Going Deeper in Intimacy with God

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“Might we not set ourselves to learn silence, stillness, and solitude? It will not be easy to come by. It must be arranged. The Lord Jesus, available to people much of the time, left them, sometimes a great while before day, to go up to the hills. He could commune in solitude with His Father. Job, enduring his friends’ tiresome lectures and accusations, was very much alone in the ash heap, but it was there that he came to know God as never before. When Paul received God’s call to preach the gospel he did not consult anyone. He went into Arabia. The old apostle John, when exiled to Patmos, must sure have known a holy aloneness through which he received the book of Revelation.”
Elisabeth Eliot

I like to write motivational books on prayer. One of my books is called Deeper Still: Secrets to a Deeper Prayer Life. As I wrestled with what to call this book and after finally deciding on a title, God gave me several confirmations that this was His choice. Within a very short time I saw the words “deep,” “deeper,” and “deeper still” everywhere—a street name, a magazine title, a song on a CD, an article title, and several other places.

God was showing me that depth is very important to Him as we learn the lessons of prayer. The great biblical characters like Job, Paul, John, and even Jesus had to learn this lesson. God wants to take each one of us deeper still—deeper than we have ever been before. And this requires an invitation to times of aloneness.

Going deeper in prayer is not always easy or fun.

Actually it can be quite difficult, especially when we don’t know what God is doing. We have to give extravagant time to God. When I wrote Deeper Still, God was wooing me into a deeper prayer life. I thought to myself:

“Haven’t I gone deep enough? Do You still want me to go deeper?”

That is exactly what He wanted. The difficulties of the end-times require it. You may wonder, “Lord, isn’t it about time that I take action? I’ve been waiting a long time.” But you may not realize the strength that is needed at the foundation of your life in order to stay consistently stable in hard times. Your foundation has to be strong so that no attack from the enemy can penetrate your firm trust in the Lord.

The word “deep” in Webster’s Dictionary means “extending far below the surface, descending far downward, profound, opposed to shallow, piercing a great way, not superficial or obvious, hidden, secret, heartfelt, intricate.” God wants to take us far below the surface in our relationship with Himself. This relationship must not be superficial—as so many are—but heartfelt, hidden, and of great depth.

The quality of our aloneness with God can actually enhance the quality of our time with others. Cultivate that deep, alone time with God and make it a holy aloneness. Make your relationship with God of prime importance because this is what life is all about. Someone once told my husband and I, “God is taking you deeper and working intricately with your life, so that you can work intricately with the lives of others.” I’ve often thought about how true that statement has been to us.

We used to live in Virginia Beach so we learned a lot about hurricanes. A few years ago we had a hurricane called Ernesto that swept through the area. I’ve written about this hurricane before because of its’ profound message. Ernesto was not a very forceful hurricane, yet many trees fell because of the strength of the winds. Many people lost one or more trees during that hurricane. It left Virginia Beach in a huge mess with trees and branches lying everywhere.

The stability of the trees depended on how deep the roots went below the surface. Shallow roots could not stand the force of even a small hurricane. In Virginia Beach in mild weather you could never tell how deep a tree’s roots extended, but in a hurricane the truth was exposed. Shallow roots meant a big downfall. The roots just could not sustain the tree.

Likewise, right now God is developing your prayer life and the depth of your personal relationship with Him. He is inviting you deeper for a purpose. He has great plans to use you in the coming days. You must not bypass this most important season in your life.

During the last several years, I have concentrated a large majority of time in writing books on prayer. This has called for a lot of root work. It has called for alone time with God and heavy concentration. I am an active person and like to be out in the nations, but God is inviting me to go deeper. I have learned to say “yes” to this call. I know it is perhaps the most crucial time in my relationship with God. I have learned that the value of this time of going deeper with God is worth gold. I need to be exceedingly grateful for it even though it takes effort and a prioritizing of everything I do.

God is inviting you to enter into deeper intimacy. As you accept this invitation, I recommend that you do the following:

  • Thank Him for what He is doing in you – Live a life of praise and thanksgiving. Choosing to go deeper with God will pay off in the end. Thanksgiving brings joy and contentment.
  • Refuse to listen to the devil – Just as those shallow trees fell in the hurricane, God does not want you to be shallow so that you fall in the end times. He wants to strengthen you now. Listen to God when He is calling you deeper, and accept His invitation.
  • Be patient and don’t complain – Watch your speech and guard it carefully. Be one who speaks positive words that bring joy and faith to others.
  • Be content with where you are – Thank Him for the depth He is developing in your life through your present circumstances. Let Him work intricately with your life.
  • Cultivate holy aloneness with God on a daily basis – Plan it in your schedule. Sacrifice in order to give God your time. Make Jesus central in all that you do.

Your depth with God now is of utmost importance. He knows what is needed. He is working intricately with your life. He is deep, and He is inviting you to go deeper into His heart through prayer. He knows how strong the winds will be howling in the end-times. He is very purposeful in what He is presently developing in your life. The devil will say it is not important. He will tempt you with these thoughts:

“Eat, drink and be merry. Nothing will happen. Live just for today.”

