How to Lay a Strong Foundation for a House of Prayer

Persistent prayer will pay off as you lay the foundations of a House of Prayer in your city. You will move forward by God’s grace because it’s His ability, not yours. Notice these important keys to laying a strong foundation.

  • You must be willing to dig deep – Remember we must dig a big hole first in order to build the foundation. This is not a superficial undertaking. You must believe in the power of prayer and be strong in prayer yourself. Develop a strong personal relationship with God. Strengthen your personal devotional life and love for God.
  • Partner with others – Look for others who have the same vision in your city, and partner with other prayer ministries in your area. God will give you a core group of dedicated and like-minded people.
  • Cast the vision for day and night prayer – Do this week after week. People need encouragement.
  • Realize that there is an incubation stage – In this stage many in the area either have or are getting the vision, and there are many prayer meetings in the city in various churches. This stage may last for some time.
  • Develop your personal prayer life through learning to pray the Scriptures – Practice praying Scriptures in your own devotional time with the Lord. I write about this in chapter four.
  • Develop some corporate prayer meetings in local churches –Unity is essential and adds power to the prayer meeting. Also try combining worship and prayer together throughout some of the prayer meeting. This is called “harp and bowl”.
  • Have realistic expectations – Start small with a few prayer meetings in your church or in your city. Realize the value of a slow beginning. Strategize carefully and incorporate existing prayer activities. Understand the pressure people face in your society. Don’t be critical, but make it easy for others to join in prayer at their own pace.
  • Understand the establishing stage – This relates to the Church in the city or region and is not just one church. There is a need for a unified vision with unified values. Pursue the value of unity in the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:3, 13; Colossians 3:14).
  • Realize that faithfulness and a marathon pace are essential – God is not looking for quick starts but for steady faithfulness over time. Keep it simple. Basically you are praying and calling people to pray. God’s strategies are not complex, but they do require faithfulness (Galatians 5:22; Psalm 18:25; Romans 12:12).
  • Know that Jesus is in charge – The House of Prayer will prevail because Jesus is the leader and the eternal intercessor for He rules as King in his high priestly ministry of intercession (Hebrews 7:25; Isaiah 53:12).
  • Go forward in faith and with God’s peace ruling your heart – Know that day and night prayer is God’s desire. He will bless and sustain it. To be a House of Prayer is not a challenge but a Biblical command (Matthew 21:13).

A stonecutter may hammer away at a rock for a hundred times without seeing even a crack showing. Yet it may be the 101st blow that splits the rock apart. It is not the one blow that will lay a strong foundation, but it is the consistent hammering in prayer with a steadfast vision that will do it. God will give you and others that burning, driving vision to go deep with the foundations. He will enable you to pursue the deeper life and the lifestyle of abandonment to Him and His vision for your city.

Laying the foundation will take a long time. Keep the peace of God ruling in your heart. Day and night prayer is God’s desire, and He will bless and sustain it with His power. Trust Him to build a strong foundation. Establishing day and night prayer is the most exalted occupation to those nearest His throne in heaven (Revelation 4:8). Set your heart to persist regardless of difficulties. God desires to find a resting place. Let’s advance with faith and a determination to work. Let’s keep the vigorous, steady glow of prayer burning.

“Praying that influences God is said to be the outpouring of the fervent, effectual righteous man. It is prayer on fire. It does not have a feeble, flickering flame or a momentary flash, but shines with a vigorous, steady glow.”

By Debbie Przybylski

Places of Encounter with God

“Prayer rooms are places of direct encounter with God. So much of our faith, if we are not very careful, can be second-hand experience. We listen to talks that tell us what to think. We read books that inspire us with other peoples’ experiences of God. But alone with God in a prayer room, it’s time to get the Bible open for your self, going straight to the source. It’s time to dialogue directly with God face to face without a middleman. In such a context, God often is able to speak to us and touch us in a way that no ministry session could ever achieve.”

Isn’t a face-to-face encounter with God something you long for and desire? When I was in Germany, I was involved in teaching a course for God’s people who were working in different countries around the world. The course was called “Face to Face.” The goal of the course was to help bring individuals into a face-to-face relationship with God and also with one another.

The prayer room is the place of face-to-face encounter with God. I can’t think of a better description of the 24/7 prayer movement. The prayer room is the place to access the heavenly realm and hear from God. In the prayer room God purifies our life. As you and I spend time in prayer, we carry the very presence of God out with us into the world. Our faces can shine with the presence of God.

Moses is a good example of a Biblical character that sought the face of God. We read about his encounter with God in Exodus 33:11a: The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. When he came down from the presence of God, His face actually shone with the glory of God.

“When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD” (Exodus 34:29).

