A Devoted Heart

“In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation” (Psalm 5:3).

Do you ever wake up in the morning feeling like an exhausted runner in a race that never ends? Are you sometimes emotionally out of breath where it’s hard to concentrate, difficult to relax, and you feel unmotivated and restless? Do you feel like you need to gather lost strength and your activities are running ahead of your heart?

Life can be quite challenging. It is hard to live above the noise and demands of everyday life. But if we are going to survive, we must learn to balance our outward busyness with our inward reflection. It’s a life-long process. Only God can keep us in perfect balance. 

David was a man who cultivated his heart relationship with God. He is one of my favorite Old Testament characters because he was a man who had a devoted heart. His heart hungered deeply after God. What do we know about his life? He was a triumphant king who had great tragedy—He was gifted yet human—He was strong in battle yet fell in weakness. In spite of all of these things, David was God’s chosen man. 

David battled with impossibilities just like us. I like his humanity. He was shockingly real—a man who was desperate, dependent, and cried out to God on a regular basis. He didn’t have life together as we may think of some superstar Christians. He didn’t want to be big in man’s eyes, but big in God’s. David’s struggles are for all of us to see. They were very real, vivid struggles. God is letting us in on his secret life. He is teaching us what true greatness is, because unfortunately there is still a lack of depth among Christians today.

David Was Devoted in Obscurity

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart'” (1 Samuel 16:7).

David lived during the time of the Judges. Samuel, the prophet, was old and the people were not satisfied with God’s method of leading a nation. The Israelites wanted a king. Other nations had kings, and they wanted to be like them. They rejected God’s ways, and Saul was their choice. After all, he was physically attractive, strong-willed, and had many external qualities (1 Samuel 13:14).

But God’s choice was different. He did not look at talents, gifts, and personality. He looked at internal qualities of the heart.

When the time came for choosing a king, 7 sons passed before Samuel. But God did not choose these. The youngest son, David, was tending sheep. He wasn’t plotting about how to become king or complaining about his mundane job or envying his brothers. David was worshipping God out in the fields and shepherding his sheep. This time in his life was very significant.

Perhaps we can think that David’s job was boring, unimportant, worthless, and very lonely. It even seemed in the natural as if he was left out of God’s big picture altogether. But God often tests us with the boring and the mundane. When He develops inner qualities, He is never in a hurry. It is in the little things that we prove ourselves capable of big things. They are actually the behind-the-scenes tests of integrity. We may think, “I am in the wrong place, I have talent, I should be a leader or doing something important!”  

But God sees and he is looking at our heart. He knew all along how He was going to use David. He was very pleased with David’s performance, his worshipping heart and care for his sheep, his integrity and obedience. Above all else, He was pleased with David’s devoted heart. And He chose David as King. We read in 1 Samuel 13:14, “The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people.”

Every single day was purposeful in God’s eyes.  

David—the very least and the youngest in his father’s estimation—was great in God’s eyes. He was God’s choice man. He was anointed first in private before his public anointing. At the perfect time “the Spirit of God came mightily on him” (1 Samuel 16:13). What God did in and through David was the outcome of his private life of devotion. He had a prepared heart that was fixed on God. His life was devoted to seeking God in prayer and worship. God was David’s greatest reality. 

Remember the life of David the next time you are tempted to be discouraged in the ordinary. David—who was obscure, unseen, and unapplauded by the crowd—was big in God’s eyes. Perhaps David wrestled with insignificance and routine in his harder moments. He may have combated negative feelings and attacks from the enemy in his thought life. But he passed the test of routine and obscurity, and was faithful in his devotion to God. 

David had a Heart After God

“Hear my voice when I call, O Lord; be merciful to me and answer me.  My heart says of you, ‘Seek his face!’ Your face, Lord, I will seek” (Psalm 27:7-8).

What was the secret to David’s success? Throughout his obscure life alone out in the fields, 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 in His perfect timing God used David mightily. David 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 hearts 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. 

Look at the influence of the Psalms in your own life. Have they not touched you inwardly again and again? 

