This Monday, we will finish our last class on “Communion With God” in our weekly School of Prayer at House of Good Hope. I personally started this class on my own last winter, long before it was introduced in the School of Prayer. I started it originally with the goal of obtaining college credit. But the class was so good, I then introduced it on Monday nights. Many told me they’ve learned so much, said how great it was! Mark Virkler excellently teaches us how to hear God’s voice, and he taught us many tools on how to do this. Everyone in our class now knows the 4 basic keys:
1. Quiet yourself down 2. Look for vision 3. Tune in to spontaneity 4. Write what you hear God say to you.
All this looks very simple, but it’s a discipline I found we still need to learn. I was doing some of it, but not all 4 steps. Following all 4 has stretched and challenged me. And this comes from a seasoned journalist! I’ve been journaling almost all of my life: since I was 13 years old, after I read the book – Diary of Anne Frank. Her story so moved me, I decided to write down my thoughts and keep a record of my life. I’ve kept this up ever since, now have a bookcase full of my journals.
Everyone who comes to this house of prayer knows how strongly I emphasize the importance of keeping a journal, I regularly hand out notebooks to encourage those to start journaling. But one thing I’ve not done is to record all that what I hear God saying to me, as what Mark Virkler says: “the art of 2-way journaling“. I found I almost never allow Holy Spirit start the conversation with me when I pray. I rarely ask the Lord what HE wants to discuss with me, all of it is only about what’s on my heart, not God’s. As with most of us, I start my prayers with what I want to pray about. For almost all my life I’ve only written what “I” thought, or what “I” am going through. I never bothered to record any of the dialogue I have with the Lord; what He says to me (unless it’s a “biggie”!), and I’m an intercessor! If we believe God is real and He is keenly interested in all that we do, why can’t we go to Him, ask questions and write down what we hear the Lord say to us? We all believe God speaks directly to our hearts, why can’t we just write down what we hear? For me, this way of 2-way journaling has been life-changing! It has been a discipline for me to learn to quiet myself down and wait to hear what the Lord wants to say to me. I ask the Lord in prayer, and I do record my prayers, but I’ve been negligent in waiting for the Lord to answer me – and especially writing the answer down when I get it! I’m also very good at writing down my thoughts, my ideas, my strategies, etc. Not God’s.
As I’ve been practicing this “2-way” thing, one important topic the Lord has been discussing with me is my “trust” factor. I keep hearing the Lord ask me: “Do you trust Me?” Yes, I believe every word in the Bible is real. Yes, I do believe the Lord takes care of His children, provides for their needs as they relied on Him. Yes, I do believe that the miraculous is here today, I’ve even witnessed some powerful miracles in my life and in those who I’ve prayed for. Yes, I believe in prophecy and I do believe the Lord uses me at times. I believe in all of that. But do I truly believe in all of that…..for me? All the time? Do I also trust the Lord to meet MY needs? Especially my every need? Do I truly know how to depend on God for my everything? I remember one time wanting to discuss with the Lord something that was in my mind, but suddenly I found myself redirected to start thinking about my job. The Lord asked me – “Do you trust Me?” The Lord was asking me: did I trust God that HE is my Provider, not my own 2 hands or my paycheck? Until this was brought up, the thought never occurred to me. I’ve done a lot risky things in my life, but I always trusted in my weekly paycheck to provide for me. Not in God.
I suddenly saw a picture in the movie Aladdin – he had his hand out to Princess Jasmine and asked, “Do you trust me?” I heard the Lord ask me: “Do you truly trust Me to provide for your daily bread? Do you truly trust Me to provide for your every need?” Princess Jasmine knew if she took Aladdin’s hand, she would be going on a risky wild and crazy ride, there was no going back. But Jasmine desperately wanted to go with Aladdin. So, as risky as it was, she took his hand. She took the risk, went on that wild and crazy ride and loved every minute of it!
So here I am, in my prayer room with that image embedded in my mind. Like in the Aladdin movie, I saw the Lord extend His hand and ask me: “Do you trust Me?” Like Princess Jasmine, my heart beats quickly when I hear the question, yet I’m afraid. I hear the Lord asking me to take risks, even greater risks than I’ve had in the past. Am I willing? Do I trust Him? Do I trust God with my everything?