But God is developing this holy aloneness with Himself for a purpose. Every day of “root building” is beneficial. When you are building depth, often you can’t see anything happening on the surface. It can even feel that all is dead and lifeless, but actually the opposite is true—sustainable life is being built deep down where it really counts. Realize that your root development will one day pay off. Let His song be with you even during the midnight hour.

Don’t miss the Intercessors Arise prayer webinar called: How to Grow in Intimacy with God. It’s filled with free prayer material to help you grow in your relationship with God  – SECURE YOUR SEAT HERE!

“Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. By day the Lord directs His love, at night His song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life” (Psalm 42:7-8).

By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
http://www.intercessorsarise.org

 

How to Grow in Intimacy with God

Do you feel far away from God? Would you like to know Him as your best friend?

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Don’t miss this absolutely crucial webinar on how to grow in your intimacy with God.

It’s filled with free giveaways and with proven step-by-step help that really works.

This is a coaching and transformational prayer webinar  designed especially for you.

 

Register Here – How to Grow in Intimacy with God

Don’t miss it! You can watch it on any day of your choice!

The Strength and Power of Prayer

13347003_1184175991645506_6259241018605194761_n“God’s purpose may be thwarted or it may be accomplished depending, to one degree or another, on the obedience of His people and their willingness to use the weapons of spiritual warfare that He has provided. God is powerful enough to win any battle, but He has designed things so that the release of His power at a given moment of time often is contingent upon the decisions and the actions of His people. A principle weapon of spiritual warfare is prayer. Not just routine or mediocre prayer, but prayer powerful enough to move God’s hand in order to determine the destiny of a whole nation.” C. Peter Wagner

Do we realize the power we have available to us when we take our authority in prayer? Most of us don’t realize our authority because if we did, we would be praying far more. We would be sacrificing everything else in order to pray. Instead of worrying about the increase in evil in our land, we would be on our faces before God crying out for His intervention. Unfortunately in many churches prayer is the weakest link. It should be the strongest one because it is the key to God’s blessing in the spirit realm.

America is a nation in crisis. Division, strife, and violence are increasing at an alarming rate. We must encourage the body of Christ everywhere to pray for the future of this nation and for this upcoming election. Several Christian leaders have indicated that this is a one-issue election” – the supreme court judges. The most serious threat over America is the 55 million abortions (since Roe vs. Wade in 1973). More abortions will lead to a greater judgment. There is more at stake in this election than most of us realize. We are battling for the soul of this nation.

How should a nation in crisis respond at a time like this? We need to gather in prayer with fasting to cry out for mercy, deliverance, and revival. God wants our hearts. We must take action and fervently pray for this election and vote for Godly values. It is our God-given responsibility to vote. See the values of each candidate here. Join us at the International House of Prayer for a Solemn Assembly for America from October 31 – Nov. 2, 2016. See Joel 2:12-17. I ask those in other nations to join us in prayer for America at this critical hour.

We work together with God when we exercise our authority in prayer. Authoritative intercession and heartfelt repentance is key to breakthrough in America. By exercising our authority in prayer and standing strong in God’s truth, we are working together with Him to determine the future of our nation. We have authority in prayer to actually see our personal lives and the lives of others change. We can pray authoritative prayers for our neighborhoods and cities. Certain things in history will happen through our intercession if we pray the way God wants us to pray. We can change nations through prayer if we choose to use this mighty weapon.

Prayer is like being at a tasty buffet banquet. Imagine being at a dinner buffet where there are many tables loaded with different foods. The foods are the best. They are mouth-watering and absolutely delicious. Guests help themselves to the different kinds of food, as they desire. The host walks around among his friends to see if everyone has enough to eat, while the servers keep loading the table with fresh food. You can take as many trips as you like to the tables as long as you have enough to eat. The host doesn’t care as long as you are full.

In a similar way, God has provided everything for us if we pray. We can have all we need. Most of us have not realized the power there is in prayer. We are not asking. All we have to do is reach out by faith and ask Him to touch our lives, our cities, and our nations. When we tap into his resources by faith and pray, miracles happen. When we exercise our authority in prayer, God answers in a powerful way. There is a strength and power in prayer that the Church has not yet known or realized.

My husband is a very practical man. He can fix almost anything. In our garage he has all kinds of tools. Once he decided to remodel our bathroom and tile the floor. To do an excellent job, he needed a good tile cutter. Whenever he fixes something in our home, he needs the right tools. Lately he has been working on our car. He needed a jack to lift the car up in order to work underneath. He couldn’t fix a problem underneath the car without that tool. It would be impossible.