David was not preoccupied with accomplishment. He was preoccupied with God. What we are comes out of our private life. It’s invisible to almost all but God. Yet it greatly influences others. Great lessons are learned in the secret place. Dependence is learned and we are touched at the bottomless depths of our personality and spirit. 

We aren’t going to get anywhere unless we go into the deep with God. I lived on a ship for years and we never got anywhere unless we launched out into deep waters. If we learn this lesson—private before public—we have learned the greatest of lessons that will affect the rest of our lives. It’s solitude and devotion before activity. 

Learning to Live a Devoted Life

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” (Colossians 4:2).

Christians often have the problem of living on the surface, the visible level. It’s a temptation we must all face. The outward is most immediate for our attention. It demands our time and energy. We can feel trapped by the tyranny of the urgent. The battleground of the ages is activity—it’s Satan’s great strategy—if he can keep us constantly active, he has gotten us—we are no longer captain of our souls, and easily sink. 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. 

People all around us are driven, but why?  

We are often starved for respect and public applause. Perhaps we are afraid to face our inner problems or never had the approval of one significant person in the past. Maybe we are trying to gain acceptance or want power in order to compensate for the loss of never hearing “Well done.” Or we could be covering guilt and are trying to clothe it in spirituality. Maybe the hurts of the pass will just not go away. We may have been raised in a home where accomplishment and drivenness was a way of life or where there was pride and competition all around us. There are many reasons why. But it’s time we look inside and let God drive all the wrong motives out of us. We must learn to live a devoted life.

Perhaps the opposite of drivenness is to learn to wait upon God in stillness. David said in Psalm 27:14, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” In waiting David demonstrated dependence. He listened and he waited while he watched over the flock. He knew how to draw on God’s resources (Psalm 63:8). He knew how to receive from God in solitude. Fountains of living water come from the interior. God wants to build dependence and quality from the inside out. David learned how to battled for his nation in God’s strength, not his own. 

Are you tempted not to make prayer and devotion to Christ your first ambition in life? Does the devil tempt you to focus on the externals of life rather than what is most important. Are you tempted to run around in endless activity or are you learning to listen to the still, small voice of God. Keeping Jesus as Lord of our life is the best way you and I can live. Let’s keep Jesus in the center and cultivate a devoted heart.

“On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me” (Psalm 63:6-8).

Intercessors Arise News
 

Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer (IHOP) KC Staff

deb@intercessorsarise.org
www.intercessorsarise.org

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Learning to Listen to God

“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him… Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’” (Isaiah 30:18, 21).

Dear Intercessors,

If ever we needed to listen to God and hear what He is saying, it is now. He longs to be gracious to us and wants to show us the way in which we should walk. This is so important because there are so many voices. There is so much negative static that strikes us from every side.

We need to listen to the heartbeat of God and not to what others are saying on TV or the internet. What is God saying about us? How are we to pray? How do we know what He is saying about the times we are living in? We must know how to clearly hear God. This is critical for us. Listening could save us our life! It saved one man from an awful, deadly crash.

An elderly man named Robert was in a terrible emergency situation. He was 81 years old and forced to land a plane with no flying experience. Can you imagine a worse situation to find yourself in? One day Robert Kupfreschmid and his 52-year-old pilot friend were flying from Indianapolis to Muncie, Indiana. While they were flying, the pilot slumped over and died at the controls, and the single-engine plane began to quickly nose-dive. 

Robert grabbed the controls and got on the radio, pleading for help.

Two pilots heard the call and immediately gave him instructions. Mount Comfort was the closest airport. Robert closely listened to every word as they gave a steady stream of instructions on how to climb, steer, and land the plane. The pilots circled the runway three times before inexperienced and frantic Robert was ready to land the plane. Emergency vehicles were called and ready for the approaching disaster. Witnesses saw the plane’s nose nudge the center line and bounce a few times before the tail hit the ground. The plane landed and to everyone’s amazement, this 81-year-old man was not injured.

Robert had listened so carefully and followed those instructions with such intense precision because his very life depended on it. Think about how our lives would be transformed if we listened and followed God’s instructions with such care as Robert did as he landed that plane.
 
