in God’s love in order to stand strong in hard times?

Cultivating the Oil of Intimacy

“Knowing and loving God is our greatest privilege, and being known and loved is God’s greatest pleasure.” Rick Warren

Our goal must be God Himself, not our ministry. Our desire must be for intimacy with Jesus. When we have this focus, He will overflow through our lives. Cultivating intimacy and fueling our lives with the oil of the Holy Spirit will cause the light of the gospel to burn brightly in our lives.

When we went to Spain and were anticipating a possible move into that culture a few years ago, I went through many adjustments—time changes, relationship changes, living arrangements, weather changes, and a multitude of other things that were different than those in my own home country. During the first few weeks it was a bit overwhelming. But in that time of adjusting, I spent more time waiting upon the Lord. During difficult moments I would make a conscious effort to choose to praise and thank God for everything. I wanted to cultivate the oil of the Holy Spirit in my life.

One day we were traveling by bus from Gibraltar to Malaga, Spain. At the end of our bus journey, we had to wait at the bus depot for a friend to pick us up by car. As we were waiting, we met a rough-looking young man from Argentina. To our surprise, he turned out to be very nice. We were able to share the light of the gospel with him during that delay in our journey. This was one of God’s strategic delays. It was all in God’s timetable and brought glory to His name.

Are you facing a disrupted timetable of what you think should be happening in your life? Are you tired of waiting?

The answer for all of us is to fix our eyes on Jesus and develop that intimate relationship. Bridal intimacy is a key to breakthrough prayer. The oil we cultivate now will be worth it in the future. God will give us grace and bring us into a deeper understanding of His strategies in the end-times. He will help us to stand strong. Our bridegroom is coming!

Let’s not get discouraged in the wait, but make our goal God Himself. Let’s pursue holiness, praise, and thanksgiving. Let’s give Jesus our focused attention. He is worthy. Our willingness to wait will bring Him maximum glory.

“I know many intercessors who have grown weary in the waiting, skeptical that the promises will be fulfilled, because their eyes are focused on the resolution of issues rather than on the Person of Jesus. Their goal is the realization of prophetic promises instead of deepening intimacy with Jesus, and thus their reward remains external. When the fulfillment of their dreams and promises is delayed, discouragement and weariness take their toll. By contrast, those whose hearts are rooted and grounded in the love of the Lord and whose relationship is one of intimate friendship, have the resources to stand strong.” Che Ahn

A Breakthrough Prayer During Strategic Delays

Lord, help me to cultivate an intimate relationship with You every day. I want to cultivate the oil of the Holy Spirit in abundance. I desire to know Your strategies and plans in the end times. Help me to be like the five wise virgins who took oil for their lamps (Matthew 25:1-13). I want to prepare for the wedding feast and marriage celebration. I long to make myself ready for You. Help me to keep watch and not get weary. I want the fullness of Your Spirit in my life. I long to be rooted and grounded in Your love (Ephesians 3:16-18).

I choose to thank and praise You during times of delay. Help me to worship You all day during times of difficulty. Make me alert to Your strategic delays in my life. Help me to accept them and to embrace You through them. Fuel my life with Your oil so that I will be Your light everywhere I go. Help me to stand strong as I wait for Your soon return. I choose not to grow weary. I will trust in Your timetable in my life. I focus my life on You as my Bride-groom King. Bring me into bridal intimacy. I love and praise You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

This article can be found in the book called Breakthrough Prayer: Praying God’s Truth, Destroying Enemy Lies by Debbie Przybylski. For a special 20% discount, use PL6G7Y59 in checkout.

By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOPKC)
deb@intercessorsarise.org
www.intercessorsarise.org

A Prayer for a Heart After God

“I believe strongly that one thing the devil seeks to do is to sneak in and subtly distract our attention from the purity and simplicity of loving God. He doesn’t mind if we exalt revival, healing, or anything else, as long as we lose our focus on the simplicity of heart-level lavish devotion to the Son of God.”  Mike Bickle

One of the battlegrounds of this present age is activity. The outward is most immediate for our attention. It demands our time and energy. We can feel trapped by the tyranny of the urgent. It’s Satan’s great strategy. If he can keep us constantly active, he has trapped us. We no longer are the captain of our soul, and we so easily sink into dullness in our Christian life. An impulsive desire of mankind is to avoid concentration on God. It’s so easy to work for Him any day than to let Him work in us.

