Triumph in Warfare through Worship and Praise

16864460_1646982905595667_4454300118292642359_n“Knowing that we are entering a battle of uncharted terrain, worship and praise seems to be our key to victory in days ahead. We have now entered into a season of war. When we began this last millennium, change and conflict accelerated. We find ourselves groping for stability, footing and positioning. The world is changing so quickly that many awaken with anxiety to each new day… The Church is being prepared to enter its most dynamic season of warfare, worship and harvest.

It is time to seek God’s face through worship and praise. The word, “seek” means: “to search, look for, aim at, or to investigate.” Because God desires that we become worship warriors for His Kingdom, our first step is to seek and search for Him with deep passion. When we come to the end of our self and need God desperately, then nothing else is as important as seeking the Lord’s face. God is removing our grip on earthly, temporary treasures, and He is bringing us into a new spiritual dimension and walk with Himself.

Most of us would say, “We have never been this way before.” John Wesley, famous preacher and hymn writer, learned the secret of worship and praise through the testimony of a man who had nothing.

At age twenty-one, John Wesley went to Oxford University. He was raised in a Christian home and was gifted, intelligent, and had good looks. At that time he was stuck-up, proud, and sarcastic. But one night something happened that changed his heart completely. He spoke to a man who had only one coat and lived in low-class living conditions without even a bed. This poor man was unusually happy and filled with gratitude.

Wesley joked about the man’s misfortunes and sarcastically asked, “And what else do you thank and praise God for?” The man smiled and with great meekness replied, “I thank and praise Him that He has given me my life and being, a heart to love Him, and a constant desire to serve Him!” 

Wesley was deeply moved because this man knew the real meaning of true thankfulness. Years later, in 1791 at the age of 88, John Wesley lay on his deathbed. Everyone around him knew that he had learned the lesson of praising and worshipping God in every circumstance, for he was a true worship warrior. Even though in great weakness, Wesley began to sing the hymn “I’ll Praise My Maker While I’ve Breath.”

When we worship, we come into a supernatural connection with God.

The poor man who so impacted Wesley’s life had discovered a supernatural connection with God. John Wesley did as well. The power in that connection opens doors before us on earth. That connection brings revelation of God’s will and plans, drawing us into a new level of triumph and victory. We come into a place of supernatural transformation. We are drawn out of the ways of this world, and into God’s ways and the pattern for which He created us.

One result of this change is our being comforted in the midst of turmoil by the help of the Holy Spirit. As we worship, we ascend to a new place in prayer, and we begin to see from a heavenly perspective.

Worshipping and praising God opens the door for God’s presence and power on earth. 

Because the spiritual warfare is increasing, the way we live and wage war is changing radically. To live in victory and triumph, God wants us to learn to ascend in worship and then learn to descend in war. What we did yesterday and the way we used to live is no longer adequate for the days we are entering. We must rise up to a new level of spirituality. We must ascend into our Father’s throne room and receive His wisdom. We can no longer depend on our own understanding. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty.

We must have heavenly revelation in order to fight this spiritual war on earth. From a position of worship and praise, we will gain the victory. Let’s look at how we can ascend in worship and then descend in war.

Ascend in Worship and Praise

“When we release a sound of worship, the earth must respond. There is power in lifting our voices in acclamation of the true and living God. We can speak; we can sing; we can shout. Then the expressive power of the hands generates a sound. We can clap, and we can play instruments. We can also lift our hands in worship… We can stand; we can bow; we can dance.

It is time for us to ascend in worship and praise and come boldly to the Father’s throne room. When we do this, we enter into a new realm. The promises of God become realities in our lives, because our faith awakens to a new level. God calls us to go higher and deeper into worship, but how can we do this when there are so many cares in this world? The trials of life consume us, screaming for our attention every day. But we can learn to focus our life in a higher realm of holiness. Here are some practical ways we can ascend in worship:

  • Give God time – The enemy’s strategy is to keep us too busy to seek God. He will put many good things in our path because he knows that when we truly seek God, we move into a new realm of power and his evil works are shattered. Look carefully at your schedule. Prioritize your activities, eliminate the extras, and set aside time to seek God’s face in worship and praise.
  • Abide – Learn to abide in God’s presence at all times. When you are tempted to worry or get distracted, catch yourself, immediately confess this as sin, and go on into worship. Live a disciplined life of worship even when your circumstances are difficult. We don’t realize the weights and oppression that are part of this life. Worship brings us above this world’s cares.
  • Worship and praise God continually – It will not work to worship God occasionally. We must worship Him throughout the day. We can’t let our mind concentrate on the increasing troubles on earth. Jesus has gone to the cross to make His throne open to us. He is seated victoriously in heaven at the right hand of the Father (Hebrews 1:1-3). He delights in our coming to Him with our worship.
  • Use the Word – Mix the praying of the Word with your worship. Read and pray the Word of God throughout the day. Worshipping God with the Word helps immeasurably, giving us a heavenly perspective and keeping us focused on God.
  • Express your heart – God loves passionate worshippers. You may want to be loud or quiet, sing, weep, or shout. Use whatever way helps you to express your heart to God. He is always looking at your heart.

Descend in War

“So if we live on earth but have access to heavenly places through prayer, why is God’s will not always done on earth as it is in heaven? The answer lies in the second heaven where Satan, the “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2), and his demons contest God’s reign and His angels. Satan is the prince of this world (see John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11).”

To better understand the immense warfare we face and the incredible power we have in prayer, it helps to carefully consider the following: The first heaven is the earthly realm where we live. When Jesus died on the cross, He broke the power of Satan in this earthly realm. Through His death and resurrection, we can pray into the third heaven where God is seated (Romans 5:1-2). We have access to heavenly places through our prayers.

Satan is the prince of the power of the air (the second heaven) and the god of this age (2 Corinthians 4:4). He tries to block heaven’s will on earth through a hierarchy of demons that are positioned between us on earth, and God’s throne in the third heaven. Our struggle is against the spiritual forces of evil in the second heaven (Ephesians 6:12). Satan gains legal right to block heaven’s will on earth through rebellion against God, both personally and corporately, through idolatry, immorality, bloodshed, and all other types of sin on earth.

When we worship, we are surrounded by God’s presence. When we are abiding in His presence, God equips us for war. We first ascend in worship, and then we descend in war. But how do we do this? Here are some practical ways you can descend in war.

  • Walk in peace – Hold your ground, and walk in the peace that surpasses all understanding. We need to see and understand the spiritual realm. The natural man’s understanding is ineffective. Walking with God is living a supernatural life.
  • Listen carefully – Listen for God’s strategy. God gives revelation and faith as we worship. God will give you insight into your situation as you take the time to listen to Him on a daily basis.
  • Live expectantly – Believe the Scripture that says God will give you His wisdom and knowledge. Expect God to speak to you personally as you worship Him.
  • Pray through – Learn to pray through the issues God lays on your heart. When we wage war in prayer, we gain more revelation and break the enemy’s power. Our faith begins to grow to a new level.
  • Gain new ground – As we press through resistance to prayer, we take enemy ground and gain revelation for warfare strategies. It’s an ongoing warfare here on earth but we have the ability to overcome the enemy. God will continue to bring us into new places with new insight.
  • Be persistent. Don’t give up. As you gain new ground and receive revelation, you must persist in praying through the challenges by faith.

God’s church has the power to break the strongholds of Satan on earth! We can break through the enemy’s domain in the second heaven, and we can destroy his strategies. This is powerful truth to the worship warrior. We are now being prepared for our finest hours here on earth. Through worship and praise we learn to touch heaven with our prayers and walk in triumph here on earth.

“God is establishing a new authority in His church to break through to the third heaven, gain the heart of God, and carry that revelation back to Earth where we can accomplish His will. As we do, we will change the very atmosphere around us—God’s will being done on earth as it is in heaven. This is what we pray for every time we pray the Lord’s Prayer!” Quotes and Insight from Chuck Pierce

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

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Walking in Humility in an Age of Anger

13266032_1178897578840014_5513287513410761550_n“The most humbling thing one can do is to look upon how Jesus responded to suffering and mistreatment. His whole life was ordered around the attribute of meekness. It was his greatest pursuit. From the moment He was born the Father was contemplating His own humility in the person of His Son. Love would be openly displayed as Jesus went lower and lower. Anyone who truly looks upon the man Christ Jesus and His meekness will be left staring at the great mystery. How can One so strong be so tender as He stoops so low? Looking upon Jesus is the great sanctifier to areas of pride and anger in the human heart.” Allen Hood

It doesn’t take long to realize that anger and fear is being stirred up on a worldwide scale. Just look at the news. We are hearing things that a few years ago would be totally censored but are now broadcasted on prime time TV across the nations. Rage is increasing at an alarming rate. The new norm is hateful, angry, devilish speech that is increasing in the media, on facebook, and filling everything. And we, the Church, can often get caught up right in the middle of it all. It’s so easy to jump into the devil’s playground and get stirred up by all that is happening. Watching the news can lead us to angry speech, discouragement, fear and anxiety.

All this anxiety and fear harms our physical bodies and causes us to make really bad choices. For example, heart pumping efficiency was tested by doctors in Coral Gables, Florida and the findings were alarming. Eighteen men with coronary artery disease were tested with nine healthy controls. They had a physical stress test, mental stress tests, pictures were taken of their heart, x-rays, etc. In every case, anger was the most potent and dangerous to their heart. It reduced the amount of blood pumped to body tissues more than anything else (Spokesman-Review, July 29, 1993, p. D3).

The reality is that we are living in an anger-infested world that is not getting better. No leader can solve the problems that are before us. We need to ask ourselves:

“What are we as Christians supposed to do in light of the increasing darkness that is encroaching in the nations? How can we stay on God’s side right in the midst of it all when riots, fear, murder, and violence is raging?” 

We must realize that this is a fantastic time for the global Church to shine. It’s a training time for all of us, and it will only get more intense as we move towards the Lord’s return to earth. We are in a season of preparation, and we must learn now and learn quickly. The devil wants us to react with ungodly responses, anger and hatred. But God is right now raising up a mature Church, one that shines and moves in supernatural power like in the book of Acts. He is training us to relate in kindness and love. This is how He is bringing in His Kingdom. The Kingdom of God is opposite of what we see happening before our eyes. And this is our hope and joy.

In the midst of all of this hate, God has a marvelous plan to beautify our lives. He delights to impart His beauty to everyone who embraces humility. Let’s remember the humility of Jesus. He even declared himself as meek (Matthew 11:29). Meekness and humility are the foundation of who He is and what He does and blesses forever. He wants us to take His yoke and learn from Him for He is gentle and lowly in heart and we will find rest for our souls (Matthew 11:29). Humility attracts His favor, His power, and His blessings. God gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). We read in Psalm 149:4 and 1 Peter 3:4:

“The Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble…”
“He is after the “hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle spirit.”

The Lord is raising up a victorious end-time Church right in the midst of great social hostility (Matthew 24:10). And this is where love and humility will grow the fastest and the deepest. God is teaching us to bridle our tongue and watch our speech. He is working our muscles of love. But we must prepare ourselves and realize that many will be offended, multitudes will grow cold in love, and lawlessness will abound (Matthew 24:10-12).

If we can align ourself with God, with His viewpoint, and see what He is doing, then we can walk humbly and confidently through the days of turmoil we are living in. God is sovereign and He is in control. He is the only one who can fix the problems in any nation. They are too great for one man except for the man Christ Jesus. The global problems will not go away but will only increase. But there is a way we can be confident in Jesus and be connected with His strength. Let’s remember that Jesus is the most beautiful person and His government is forever established on meekness (Matthew 5:5). He will establish truth, humility, and righteous across the earth when He returns.

“Gird your sword upon your thigh, O Mighty One… And in Your majesty ride prosperously because of truth, humility, and righteousness” (Psalm 45:3-4).

The Bride of Christ will be prepared in mature love and humility when Jesus returns (Revelation 19:7-8). God will teach His Church to treat one another with the dignity of humility and love.

Don’t miss the FREE Intercessors Arise prayer webinar on February 28th called: How to Connect with God and Write Life-Changing Prayers – SECURE YOUR SEAT HERE!

How Shall We Then Live?

I remember a series of lectures and a book written by Francis Schaeffer many years ago called “How Shall We Then Live?” What he was saying back then, is right now in front of us. We must ask ourselves, “How shall we live as we draw closer to the Lord’s return? How can we each mature as the Bride of Christ and as the Church corporately?” The following are some ways:

  • Start with loving your family and then move further – Make a conscious effort to love your husband, wife, children, mother, etc. Look at small ways you can show love. Listen to them, give them time, be gentle, repent quickly, etc.“But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger”
  • Show little acts of kindness – Love your co-workers and friends in a deeper way. Look to their interests. Compliment someone, give a small gift of appreciation, pray for your friends. There are so many ways….“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:3-5).
  • Watch your speech – Come in the opposite spirit. The devil hates it. You win when you love in the midst of hate. God is preparing you. It’s hard not to enter into the fight, especially the political fight, but you win if you respond like Jesus.“A gentle answer turns away wrath (anger), but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable…” (Proverb 15:1-2, NAS).
  • Ask God to help you to walk in humility every day – We need His grace and must choose to walk in humility.“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:11).
  • Be a peacemaker – Seek to bring peace into situations. Don’t stoke the flames of fiery arguments. Put biblical convictions above your political opinions and arguments.“Blessed are the peacemaker, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9).
  • Walk in unity with other believers – Respect and value the dignity of people who have different views than your own.“… endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3).
  • Study the Sermon on the Mount lifestyle in Matthew 5-7 – It is the lithmus test to living godly in the end times. Especially study the beatitudes in Matthew 5:1-12. Pray for these qualities in your life.
    “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be filled.” 
    (Matthew 5:5-6).
  • Ask God to help you grow in your prayer life and in seeking Him – We must be intimately connected to Him in order to respond rightly in angry situations.“I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me (Proverbs 8:17).

In the spring of 1894, the Baltimore Orioles were in Boston to play a typical baseball game. But what happened was anything but ordinary. The Orioles’ John McGraw got in a fight with the Boston third baseman. Soon both teams were joined in the fight. The warfare quickly spread to the grandstands. The fight among the fans went from bad to worse. Then someone set fire to the stands and the entire ballpark burned to the ground. That fire spread to 107 other Boston buildings as well (Daily Bread, August 13, 1992).

This is just one example of the incredible harm, anger and hatred brings on the earth. Now is the time for the Church to arise, bringing in God’s power, truth and righteousness on a global scale. It’s time for the Church to learn the secret power of humility in an age of anger.

My Prayer

“Jesus, you are teaching me to fight a new kind of war, not with bullets and angry outbursts, but with kindness and loving words. You are teaching me a new kind of wisdom that outsmarts the devil, one that brings your Kingdom down to earth and imparts to me the joy of the Spirit in a radically painful world. You are showing me the way of life and grace in the midst of hopelessness and suffering. You are showing me the way of the Kingdom, a way to supernaturally touch the pain of humanity. Help me to breathe Your life, truth and righteousness into my family, friends and workplace instead of negative or ungodly speech. Help me Jesus. I need You to bridle my tongue. I need Your grace to make it a reality in my life situations. Help me to be like You when You walked this earth. No more anger, no more fear – but hope, righteousness, and peace. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

Don’t miss the FREE Intercessors Arise prayer webinar on February 28th called: How to Connect with God and Write Life-Changing Prayers – SECURE YOUR SEAT HERE!

“The revelation of His glory includes seeing One so high (transcendence) who went so low (condescension) to bring us so near (redemption) because we are so dear (Bride). The Most High God went so low because of such great desire to partner with us. Jesus wants adoration and gratitude based partnership with Him at the deepest level imaginable. We are awestruck by His power, overwhelmed by His humility, and made confident by His love.” Mike Bickle

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

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

5 Benefits of a Silent Retreat with God

“Silence in prayer is often not something we orchestrate; rather, it is a gift that can come upon us quite unexpectedly. Instead of rushing to fill the gap, we learn to embrace the gift as the better part of our time of prayer.” Quotes by Wesley and Stacey Campbell

In learning about prayer, silence. contemplation is a special dimension that very few of us have fully grasped. Most of us are not skilled in beholding God. One of the reasons for this is because we have been influenced by the noise and busyness of our present-day life style. And in the midst of a whirlwind of activity that we have so often misunderstood as important or necessary, we have missed the beauty and necessity of learning the discipline of silence before God. We so often miss out on the life of contemplation, one of beholding the beauty of Jesus.

Recently my husband and I went on a short spiritual retreat in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. We sat in a beautiful cottage called “The Refuge” situated alongside the Big Thompson River in Estes Park, with a steady stream of water cascading over the rocks just a few feet from our front door. We walked into this retreat home and to our amazement, it was filled with worship music and Bible verses on every wall; “Be Still and Know that I am God,” “The Lord is Our Refuge” and many more were everywhere. It was a breathtaking layout with everything pointing to silence and rest in God’s presence.