God is always speaking to us, but many of us don’t take the time to carefully listen to what He says. 

The truth is that most of us are just too busy for God. We’re so often making our plans about what we think He wants, but we’re not really taking the time to listen. We proceed with a hurried prayer for His stamp of approval on what we want to do. But let’s stop for a moment and evaluate our hearing ability. We don’t want to be like the man who bragged that his hearing aid was the finest one available. His friend asked, “What kind is it?” He answered, “About 2:30.” He didn’t hear exactly right, did he? 

We so often fall into the disease of busyness. But how did Jesus live His life? He spent unhurried time in the Father’s presence listening, praying, worshipping, and carefully taking instructions every day for God’s perfect plan. He was in constant communion with the Father. Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing. He prayed what the Father wanted Him to pray. We must do the same. Many things will look good, but what does the Father want us to do? 

What is He saying?  

Listening to God and hearing what He is saying should be a daily experience. It’s not something we have to go on a retreat to do. Those times are good and beneficial, but if we can’t take the time to really listen to God on a daily basis, we have missed the boat. He may be in one place, and we have steered out of the center of His will and may not even know it. The challenge is going to get greater and the demands will only increase as the days get harder. We must learn this lesson today.

I write books on prayer and one day I was saying to the Lord, “Some people are too busy to read my books on prayer. They are racing around doing things all the time.” I felt the Lord say to me, “Don’t feel bad, Debbie. They are too busy for Me, too.” We need to listen to God every day. The Holy Spirit wants to guide us into all truth on a daily basis. Prayer is not only asking. It’s a two-way relationship. We listen to God and we talk to Him.

How can we put the brakes on and really learn to listen? There are certain basic things we must cultivate in our life that will help us to hear God’s voice. Here are several ways that will help you to cultivate hearing God’s voice. We read in Revelation 3:22, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Hearing God’s Voice

  • Know God’s Word – God’s will is made known in His Word. It’s our final judge in our decisions. Learn to read, meditate on, and pray God’s Word. If we look intently at His Word, not forgetting it but doing it, we will be blessed in what we do (James 1:25).
  • Look at your circumstances – God’s guidance is often confirmed through circumstances. Bring your circumstances before the Lord in prayer.
  • Listen to your heart – What is it saying? The Holy Spirit is living in you. Examine your heart before the Lord, and ask Him for revelation (John 16:13; 1 Corinthians 6:19).
  • Know God’s peace – Is there peace in your heart? Even if there is a storm in your life and you are going through a difficult experience, you can have God’s peace (James 3:17).
  • Meet God’s conditions – God will guide us if we do what He says. Meeting His conditions will unlock His promises to us. Ask the Lord if you have any sin in your life that needs to be confessed.
  • Follow God’s guidance even when it is difficult – It does not always feel good when we have to bear our cross. God breaks us and does not want us to become too comfortable. Commit yourself to His ways even when it is hard (Isaiah 55:8-9).
  • Humbly seek God’s guidance daily – Humbly lay your daily and weekly schedule before the Lord. Stay humble and walk day by day with God (Psalm 25:9).
  • We must have listening ears – God often speaks through a still, small voice. He may drop a thought into your mind. He is often guiding us when we don’t realize it. We must listen to these quiet thoughts and ask, “Lord, are You speaking to me?”
  • Take action when you hear God – We must do all that God tells us to do. The Bible says that we should not merely listen to the Word and deceive ourselves; we must do what it says (James 1:22). There are times when we wait and listen carefully to God, and there are times when we must take action.

We need to develop this skill of listening. We don’t want to miss even a small nudging from the Lord in any circumstance of life. We don’t have to know all the details. Many times we will only see what is right in front of us. We need to carefully listen to God’s promptings just as this young man listened carefully to instructions.

A young man applied for a job as a Morse code operator. He answered the ad in the newspaper and went to the address listed. He entered a large, noisy office with a telegraph clicking in the background. A sign at the counter instructed all job applicants to fill out the form and wait until they were called to enter the inner office. The young man completed his form and sat down where seven other applicants were waiting. After a few minutes, he got up, went to the door to the inner office and walked right in. 