The body of Christ also has a task. We want to change the world for Christ. It’s a huge task for all of us, but we do it one life at a time. Some are reaching people in their workplace or in another country. Some are reaching people in the hospitals or in the schools. We are all in this together. We want to see people’s lives changed all over the world before Jesus’ return to earth but the task is huge, and we need the right tools to do it. The most essential tool is prayer. Only through prayer can we get the job done. There is strength and power in prayer that can change the world.

When we pray with authority, things happen in the spirit realm. God remembers every prayer we pray, and every one of them prayed through the power of the Holy Spirit has effect on earth. Not one prayer is forgotten. When I was in a particular city in the country of Turkey, I remembered a prayer I had prayed in that very same city several years before. It was as if at that moment God showed me that He had remembered my prayers from several years before, and that it was extremely important and would have a powerful effect in that city one day. My prayer influenced God. When we realize the authority we have in prayer, mighty things will happen all over the earth that brings victory to the powerful name of Jesus. Well-known prayer author and intercessor, E. M. Bounds, wrote about the power of prayer:

“Prayer is power and strength, a power and strength that influences God, and is most salutary, widespread, and marvelous in its gracious benefits to man. Prayer influences God. The ability of God to do for man is the measure of the possibility of prayer.”

The prayers you pray influence God. He remembers every single one of them. You may be thinking, “You don’t know me – My prayers seem so feeble and weak – God doesn’t seem to answer me.” Do not ever think that God hasn’t heard you or that your prayers do not matter. The enemy is trying very hard to discourage people in prayer in these days because he is afraid of prayer. He knows it’s strength and potential, and he is trying to keep this hidden from the Church.

Prayer takes time. We have to learn to wait and believe. One day you will see that your prayers have had a mighty effect in the spiritual realm. Do not give up or ever think it is not important to pray today. If ever there was a need for intercession for America, it is now.  We are in a key (kairos) time in all of history. The Greek word “kairos” in the New Testament means the appointed or opportune time that God has set for something to occur. During a kairos time, we must respond in prayer and press through in intercession in order to see God’s plan fulfilled. We are in a time of urgency, and we must seize it in prayer. This is the appointed season for change and for intercession to increase.

We must not fear the future or believe the lies of the enemy, but we must stand strong in authoritative prayer. 

Fear weakens us and gives us an unsound mind. Instead, we must know our authority in prayer to see mighty changes on earth, in our own personal lives, and in our nation. We can pray God’s future plan into being through our intercession. If we pray strategic, authoritative, and prophetic prayers then we will be praying the future into being. Authority is the key to strength and power. We have awesome responsibility.

We need God’s revelation of our spiritual authority. We rarely grasp the full potential of the strength and power of prayer that is available to us. We often go about our daily activities and forget that we are united with Christ. We are connected with Him as our head, and we are His Church designed to express the fullness of His power on earth. Carefully meditate on the Apostle Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1:18-23 to get the full picture. God has incomparably great power, Christ is seated at God’s right hand, Jesus defeated Satan at the cross, and we are called to enforce Jesus authority on earth through prayer.

I remember when I was on my way to a prayer meeting in a nearby church on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. I was not very familiar with that church even though it was not far from my house. Therefore I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going. Having thought I passed it, I turned around and drove into the parking lot of a building. Going up to the door and finding it was locked, I knocked and asked a gentleman if this was the church. The man turned to me and said with a tiny laugh, “No, this is the fire department.” I realized suddenly what an incredible mistake I had made. I was at the fire department!

God spoke to my heart through that experience. We are in an emergency situation. The house is on fire! Cities are on fire! There is an emergency in the nations. Right now we are in a  battle for America. The harvest is ripe, and Satan knows that his time is short. He is doing everything he can to steal, kill and destroy. We must pray – We must encourage everyone around us to pray – We must shake awake those who are asleep – We must become radical and passionate in prayer. The cities and nation are on fire! Prayer is the answer. When we pray, we are empowered to reach the lost. Then we take action with the power of God. God rules through His body, the praying Church!

The hope for the nations is an anointed prayer movement. It is God’s people knowing the strength and the power of prayer and enforcing God’s will on earth through it. God has given us breakthrough authority to change nations. Authority is delegated power similar to a police officer when he enforces the law. Through our prayers we can change the atmosphere over cities. Through our prayers we can bring into subjection demonic powers and principalities, and disciple the nations. Through our prayers God releases deliverance and transforms society. God is calling us to use our authority in prayer to bind the enemy’s work and to loose His Kingdom on earth. Let’s learn to take hold of the strength and power of prayer and pray down God’s blessings on our nation.

