The Greatest Invitation

“We stand before a real Person who extends to us this invitation of the highest order. It is a call to fervency that flows from the fullness of love. Just as His eyes pierced through the crowds of old, Jesus summons each single heart out of its lethargy into wholehearted givenness to God. He beckons us to the only foreseeable future, the only plausible outlook, if we desire to live in the fullness of His highest for us. He calls us to give Him everything.” Dana Candler

Everyone loves an invitation. A young woman loves when her boyfriend invites her to spend the rest of her life with him. Children love when their friend invites them to a birthday party. During this season of Christmas, everyone loves to be invited to a Christmas meal or gathering.

The truth is that a vast number of people in the world feel unloved. Life situations damage hearts. Many of us feel unwanted or unnoticed, but there is one who invites us into an intimate and powerful relationship beyond all of our most cherished dreams. He is wholehearted love and He loves us fully.

This is what you and I were made for.

In this special season, God is offering you an invitation. It’s an invitation to you personally from God, the Creator and sustainer of the universe. It’s about abandonment to Him and accepting this invitation—not only at your salvation, but now today. It’s about a divine summoning to wholeheartedness. He wants you to accept this invitation fully and comprehensively without compromise. It’s about entering into the heart of God in prayer with your whole being. He is inviting you to love Him in every dimension of life without reserve or regret. He invites you to experience the deep things of His heart and the power of His life (Ephesians 3:18-19).

The problem is that many today are living a half-hearted Christian life. Having made a commitment years ago, they have lost their first love, and the wonder and joy of knowing Christ (Revelation 2:4). Having been tempted by the false glitter of this world, they have fallen deep into apathy and boredom. The truth is that the world can never fulfill the deep yearnings of the human heart. Shopping, endless activity, and all our material pursuits will satisfy only for a short time. Only Jesus satisfies completely! God wants to bring us all higher in our commitment to the One who will bring true fulfillment.

During this next year, God wants you to discover His burning desires and the consuming yearnings of His heart. He wants you to enter His heart in reverential awe and deeper intimacy. He wants to set you on fire through communion with Himself. God invites you into the purposes that He designed through all of eternity (Psalms 33:11). This is not a small invitation. It’s the greatest invitation that you will ever receive. It will affect everything in your life. It will empower you to live successfully in the end times.

A wealthy young man decided to spend a winter on the beautiful island of Bermuda. He had his fancy Mercedes convertible shipped there, but when he arrived he discovered that the speed limit was only 20 miles an hour. For several weeks he drove around the island at merely 20 MPH in his powerful sports car.

One day he drove behind an old man on a small motorcycle. He got so frustrated that he hit the gas pedal and raced past the old man at 40 MPH. But suddenly the old man shot past him on his motorcycle. So the young man hit the passing gear and went up to 55 MPH. The old man shot past Him again. So he angrily raced pass him again at a reckless speed for that island. But the old man again shot past him.

The young man finally coasted to a stop at the side of the road. The old man stopped too. Absolutely amazed at the speed, the young man approached the old man and said, “What kind of power do you have in that bike?”

He said, “It’s not the power in my motorcycle son. My suspenders were caught on your bumper!”

God is inviting you to enter His heart in a deeper relationship this year. He wants you to catch your suspenders on the bumper of His love. He wants you to learn to lean upon His strength and ability through prayer. He wants you to have a greater vision of His greatness. He wants to empower your life in a deeper way this coming year.

Many of us are leaning on our own abilities, and lack strength and power in our life.

Perhaps you feel like the young man who was going only 20 MPH. You know there is more but you can’t grab hold of it. You don’t want a powerless and meaningless life. You may ask, “How can I catch the suspenders of my life onto the bumper of God’s love and power?”

It’s through His invitation to relationship. He is bringing things back into order through the work and grace of Christ. He is inviting you to partner with Him in order to see the release of His divine will on earth and the bringing of all things in heaven and on earth together under His headship (Ephesians 1:9-10). This will be the summing up of all things in Christ. This should create within you a sense of reverential awe. You are invited into a relationship with the God of the universe who wants to bring you into His eternal and transcendent purposes.