The other applicants were wondering what was happening. A few minutes later the young man came out from the inner office escorted by the interviewer. The interviewer said, “Gentlemen, the job has been filled by this young man.” Grumbling, one of them spoke up, “Wait a minute—He was the last one to come in, and we never even got a chance to be interviewed. Yet he got the job. That’s not fair!” The employer responded, “I’m sorry, but all the time you’ve been sitting here, the telegraph has been ticking out the following message in Morse code: ‘If you understand this message, then come right in. The job is yours.’ None of you heard it or understood it. This young man did. So the job is his.”

We need to learn to listen like this young man did. He got the job because he was listening carefully. We need to learn to listen to God’s voice carefully. He has a big job for those who know how to hear His voice and obey His Word. Hearing God takes a lifetime. It’s a skill that grows as we develop our relationship with Him. 

A Geiger counter is an instrument for detecting the presence and intensity of radiation. The closer you get to the radiation, the louder and faster the clicking noise becomes. In the same way, when you cultivate hearing God’s voice in your life through His Word, your circumstances, His peace in your heart, etc., the pieces begin to come together. You have the inner witness of the Holy Spirit, and His divine guidance system helps you. He shows you when you are getting closer to His will. Like the Geiger counter clicker, you sense the power of His guidance as you begin to touch His perfect will for your life.

It is an awesome responsibility and privilege to hear God’s voice.

“As you study your Bible, you may sense that God has something to say directly to you through the verses you are reading. Take a moment to consider the awesome reality that the God who spoke and created the universe is now speaking to you. If Jesus could speak and raise the dead, calm a storm, cast out demons, and cure the incurable, then what effect might a word from Him have upon your life?” Henry and Richard Blackaby

Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer (IHOP) KC Staff
deb@intercessorsarise.org
www.intercessorsarise.org

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The Power of a Praying Church

“The life of the church is the highest life, and its office is to pray. Its prayer life is the highest life, the most fragrant, the most conspicuous. When God’s house on the earth is a house of prayer, then God’s house in heaven is busy and powerful in its plans and movements. ‘For mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people’ (Isaiah 56:7), says our God. Then, His earthly armies are clothed with the triumphs and spoils of victory, and His enemies are defeated on every hand… The very life and prosperity of God’s cause – even its very existence – depend on prayer. And the advance and triumph of His cause depend on one thing: that we ask of Him.”  E. M. Bounds

There is supernatural power released when the Church in the city prays. What is needed in the worldwide Church at this hour is a unified, praying Church. We need supernatural power. Only the power of God will defeat the attacks of the enemy in our cities. When the Church in a city or region decides to drop its own agendas and decides to come together to pray, there is great spiritual power released into the atmosphere. Prayer will affect everything! It will affect time, places, occasions, and circumstances. A praying Church within the city brings success and supernatural power into that region.

We must get on our knees and seek God passionately together. 

The obstacles towards city transformation are many. We must believe that our cities can be transformed by the power of God. We must know that none of us has the answer to our city; only God does. He is the one who transforms and brings change. This is all about the Kingdom of God and intimacy with the King. We must stop our busyness, remove ourselves from the distractions all around us, and become passionate for God. It is time to seek the Lord. We all want transformation in our cities. In his book, E. M. Bounds on Prayer, Bounds emphasizes that a praying church is a successful church:

“Success is sure to follow a church given to much prayer. The supernatural element in the church, without which it must fail, comes only through praying. More time in this bustling age must be given to pray by a God-given church… More heart and soul must be in the praying that is done if the church would go forth in the strength of her Lord and perform the wonders that is her heritage by divine promise.”