Another picture the Lord gave me was of Bilbo Baggins from the Hobbit, one of my favorite stories. I so relate to Bilbo! Part of me wants to remain safe and comfortable in my little “hobbit-hole”, yet part of me craves adventure: wild, life-threatening crazy adventure! Bilbo finally made the decision to go on the adventure that was put before him. Here he was, running down the lane, coat tails flying, off to meet his adventure. I keep hearing the other hobbits yelling at Bilbo, asking what’s he’s in such a hurry for? Bilbo’s response was: “I’m going on an ADVENTURE!!” Am I willing to risk it all? Am I willing to go on an “adventure” with Jesus? Do I trust the Lord with my……everything? Can I TRULY trust God?
I hear the Lord ask me if I can trust Him, not only for His ability to provide for my daily needs, but for me to partner with Him; in a sense, “go on adventures” with Jesus. We all have dreams. Some of us even may sense the Lord leading us in some sort of direction. Like me, many of us talk about it, but we’re a bit too afraid to launch out in what we hear the Lord leading us to. We think we need more training, more maturity, more money, more of something we think we don’t yet have. And…..we don’t have enough trust in God to truly believe He will provide all of that for us! We spend all of our lives preparing for our adventures, yet too afraid to step out and have them. For some of us, suddenly we find it’s too late. We missed it.
Are you willing to go on adventures with Jesus? Has the Lord challenged you in this area of trust? Are you willing to go so far as even lay down your time, your career, even your resources to go on these adventures with the Lord? Are you willing to be stretched?
Am I willing?Are you willing?
“DO YOU TRUST ME?”
Starting Monday, September 28, 2015 our Monday night School of Prayer will be studying and discussing the “trust” factor. The class will be called – “Do you trust Me?” We will explore what it means to go on these “adventures in God”, allow ourselves to be stretched further, even beyond than what we’re used to. This will be a class with no tests, with no right or wrong answers. It will more of a discussion forum, mixed in with lots of prayer. Together we will discuss and learn from each other what it means to truly trust in God for our everything. Everyone is welcome, no charge for the class. Offerings will be taken each weekto cover costs. Respond to this message if you would like to join us?
Come, let’s go on some wild and crazy adventures with God!
This is from one of our friends who is part of House of Good Hope, Linda Maynard. Lin is an excellent writer and has written in many blogs over the years. Be blessed as you read this:
TUESDAY scenario with two friends driving in a car Kim…” Gosh look at the SKY! Lin” peering out the windshield Lin…“Yeah”… kind of feebly Kim…” Over there…LOOK OVER THERE!!!” “Don’t you see that?” Lin…. quiet… not sure what to say. She thinks “she is a LOT more excited than me….I see very dull coloring” Kim…”Can you see the separations and the breaking of the colors?” She continues, “I LOVE the sky, I have ALWAYS LOVED THE SKY!”…” I am ALWAYS LOOKING UP!” Lin… thinking, “maybe if I tell her about the project I heard about the sky and how they did the experiment with people…They were supposed to pay attention to the sky and look up every day and note the reaction from other people on the street. Kim chimes in again “I have NEVER seen anything SO BEAUTIFUL have you???” Lin…Sinking down further in the seat and thinking…” I just don’t see what she sees and from what I can see … it doesn’t seem ALL that exciting” They arrive at Kim’s home and they part, with Kim all aglow with the wonder of the Lord and of the sky and of nature. As Lin drives home, she is struggling even to see the road…it is very blurry. She can’t quite figure out why it is SO bad. “The road is dark and I think I’d better not drive in the dark anymore.”
WEDNESDAY on fb Lin cannot believe what she is seeing… photo after photo… of magnificent beautiful and colorful skies that others, who live locally, have posted from Tuesday, just before “Wow! How come I missed those?” thinks Lin. UNTIL…. “DUH!!!” …It dawns on her, that the skies she saw in the pictures on fb ,were of the VERY same sky, Kim saw the day before…EXCEPT Lin was unable to appreciate them at all…even with Kim’s excitement. She WANTED to see… …she TRIED to see… …she STRUGGLED to see…but to no avail… Kim had been practically jumping up and down. Lin remembered why ….She had forgotten her GLASSES that day! Her vision was compromised…and was not in any way crisp and clear. What Lin saw was dull and muted, although the beauty that showed forth was right there. The masterpiece of God’s artistry was not clear at all, to Lin Lesson…” Without good vision…people perish” And although some may think they have a clear picture…t is FAR below the brilliance and majesty of God’ Himself. If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what He reveals, they are most blessed. Proverbs 29:18 The Message Penned by Linda Kosinski Maynard
July 6, 2013 My heart aches for nonstop worship and prayer! Oh how I long for a place where we can come in, sit on the floor and pray worship God nonstop; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Oh for a place where we can stop by no matter what time of day or what day of week. Where the place never closes! Oh God! Can I have that place? Can I help build that place? Show me how? Guide me? Lead me? Direct me?”
