Becoming a Best Friend of God

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

What a privilege to become a best friend of God! Have you grasped the reality of what this means?

As a humble cook in a seventeenth-century French monastery, Brother Lawrence was able to turn even a boring job, such as washing dishes, into an act of worship and an opportunity to build his relationship with God. He said, “The key to friendship with God is not changing what you do, but changing your attitude toward what you do. What you normally do for yourself you begin doing for God, whether it is eating, bathing, working, relaxing, or taking out the trash.” We read in Psalm 16:11, “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”

Following Brother Lawrence’s example, let’s realize that worship should not be so much an event as a perpetual attitude.

I once read about a man who said that he wanted to learn to pray all the time in every situation day and night. He wanted to live in constant fellowship with God and moment-by-moment companionship with Jesus. This is a holy ambition and motivates me personally to develop this kind of intimate relationship with God. When we pray, we are speaking to God, and when we meditate on God’s Word, He speaks to us. We need both as we develop our friendship with God. Practicing the presence of God will give us rest and lead us into a more fruitful lifestyle.

But how can we practice God’s presence on a daily basis? How can we become a best friend of God?

Use Breath Prayers. Pray a brief phrase to Jesus throughout the day that you can repeat in one breath. You may want to pray phrases such as, “You will help me,” “You promise to never leave me,” “I can do all things through Christ,” “Your joy is my strength,” “I love You,” and “Help me trust You.” Breath prayers, unlike regular prayers, are short with just a few words that you can quickly pray to God at any time.

They will keep you more conscious of your relationship with God on a moment-by-moment basis. You become more aware that He is with you through all the joys and sorrows of daily life. You realize in a deeper dimension His companionship. As time goes on, it becomes a natural practice in your everyday life, and you realize afresh that Jesus really is your best friend. The promise of Exodus 33:14 becomes more real: “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” A deeper joy invades your life as you realize that you are learning to abide in Christ.

Think About God’s Word. Meditate on His Word throughout the day. Focus your thoughts on the Bible. Think about who God is and what He has done. This takes time to learn, but Scripture offers a promise of God’s prosperity in our lives when we meditate on His Word: “His delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.
 Whatever he does prospers” (Psalm 1:2-3).

“When you think about a problem over and over in your mind, that’s called worry. When you think about God’s Word over and over in your mind, that’s meditation. If you know how to worry, you already know how to meditate! You just need to switch your attention from your problems to Bible verses.” Rick Warren

Do you want to move into a new place as a praying intercessor and practice God’s presence even more than you ever did before? We are entering days when the Word of God in our hearts is going to be absolutely necessary. Don’t worry—we can live above all that is happening here on earth if we keep in mind that everything we do can be spending time with God. We only need to be aware of His presence during the day, whatever we’re doing. He wants to be invited into the center of our activities. He longs for our friendship.

As world conditions worsen, we will ride on high places above the storm. This is how we will defeat the enemy. Practicing God’s presence through short prayers and meditation will make all the difference. Together let’s stay aware of His presence and step up higher, into a new realm of intimacy. Let’s learn to rest in God’s presence rather than worry. Let’s become a best friend of God.

One of the favorite phrases among the young people here at the International House of Prayer (IHOPKC) is: “I am God’s favorite!” The truth is that we are all God’s favorites and His heart is so big that we can all be His best friend. He is with us wherever we go. Let’s take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to walk with Jesus minute-by-minute and day-by-day. It’s available to all of us.

“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:8-9).

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

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Healing Our Wounded Hearts

“The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).

I doubt if very many of God’s people wake up in the morning with the amazing thought, “I am made in God’s image!” Instead quite the opposite often occurs—many feel down about themselves with feelings of insecurity, insignificance, and a lack of self worth. If we want the freedom to pray wholeheartedly, we must understand some of the things that are hindering our wholeheartedness in prayer. When there is negative traffic in our hearts, we are distracted in prayer. We are consumed with our own needs. We are not free to fully serve God in every area of life, especially in prayer.

How did we get into such a difficult place?

Let’s look back to creation and the garden where it all started. Yes, we are made in God’s image. The very origin of relationship was the Trinity. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were in perfect relationship—they were in perfect harmony, with perfect communication and respect. And they said, “Let us create man in our own image.”

God’s original intention for our world was that our needs would be met through our family, society, and creation. Our parents are supposed to represent God’s character. Children are to know they are loved, cared for, and provided for in every way. They are to be secure in who they are (identity), who they will be (destiny), and in their relationships (belonging). Even in society our relationships and government should be characterized by love, unselfishness, wisdom, mutual respect, and appreciation. There should not be injustice, greed, and abuse.

Unfortunately this is not true. We see the breakdown of society and the family in every dimension of life. Many of us are appalled by what is happening with human trafficking, murder within families, school shootings, and the rise of immorality and pornography worldwide. The nearly 300 young girls recently kidnapped from their Nigerian school by terrorists, many who are probably being sold into human trafficking, has shocked the world. Over 9000 girls are kidnapped annually in sub-sahara Africa!