Requirements for Transformation in Your City

God wants to come into your city with His presence. He is greatly concerned with your city and cares deeply about reaching the people who live there. We need to ask ourselves, “What are the requirements needed to bring God’s power into our city – power that will reach the lost and set the captives free? What is required for transformation in our city that will change the face of everything?” Here are some requirements that will help bring life and transformation into your city:

  • Make prayer a priority. Fervent prayer will release God’s destiny for our cities. Be willing to persevere in prayer with a holy determination. Determine not to let go of God until He breaks through. Become desperate for God.
  • Expect God to work uniquely in your city. Don’t think He will do the same in your city as another one. The work of God comes through prayer, and it is unpredictable and out of man’s control. God will show up in unexpected ways. We think our strategies are the way, but God sees things in a much more powerful dimension.
  • Seek for unity among the churches in your city. Remember that God doesn’t need a majority but He only needs a few churches coming together with hungry hearts for the cause of revival and transformation of the city. The presence of God will bring supernatural unity as we cry out to Him for it. Only together will we see the results that God wants. Seek to unite with other churches in prayer for transformation.

Are we willing to pay the price for God to transform our cities through prayer? God’s heart is that your church becomes a praying church. For many of us God has brought us to the point of desperation. We are willing to lay down our own agendas and get on our faces before God for however long it takes. We have seen that our own methods and plans will never change the increasing darkness that is permeating our land.

We are becoming desperate and that is a good place to be. Seeking the manifest presence of God in a region is risky, but it is the way towards a true and powerful transformation in our cities. In the Transformation video by George Otis, Jr., the following words were spoken that stress the requirements for transformation:

“It’s risky, aggressive, and brought about through prayer. It’s not predictable and out of our control. There is an unexpectedness of God. We are fooled by strategy. We lack God’s processing power. You can’t format God. We are proud and impatient. God’s approach is to come in through the back door. He shows up, not shows off. There is a flow with the Holy Spirit that is not stage-managed. He is willing to be invited but only on his terms.

Leaders must be committed to a community. They must persevere through apathy and not give up. I can’t coast and there is no time to say, ‘I’ll relax.’ It’s not a quick start but a long run. The goal is to get to the last day and then face Jesus and through everything to direct men and women toward the Kingdom. God is looking for a man who will take the burden on himself for the nation. God is looking for leaders who will stand in the gap for their nation, who don’t care who gets the credit. They are not stakeholders but shareholders. They give God the glory. Revival leaders are often unlikely choices. The measure of leadership is not influence with the public but influence with God.”

Are we ready for transformation in our cities? Are we willing to enter into God’s heart in prayer that the Church in our city becomes a praying Church?  

A few years ago we started a month-long 24/7 House of Prayer in a central location in southern Spain. As we prayed, God began to fit everything into place. He provided in an amazing way a large 200-year old hotel. This place was set apart for the entire month to seek the face of God. Churches and individuals in the region dedicated time in the prayer room. They chose to unite and drop their differences. They were seeking God’s Kingdom purposes for that region. Individuals from several other countries came, dedicating large amounts of time in the prayer room.

Cities around the world are beginning to seek God for transformation. Houses of prayer are starting all over the world. Here at the International House of Prayer (IHOP-KC) hundreds of individuals from all over the world come to learn how to start a House of Prayer and see transformation in their city. Join us for the free OneThing young adult conference (One Call, One Story, One Coming King) here in Kansas City through the webstream. We expect 25,000 young adults here and perhaps 30,000 through the webstream. It is good for all ages and is excellent preparation for the future.  See OneThing.

It’s time to believe that God will transform our cities through prayer. There is power in a praying Church. God is inviting us to enter His heart for a praying Church. We invite you to pray this prayer for your city and believe God for a mighty transformation: “Lord, whatever it takes. Give me the grace to get there. I will live and die believing for my city to be transformed.”  

“The time has come to lift the bar of expectations. Transformation is attainable for God. This is the heartbeat of God. It’s not the work of man. It’s the finger of God. ‘If you call on me, I will answer.’ He takes care of the problems. The church becomes a beacon of light and hope.” George Otis, Jr., Transformation video

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Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer (IHOP) KC Staff
deb@intercessorsarise.org
www.intercessorsarise.org

Standing Firm in Persistent Prayer

“God is in the process of redemption for the long haul.  My persistent praying says, ‘Count me in. I won’t cut and run when the answers are slow in coming. Instead of drumming impatient fingers, I’m going to use that hand to knock firmly on heaven’s door – again and again! Together, God and I share the ongoing fellowship of intercession.”  Sandy Mayle

