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Enjoyable Prayer + Abiding in Christ = Abundant Fruit

Our Prayers for Wisdom in Developing a House of PrayerEnjoyable Prayer + Abiding in Christ = Abundant Fruit

Enjoyable prayer and abiding in Christ go together. You can’t have one without the other. It is in that vital union with Christ that our prayers will go forth with power, and our feet will begin to carry the Gospel message with us wherever we go. We have not seen this yet in most countries, but we soon will, because we won’t be able to contain the truth within us any longer. The Good New is just too good! It will bring abundant fruit.

But can we actually begin to enjoy prayer? Prayer does not have to be hard and laborious—it can become something we love doing. We can delight in an intimate relationship with God.

What does it mean to enjoy something? Webster’s Dictionary describes the word “enjoy” as: “something capable of being enjoyed, possessed or used with pleasure, to take pleasure or satisfaction in the experience of, to have, hold or occupy as a good or profitable thing, and to delight in the possession of.” You and I have the privilege of experiencing God in the prayer room. He is capable of being enjoyed. He is truly our satisfaction—He wants us to enjoy prayer and an intimate relationship.

The primary identity of the Church before Jesus returns to earth will be a cherished Bride who has a revelation of Jesus as the passionate Bridegroom. Only enjoyable prayer will sustain us as we enter into day and night prayer. Mike Bickle, who has been involved in non-stop, day and night prayer for many years, says the following:

“The power to engage in night and day prayer is found in having a heart that soars in God.”

Evangelism and joyful intercession stimulate one another. Evangelistic success brings joy to the prayer room; lack of success brings urgency and burden to the prayer room. Either way, our prayers are fired up because we are touching the world that Jesus loves so deeply. And all of this leads to worldwide harvest and missions. We begin to really understand God’s heart. Empowerment comes in the marketplace as we go out of the prayer room, and empowerment comes into the prayer room as we come back. They go together. Jesus wants to fill us with overflowing joy in the prayer room so that we can take it out into the streets and neighborhoods where we live.

Here at IHOP we have an inner-city ministry called Hope City. Prayer meetings are held at the Hope City prayer room from 8:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M. from Monday through Friday. Lunch is served at noon. The prayer room is open to all. Hope City is like a “church on the streets” with two weekly services at night. The services focus on knowing and loving God, developing a relationship with Him, and the end times. Dinner is served after the services. On Monday afternoons healing ministry is available. Through enjoyable prayer and outreach to the poor and needy many lives are dramatically changed.

Prayer together with action brings transformation into the city one person at a time. The following are testimonies from those who have been touched in the inner city through Hope City:

  • Butch (40 years old) – “About three years ago I jumped down some stairs while I was under the influence of drugs, and I hit a concrete wall head first; I was in a coma for four months. I woke up at St. Luke’s Hospital. I lost some of my brain function and was moved into a nursing home where I live now. I’ve been coming to Hope City’s ministry center for about a year. I gave my life to Jesus on the first night.”
  • Kris (20 years old) – “I was homeless, without any family, and living under some stairs when it was zero degrees Fahrenheit outside. Hope City gave me a sleeping bag and some food, then I began attending the prayer meetings. Since then, I have seen the changes Jesus makes in people’s lives and I gave my life to Him. I have to go to rehab for a while, but Hope City continues to be my visiting family, and I can’t wait to get back there and help!”
  • Connie (48 years old) – “I’ve lived over twenty years on the streets as a drug dealer and a drug user. I’ve always wanted God but could never encounter Him in a way that set me free from my issues. I am now glad to say that I am free from some of the things that have had a hold on me. I consider myself a vital part of Hope City’s ministry.”
  • Barbara (54 years old) – “My friend Randy invited me to a ‘church deal’ dinner on Monday night. I liked the surroundings and I liked the people; I have been coming three times a week for about a year. I am a Jewish woman who didn’t realize I needed a savior. I prayed to receive Jesus in my heart about two months ago. I like reading my Bible during the prayer time.”