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17b-19).

Doesn’t this create within you a sense of destiny for this New Year? Does this not give you a sense of hope?

A Prayer Accepting this Great Invitation

Lord, I thank You for Your personal invitation to me. I thank You that you want to have a deeper relationship with me in this next year. I accept this great invitation. I thank You that You love me fully. I choose to abandon myself to You, and I choose to enter into prayer wholeheartedly. I choose to love You in every dimension of my life without reserve or regret. I want to experience the deep things of Your heart and the power of Your life. I want to enjoy active intimacy with You and understand the feelings in Your heart. I want to discover Your burning desires and the consuming yearnings of Your heart for this new year.

Help me to know Your purposes that You designed throughout all of eternity. Set my heart on fire through communion with Yourself. Help me to catch my suspenders on the bumper of Your love. I choose to lean on Your strength and ability. I partner with You in order to see the release of Your divine will on earth. You are bringing all things in heaven and on earth together under your headship. I worship You during this Christmas season. I say “Yes” to Your great invitation to deeper intimacy with You. I thank You for Your love. In Jesus name, amen.

When we say “Yes” to this great invitation, God will teach us how to walk it out day by day. Watch and see.

If you have never received this invitation, see http://www.intercessorsarise.org/Intercessors_Arise/Salvation.html

“The radiant image of the Father’s glory has come to light a fire in us, a burning love, a consuming yearning. There is nothing lukewarm about the God of revelation. Always radical and total, never does He reduce what He expects of us to fractions. Our communion with Him is to become a blazing fire, a perpetual ecstasy. These strong words will sound strange and exaggerated only to those who have not tasted that the Lord is good. They may have studied and read, but they have not drunk deeply.” Thomas Dubay

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

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Fire in the Night In Your City

“Your city is God’s city. The people are made in His image. Satan is an invader and a usurper operating in our territory. God did not give demons authority over your city. Demons have infested the earth’s atmosphere since before the creation of mankind, but they can only extend their authority into a town or an institution when people sin. When you look into the history of your city, you will find clues as to what is oppressing the people today. This is our planet, and the only authority Satan has is stolen human authority.

Buildings were set ablaze, businesses were looted, cars were torched, and gunshots were fired. There was fire in the night! Police and violent protesters were all over the main street. Anger and emotions were high. The situation was tense as agitators and violent protestors forced police to fire tear gas. This all happened recently in Ferguson, Missouri in the U.S., but it can happen anywhere. Violence is increasing in cities all over the world.

This rise of crime touches us deeply because we desperately want to see peace in our cities. In the above quote, John Dawson emphasizes the fact that this is our planet and that our cities belongs to God. We have authority in prayer to protect and change the atmosphere of our city, but we must learn to fervently pray in faith with watchful eyes. The Greek words used for “to guard” are “gregoreuo” and “agrupneo,” which both mean to be awake or sleepless. This implies protection.

We need to be God’s watchmen day and night on the lookout for danger in our cities.

The Night Watch

“I will allow no sleep to my eyes, no slumber to my eyelids, till I find a place for the LORD, a dwelling place of the Mighty One of Jacob” (Psalm 132:4).

At the same time as violence increases worldwide, God is raising up prayer in churches and cities, and he is also raising up the Night Watch. Many will rise up to this call and embrace the lifestyle of the Night Watch. Here at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City (IHOPKC Prayer Room), there are many who love to pray in the middle of the night. It especially appeals to the youth and is called Fire in the Night. The Holy Spirit is stirring the hearts of a community of people worldwide who will pray and contend for the mercy and power of God in the night season (Joel 1:13).

They will be vigilant and watchful.

The Fire in the Night Watchmen at IHOP make a lifestyle change. They actually rearrange their lives in order to intercede through the night hours. They train their bodies to adjust to a new time schedule in eating and sleeping. They are intercessors, singers, and musicians who believe that they will see the Lord’s victory in the night. We can most effectively do works of justice in the context of night and day prayer. We desperately need God’s justice in our cities. The atmosphere of God’s presence and fire in the night opens the way for justice and the harvest of souls.