Jesus was persistent in prayer. He practiced persistence in His prayer life, and He taught it to His disciples. He was passionate about not giving up in prayer because He wanted His disciples to learn to stand firm in persistent prayer. Look at His life. He spent whole nights in prayer. That takes perseverance and incredible persistence. At the end of His life, he was so intensely praying that he sweat great drops of blood. Jesus knew how to stand firm in persistent prayer. He wanted us to learn to keep asking, to keep seeking, and to keep knocking. He said in Luke 11:9-10:      
 
“So I say to you, Ask and keep on asking and it shall be given you; seek and keep on seeking and you shall find; knock and keep on knocking and the door shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks and keeps on asking receives; and he who seeks and keeps on seeking finds; and to him who knocks and keeps on knocking, the door shall be opened” (Amplified Bible).

Prayer doesn’t seem so attractive when you don’t see quick results. We think that maybe we are doing something wrong or that God doesn’t hear us. We may even question His goodness. But we are so wrong when we think in this way. God hears every prayer and He does answer us – but it’s in His way and in His timing. We are so quick to give up. In Luke 18:1-5 (NIV) Jesus tells the parable of the persistent widow who never gave up:

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: ‘In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming.'”

The word “persist” in Webster’s dictionary means “to stand or be fixed, to continue steadfastly and firmly in the pursuit of any cause, to pursue, not receding from the purpose, not to give up or abandon.” That persistent widow wanted justice and didn’t waver in her pursuit. She stood firmly and didn’t give up in her asking. Finally the judge answered her request because of her persistence. 

Persistence is Reality
 
Most people like to live and serve God when everything is exciting. I lived on an exciting mission’s ship as a young person. We went from country to country and city to city. The first three months in this exciting ministry was absolutely glorious! Young people would come to live on board and though the ship was old, worn and full of little cockroaches, the ministry opportunities were fantastic. It was like a little bit of heaven. Everything was absolutely thrilling initially – living with people from over 40 nations, sharing your testimony in a different church meeting every Sunday, and eating new food and fruits in countries you never even heard of! 
 
But time went on and all the glamour quickly wore off. 
 
All of a sudden your own home country seemed like a beautiful dream. Roommates started to get irritating, sea voyages were no longer enchanting, seasickness was a hard endurance, and many wondered if they made a huge mistake by joining for two long years. But it was a good training for young people in the area of reality because persistence is reality. During the testimony times when people were leaving the ship, they often told how long they had been on board. For example, “My name is Mary. I’ve been on board one year, eleven and ½ months.” Then they would tell what they learned during their time on board. I am surprised someone hasn’t yet told how many hours and minutes he/she has lived on board! But just to press the point, ship life had a lot of persistence and endurance for a young person. 
 
There is no getting around it for any of us – old or young. No matter who we are or what job we have, if we are going to reach the world for Christ we will have to persist. Intercessors have to persist. It’s part of their calling. Persistence is reality. The real world is not always exciting. It may have exciting moments but in between those mountaintop experiences, there is a lot of persistence.

If we all stop and think about it, life is not easy for anyone. Every job includes endurance and persistence. Prayer takes persistence. There are wilderness and dry times when you think you are the only one praying. There are times when you feel as if you’ve prayed a thousand times without an answer. Real purposeful ministry takes time and persistence as it develops. Everything good takes endurance. People think that living here at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City (IHOPKC) is all excitement. It takes a very high level of persistent prayer for everyone here. Rick Joyner, a wise prophetic leader, author and founder of the Morning Star ministry, says:
 
“Many will come at first because a new work is always exciting. However, they will not have the stability or endurance to stay through the wilderness and dry times, which we must always go through to get to the place where we receive the promises of God and the Promised land, to the fulfillment of the promises. In fact, we can see in both Scripture and history that the quicker and easier the promises are fulfilled, the less significant the purpose.” 
 
When we are praying for something big, we need great patience. It takes both faith and patience to inherit the promise. We read in Hebrews 6:11-12 “We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” The greater the purpose, the greater the faith and patience are required. Persistence is reality. 
 