David is a great biblical example of one whose primary ambition was to love God even in the midst of all the ups and downs of life. What was the secret to David’s success? Throughout his obscure life alone out in the fields as a shepherd boy, He continued to praise, worship, and thank God. He cultivated his heart and allowed God to root out self. All of this seemed so contrary to human wisdom, but God used David mightily in His perfect timing. He had a shepherd’s heart of trust and devotion. He was the giant killer, the composer of Psalms, Saul’s personal musician, Jonathan’s closest friend, a hunted fugitive and, finally, the King of Israel.

The Bible says that he was a man after God’s own heart. For the Bible to say this about a man is quite astounding. David used all his energies in pursuing God. He spent time with God. His inward life was more important than his outward activity. It was his highest priority, and he learned to work effectively from the inward to the outward. Out of our heart flow our energy, insight, and influence for God. David let God penetrate his heart deeply. God was his one dominant passion. The cost was high to feel God’s burden, to feel His anguish, to understand His heartache, and to stand in His truth day in and day out, but he was willing.

Are you tempted not to make prayer and devotion to Christ your first ambition in life? Does the devil tempt you with focusing on the externals of life rather than what is most important? Keeping Jesus as Lord of our life is the best way you and I can live. The following prayer will help you to keep Jesus in the center and cultivate a devoted heart.

A Prayer For a Heart After God

Dear Lord, help me to cultivate the simplicity of devotion to You. I want You to be my primary ambition in life. I desire to behold Your beauty, and dwell in Your house all the days of my life (Psalm 27:4). Let seeking Your heart be the goal of my life even in busy and stressful times. Help me to be one who seeks after Your beauty. Help me to discover Your emotions and the purposes of Your heart. I want to be a lover of God and thirst after You daily (Psalm 42:1-2a). “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings” (Psalm 17:8).

Teach me how to align my heart with Yours. I recommit myself as a man/woman after Your heart. I choose to seek Your face (Psalm 27:8). In difficult times, open my heart to receive Your revelation. Hide me in the shelter of your tabernacle (Psalm 27:5). Reveal deeply to my heart Your love for me. Rescue me in the midst of difficult circumstances, and bring me into a spacious place (Psalm 18:19). Teach me to enjoy life the way you desire. I choose to be confident in Your love. I am Your Bride. “I love you, O LORD, my strength” (Psalm 18:1).

“One thing I ask from the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock… 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” (Psalm 27:4-5, 13-14). In Jesus’ name, amen. 

The Intercessors Arise International and Nations House of Prayer Equipping Center websites will help you to pursue God with all of your heart. Included are dozens of motivational teachings on prayer and intercession along with resources to help you in your daily walk with God.

“Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God” (Psalm 86:2a).

By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer (IHOPKC)
www.intercessorsarise.org

Are You Ruling with Christ through Prayer?

“It is our responsibility to exercise the authority that is ours through His name, and in the face of all the forces of evil to demonstrate that Christ is alreadyKing of kings and Lord of lords.’” Derek Prince

How many of us realize that we are royalty? In light of the recent airport bombings and the steady increase of evil around the world, how easy it is for us to lose sight of our royal status and the authority that God has given us.

When we were in Asia several years ago, we were able to host the princess of Thailand on our ship. It was a grand occasion. We had to carefully learn the proper way to entertain such a royal guest. As she walked passed us, we had to bow and curtsy at just the right moment. Our fingers were held together in a prayer position at just the right location on our face. Too high or too low would be offensive. Her visit was important, and we didn’t want to make any mistakes with such royalty in the room.

The reality is that Christians are the true royalty on the earth.

Often we walk downtrodden and discouraged, letting the devil defeat us as we listen to his lies. At the moment, enemy lies are shouting at us from every direction – the media, magazines, newspapers, and television – the world system is everywhere. Who are we going to listen to? Let us not get disheartened at the trials that we face as God’s people. They are only to develop us in spirit and in truth, bringing forth the character of Christ.

We are sons and daughters of the King of kings, called to co-labor with Him. We are to help establish God’s Kingdom on earth through prayer. If we want to see breakthroughs, we must understand the authority that we have in Christ. It is so vital for us as God’s people to know that we can see heaven touch earth through our prayers.

We need to learn how to cultivate a Kingdom prayer life because we rule with Christ in our prayers.

Imagine if you had never driven a car in your entire life. You would have to walk everywhere. One day someone tells you that you are going to receive something that will take you everywhere you need to go. You are given a brand new car but you don’t know the features on the car. You get in and begin to drive, but you have the emergency break on! Since nobody tells you to take the break off, you drive no faster than 20 miles per hour. Nonetheless, you are excited. At least you don’t have to walk everywhere. But you don’t realize that you have lights or any other features on the car. You just know that for the rest of your life you can drive anywhere at 20 mph during the day.

Jesus came to earth in order to penetrate the kingdom of darkness with healing, joy, and purpose. He wants us to pray that things on earth would be like they are in heaven. He didn’t just come to give us a ticket to heaven like a car that only drives 20 mph during the daytime. He came to bring the Kingdom of God on earth.

We are on earth so that we can bring the Kingdom of God into our neighborhoods, workplaces, and nations. There is so much more than we have experienced. God wants His will done on earth as it is in heaven. We must find out the features that our King has provided and learn to drive this heavenly car with speed and expertise. Many of us are living in the mentality of driving a car that only goes 20 mph, but there is so much more that God has for us! Look at our royal status in 1 Peter 2:9:

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”    

Realizing that we are in God’s family and that He is preparing us to rule and reign eternally with Him, should make our lives different from those in the world around us. All who want to enter into a Kingdom prayer life of spiritual breakthrough need to comprehend the unlimited power that is in Christ and available to us. We have authority in intercession! We are seated in heavenly places in Jesus Christ, who is the King of kings and Lord of lords, before Whom every knee shall bow and every tongue confess His Lordship over all.

How to Pray with Authority as Royal Priests

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power, and dominion and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come” (Ephesians 1:18-21).

The following are ways to pray with authority as God’s royal priesthood:

  • Praise God for the authority He has given us – Through the ministry of intercession, we can influence the destinies of nations and governments and see many come to know Christ. Pray with authority for the nations God lays on your heart.
    “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
  • Praise God that we are citizens of His heavenly kingdom – God’s Kingdom is supreme over all other kingdoms and over all other forces that work on earth. We are made alive, raised up and enthroned in the heavenly Kingdom. It has already been accomplished!
    “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).
  • Pray that we would know our position and authority in Christ – Pray that we as the Church would use it wisely and set our hearts on things above.
    “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1).
  • Pray that we would understand God’s Kingdom – Head knowledge isn’t enough, but by the Spirit, our hearts need to grab hold of the magnitude of God’s plans and provisions for us. Pray Ephesians 2:4-6 for the Church worldwide.
    “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-6).
  • Thank God that this wisdom is revealed to us by His Spirit – Cry out to God for this illumination and wisdom by the Holy Spirit.
    “But as it is written: ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love Him.’ But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).
  • Pray that believers around the world would realize their holy priesthood – Pray for an increase in Holy Spirit inspired prayer in every nation.
    “You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5).
  • Praise God that as King He rules and as Priest, He intercedes – Because He lives, we also share in this priestly ministry of intercession.
    “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them” (Hebrews 7:25).

Every day God is preparing us for His Kingdom. He is making us ready to take responsibility and authority with Him when He comes. It is through prayer, intercession, and declaring His Word that we administer in the authority that is ours in the name of Jesus. As believers’ eyes are opened and as they pray, the authority of God is manifested upon the earth. We have expectation of a multitude of people laying hold of this truth. When this happens, the Church will begin taking the place God has designed for her.

“Prayer is God’s settled and singular condition to move ahead His Son’s kingdom. Therefore, the believer who is the most highly skilled in prayer will do the most for God. Men are to pray – to pray for the advance of God’s cause. The one who can wield the power of prayer is the strong one, the holy one, in Christ’s kingdom. He is one of God’s heroes, God’s saints, God’s servants, God’s agents. ‘Ask, and it shall be give you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you’ (Matthew 7:7). The strongest one in Christ’s kingdom is he who can knock the best, and the secret of success in Christ’s kingdom is the ability to pray.” E. M.  Bounds

By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International