This is not what God desires. In creation everything should work together in harmony under His Lordship. Can you imagine our world with no disease, no abuse, and no disasters? This is how God made the earth and what He wanted.

But man rebelled and everything changed. Our world went completely out of control, and what once was a perfect world is now one in complete disarray because of sin.

The fall brought serious disruption to everything—the family, society, and all of creation. The result was woundedness—we now have broken relationships, fragmented nations, and decay and disorder everywhere. I once heard it said, “Be kind to everyone for everyone is going through some kind of battle.” The truth is that everyone struggles because we live in a fallen world.

Many people hop from one job to another, from one marriage to another, or from one church to another, hoping to find fulfillment and completeness. The truth is that we won’t be fully satisfied until Heaven. We are made for something so far greater than what earth can offer. We are made for eternity, and God has set it in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

Imagine a secure and perfect world without sin. If we felt secure we would have a greater ability to withstand difficulty in life. It would be far easier to make long-term friendships and have good relationships with parents and authority figures. We would be able to trust on a far deeper level. We would have a good self-esteem with a positive and hopeful belief system about ourselves, our family, and about society.

But the problem is that many, if not most of us, feel very insecure in a broken and wounded world. Our basic human needs are often unmet, and there is a huge increase of fear all around the world.

Our Basic Human Needs

We all have the same basic human needs. These needs are God-given. They are the need for:

  • A sense of worth – We need a sense of identity and self-esteem. Everyone is worth loving and has intrinsic value. We are made in God’s image.So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27).
  • A sense of significance – We all need meaning and purpose in our life. We need to feel that we matter and our contribution is valued. God has promised us an abundant life.“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10a).
  • A sense of belonging and security – We need to know we are loved and accepted. We need a family. God has said that we are His children. We belong in His family.“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).

Unmet needs lead to wounds, and these wounds become apparent in our relationships. When our needs are unmet, there is a lack of security, a lack of significance, and a lack of self-worth. When we are insecure we can have a sense of rejection, a sense of not belonging, and of feeling unloved and insecure. When we lack significance, we can doubt our purpose and meaning. If we lack personal self-worth, we can have self-doubt, self-rejection, and self-hated.

Look around your world. How many feel this way in their secret heart? Why is there so much violence in families and society?

The Wounded Spirit

“A man’s spirit sustains him in sickness but a wounded spirit who can bear?” (Proverbs 18:14)

Our unmet needs lead to wounds. A child who is not cherished, fed, and affirmed will have wounds. The spirit is impacted by neglect, rejection, and maltreatment. Having a wounded spirit leads to physical illness and disease, and emotional and personality disorders. Wounds lead to isolation, a sense of rejection, abandonment, or violation. This can lead to the conclusion, “There must be something wrong with me.”

What is the answer to our broken hearts? Who can heal our deepest wounds?

Jesus Came to Heal the Wounded Heart

“The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).

God is the answer through Jesus. His love has become visible through Christ. God gives us a purpose for living, a job to do (Gen. 1:28, Jn. 15:16). We are sons and daughters with God being our Father. We are a chosen race and a royal priesthood. We belong to God and are made in His image (Genesis 1:26). We are accepted by God and are not condemned (Romans 8:33,34). God demonstrates a heart of compassion and a desire to restore us. Jesus has come to give us an abundant life (John 10:10).

We can come to God and ask Him to heal our wounded hearts. Take time to be still before God and let Him touch your heart. Put on some soft worship music and let Him speak to you. Tell God about any wounds in your heart. With pen and paper beside you, write down anything that comes to mind. Here are some things you can do that will help facilitate God’s healing in your heart:

  • Face your pain with Jesus and bring it to the cross – You can transfer your pain to Jesus. He went through everything on the cross and he understands all your hurts (Isaiah 53:4).
  • Forgive those who have hurt you – Healing always involves forgiveness. Forgive and ask God to forgive you for any way you have hurt others. Receive His forgiveness (1 John 1:9).
  • Know and meditate on God’s Word – God’s truth sets us free (John 8:32).
  • Develop a daily dialogue with the Holy Spirit – He will teach you the truth about your life and about others. The Holy Spirit helps us to deal with our past and our unmet needs (John 14:16, 26).
  • Ask God for a revelation of His heart – Listen to His voice. He may speak through a verse, a word, or a picture. When you get a revelation of His heart for you, everything changes (John 10:27).
  • Make a new commitment to seek intimacy with God – Discover your redeemer in a deeper way (Meditate on Psalm 42).

Be encouraged because God is in the process of healing our wounded hearts. We have so much to live for and all eternity is before us. In God and through Jesus we have worth and identity, significance and purpose, and security and acceptance. We can be wholehearted in prayer. We are children of God and in His family. Our God wants to heal our wounded hearts!

This video will bless you – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGFBYuCdQ-8

“There is nothing that transforms our hearts and satisfies us more than when the Holy Spirit reveals Jesus to us.” Mike Bickle

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