“Information doesn’t transform cities. Conferences can’t transform a city! Education can’t transform a city! Having citywide ministry programs or large networks cannot transform a city. Only the presence of Jesus can bring transformation, and only individual people willing to get on the altars of prayer to contend for His presence will become the kindling for God’s fire.”
With all the turmoil and fear over the elections, radical terrorism, rising prices, and unforseen natural disasters, we desperately need God’s presence here on earth. When I was writing this article, a devastating earthquake hit Italy in the middle of the night, killing dozens and trapping scores of others under debris. Where is one to hide? The earth is shaking and the birth pangs before the Lord’s return are getting stronger. Prayer warriors are needed to contend for God’s presence everywhere. He is looking throughout the earth for those who will give themselves to prayer and to seeking His face. We read in 2 Chronicles 16:9, “The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” We have to evaluate our life in our personal time with the Lord and ask:
“Do I know that God is searching the earth, and is my heart completely His?”
The problem is that most of us are not aware of where we are personally and what is available to us. We are too busy. Our hearts are not burning for God, and we have settled for lesser things. But the eyes of the Lord are searching. He wants to take us deeper into His intimate presence internally, and He wants to invade our neighborhoods and cities with His presence outwardly. Then we will see His miraculous power and salvation demonstrated in our streets and everywhere we go.
We must admit that we are living in perilous times. We need God’s captivating power and presence in our cities and in our personal lives. One thing that God wants us to realize is how very desperately He cares for the lost in our cities. He is a God of compassion (Psalm 116:5, Lamentations 3:22), and the pain and cries in the city have touched His heart deeply. He longs for us to partner with Him in bringing hope into our cities. He is the answer to all the probems and pain, and His presence in our cities will make all the difference. When we see the ruined condition of our communities, it should break our hearts and stir us to prayer.
“We have underestimated the pain in God’s heart over the devastation and brokenness of people who live in darkness. Isaiah 9:2 declares what the result would be when Jesus’ presence came to earth: ‘The people walking in darkness have seen a great light’ (NIV). God fully intends to continue to bring hope and restoration to forsaken, desolate communities, and He is looking for those who will partner with Him.”
It’s time to contend for God’s presence in prayer. Will you join me in this great endeavor to go deeper with God in prayer for such a time as this? It will be the best thing that we can do because He longs for our intimacy and wants to invade our world with His power and presence. He is the God of hope and we can anticipate His help and encouragement in even the darkest hour. “The LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love” (Psalm 147:11).
My Prayer for God’s Presence
“When You said ‘Seek My face,’ My heart said to You, ‘Your face, LORD, I will seek’” (Psalm 27:8).
This prayer will help you to partner with God as you seek His face and His presence both personally and for your city. You can also pray this prayer in small groups by changing the “I,” my” and “me” to “we,” “our” and “us.”
Father, I pray that You will visit us, and make Your presence known in my life and in my city. Give me faith to believe that You can change my city through prayer and through acts of love and compassion. Let Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. Help me to cultivate Your presence in my life. I choose to partner with You for transformation in my city. Help me to contend for my city in prayer with others. Remove the distractions in my life that keep me from Your presence [Repent of any distractions in your life]. I repent of any pride or personal idols that have taken me away from having you in first place and being completely Yours (Name them one by one – i.e. television material possessions, food, sports, work, etc.]. Take away any luke-warmness in my heart and set me on fire for You.
I thank You for the new spiritual identity and authority You will bring into my city as I pray and as I reach out to others. Remove the compromise and complacency in my life. I want to be a clean vessel, bringing light into the darkness and carrying Your presence wherever I go. I want to come up higher around Your throne. I want to sit with You in heavenly places. I ask that Your authority would impact my city. You say in Jeremiah 33:9: “Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.”
I want to worship only You. Take me deeper in my prayer life and in intimacy with You. Help me to walk in Your light and holiness. I want to know You more. “Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord” (Psalm 89:15). Give me joy in Your presence and help me to bring joy into the lives of others. “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalm 16:11). I want to dwell in Your house and gaze on Your beauty. I want to seek Your face. “One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple… Hear my voice when I call, O LORD” (Psalm 27:4, 7a). In Jesus’ name, amen.
“God longs to open doors of spiritual reality to us. He wants us to sit with Him in heavenly places. We must live with a spiritual vantage point from the throne room of God. The throne of God is the seat of His authority; it represents the place from which He rules and reigns over the nations. Jesus invites us to this place of authority and victory. We have to see the Lord! We have to accept the invitation to come up higher around the throne, to behold Jesus, to see Him and believe! Once you see this, you have hope; and once we see what God sees, then we can come into agreement with His purposes.” Quotes by Rhonda Hughey
By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOPKC)