Monday, November 13, 2006

Uncommon Prayer ~ Quotes on Pursuing God’s Presence

Pursuing God’s Presence

“In every revival in history we read a similar testimony. When God responded to His people by sending His presence, He didn’t just work himself into their routine religion - He overtook them by His power and glory! He left a trail of glorious chaos in His wake - weeping, repenting, rejoicing, reconciling, changing of habits, healing of families! Nobody wondered if Jesus was involved in these meetings. There was no doubt in their minds and no lack in their hearts.” Rhonda Hughey

The purpose of our life is to pursue God. It is what we were created to do. God wants us to seek and long passionately for His presence. His presence is real and tangible. It will change our lives completely. The problem is that most of us are not aware of what is available to us. Our hearts are not burning for God, and we have settled for lesser things. As I mentioned last week, right now we are involved in a month-long prayer meeting where several churches in the area of southern Spain called Campo de Gibraltar are seeking God’s presence. What is happening in the midst of this prayer meeting is that our level of hunger for God’s presence is increasing. We are discovering in a deeper dimension that God’s presence is needed to reach the city, that God’s presence needs to be pursued and that we cannot live without it. I encourage you today to seek God fervently for His presence in your own life, in your own church and in your city. This is what real life is all about. God loves to be sought after. His presence and Spirit will move us forward into realms of fruitfulness beyond our wildest imagination. But we must hoist our sails and catch the wind of His Spirit. The breath of His Spirit will change the face of everything, including our own lives.

“The breath of God’s Spirit must fill the church, empowering it to move forward into God’s destiny. God’s Spirit births every movement of the church. Without being Spirit or presence-driven, the church sits listlessly in time, like a sailboat going nowhere in a calm sea. We can use our paradigm as paddles and row as hard as we like, but the forward progress is negligible. Or, we can hoist our sails of worship, catch the wind of His Spirit and move forward into His purpose, plans and productivity (fruit) in ministry.” Ministries Today

The Bible and Pursing God’s Presence

“We must become hungry and thirsty for more of Jesus in our midst. We must cry out in desperation for God’s presence to be restored in our lives, our churches, and ultimately in our cities. We must treasure the manifest presence of God, because as Jesus said in John 15:5, ‘Without Me you can do nothing’” Rhonda Hughey

The question we must ask ourselves is, “Are we hungry enough to pursue God’s presence?” Are we desperate for God to transform our cities? The cost is high. This month we are finding that out that as we spend hour after hour in prayer, we are being stretched in our capacity to seek after God. It will cost to seek God’s presence. It will take diligence and time. We will have to clear our schedules of so much busyness if we want city transformation. We will have to sacrifice. But it will be worth all the pain. Are we willing to pay the price? Are we willing to pray with others of different denominations and backgrounds? It will take the churches in the city coming together to see city transformation.

The Bible has so much to say about God’s presence. God longs for us to build a house where He dwells. The following are verses to challenge you to pursue God’s presence.

· II Chronicles 7:14 - “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

· Isaiah 66:1 - “Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build for Me? And where is the place of My rest?”

· Isaiah 56:7 - “Even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”

· II Chronicles 7:15-16 - “Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.”

· Isaiah 62:4 - “No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate.”

· Ephesians 3:17-19 - “I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

The testimony to what happens when God’s presence arrives is quite astounding! Are we ready for it? Can we handle the depth of work His Spirit will do in our own individual lives that will prepare and empower us to reach this desperate and dying world? Here is a testimony of what actually happened when God showed up! “In that old building, with its low rafters and bare floors, God took strong men and women to pieces, and put them together again, for His glory. It was a tremendous overhauling process. Pride and self-assertion, self-importance and self-esteem, could not survive there. The religious ego preached its own funeral quickly.” When God’s presence touches our prayer meetings and our churches, all flesh must die. We see the futility of our own ways of doing things, and we begin to see the majestic wisdom of God and the attractiveness of Jesus. We begin to line up with His ways, and what once was a barren way of trying to produce life becomes a supernatural encounter with the presence of the living God. This brings forth amazing fruit in every dimension of our lives. Doesn’t this seem to be a better way of life than what many of us have tried for so many years?

“Shouldn’t Jesus himself be the preeminent attraction? We can promote our church programs with precision and good marketing techniques, but when somebody who is blind or deaf gets healed, or a political leader gets saved, or once-barren land produces a bountiful harvest, people will flock to church. God is His own best promoter! He just shows up and effortlessly turns our routines into supernatural encounters that are life changing.” Rhonda Hughey

Together in the Harvest,
Debbie Przybylski, Intercessors Arise
deb@intercessorsarise.org

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