Persistent Prayer Does Not Give Up
 
“Persistent praying never faints or grows weary. It is never discouraged. It never yields to cowardice, but is lifted up and sustained by a hope that knows no despair and a faith that will not let go. Persistent praying has patience to wait and strength to continue. It never prepares itself to quit praying, and it refuses to get up from its knees until an answer is received.” E. M. Bounds
 
Not to give up means not to faint or lose heart. It is steady prayer. It’s long-term and not for the faint-hearted. It stands firm. It displays a trust in God that says, “I am going to believe you for the answer in your way and your timing.” When we persist in prayer, we cover every aspect of the need from a variety of perspectives. We see it from the big perspective and from the tiniest aspect. We don’t forget the prayer because we carry it with us, and it’s in our routine. We knock and knock at heaven’s door. We are passionate about it. 
 
There is not one of us who doesn’t have to be persistent in prayer. 
 
It’s part of our training for reigning. We have to learn to wait no matter how hard it is. Patience is not one of our favorite words. It’s so exciting to run around and do things, but to wait and pray is hard work. And to keep from getting discouraged is another story. Many of us live in cultures where waiting is not considered a virtue. But God sees things differently than we do. Waiting is often the best use of our time. I’ve written about it often because I feel it is the important DNA of an intercessor. We have to patiently wait and persist in prayer. We have to stand firm without wavering and then we have to wait some more. 
 
The Apostle Paul was a fast-moving individual but he learned the secret of persistent prayer. He said to the Church in Thessalonica, “Night and day we pray more earnestly that we may see you again” (1 Thessalonians 3:10).  To the Church in Colosse he said, “We have not stopped praying for you….” (Colossians 1:9).  To the Church in Ephesus he said, “I keep asking the God of our Lord Jesus Christ…. may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation” (Ephesians 1:17).
 
When we lived in Virginia Beach, my husband and I used to walk around a lake for exercise in the evenings. Every year a carnival would set up their rides and food stands right near that area. We’d walk past it as well as through it several times on our brisk walk around the lake. Many people think traveling with a carnival must be exciting and fun. Children think it must be the most exciting life one could have! Lots of rides, hot dogs, and cotton candy all the time! We watched those carnival workers closely as we walked. They looked tired, bored, worn out, and hopeless. The weather was humid and it rained a lot, so that you had to tiptoe through the mud puddles. Often the rides had only a couple of riders. Where was all the excitement? There wasn’t any. It was hard work and persistence. 
 
We, who represent Jesus, must be persistent, patient, and persevering in our prayers. 
 
We must be the ones who stand the strongest in persistent prayer and in every occupation in life. It’s easy to give up, but we are representing a King and living for a Kingdom that will never end. Next time you feel like quitting, look up the following verses: Luke 11:5-10, 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, Luke 18:1-5, 1 Thessalonians 3:10, Col. 1:9, and Genesis 32:26. This is not the time to give up but to stand firm. We are laying hold of God’s strength as we pray. Keep on knocking on heaven’s door. It will pay off dramatically in the end, because God not only hears but He answers persistent prayer in a powerful way.   

The following will help you to be persistent in prayer. I invite you to see my four new facebook pages for my books: Breakthrough PrayerAscending the Height in PrayerDeeper Still, and 24/7 Prayer Arise. Join and like the Intercessors Arise facebook page for daily encouragement in your prayer life. For bi-monthly training in prayer, have your friends sign up for Intercessors Arise here.
 
“Persistence has various elements – the main ones are perseverance, determination, and intensity. It begins with a refusal to readily accept denial. This develops into a determination to persevere, to spare no time or trouble until the answer comes. This grows in intensity until the whole being is given to God in supplication. Boldness comes to lay hold of God’s strength. At one time, it is quiet; at another, bold. At one point, it waits in patience, but at another, it claims at once what it desires. In whatever different shape, persistence always means and knows that God hears prayer: I must be heard.” Andrew Murray

Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer (IHOP) KC Staff
deb@intercessorsarise.org
www.intercessorsarise.org