“And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones who cry out to him day and night? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly” (Luke 18:7-8).

Psalm 134 speaks of those in the night watch. This is critical to the divine strategy of God in order to see transformation in our cities. So many evil things happen in the night—murder, theft, immorality, and witchcraft. Light can invade the darkness through prayer and worship. We receive the blessing that the Lord promises those who minister in His house through the night.

“Praise the LORD, all you servants of the LORD who minister in the house of the LORD. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the LORD. May the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth, bless you from Zion” (Psalm 134).

As we look at what took place in Ferguson, there is an urgency of the hour to pray for our cities. The present emphasis on prayer makes day and night prayer a possibility in this generation. The commitment of a rising group of young people to be God’s night watchmen should stimulate each one of us to give ourselves to prayer. Let’s seek to be people who learn to pray not only in the day but also in the night. “On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night” (Psalm 63:6).

As more of God’s people pray and bless the Lord at night, the spiritual atmosphere changes in the city. His fire is released in the night!

How to Pray for Your City

“I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day and all night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth” (Isaiah 62:6-7).

The following are some ways you can bring authoritative intercession for your city into your prayer life:

  • Cover your city with continuous praise and worship – God gives you His heart for your city through worship and a positive attitude. Instead of complaining and reacting toward the sin in your city, praise God for the good things. Satan is already an accuser, so praising God and declaring by faith the eternal purpose and dream of God over your city brings in His presence and defeats the enemy.
  • Wait on the Lord for insight – Don’t depend on your own wisdom, but listen to God with childlike dependence. God will open your eyes as to what He wants to do in your city when you set aside your own agenda and wait upon Him. The Lord will give you His strategies for reaching and blessing your city.
  • Identify with the sins of the city – We can all identify with the roots of any sin in our city. The potential is in each one of us. We need to identify in personal and corporate repentance. Nehemiah identified with the sins in his city and prayed: “I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you” (Nehemiah 1:6-7).
  • Overcome evil with good – Come in the opposite spirit. If there is a lot of violence, demonstrate the spirit of peace. If your city is full of greed, demonstrate generosity. If there is hate, live a life of love. This will give you great victory in your city.
  • Travail over your city – Just as a pregnant woman travails to give birth to a child, you birth God’s dream in your city through travail (John 16:21). You must pray until something happens; this takes dedication and perseverance. This has everything to do with faith for your city and revival. The Apostle Paul is an excellent example (2 Corinthians 11:27-28).

A few years ago we were praying day and night in southern Spain. I remember a particularly weary time of prayer early in the morning while it was still dark, and I was feeling very alone in the prayer room. God reminded me of when Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane and His disciples fell asleep. He had asked them to watch with Him. In the same way, I felt like the Lord was quietly and tenderly speaking to me, saying:

“Will you not watch with me one hour? Will you not watch and pray here in the dark for the land and the salvation of souls?”

I realized at that moment that I needed to say “yes” to the Lord. He is looking for those who will stand watch even when it is not easy. He is looking for those with an intense desire to see His peace and presence in their city. We have two possibilities before us. We can either release God’s holy fire in the night or the enemy will release evil fires of sin and destruction in our cities. Will you be God’s watchman at such an important hour, even when others are sleeping?

Will you release His fire in the night through pray until He brings deliverance to your city?

A Prayer for Your City

Dear Lord, change the atmosphere of our city through our prayers. Help us to guard our city as watchmen. Our city belongs to You [Name your city.] Teach us to continually cover it with praise and worship day and night. We long to release Your fire in the night season. Give us insight into how to pray for our city and how to take action in love as we wait on You. Teach us the secret of travailing prayer. Give us great faith for peace and revival for our city. We will pray until Your deliverance comes. We choose to give ourselves no rest (Isaiah 62:6-7). We praise You for You are mighty and powerful, and You can do all things. We choose to remember Your name in the night. We praise You for what You are going to do in our city as we pray and reach out to the lost. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“I have [earnestly] remembered Your name, O Lord, in the night, and I have observed Your law” (Psalm 119:55).

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