“Of what infinite importance is the place the intercessor holds in the Kingdom of God! Is it not indeed a matter of wonder that God should give men such power? Yet there are so few who know what it is to take hold of His strength and pray down His blessing on the world.”  E. M. Bounds

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

Maintaining Victory in Spiritual Warfare through Prayer

“When Adam and Eve fell, they relinquished rulership of the earth to Satan, a fallen angelic being. Spiritual warfare is the reversal of that procedure. It is the unseen power encounter between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness. Through prayer, fasting and exercising the authority of Christ and His cross, believers indwelt and empowered by the Holy Spirit are forcing angelic beings to relinquish rulership of the earth!” Eddie and Alice Smith

The enemy hates intercession because we exercise our authority in Christ when we pray. It is one of the greatest things he will attack. I have been to so many prayer meetings over the years that were stopped or hindered because of enemy attack. We must realize that our fight is not against flesh and blood. It is an attack in the spiritual realm and is an unseen power encounter between two kingdoms. The enemy is on an all out attack to stop prayer, because he knows that there is power in intercession. There is power in even one intercessor that knows his/her authority in prayer.

The movie War Room is an excellent example of the power of prayer demonstrated in an elderly intercessor who knew her authority and would not give in to enemy lies. She taught a younger woman how to stand strong in prayer for her marriage, and God broke through in an amazing way. To my astonishment, I was able to watch this incredible Christian movie on an Islamic airlines last week while flying back to the U.S. God is making His name and the power of prayer known everywhere!

Do not look at your prayer life as a small ministry of no importance. The enemy knows full well how mighty you are in pulling down his strongholds, and he will try to intimidate, discourage, divide, or defeat you. Don’t accept his lies.

“Doubt. Deception. Discouragement. Division. It’s time for the church to stop accepting these enemy strikes as natural. Spiritual warfare is a reality that the church must face. It won’t go away on its own – but it can be dealt with through prayer.”

Ways to Maintain Victory in Spiritual Warfare through Prayer

“The church must do all it can to protect unity and destroy division. A local congregation becomes well prepared to resist the enemy when, finding itself in a conflict, people begin to ask the question, ‘What is the enemy trying to do here?’ Then, turning to the Lord, each asks an even more important question: ‘Lord, how do we counter these attacks of divisiveness against your people?'”


The following are ways you can personally maintain victory in spiritual warfare through prayer. I am especially emphasizing warfare in the area of relationships in our lives. This has to do with how we see God, how we see ourselves, and how we see and relate to others. Many times we are blinded to the ways that the enemy is trying to get us. I find that these reminders are extremely helpful when I am under attack. They may seem basic, but they have huge significance and perhaps are the greatest hindrances to the enemy’s success in defeating us. Pray through these ways of victory for yourself and the Church globally:

  • Love God with all your heart, and abide in Him – Loving and abiding in God is so important in order to see answered prayer. I am personally, by nature, a warrior but my relationship with God is the best antidote against the enemies flaming missiles. We must know God intimately, and abide in that intimacy daily.

    If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you” (John 15:7).

  • Speak out the attributes of God, and praise him daily in prayer – Worship is a powerful form of warfare. Praying and singing out loud about the greatness of God during moments when you are emotionally down makes a huge difference. Your heart begins to rise up, your feelings change, and you see the sovereignty and greatness of God.

    “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God” (Philippians 2:9-11).

  • Know your identity in Christ – Your personal identity in Christ is the enemy’s strategy of attack against you. Know in your heart God’s incredible love for you. You are the beloved of God, a royal priest, the apple of God’s eye, and so much more. Remind yourself of these things. Pray God’s identity over your life using Psalm 139. You are God’s masterpiece.

    “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:13-14).

  • Depend on God’s wisdom and not your own – Understand the ways of God, and rely on His sufficiency. He is all-wise and all-knowing. Pray for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in your life and decisions daily. Take time to listen to God.

    “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better” (Ephesians 1:17).

  • Know God’s Word as your weapons against the enemy’s lies – The Bible is your main defensive, for it is the truth that sets you free. Pick up your shield of faith, and protect your mind with the helmet of salvation. Speak out truth and faith. Strongholds come in through the mind, and God’s Word is a mighty weapon against them. Use God’s Word in your prayer times.

    “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).

  • Grow in holiness and humility – Humility enables you to receive the grace of God. It is opposite of the enemy. When you are submitted to God, the enemy flees. Pray for humility and holiness in your life, and offer your life to God as a living sacrifice.

    “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship” (Romans 12:1).

  • Guard your relationships, and practice peace and love – Know the power of words, and watch your tongue carefully. Speak life words of peace and love rather than death words. Watch all criticism. Pray for your relationships and your church.

    “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:9-10).

  • Forgive quickly, and walk in unity – Learn to forgive quickly, and bless others. We can have no authority over a nation, city, or neighborhood when we have unforgiveness in our hearts. Release forgiveness and blessings to all. Ask for forgiveness quickly when you sin.

    “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them together in perfect unity” (Colossians 3:13-14).

  • Have extended times of prayer and fasting – Learn to exercise the authority you have in Christ. Extended times in prayer and fasting increase spiritual authority. You are seated with Christ. Ask God to give you and your church grace for prayer and fasting. See Isaiah 58:6-14 for 18 benefits of fasting.

     “Blow the trumpet in Zion, consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly’”(Joel 2:15).