There is an increasing hunger for the presence of God, not only individually but also corporately among His people worldwide. People from all denominations, cultures, and ages are beginning to seek after God’s face. Kim Catherine Marie Kollins has established a 24/7 prayer ministry among the world’s 100 million renewed Catholics called Burning Bush International. She says:

“Everywhere I turn I seem to hear this same call to prayer being proclaimed—prayer for cities, prayer for nations. Everywhere I look I see writings calling the people of God to intense worship and adoration and intercession. Many new prayer initiatives are being called forth—houses of prayer are springing up, prayer mountains and prayer vigils are being held in response to this prompting of the Holy Spirit. Now is the time, and the trumpet is being sounded to the whole people of God. We are being called to awaken from slumber and be empowered anew by the Holy Spirit. We must become once again passionate adorers of the Lord and powerful instruments of intercession for the Church and the world.”

God Radically Changes Us in the Prayer Room

When we stand in the presence of God, He does a radical work within our hearts. He removes the sin in our lives as we sit in His presence. When diagnosed with cancer, I learned about the power of radiation and chemotherapy because these are the primary ways the medical world treats cancer. Thankfully I didn’t have to have either one. Sin is like cancer. God’s presence is like radiation therapy on the cancer of sin in our lives. The more we are in His presence, the more powerful the radiation of His life and love. We change in His presence because we are exposing ourselves to the eternal forces of His radiating glory. We begin to die to the sin tendencies in our lives, and we begin to live more fully for Him.

Time in God’s presence is powerful.

“You most likely won’t realize it at first. A person who is exposed to the radiation of the sun’s rays often does not realize that he is sunburned until later. When you spend time in God’s presence, you may feel you are not accomplishing anything. The enemy may say something like this to you, “You’re just wasting your time. God won’t listen to you.”

But if you continue spending extravagant amounts of time in His presence, you will begin to see His life manifested through yours. It takes time, but everything within you begins to change—your desires, thoughts, actions, interests, and passions.

There is no quicker way to change as in the glory and radiation of His presence. I have seen people change right before my eyes as I watch them over time through exposure to God’s presence. We read in
1 Chronicles 16:11 and Psalm 105:4: Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Dr. Timothy John shares a personal testimony about how important 24/7 prayer has been in a small, inner-city church:

“Launching and sustaining a 24-7 prayer room in one of our inner city church properties has probably been the most important thing we have done to date. From inner city youth to suburban “boomers,” each person has profoundly experienced the manifest presence and love of God in their selected hour of prayer in our holy space. Some of our members have actually encountered the Holy Spirit in the parking lot or even on their way to the prayer room. Needless to say, this has resulted in a wonderful spiritual renewal in our midst. Eternity and the heavenly realm are no longer concepts but reality.”

It is the place to leave the problems of earth behind and listen to the still small voice of God in such a way that inner transformation occurs. It happens individually and corporately. I have seen it in myself and in others. You can’t stand in the presence of God without being changed. Most of us are busy people. You can’t spend time in the prayer room without having it change your prayer life. Prayer becomes a delightful reality.

“One of the great things about a well-led season of 24-7 prayer is that it helps busy people like you and me to live up to our aspirations in prayer. It can even enable non-church-goers to prioritize prayer in their daily lives… 24-7 prayer is able to turn the idea of daily prayer from a guilty “should” into an exciting “could.” Suddenly, a regular hour or more of solitude for personal prayer and Scriptural meditation becomes a delightful reality for people who normally don’t find such things easy—people in ordinary places who desperately need an extraordinary outpouring of prayer and a deeper discovery of the glory of God.”

6 Benefit of a Silent Retreat with God

“Silence in prayer is often not something we orchestrate; rather, it is a gift that can come upon us quite unexpectedly. Instead of rushing to fill the gap, we learn to embrace the gift as the better part of our time of prayer.” Quotes by Wesley and Stacey Campbell

In learning about prayer, silence. contemplation is a special dimension that very few of us have fully grasped. Most of us are not skilled in beholding God. One of the reasons for this is because we have been influenced by the noise and busyness of our present-day life style. And in the midst of a whirlwind of activity that we have so often misunderstood as important or necessary, we have missed the beauty and necessity of learning the discipline of silence before God. We so often miss out on the life of contemplation, one of beholding the beauty of Jesus.

Recently my husband and I went on a short spiritual retreat in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. We sat in a beautiful cottage called “The Refuge” situated alongside the Big Thompson River in Estes Park, with a steady stream of water cascading over the rocks just a few feet from our front door. We walked into this retreat home and to our amazement, it was filled with worship music and Bible verses on every wall; “Be Still and Know that I am God,” “The Lord is Our Refuge” and many more were everywhere. It was a breathtaking layout with everything pointing to silence and rest in God’s presence.

