Oh how we need one another to do this journey called life. What a good and pleasing aroma it is when brothers swell together in unity! (Taken with Instagram at Grandview Plaza (IHOPU))

What in the world is prayer?

The Process

When the Lord first called me to IHOP-KC to become a full-time intercessory missionary, I didn’t have an iota of an idea of what that meant.  I didn’t even fully understand what prayer was. Slowly, through the four and half years (well, nearing five) of praying in a focused way, God started to fill in the blanks with concrete understanding concerning prayer.

On the onset, prayer seems simply therapeutic.  The house of prayer seems to be like the Christian equivalent of a rehab. Talking to God, singing praises to Him in an anointed atmosphere was, and still releases healing to my heart.  How can one not be moved, healed, delivered and refreshed when we encounter the beauty of Jesus? But as strange as this may sound, one would not stay in a relationship with someone who ONLY helps you with your problems and accepts you in your weakness.  There is no dignity in that type of relationship.

In the beginning of my relationship with Dustin, I was personally facing a lot of broken areas in my heart and my character. When he was ministering constantly to my heart, despite how generously blessed and encouraged I was by him loving me so well, I longed to contribute more than I was capable at the time. I was yet at the place where I was able to fully walk into my identity and calling in the relationship: a mature and equally yoked partner. This is the dignity the Lord invites us into through prayer. An invitation to be an equally yoked bride, confident both in who we are before our Bridegroom and in His power to release justice on the earth with and through us.

Despite the number of people who come to IHOP-KC for that sole of recuperating and healing, one cannot remain in the place of prayer with that sole approach forever. Keep in mind though, that everyone’s season of resting and allowing the Lord’s love to penetrate into their hearts varies in duration and cycle. The only one who truly knows which season each individual is in, is the Lord.

Similar to Song of Solomon, the Lord woos us into prayer by first releasing identity and worth into our hearts in the place of resting under the victory and provision of the Cross.  But just like the progression of Song of Solomon, God does not allow us to sit under His shade forever.  He calls us to arise from our comforts and climb the mountain (obstacles) before us with Him. It is through the door of difficulties and acceptance of our weakness that we walk into the fullness of who we are and the glory of our Bridegroom King. Though painfully difficult, it is this process of both receiving God’s love for us and rising up with Him, that the intercessor is formed.    

Why do we pray?

Prayer is how God runs the world and will continue to run it after He returns and makes the earth His Kingdom once again. Since we are created in His image, co-heirs with Christ and His bride, we are to walk in His ways with the authority He has given us (Heb 7:25, Rom 8:34).  Jesus Himself exercised principles of prayer to create the world (Gen. 1:2-11, Ps 33:6, 9, Heb 11:3, Jn 1:3, Col 1:16, Eph 3:9, Heb 1:2)

Awesomeness of Prayer:

1. It’s so simple and accessible that even illiterate orphans and trafficked little girls can release angels and hold back demons through prayer.  We only need to use the apostolic prayers (just a fancy way of saying the prayers that the apostles prayed) to intercede. Examples of apostolic prayers: Eph 1:16-19, 3:16-19,

2.Speaking God’s Word through prayer is truly a sword that releases the power of God against the enemy. This is how Jesus faced Satan when he was tempted in the wilderness

a. “He (Satan) said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” He …said, “it is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds form the mouth of God.’” The devil…said, “if you are the Son of God, throw Yourself down…”Jesus said…”It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord…’”(Mt 4:3-7)

b. “Take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” (Eph. 6:17)

3. Prayer reveals God’s deep desire for us to be with Him in partnership

a. The glory and dignity the Lord gives us by ruling His Kingdom through prayer from broken, foolish people like us!  God’s power and His Kingdom is released through words!

4. Prayer reveals the power of our tongue. The culture of our world encourages us to give our opinions, slander others and say whatever we want whenever we feel like simply to make a statement (facebook, twitter, blogging etc). The truth is, the Lord has given us the glorious authority in our speech to release His Kingdom here on earth. God, help us not treat this gift and right as a child of God lightly.

a. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”  (Prov. 18:21)

5. Prayer reveals God perfect leadership for it serves two purposes. Not only does prayer release God’s Kingdom through agreeing with His promises and desires, but our prayers also transforms us into His likeness. No matter what if we’re praying for revival in China or for our loved one to be healed, we are releasing the Word of God which is spirit and life into our own lives.

a. “The Words I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (Jn. 6:63)

6. Prayer ushers us into abiding and reliance in the vine. The simple act of asking God for help through prayer acknowledges our depravity and need of God.

a.“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (Jn. 8:31-32)

Apostolic Life of Laboring

Hi friends! Just wanted to share a great message from this past weekend. Shelley Hundley, the Vic President of IHOPU, shared on the Apostolic Life of Laboring. This message gave me a greater understanding of God’s perspective on work and encouraged me to take who I am in the Lord seriously (my life, calling, destiny etc). Too often we approach our Christian walk with a laissez-faire mentality, expecting everything to just appear in our laps and if it doesn’t it’s not really the Lord. I’m quite familiar with this mindset and how it has infiltrated into my generation because I was one of those people who approached life through those lenses.  

Life is hard work! The spirit of this age encourages us to work so one day we can chill by the pool side and retire in Hawaii. This type of mentality actually robs us of the opportunities that will usher us into knowing the Lord and who we are in Him which is the greatest reward of all.

Take a listen when you get the chance. It will certainly strengthen and bless you! The notes are here if you would like to follow along the sermon with it in hand. 

How Shall We Pray About the Upheavals in the Middle East?

How Shall We Pray About the Upheavals in the Middle East?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_2ouVVKE4Y

IHOP-KC will be hosting it’s very first CHINESE conference this March. Please visit IHOP-KC’s Chinese site, www.IHOPChinese.org for more information and to register for this event. Please also help promote the event by sharing this video and information regarding the conference on your social networks. God has great purposes for the Chinese people and He desires to awaken us to His passion!