Unity and prayer within the Church globally will have a dramatic effect in bringing in the world harvest. It is as we unite together that God can bring great breakthrough against the powers of darkness. Each of us need others to pray for us personally as we are involved in the ministry of prayer and intercession. Let we pray through these ways to maintain victory for all intercessors and their churches. Additional verses to study about spiritual warfare are in Ephesians 6:10-20.

“The real danger for us is not the enemy’s schemes, but being unaware of them – and thus, unprotected from them. We tend to approach difficulties in the church as though they are ‘natural’ things. But when churches divide over whether to use hymns or contemporary choruses, it’s not natural. When a flock turns on its shepherd, it’s not natural. When saints, called to live in love and peace, spend their time criticizing and accusing one another, it’s not natural. The devil has come to church.” Unnamed Quotes by David Butts

The Intercessors Arise International and Nations House of Prayer Equipping Center websites will help you to maintain victory through prayer. Included are dozens of motivational teachings on prayer and intercession.

By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOPKC)

Put Prayer First

“To the average Christian the command ‘pray without ceasing’ is simply a needless and impossible life of perfection. Who can do it? We can get to heaven without it. To the true believer, on the contrary, it holds out the promise of the highest happiness, of a life crowned by all the blessings that can be brought down on souls through his intercession. And as he perseveres, it becomes increasingly his highest aim upon earth, his highest joy, his highest experience of the wonderful fellowship with the holy God.” Andrew Murray

As we each face many challenges and blessings in life, it is critical that we put prayer first in our schedules. I sense in my heart that we are entering into very deep waters. We always have enough time for the things we value. The greatest key to success in the Christian life is to put God and prayer first. Too many things in life are crying out for our attention. Everything we do must be done through the power of prayer.

We must learn to put prayer first on a daily basis. It is something we have to give our utmost attention to. The enemy is TOO clever, and he will try to steal our time. This is where he will resist us the most. We need to have a vision for prayer. Vision determines priorities, and our priorities determine our destinies. Put prayer as a high priority in your life.

In Acts 12:5 we read about fervent prayer for Peter by the church. They prayed with intense earnestness. Peter was in trouble! The word “earnestness” in the Greek means “stretched-out-edly”. Their souls were stretched out with intense earnestness toward God. It was like a runner using every nerve and muscle stretched out toward the goal. Jesus also prayed with intense earnestness in Luke 22:44 so that even his sweat became as drops of blood. God desires that we learn to prioritize prayer and seek to be a man or woman of intense earnestness in intercession. The Bible speaks about devoting ourselves to prayer in Colossians 4:2. The Amplified Bible says:

“Be earnest and unwearied and steadfast in your prayer life, being both alert and intent in your praying with thanksgiving.”

Dorthy Haskins in her book A Prayer Guide to Prayer tells about an excellent concert violinist who was asked the secret of her mastery of the violin. She responded, “Planned neglect.” She explained how so many things demanded her time. After breakfast, she would do her normal duties such as straightening her room, cleaning and several other things that seemed necessary. She would then turn to her violin after finishing all her work. But she was unable to accomplish what she should on the violin. So she reversed the order, and neglected everything until her practice period on the violin was completed. That was the secret to her success. How often we are like this violinist and put prayer at the end of what needs to be done. It can be last on our list! It must be first. It must be prioritized in our lives, if we want to have a life dedicated to God’s glory.

We must learn to put prayer first now and not wait. The world is getting worse with each passing day as crime and terrorism increase. With earthquakes killing thousands, financial difficulties, unusual weather patterns, plus lawlessness, famines and needs everywhere – if ever there was a need for prayer, it is now. But you and I don’t have to wait for an emergency situation in our city. We already live in an emergency situation – God has sounded the alarm – Millions do not yet know Christ. The hour is urgent! Throughout history, there were praying individuals who knew the seriousness of the hour and prioritized prayer every single day. Let’s look at some of these examples from history.

Historical Examples

“Christ, who in this as well as in other things is our example, spent many whole nights in prayer. His custom was to pray much. He had His habitual place to pray. Many long seasons of praying made up His history and character. Paul prayed day and night. Daniel’s three daily prayers took time away from other important interests. David’s morning, noon, and night praying was doubtless on many occasions very long and involved. While we have no specific account of the time these Bible saints spent in prayer, the indications are that they devoted much time to prayer, and on some occasions long seasons of praying were their custom.” E. M. Bounds

These prayer warriors put prayer first in their everyday life. Even though some of them had ill health, busy lives or were very old, they still were able to put prayer first.

  • 84-year-old Anna – She was very old but prayed and fasted night and day for decades. See Luke 2:36.
  • David Brainerd – He spent whole days in prayer as he cried out for the salvation of the Native Americans.
  • E. M. Bounds – He was an eager and intense man of prayer. He prayed with faith that believed God for the impossible and wrote many outstanding books on prayer.
  • John Hyde – He was a missionary to India who paid a high price for prayer. He spent thirty days and nights in intercession and was ranked as a mad enthusiast in prayer.

