“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
God wants to invade our cities with His glorious and powerful presence. He wants to overtake our lives and change our plans and routines so that they are fully in line with His purposes. As we think about the Kingdom of God and preparing the way for God’s presence, the Sermon on the Mount is the greatest test to measure our personal success. How well do we live out the 8 beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-12, and how well do we obey all of Matthew 5-7? Do we seek to obey God in every area of our life? Do we declare war on all compromise? This is the test. This is the great personal challenge we are all facing as we prepare for 24/7 prayer worldwide.
We are made for personal holiness and to intimately know God.
This is what is so fantastic about a House of Prayer. God begins to change you, and you begin to prioritize prayer in a way you have never done before or even imagined possible. Prayer begins to take center stage in your life. We experienced this at our 24/7 House of Prayer in Spain. Prayer suddenly became a priority. God began to deal with our lives – our speech, our time, our money, our relationships, and everything. There was an internal calling in God to love and follow Him with all our heart. God wanted our hearts and a life of complete obedience so that we would be perfect and complete, not lacking anything (James 1:4). I was personally challenged to make quality decisions for holiness and to let God challenge my motives. I still have a long way to go, but at least I am on the road. It definitely is a life-long journey.
We were challenged in our prayer lives as the Holy Spirit begin to reinforce the importance of personal prayer and the absolute necessity of corporate prayer for the region. There was a lying down of secondary priorities for many. We were becoming very hungry for Jesus and His presence (Matthew 5:6). Through prayer and praise, we were welcoming God into the region. But many of us began to treasure the presence of God above all else, as we realized deep in our hearts the truth of John 15:5, “Without Me you can do nothing.”
You may be thinking, “Well, how do I even begin to think about a House of Prayer in my city?
The first step is to PRAY! You start by praying about a House of Prayer in your city. Even if you are not the one to start it, you can pray for others who will. Pray that God raises-up the right ones to begin, and you be the one who supports them in prayer. You may want start with a one-day, weekend, one-week, or one-month House of Prayer. In starting to plan towards a House of Prayer and beyond, there are several initial steps to pray and work towards. Every city needs a House of Prayer but there always needs to be a few who start it.
Think about some of the things you want to see accomplished. You want to create an unbroken string of focused intense prayer of entreaty to God for a week-end, week, or month. Now this may seem overwhelming at first, but you will be surprised at how God helps you. After all, it’s His idea and desire in the first place. You want to provide times and places for many to come together for prayer, asking the Lord to visit your city with His presence. Ultimately, you want to role out a red carpet for the King of Kings, inviting Him to come and do His work.
In Biblical and church history, united prayer has been proven to be the single lifesaver of a nation during times of danger and uncertainty. The Lord commands His people to seek His face
(2 Chronicles 7:14). God warned Noah concerning the flood even when there was no visible sign of it, not even a raindrop! He took heed and diligently and reverently constructed and prepared an ark for the deliverance of His family (Hebrews 11:7).
It is difficult to predict exact results in a House of Prayer. The key is to be faithful in doing what God shows you to do in prayer. In our one-month House of Prayer in Spain, I believe that many were radically changed in their prayer lives, but there were also those who went back to their previous life styles, and life as usual. We have to be willing to pay the price for God’s continual presence in our city. It’s up to the Church to decide long-term how much of God they really want. It is important that churches and intercessors continue to pray and anticipate the ongoing development of God’s plan for the city while the discipline and blessing of united prayer is still fresh.
In Spain the glory of God was visible in the church of one of the most spiritually needy areas in the world, but the churches needed to continue asking God to help them develop the prayer movement in their area. Outsiders who came to help could not do it. It has to be those who live in that city.
The following results will follow when Christians do accept the challenge of continual united prayer in their city:
- A united praying church develops that is pleasing to the Lord.
- There is a breaking of the spiritual darkness that is invading the nation.
- The church demonstrates an example of corporate prayer that challenges others in cities around the country to do the same.
- A movement of the Spirit occurs, bringing salvation to thousands of people.
- A continued growing movement of prayer arises, sweeping thousands of tired Christian into a fresh new vitality in Christ.
Imagine the future of your city when a 24/7 House of Prayer is operating day and night. God will pour out His spirit. There will be the manifest presence of the Lord scattering His enemies and ours. Signs, wonders, healing, and deliverance from demonic oppression will become the norm. There will be the revival of the church, and the church will grow. Sinners will come under conviction and will open their hearts to the message of the Gospel.
A House of Prayer welcomes God into your city! As I traveled from nation to nation as a young missionary on a ship, upon arrival in a new country we would often have a great welcome from the people of that city. In New Zealand we experienced a special dance form the Mori Indians. It was quite impressive, and one I will never forget! At the end of that unique tribal dance, the staff and crew of our ship received a beautiful lay of flowers around their neck and the Mori greeting of rubbing noses. It was quite a cultural experience for many of us, I can assure you. In other countries we had special greetings unique to each culture – everything from other cultural dances, to gifts, to songs and banners – that was a beautiful welcome to the ship into their unique city. It made all of us on board feel very welcome in that country and city. It made us deeply desire to stay there and interact with the people.
Perhaps God feels the same way.
When He sees His people eagerly praying for His presence – welcoming Him into their city day and night in prayer – He is delighted and wants to invade that city with His presence. When He sees your desperate cry for His presence, He feels like a welcomed and longed-for guest and wants to make your city His home.
Begin now to prepare the way for God’s presence. Start with increasing your prayer life and find a few others who have a vision for transformation in your city. Get together regularly, and God will lead you and add others to your prayer meetings. Transformation will occur in your lives, and you will become consumed with a hunger for God’s presence. The Lord will hear your cry for your city, and God will begin to move in your midst.
Early in our last month of 24/7 prayer in Spain, God made his presence known to us in a very special way. There was no rain outside and as I was having my prayer time early in the morning, I suddenly looked out the window and there in the sky surrounding the House of Prayer was a big, bright colorful rainbow. It was as if God was speaking to us and saying, “See, my desire is for citywide, united prayer, and I love your House of Prayer – Keep it up for I shall surely come with my presence – I have heard your cry.” It is time that we change our life styles and become desperate for God and His ways. It is time that we welcome God into our cities!
“To be desperate means to be without hope in your current condition and to know that in your own power you don’t have the necessary resources required to change it. People who are desperate become determined to find help, often taking great risks to meet their desperate need. In the communities where transforming revival has occurred the people of God were desperate enough to change their lifestyle and their priorities and to commit their time and resources, making everything secondary to the desperate pursuit of God in their midst. They cried out in desperation, and the Lord heard their cry.” Rhonda Hughey
By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International