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

The Fragrance of Humility in Prayer

“There are two ways to attain high esteem. One is the world’s method: Take every opportunity to promote yourself before others, seize occasions for recognition and manipulate your way into the center of attention. The other way is God’s way: Humble yourself. Rather than striving for recognition and influential positions, seek to put others first. Cultivate humility, for it does not come naturally. One of the many paradoxes of the Christian life is that when God sees your genuine humility, He exalts you.” Henry Blackaby

Leonard Bernstein, the late conductor of the New York Philharmonic orchestra was asked what was the most difficult instrument to play. Without hesitation he replied, “The second fiddle! I can get plenty of first violinists, but to find someone who can play the second fiddle with enthusiasm—that’s a problem. And if we have no second fiddle, we have no harmony.” This is the problem we as Christians face. We don’t easily want to play second fiddle because it’s too humbling a position. We want to be important. We want to be first, but how we can cultivate a humble heart in our prayer life.

In John 12 Mary of Bethany offered thanks humbly at the feet of Jesus. She freely gave her all with a grateful and abandoned heart. Clothing herself in humility, she poured a perfume on Jesus that he quickly recognized because of the sacrifice. It was costly.

Many of us are worried about our finances and are consumed with thinking about an uncertain future. We worry about our retirement or money for college. Mary gave her most valuable possession—worth $40,000 in our day—her entire inheritance and future. Take a moment to think about the reality of what Mary did in this one humble act. She freely gave her all to Jesus, and the fragrance of what she did filled the entire room. It seems in a world that is getting progressively dark, a fragrance of humility would make a marked difference. Mary had a humble heart.

As we evaluate our life, what is one of the best things we can give one another, and especially those in our own family? Perhaps we can offer a humble heart—a heart that looks out for the interests of others and is not self-seeking or proud, a heart that serves and loves unconditionally, and a heart that cultivates humility in prayer. Isn’t this what Jesus wants in our life? He hates pride and selfish ambition, but He loves the meek and lowly.

Did you hear about the minister who said he had a wonderful sermon on humility, but he was waiting for a large crowd before preaching it? I think we can all identify with this preacher because we all need to grow in humility. It does not come naturally.

Perhaps we need to be more like the scientist George Washington Carver. He developed hundreds of useful products from the peanut! When he was young he asked God to tell him the mystery of the universe. But God answered: That knowledge is reserved for me alone. So he said, “God, tell me the mystery of the peanut.” Then God said, “Well, George, that’s more nearly your size.” And he told him.

A good example of both the proud and the humble is Jesus’ parable about the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. The Tax Collector found favor with God. We read in Luke 18:13-14: “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ ‘I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.’”

Cultivating Humility in Prayer

Jesus is our daily example of humility. As you consider cultivating humility, ask God to develop humility in your prayer life. Meditate long and carefully on the humility of Jesus as you apply the following:

  • Have a worshipping heart – Jesus had a worshipful heart. Worship and praise open the heavens and bring heavens blessings onto the earth. It ushers in the giolory of God. Begin your prayer time with a worshipping heart. Enter God’s court with praise.

    “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations” (Psalm 100:4-5).

  • Have a grateful heart – Jesus was always grateful. Gratefulness ministers the fragrance of thanksgiving and kindness. It carries a heavenly fragrance. It moves our eyes off of our self and esteems God. It brings encouragement and victory. A grateful heart changes the atmosphere around us. Thank God for specific things He has done for you this past year.

    “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16).

  • 
Have an abandoned heart – Jesus gave His all for us. He did not use His divine power for His own ends while on earth but lived dependent on the Holy Spirit and abandoned to God. Jesus emptied Himself completely. In prayer have you laid all your plans and desires at His feet?

    “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness” (Philippians 2:6-7).

  • Have an obedient heart – Jesus was obedient even to death on a cross. He embraced a type of death that involved indescribable emotional shame and physical pain. In God’s presence, evaluate your life in the area of obedience. Write a prayer asking God to help you in any areas where you struggle in obedience.

    “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:8).

  • Have a servant’s heart – Jesus was the servant of all. See John 13:3-17. He made Himself of no reputation. He embraced shame and disgrace as a servant. He hid his glory under the veil of humanity and did not insist on His own rights. Evaluate your heart, and repent of any lack of humility or servanthood in your life. Take time being still, and then specifically bring them before the Lord.

    “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…” (Mark 10:45).

  • Have a considerate heart – Jesus considered others as more important than Himself. He was not self-absorbed or self-preoccupied, but He was absorbed in the good of others. As you pray, consider others. Don’t be preoccupied with praying only for yourself, but bring the needs of others before the Lord in prayer.

    “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).

Let’s ask God to teach us humility in our daily life and in our prayers.

Simple acts of humility will make a difference in a world that esteems getting ahead and self-promotion. Jesus is our greatest example. He is out to win our hearts for love. One so strong and tender stooped so low for each one of us. Can we not do the same for Him?

“That which brings the praying soul near to God is humility of heart. That which gives wings to prayer is lowliness of mind. Pride, self-esteem, and self-praise effectually shut the door of prayer. He who would come to God must approach the Lord with self hidden from his eyes. Humility is a rare Christian grace of great price in the courts of heaven, entering into and being an inseparable condition of effectual praying. It gives access to God when other qualities fail. Its full portrait is found only in the Lord Jesus. Our prayers must be set low before they can ever rise high.” E. M. Bounds

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