We influence others as we, ourselves, spend time in prayer. Our short prayers are effective when we have prayed long ones. We must learn to prevail with God just as these men and women did. Jacob had victory because he wrestled all night with God. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, the Bible exhorts us to “Pray without ceasing”.

The Cost of Putting Prayer First

Those who pray receive a blessing for now and for eternity that far outweighs the cost. They learn the secret to a joyful and strategic life. But choosing to prioritize prayer has a price tag. It will cost us to put prayer at the top of our responsibilities, but it is well worth the effort. It will cost us:

  • Time – We must devote ourselves to prayer. We may have to give up other good things in order to do the best thing. See Colossians 4:2.
  • Energy – Prayer can be hard work and very intense physically. It will take concentrated energy to pray. God may call us to pray in the middle of the night. See Isaiah 64:7.
  • A Pure Motive – Prayer is often done in secret. We need to have a pure motive when we pray. God will reward us openly. See Matthew 6:6.
  • Faith – We don’t often see results immediately when we pray, and this takes great faith. But God does answer prayer in a powerful way if we persevere in faith. See Hebrews 11:1, 6.

Let’s rise to a new level in putting prayer and intercession first. May God help us to keep it central in our busy life. May He give us the grace to put prayer first, not only when emergency situations arise in our own personal lives, but also as we live in the emergency situation we all face in the end times. I pray that God will encourage your heart to count the cost and say, “yes” to the ministry of intercession. I make a conscious choice to put prayer first every day of my life. I pray that you do the same.

Here at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City, every year the staff renews their commitment to prayer. Each year they make a Sacred Trust before the Lord as to what hours they will spend in the prayer room. They actually put it in their weekly schedules. Prayer and intimacy with God is central at IHOP and all work springs from that central commitment. Full-time staff spend 24 hours weekly in the prayer room. Although a high commitment, God gives grace to pray. You may want to make a Sacred Trust before the Lord as to how much time you will block out in your schedule for prayer, worship, and time with God. This helps you keep prayer first in your life.

“They may start from different points, and travel by different roads, but they converge to one point: they are one in prayer. To them, God is the center of attraction, and prayer is the path that leads to God. These men do not pray occasionally – not a little or at odd times. But, they pray in such a way that their prayers enter into and shape their very character. They pray so as to affect their own lives and the lives of others, and to cause the history of the church to influence the current of the times. They spend much time in prayer, not because they watch the shadow of the dial or the hands on the clock, but because it is to them so momentous and engaging a business that they can scarcely quit.” E. M. Bounds

Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise
deb@intercessorsarise.org
http://www.intercessorsarise.org

The Power of Crying Out

“In moments of fear, anxiety, and trouble, the right step toward experiencing God’s powerful deliverance and protection is to simply cry out—to use our voice in fervent appeal for His help.” Quotes by Bill Gothard

Do you ever practice crying out loud to God for help?

I think most of us have, especially when we’ve been in serious trouble. This is how our Biblical predecessors often prayed. Fervency in prayer and crying out loud is a key to breakthrough in prayer. My husband has often told people that fervent, passionate prayer is the type of prayer you would cry out if your airplane were falling from the sky. You would cry out to God in desperation, with all your heart! There would be no place for distracted, apathetic prayer under those circumstances. No way! It would be a life and death matter!

Yet many of us are facing impossible circumstances where the “crying out” type of prayer is needed for spiritual breakthrough. Crying out loud seems to be a key to a powerful prayer life that influences heaven and sees tremendous answers to prayer. Often we are urged by the Spirit to cry an impassioned declaration of God’s powerful ability. That demonstrates our total dependence on God to accomplish the victory. We need to catch hold of this truth and apply it to our prayer lives. We read in Psalm 86:7, “In the day of trouble I will call upon you, for you will answer me.” When we cry out to God, we experience His all-sufficient, supernatural power to answer us.

God often arranges our circumstances so there seems to be no way out.

Haven’t you been there? The problem doesn’t seem to go away. But in response to our crying out to Him, He answers. He may bring healing, protection, or direction. He wants to show us that He is our sole saving power when we are at the end of all our known resources. In the Bible there is a consistent pattern of God’s people crying out to Him and His answering in His power. David often cried aloud to God with deep emotion when in desperate situations, and God answered his cry. He says in Psalm 61:1, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their trouble.” Bill Gothard in his book, The Power of Crying Out states:

“Many believers today seem unaware of this consistent pattern in God’s Word. It could even be said that the most significant difference between the prayers of God’s saints in Scripture (so powerfully effective) and our prayers today (so seemingly ineffective) is this: There was a fervency in the prayers of biblical saints – a fervency that is inherent in crying out.”