There are other testimonies, but this should bring great encouragement as to what God can do when our Houses of Prayer lead to heartfelt action that brings forth fruitfulness. Individuals working with Hope City learn how to minister in the city by leading in the prayer room, serving in the soup kitchen, participating in the food distribution project, and ministering to gang members, drug addicts, and the homeless. They focus on a lifestyle of prayer and develop skills they need to minister in the inner city.

By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International

Enjoyable Prayer Leads to Abundant Fruit

11390094_968828946513546_3817218908514737680_n-2Isaiah also prophesied of a totally new paradigm of prayer characterized by ‘joy’. The Lord promised, ‘I will make you joyful in My house of prayer’ (Isaiah 56:7). The Church will be surprised by joy. In other words, God will fill the Church with enjoyable prayer that is ‘refreshing and invigorating’. Imagine the implications of a paradigm of ‘enjoyable prayer’. The climate within the body of Christ would be different because of deep partnership in prayer with the Eternal Intercessor who is our Bridegroom God. If God is not enjoyable, it will not happen 24 hours a day. Historically, prayer has been hard and thus greatly neglected, but new days of refreshing prayer are breaking forth even now.” Mike Bickle

If we are to bring in the great harvest at the end of this age, we must know the secret of enjoyable prayer. We saw that as we are involved in the combination of prayer and worship, our hearts are stirred towards the things that stir God’s heart. How can we get away from the reality of the world situation? We can’t. We will enter into the heart of God, and we will find great joy not only in prayer, but also in reaching out to the world around us. The angels rejoice in the salvation of the lost; we will do likewise. When we partner with God in reaching the poor and needy and in sharing the Good News, we will find exceeding joy. Luke emphasizes the great joy among the angels when one sinner repents. He wrote in chapter 15:10:

“In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

The “harp and bowl” prayer room will help us to abide in Christ. This brings us into enjoyable prayer because it combines prayer and worship. When we combine prayer with singing and worshipping God, our heart begins to soar. The most significant passages related to enjoyable prayer outlines the beauty of God in context to the heavenly worship around the Throne in Revelation 4-5. We begin to encounter God’s emotions and affections. Some think seeking God in prayer is boring and frustrating. No! God is releasing enjoyable prayer to His people (Isaiah 56:7).

I look eagerly forward to praying in the International House of Prayer. It is the best part of my day, and I thoroughly enjoy it!

I have been watching a tiny apple tree in our back yard. It’s only a couple of years old, and it didn’t look like anything would come forth from this tree. It seemed to just sit there, looking absolutely lifeless with nothing to show for itself on the surface, but actually it was digging its roots deep down into the earth. Then, all of a sudden this year it is growing apples! It is bringing forth fruit. This is definitely a miracle from God because to the naked eye it looked like it wouldn’t ever produce anything.

God wants us to live in Him with our root system deep into the ground, unshakable by what is happening in the world. He has chosen and appointed us to bear lasting fruit, but before we can bear good fruit, we need to have our roots deep in God—in who He is and who we are in Him. The fruit can only be sustained by the life the roots give. If the roots aren’t deep, the weight of the fruit might be too much to bear. We read in John 15:16-17 in the Amplified Bible:

“You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed you [I have planted you], that you might go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit may be lasting [that it may remain, abide], so that whatever you ask the Father in My Name [as presenting all that I AM], he may give it to you.”

Day and night prayer will keep us stable where nothing will be able to unearth us or cause us to fall, but there’s one important requirement. We have to be vitally united to the source. God’s Word has to continually be living in our heart. As we pray and abide in Christ in the prayer room, we will begin to bring forth abundant fruit outside the prayer room where the need is great. In John’s Gospel, he emphasizes abundant fruit when we are linked intimately to the vine:

“Dwell in Me and I will dwell in you. [Live in me and I will live in you]. Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me. I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing… If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. When you bear (produce) much fruit, My father is honored and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine. I have loved you [just] as the Father has loved Me; abide in My love [continue in His love with Me]. If you keep My commandments [if you continue to obey My instructions], you will abide in My love and live on in it, just as I have obeyed My Father’s commandments and live on in His love” (John 15:4-5, 7-10, Amplified).

By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International