The weather was rainy most of the week but even in spite of the rain, that cottage was a place of refuge for us. They told us it had been raining for days! But we were nestled inside that quiet place with five days of endless time to behold God and His mighty works. The mountains were majestic in stature, and when the rain stopped, we were able to drive to the very heights and see life with a mountaintop view of God’s handiwork.

During those days I sat silently before God and would just behold His beauty and the attractiveness of that retreat place alongside those gorgeous mountains. I realized afresh how wonderful and necessary it is to be quiet before God in silent meditation. I needed it. As we enter into the end of the age, we must be quiet before God, find Him as our refuge, and rise up to the heights and see life from His viewpoint.

I encourage you to take time to be silent before God. I do this on a regular basis in my home and find that it adds a wonderful dimension to my prayer life. The Colorado retreat reinforced deeply to me the importance of beholding God in silent meditation. Most of us are very busy, but we all can narrow down our lives to what is most important.

The Bible says that we must be still in order to know God. Silence is a necessary art if we want to really know God. It is a gift from God. So if God is quieting down your activity or stopping you in some way, perhaps He wants you to learn this important discipline. God is wooing you to Himself. He is removing all the barriers of true communion with His spirit. This is a gift to you so embrace it with all your heart.

“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

“In silent contemplation, a supernatural drawing occurs. Having come to the end of words, we simply stare in silence at the person of God. One of the most apt, and most beautiful, descriptions of the essence of contemplation that I have heard comes from a simple farmer: ‘Think of the wonderful description given by that unlettered farm laborer at Ars who used to remain for hours in stillness and silence gazing at the tabernacle and when the Cure d’Ars asked him what he did there, simply replied: I LOOK AT HIM, AND HE LOOKS AT ME.’”

The Benefits of Silent Contemplation in Prayer

“From time to time you will begin to touch the state of inward silence. What shall be your response to such an experience? But what shall you do? Nothing! Simply yield to the inward drawing. Yield to the wooing of your spirit. Your spirit is drawing you deeper within.”

There are so many benefits of retreating before God in silent contemplation. Here are some of them:

  • God fights on our behalf when we are silent – We are too weak to fight our enemies ourselves. We will be wounded, but in times of temptation if we remain in faith in God’s presence, He will give us His strength.“The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent” (Exodus 14:14).
  • We find God in a deeper dimension – In silent prayer, we develop the art of looking at God.“’You will seek me and find me when you seek for me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 29:13-14).
  • We grow in the art of meditating on Scripture – Exodus 34:6-7 is filled with the divine attributes of God. I encourage you to meditate on these verses for a long period of time.”And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, ‘The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin’” (Exodus 34:6-7a).
  • We learn to shut out external activity – We learn the art of external simplicity and inwardly learn to dwell in God’s presence.“One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to meditate in His temple” (Psalm 27:4).
  • We learn to meditate on God’s nature – It is good to start with meditating on one aspect of God’s nature in a single verse of Scripture. For example, meditate on God’s holiness adorning His house for endless days as found in the following verse:“Your statutes stand firm; holiness adorns your house for endless days, O Lord” (Psalm 93:5).
  • We grow in our love relationship with God – We learn to live out the first commandment to love God with all our heart, soul, and strength.“He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27).

I pray that each one of us will learn the secret of silent contemplation and have personal retreats with God. This is where we take the time to commune with God heart-to-heart and spirit-to-spirit. It will not happen by chance, but we must give time for this and understand its’ value. We should do this regularly for shorter times, and occasionally for longer retreats.

We are in a time when we must find our refuge in God and see the world from His vantage point. Intimacy and stillness before the Lord is going to be key to living a successful and joyful life in this hour. It’s time to realize that it’s all about a wedding at the end of the age and we are Jesus’ Bride. You are the Bride of Christ. This is a day of preparation and transition into what really matters for eternity. We must lean upon our beloved in all that we do. We are not complete until we find our center in God. Our fruitfulness will come from this place. I am challenged by St. Francis and his example of silent devotion before God.

“With face turned to heaven, and hands and eyes lifted to God, in complete surrender and with the warmest of devotion, he prayed, saying: ‘My god, my All’ These words he groaned out to God, with copious tears again and again with solemn devotion until dawn: ‘My God, my All’ – and no more.”

Carefully spend time in God’s presence with the following worship music. I have lots of worship music on my new website designed for intercessors as well.

Who is this? – Ruth Fazel
Intercessors Arise International

“Know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord will hear when I call to him… when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord… Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord. You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abounds” (Psalm 4:3-7).

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

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