The season of Lent consists of the forty days (minus Sundays) before Resurrection Sunday. Lent is a time of examining our hearts toward God, and of fasting or abstaining from something in order to give more of ourselves to Christ. The days of Lent also remind us of the time in which Jesus fasted in the wilderness for forty days and was tempted by the devil.
Examining Our Hearts
Giving God more of ourselves should always be part of our relationship with Him; however, Lent is an ideal time to examine our hearts regarding our pursuit of God. One way to do this is through the Examen Prayer, which can be used as a daily guide either as you begin or end your day.
We can also begin by asking ourselves a few of the questions below, seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance in answering them. These questions can include:
Am I putting God first in my life, or simply trying to fit Him in?
Is there anything in my life that is or has the potential to distract me from God and living for Him?
Is there anything in my life that has a hold on me other than or above God and His will?
As we face the truth of our hearts and repent where necessary, we experience greater life in God. In the next section, you’ll find some helpful thoughts related to the last two questions. Continue reading →
The Lord is zealous for the building of His house of prayer, a place where people from every nation and walk of life may come and meet together for worship and prayer both individually and in community.
In worship we choose to exalt Jesus to first place in our lives. Only from the place of prayer and worship can we effectively reach our communities.
Prayer is found in intimate relationship with God. As Mike Bickle of IHOPKC often shares, prayer is when we agree with what God wants to do. Worship is when we agree with who God is.
The Lord Himself said that His house shall be a house of prayer (Isaiah 56:7; Matthew 21:13). More and more we see the Lord stirring His people with a desire to worship and pray without ceasing. This is to be our foundation:
“One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple.” Psalm 27:4 (NKJV)
The Lord desires believers united in one heart and one mind. Jesus prayed for us to be known by the unity we have with God and each other (John 17:21).
There is greater meaning to living a life of worship than singing or meeting once in a while at a gathering. There is so much more to worship. We are called to exalt Jesus not simply through a word spoken or a song sung, but by the giving of our lives.
We are called to be devoted to the Lord as living sacrifices, pure and holy. This is a part of true worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).
“I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all…] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable…service and spiritual worship.” (Romans 12:1 AMPC, emphasis added)
Making a decisive dedication is a lifetime choice of our free will. It is the devotion of all that we are and all that we have to the Lord. Thankfully, He first pours out His love upon us so that we long to do this because of love for Him. Every bridge is burned, every idol cast down. It is never looking back as we surrender our hearts and lives to our Bridegroom King.
God is helping us grow in spiritual maturity as we surrender and obey in trying times as well as momentous encounters with His goodness.
In caring dearly for us, Father God often brings loving surprises. When we feel weak, He shows up in unexpected ways to reveal His tender love. With His presence He lifts us out of ourselves, drawing us into a heavenly embrace. He reminds us that He is all-powerful yet fully loving.
Through every season of life, God reminds us not to worry or fear. Our heavenly Father sees all, and knows all. He is with us always.
Welcome! This is the first official update of my intercessory missionary endeavors and our church/house of prayer! Back in 2009, I shared some throughout my internship.
Praise in the Park
This weekend Father’s House of Prayer had our first summer worship gathering at a downtown park. Another worship team joined, compromised of members from a few other churches. It was a joy to join together.
Worshiping at Praise in the ParkThis marks our third year of Praise in the Park. I’ll never forget the time before our first gathering. At the time, my husband and I lived in a tiny apartment overlooking the place where we’d soon gather to worship Jesus.
Praying it forward
In November 2013, the Lord often led me into prayer. I felt like a watchman on the wall when I peered out our window at the Park.
At God’s leading I would pray His heart for days. I would drive to and from work in a place of travail; days off were usually spent in prayer.
God wanted His manifest presence to come to the Park and touch our town.
These times were some of the sweetest I’ve had with the Lord.
On a day of corporate prayer the following Spring, God told our leadership to bring worship out of the four walls and into the Park. By the day’s end, someone was led to donate the very amount needed for a sound system. This was a need we had not yet made known.
I then realized this was why the Lord often led me into intercession the previous fall.
After this weekend’s Praise in the Park, I needed to hear from the Lord. The multitasking required was polluting my perspective. I reminded myself that perfect details and big crowds are not as important as faithfulness and obedience.
Our part, His part
God gave told is to bring the sound of worship to the Park. It was His part to do as He promised. It’s a lesson for us all:
We must simply do our part and trust God to do His.
That evening as I prayed, God revealed His perspective to me by showing me what He was doing as we worshiped.
I saw a picture of myself looking out from the platform while leading worship. Several mourning doves were hovering in the air above all of us there. The Lord’s loving presence was coming down. The doves were almost glowing, perhaps by God’s glory.
Mourning Dove by A.K. Evans
Mourning doves remind me of simple, pure devotion to Jesus.
God sees our faithful devotion to Him, from the mundane to the miraculous. If He is in it, it matters to Him. He sees you.
The doves also symbolized the Father’s peace and love being given as gifts to us, filling the atmosphere with His presence. This is exactly what He has promised to do during Praise in the Park: He spoke three years ago that as we worshiped outside the four walls, He would release His peace and clear people’s confusion.
Last summer a vacationer pulled up searching for a place to buy a cane. Our pastor asked if he wanted God to heal him. The man was healed! He came to the platform, testified that his back was healed, and jumped off in excitement! As our pastor exclaimed, “Now that’s a healed back!” The man no longer needed a cane!
At every gathering folks have shared experiencing God’s peace.
An unexpected vendor arrived during setup. He and his wife were believers and had an enthusiastic response to worship at the Park.
A vacationing couple were sharing pictures on social media. Their church is familiar with the Harp and Bowl model of prayer and worship with music, and wanted their church to have a similar gathering outdoors where they live.