Crying out to God is not something we do mechanically, but it flows out of our relationship with Him. Do we really know that God actually hears us and longs to hear our cry? He is our father and loves to hear our voice. We have the authority and right as His children to call fervently to our Father. Do we realize that there is power in the spoken word? When it is spoken fervently, sincerely and with all our heart, it is even more powerful. Do we realize that as we cry out to God aloud, He sees that we are seriously and boldly coming to His throne of grace? Do we not comprehend that when we cry out to God in our distress He will answer?

We will see that crying out in prayer is the very turning point that brings His deliverance. It happened often in the Bible and can happen for us as well. Notice in Psalm 107:6, 13, 19, and 28 how God loves to answer those with a sincere heart in their need. “Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses.” Crying out triggers God’s deliverance. Many of you are facing desperate situations in your life. Learn to cry aloud to God with all your heart. Trust Him—your deliverer—to undertake in your behalf.

“Days of trouble. Hours of crisis. Moments of urgent and fearful need. They come to us all unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. How can we prepare for such times? We can prepare by being ready to cry aloud to the Lord for His saving help, boldly expecting His deliverance. God invites and expects His beloved ones to do exactly that: ‘Call upon Me in the day of trouble,’ He tells us; ‘I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.’”

For many years we live on a ship called Doulos. This ship was our moving home that sailed from country to country, spreading the Good News of Jesus and selling Christian and educational books. During one of our voyages—with over 300 persons from 40 nations aboard—we were sailing down the coast of South America and were about to enter the Straits of Magellan. This is a narrow, long passage of quite some distance off the coast of Chile. Our next port of ministry was the southernmost city at the tip of Chile. You could consider this area of the world the “ends of the earth.” The straits are known for their treacherous and dangerous seas.

The weather at the time was stormy, and the waves were choppy and unsafe which would make it very difficult for our old ship to pass through safely. This ship, built in 1914 and in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest floating passenger ship in the world, caused many of us even more concern as we anticipated this dangerous journey.

In light of our situation, the captain made an urgent request over the loud speaker. He said that we must all gather together immediately and pray for God to calm the seas. We must cry out to God to give us a safe passage through the Straits of Magellan so that we could arrive on time at our next port.

With no time to waste, the entire staff and crew gathered together in our main lounge to pray. Imagine the thoughts that raced through our minds and the level of anxiety many of us felt as we hurried to the main lounge. After all, we were on a tiny, old ship anticipating tossing around in treacherous seas. We felt dependent at that moment on a supernatural God who could turn our situation around by His power and might.

We began to pray and cry out to God to calm the seas for His glory. Perhaps you can guess what happened next. Yes! God answered prayer—the seas became still—and the ship passed peacefully through the narrow passage.

My future husband and I sat on deck and admired the beauty of God’s creation in that gorgeous part of the world. We had met each other on board, and this was our first date and one we would always remember. During that voyage we saw many shipwrecks along the way right in the midst of all the natural beauty of massive rocks and clear blue seas. This was a vivid reminder of God’s powerful answer to our desperate prayers.

Is crying out to God effective?

It certainly is—Our ship was able to reach its destination safely—We were able to continue our conferences and evangelistic programs right on schedule. God used such a situation to build our faith as we cried out to Him and lived His answer. He wants to break through in extreme situations. He will do the same for you as He did for us on this voyage. I recommend that you read and pray through some of the heartfelt prayers of David. Psalms 16, 25, 31, 51, and 63 are excellent Psalms that you can pray out loud for yourself and others.

You may be passing through dangerous or difficult waters. God hears your cry and wants to take you deeper in passionate, fervent prayer. And remember when He answers your prayers, be sure to give thanks to Him for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds on your behalf. Crying out to God for help is a wonderful way to live. We not only should do it during times of trouble but as we pray for revival in our city and nation. God loves it when we pray with fervency and passion.

“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men” (Psalm 107:28-31).

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

Travailing Prayer

“We are a generation that avoids pain at all costs. This is why there are so few intercessors. Most Christians operate on the shallowest levels of prayer, but God wants to take us into the deep levels of intercessory prayer that only a few ever experience. Deep, prolonged intercession is painful. It involves staying before God when everyone else has gone away or sleeps (Luke 22:45). It involves experiencing brokenness with the Father over those who continually rebel against Him. How many of us will experience this kind of fervent intercession?” Henry and Richard Blackaby

Prayer can be a very joyful experience, but there are times when we agonize and travail for God’s purposes to come to pass in people’s lives. There are days when the Holy Spirit burdens us over a situation, and we begin to travail in prayers of a very deep and intensive nature in order to bring it to birth.

God is looking for people with whom He can share His heart. 

He wants to train us in deeper levels of intercession. He wants to teach us to travail in prayer. Jesus practiced travailing prayer while He was on earth. In Luke 22:44 we read, “And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” Imagine travail of that nature. In the final hours of His life, Jesus wanted His disciples to understand His anguish of heart. But in the Garden of Gethsemane His disciples could not fully grasp the urgency of the hour, and Jesus prayed alone.

