Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sit Down and Shut Up.

This is what I keep hearing the Lord say to me.
Of course I know He means it in the most loving, nurturing way.

Seven months ago I had a nice regimented order in my daily life consisting of private prayer, work, ministry in the House of Prayer, family time, my time working on my art & music, and teaching art and music. Sounds like a lot, but I had it down to a science, almost.

Since we moved here, I have slowly gotten out of the routine. Since I have so much more time, I don't have to be so tightly structured. It seems like I relaxed a little bit at a time, and now I find myself going, going, going again. My time sitting completely got away from me!

(this photo is my little corner in the prayer room where i like to walk, i often feel the Lord there)

Though I schedule 4-5 hours per day to sit and read and pray, I haven't hit those hours in a while. I started to worry, "am I falling back into a "ministry of doing" type routine? Part of what I have personally been going through is the demands of Ministry verses Ministry to the One.

For me, I have some specifics that the Lord has highlighted to me that have caused my decline, how about you? Are you taking time to sit before the Lord? That's all, just sit there, and be still?

"Be still and know that I am God..." Psalm 46:10

Honestly, I love spending time with the Lord, but I have a really hard time sitting still! I never realized what a hard time I had until I had the time to sit!Maybe you can identify? I desire to "do" for God, but what i really need is to "draw" from God!

What did I decide to do about this predicament you ask? (Glad you did!) I renewed my Sacred Trust Commitment to the Lord this week! What is a "Sacred Trust" you ask? (Glad you did!) It is a schedule I am committed to in private and corporate prayer.

For myself, this looks like scheduled times on my google calendar, which I share with others. This helps keep me accountable to be "unavailable" when I am scheduled to be with the Lord.

I heard Kirk Bennett say on a teaching once, "You say you have a prayer life? Show me your schedule, and I'll tell you if you have a prayer life." OUCH! But it is so true!

I want to encourage anyone reading this to make a schedule with the Lord, time(s) you are meeting with Him privately, and time(s) you are setting aside to your local Prayer House.

Feel free to email me through my contact page for questions about Sacred Trust schedules or calendars. I'd be happy to email you a sample!

Here's to sitting!
- gina

Monday, April 25, 2011

Why Corporate Prayer?

Fasted Lifestyle Lesson #6
The Corporate Prayer Reality

"Why do I need to come to the House of Prayer? Can't I just pray at home?"
You have all heard someone say that I'm sure, as I have. We all understand there are seasons of hiding in the secret place, but mostly believers need to be together in Radical Prayer Community. Last week as I was praying in the prayer room for our House of Prayer Community, I was refreshed with the following corporate revelation.

When I look back at my Christian life highlights, some of the most significant encounters with God happened when I was praying with other believers.

When I was 19 years old, I was at youth worship team rehearsal, and we all held hands and prayed, just like we did every week. That week however, the Spirit of God showed up, and there was much groaning, weeping, singing, and praying into the late hours of the night. I was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues for the first time. It was life changing, I've never been the same since.

When I was 20 years old, I was attending Bethany College, and there was a little prayer room under the sanctuary I frequented. One night I was burning to pray and went down there, and another girl showed up and joined me. I was having a good time with Jesus, but when she came in and joined me, whoa, the Spirit got thick in that room. We were walking, jumping, singing, shouting, praying in tongues, you name it. The really neat thing is I didn't really know her that well before that night, but after spending hours in prayer together, it was like we were spiritually connected. Every time I saw her after that around campus or wherever, I hugged on her like she was my best friend, I felt so incredibly close to her.
"Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour." Acts 3:1
When I was 21 years old, I began attending Harvest House Church, wow, had to breath in for a second. During the first year and two that Johnny and I were attending we had these special mid-week Thursday night meetings. They were the kind of meetings the 'hungry' came to. The Spirit of God moved so strongly in those meetings, I looked forward to them all week long
"And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness." Acts 4:31
At the House of Prayer, we talk a lot about the "Secret Place" and that is vital in our walk with God to be developing our "Secret Place" life, but if we are crying out for a Regional Revival or Move of God in our city, we need to gather together and pray corporately.

Someone visited IHOP-Kansas City one time, a well-known church leader, and said to Mike Bickle, "Wow! You guys are really going for it here! I mean you are RADICAL! You've got this huge staff all praying, fasting, in the Word..." I think he caught himself at that point. When Mike tells that story, he chuckles and reflects how we have lost sight of the most important "program", meeting together in fasting and prayer!

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, The Camaraderie Creed, we need to see one another in prayer. Praying together in the same room! This is the very foundation of our commitment to Christ and a Christ-like lifestyle.
"For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Aroma of Life and Death

A couple months back I was studying the Song of Solomon, chapter one, verses 2-4. (Which I study all the time it seems!) I keep getting more revelation on each phrase every time I study it.
I was reading through Diane Parnell’s notes in the Discovering God’s Heart Manual, and there was a cross reference on the “fragrance” for 2 Corinthians 2:14-15.

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere.”

We know that the “Fragrance of Christ” speaks mainly of the knowledge of God. So what this passage is talking about is basically that wherever we go, we are carrying an aroma of the knowledge of God in every physical location we are present at. But then read verse 15 and 16…

"For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life."
Have you ever noticed when you have been in a room with unbelievers a feeling of hostility towards you? I have noticed it. In fact, I have asked myself on several occasions, 'if the good news is so good, why do people hate it so much?"

When I read this in the context of the 'knowledge of Him' I saw something very interesting. If we carry the knowledge of Him, its the very essence of the tree of knowledge of good and evil...

It is like Carrying the Prayer Room to the person you are with.

When I am in the prayer room and I see the Lord looking at my heart, and I look back at Him, looking at me, and I break and repent, or cry, or worship, or however I respond, it is so out of conviction of the knowledge of God as I experience His presence.

"Anyone who isn't with me opposes me, and anyone who isn't working with me is actually working against me." Mathew 12:30

As a "Presence Carrier" it is like I am bringing this 'Prayer Room' wherever I go. The difference is that my company has not chosen to get in their car and drive to the prayer room, they aren't looking to 'face God'. My very presence is bringing HIS presence, and they are faced with loving it or hating it, running towards it, or from it.

Aware of the aroma,
- gina