The weather was rainy most of the week but even in spite of the rain, that cottage was a place of refuge for us. They told us it had been raining for days! But we were nestled inside that quiet place with five days of endless time to behold God and His mighty works. The mountains were majestic in stature, and when the rain stopped, we were able to drive to the very heights and see life with a mountaintop view of God’s handiwork.

During those days I sat silently before God and would just behold His beauty and the attractiveness of that retreat place alongside those gorgeous mountains. I realized afresh how wonderful and necessary it is to be quiet before God in silent meditation. I needed it. As we enter into the end of the age, we must be quiet before God, find Him as our refuge, and rise up to the heights and see life from His viewpoint.

I encourage you to take time to be silent before God. I do this on a regular basis in my home and find that it adds a wonderful dimension to my prayer life. The Colorado retreat reinforced deeply to me the importance of beholding God in silent meditation. Most of us are very busy, but we all can narrow down our lives to what is most important.

The Bible says that we must be still in order to know God. Silence is a necessary art if we want to really know God. It is a gift from God. So if God is quieting down your activity or stopping you in some way, perhaps He wants you to learn this important discipline. God is wooing you to Himself. He is removing all the barriers of true communion with His spirit. This is a gift to you so embrace it with all your heart.

“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

“In silent contemplation, a supernatural drawing occurs. Having come to the end of words, we simply stare in silence at the person of God. One of the most apt, and most beautiful, descriptions of the essence of contemplation that I have heard comes from a simple farmer: ‘Think of the wonderful description given by that unlettered farm laborer at Ars who used to remain for hours in stillness and silence gazing at the tabernacle and when the Cure d’Ars asked him what he did there, simply replied: I LOOK AT HIM, AND HE LOOKS AT ME.’”

The Benefits of Silent Contemplation in Prayer

“From time to time you will begin to touch the state of inward silence. What shall be your response to such an experience? But what shall you do? Nothing! Simply yield to the inward drawing. Yield to the wooing of your spirit. Your spirit is drawing you deeper within.”

There are so many benefits of retreating before God in silent contemplation. Here are some of them:

  • God fights on our behalf when we are silent – We are too weak to fight our enemies ourselves. We will be wounded, but in times of temptation if we remain in faith in God’s presence, He will give us His strength.“The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent” (Exodus 14:14).
  • We find God in a deeper dimension – In silent prayer, we develop the art of looking at God.“You will seek me and find me when you seek for me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 29:13-14).
  • We grow in the art of meditating on Scripture – Exodus 34:6-7 is filled with the divine attributes of God. I encourage you to meditate on these verses for a long period of time.”And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, ‘The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin’” (Exodus 34:6-7a).
  • We learn to shut out external activity – We learn the art of external simplicity and inwardly learn to dwell in God’s presence.“One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall 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 meditate in His temple” (Psalm 27:4).
  • We learn to meditate on God’s nature – It is good to start with meditating on one aspect of God’s nature in a single verse of Scripture. For example, meditate on God’s holiness adorning His house for endless days as found in the following verse:“Your statutes stand firm; holiness adorns your house for endless days, O Lord” (Psalm 93:5).
  • We grow in our love relationship with God – We learn to live out the first commandment to love God with all our heart, soul, and strength.“He answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Luke 10:27).

I pray that each one of us will learn the secret of silent contemplation and have personal retreats with God. This is where we take the time to commune with God heart-to-heart and spirit-to-spirit. It will not happen by chance, but we must give time for this and understand its’ value. We should do this regularly for shorter times, and occasionally for longer retreats.

We are in a time when we must find our refuge in God and see the world from His vantage point. Intimacy and stillness before the Lord is going to be key to living a successful and joyful life in this hour. It’s time to realize that it’s all about a wedding at the end of the age and we are Jesus’ Bride. You are the Bride of Christ. This is a day of preparation and transition into what really matters for eternity. We must lean upon our beloved in all that we do. We are not complete until we find our center in God. Our fruitfulness will come from this place. I am challenged by St. Francis and his example of silent devotion before God.

“With face turned to heaven, and hands and eyes lifted to God, in complete surrender and with the warmest of devotion, he prayed, saying: ‘My god, my All’ These words he groaned out to God, with copious tears again and again with solemn devotion until dawn: ‘My God, my All’ – and no more.”

Carefully spend time in God’s presence with the following worship music. I have lots of worship music on my website designed for intercessors as well.

Who is this? – Ruth Fazel

“Know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord will hear when I call to him… when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord… Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord. You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abounds” (Psalm 4:3-7).

By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOP-KC)

Touching the Nations with the Presence & Power of God

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