“Ultimately, Jesus prayed alone. He went farther than His disciples and prayed longer. At the greatest moment of intercession in human history, there was no one willing to go with Jesus and watch with Him. Throughout history God has looked for those willing to yield everything to Him and His desire to redeem the world. At times God has marveled that no one was willing to go with Him (Isaiah 59:16, 63:5). The prophets seemed to grasp more than the common people, for while society carried on as though nothing were wrong, the prophets agonized and wept over what they knew God was preparing to do.”

We watched a wonderful movie called Amazing Grace. It was about William Wilberforce, a great Christian philanthropist who opposed the slave trade in England in the 1800’s. Society was wicked but Wilberforce remained confident in prayer. He did not lose hope even though society was unspiritual and immoral. He knew that there were still many who loved and obeyed the gospel of Christ and that their prayers would prevail. A few years later there was a great revival and thousands were saved. Society changed dramatically.

God does hear the travailing prayers of His people.

Today there are many people living at ease, not grasping the importance of the hour. God is looking for individuals who will stand with Him in intercession and travail for souls; ones who know the significance of the days in which we are living. You may be one God chooses to travail over nations or cities, over this generation of youth, and over unsaved relatives or co-workers. God is bringing you deeper in Him for a purpose. Don’t give up. William Wilberforce believed that God would break through. The situation in the 1800’s sounds much like the situation we face today.

While talking with an intercessor who was struggling personally, I told her that God is taking intercessors deeper. He is preparing them for something very significant.

  • When you go deep with God, you gain power.
  • Your prayers have an element of urgency and authority.
  • You pray from your heart because in your training through the trials, you receive God’s heart.

God is looking for those who will not fall asleep, but who will travail to birth His Kingdom purposes on earth. Travail is a cry of desperation. It is worth it to press in, travail, cry out, seek, and passionately hunger after God. If you feel barren in some area of your life experience, rise up in thanksgiving and say, “Thank you” to God. You are in a position for God to bring something to birth through your impassioned prayer. Travail brings forth birth. It is a powerful way to touch heaven and change earth with our prayers.

“God’s first requirement in ministry is barrenness. God looks for people who are incapable of producing life on their own, those who have come to the end of their own striving and honestly admit their true condition. Most of us, not wanting to bear this reproach, go around feigning ‘life.’ Our activities become the substitute for the anointing. Programs replace productivity and prayer. Life seems to abound everywhere, until one looks below the surface and realizes it’s only a veneer—a form of godliness that lacks power. Why does God insist on barrenness as a prerequisite for blessing? Simply because no flesh can glory in it… God has to strip us first so that He alone is glorified.”  David Ravenhill

Travailing Prayer Brings Forth Birth 

Travail is hard work and can be compared to childbirth. If you talk to any mother, you know that there is intense pain and agony involved in childbirth. Travail is a form of intense intercession that is initiated by the Holy Spirit. In travailing prayer, an individual or group is gripped with that which grips the heart of God. Travail happens after you have carried something in your heart for a period of time. It can be a burden, a promise, or a longing that God has put in your heart. There comes a time to bring the burden to birth through prayer.

God is the initiator who desires to bring forth life. Through travail He creates an opening that has been closed. When we listen carefully as we read His Word, we receive His heart to pray His purposes in travailing prayer. This opening provides the way for the birthing of God’s purposes and plans. We wrestle in prayer to see God’s plans birthed here on earth. We agonize to see God move in certain situations and to see the lost saved.

Such strenuous prayer calls for perseverance.  

Jacob wrestled all night in Genesis 32:24-26. He would not let go until God blessed him. Ephesians 6:11-12 says that we wrestle in prayer against the world rulers of darkness and the spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places. In one sense, we are in a wrestling match with the enemy, but we are the winners when we persevere. Epaphras wrestled in prayer for the Church at Colossae (Colossians 4:12-13). Jesus knew how to travail when He walked this earth. We read in Hebrews 5:7-8:

“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered.”

We must passionately pray the promises that God has laid on our hearts until they come forth. We must travail and wrestle and cry out to God on our knees. Are you desperate enough to travail over the promises that God has given you? Are you willing to pay the price to bring them to birth? Don’t give up. There is too much at stake. Remember this always: Travailing prayer brings forth birth.

God has laid dreams, purposes, and destiny on our hearts. He has a global plan, and we are all part of it. We may feel barren at the moment but deep in our heart the dream is there. There is joy in the heart of a mother when her baby is finally born. Likewise, when something is finally birthed in the spiritual realm, there is tremendous joy! I encourage you to press into the purposes of God and travail in prayer until God’s plans are birthed.

Your joy may be right around the corner.

“Wrestling in prayer enlists all the capacities of your soul, marshals your deepest holy desire, and by the grace of God uses all the perseverance of your holy determination. You push through a host of difficulties. You push back the heavy, threatening clouds of darkness. You reach beyond the visible and natural to the very throne of God. With all your strength and tenacity, you lay hold of God’s grace and power as it becomes a passion of your soul.”  James Goll

Intercessors Arise News

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