I wrote that in my journal on July 6 of this year, when I was sitting in a church waiting for service to start. My heart was aching for deep intense worship, where it never had to end. I longed for a place where time seemed not to matter, there was a flow of the Spirit, prayer was according to God’s leading, not according to man’s schedule. A place where we can soak in God’s Presence and not be told we have to leave because service was over and they have to lock the building. A place where worship doesn’t have to stop or be put in a box because it was time for the pastor to preach. I’ve read about times & places like that. Places where time seemed to stop. People would come at different times, some would stay for hours. It wasn’t about the teaching, the people who came, or the technical skill of the worship leaders. People came because they wanted to meet with God. Preaching came up as Holy Spirit moved upon a heart, not because someone was assigned to preach. Nothing was said until Holy Spirit spoke into someone’s heart. The preacher could be some well-known preacher, or the sermon could come from an office worker, carpenter, housewife or even a child. It didn’t matter who did the preaching, it was the word of God. That had happened during previous revivals and great moves of God. People learned to wait, sometimes even for hours or days or even months until they heard from God. People learned to really pray and connect with God, not just pray their petitions while on the run, either for for work or ministry. People took time to wait and listen, really listen to hear the voice of Holy Spirit. I desperately wanted to go to a place like that. Such a passion, such a drawing wells up inside me to find a place like that!
I remember when I was a young believer I wanted to join a monastery. But the only monasteries I knew about weren’t places where I wanted to live. I wondered if there was such a place where people can visit or even live? A place where the worship and prayer never stops? It wasn’t until I heard of the International House of Prayer. I remember in 1999, I heard that no key was made for the front door because the door is never locked. I thought, how amazing! How wonderful! But the people I hung around with at that time discouraged me from investigating IHOP further. So it didn’t go anywhere.
Then I went IHOP Atlanta in January 2012 and got totally wrecked! All of these old passions and desires suddenly welled up inside me once again. So, I came home, quit many ministries and projects I had been doing and am focusing totally on House of Good Hope. We now hold 4-5 prayer meetings a week, including a school of prayer on Monday nights.
But oh God I want more! I want to be released to do this 24/7! I know I’m not yet disciplined to do this yet, but I want to be. I am willing to be made more willing. I feel like I barely pray, yet I run a prayer house and am in prayer every morning and hold prayer gatherings almost every night of the week. But it’s not enough! I want more!
It has been on my heart to hold prayer at House of Good Hope every day during the 10 Days of Awe. I was going to just open the house from 9am-7 or 9pm, but I felt The Lord lead me to consider keeping the house open 24/7. I believe this came to me as I wrote the above passage July 6. I hear The Lord challenged me with my own words, “You say you want to have a 24/7 house of prayer. Why not try it? Try it for 10 days”.
As I considered this challenge, I kept thinking this will be a great stretch. We’ve held many 12 & 24 hour prayer watches and they were never that well-attended. If one day or night watch was difficult, how can I hold a 24 hour prayer watch for 10 DAYS??? What daunting task! The very thought scared me, yet it excited me. If anything, this would give me opportunity to press into God as I never had before. I’m taking these days off from work, that part of my schedule has been set aside, even for just a few days.
Can it be done? Can I do it? We’re at least going to try. What better date to start than the 10 Days of Awe? We are starting at sunset, September 4, through to sunset, September 14. Some of are even going to try to throw in a little fasting with it.
Are there people out there who are like me? Are you hungry for more of God’s Presence in your life? Are you dissatisfied with where your own personal walk with God is? Are you dismayed with the condition of your family, your neighborhood, your city, your state or your country and you want to see God change the circumstances? Do you want to pour out your life into prayer? Do you want to connect with The Lord in a deeper, richer, fuller way yet you don’t have the time or place to do it?
I challenge you to join us in this experiment. How hungry are you for more of God? Do you only say you’re hungry, but if its inconvenient or even difficult, you’re not going to do it? if it even means putting aside another good thing just to do nothing but sit in a little house in prayer, are you willing to do it? Pray about getting stretched. How much do