People are attracted to intimacy and love. They want to know what is real. According to a publishing house that has been in the romance business for half a century, more than 180 romance novels are purchased each year. This publishing house sold, on average, five and one-half books per second! People are desperately looking for love, and so often they look in the wrong places. Mother Teresa, whose life was a demonstration of love and who has impacted the multitudes in India, said:
“We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. The more we receive in silent prayer the more we have to give in our active life.”
We receive God’s love in the prayer room and give it away outside to the needy world in which we live. God’s love touches people’s hearts in remarkable ways right where we live.
On April 6, 2000, Ricky and Toni Sexton were taken hostage inside their home by a fugitive couple on a crime spree. Toni took her poodle outside when suddenly Dennis and Angela Tanner roared into her driveway, pointed pistols at her, and yelled for her to get back inside the house.
Trapped inside their house as hostages, the Sextons showed the love of Christ to the couple. They listened to their troubles—read from the Bible—showed them Gospel videos—and prayed and cried with them. During negotiations with the police, Ricky refused his own release when the Tanner’s suggested committing suicide to end their standoff. But before finally surrendering, something remarkable happened. Angela Tanner left $135 and a note for the Sextons that said:
Thank you for your hospitality. We really appreciate it… Wish all luck and love. Please accept this. It really is all we have to offer. Love, Angela and Dennis.
This couple was touched and disarmed by the power of love they experienced in Ricky and Toni’s life. The world will recognize our authenticity when our love is expressed in sacrifice, purity, and serving. A transformation took place because of the disarming power of love. God wants to remove everything that hinders love in our lives. He wants to establish His dwelling place and bring His presence on earth (Psalm 132:2-5). Our intimacy with the Lord will go on throughout all of eternity.
Intimacy is a journey. It requires time and has seasons of highs and lows.
It doesn’t come automatically but must be cultivated over years of pursuing God day-in and day-out. We must faithfully and earnestly seek God all the days of our life. In the prayer room we position our hearts to seek after God, and our hearts are transformed day-by-day into the likeness of Christ.
The other day when I was praying and worshipping God in the Global Prayer Room at the International House of Prayer, I looked around at the individuals sitting there. They were all shapes and sizes, mainly young. The worship was so beautiful as it always is. I watched some with uplifted hands, others gazing intently upward, and others praying softly. I felt so privileged to be there at that moment, and I thought to myself:
These people love God so much! This is the real thing. Nothing is greater than this.
Let’s give ourselves to loving God. It will lead to loving others outside the prayer room in the everyday world where we live and work. Houses of Prayer are God’s strategic way to bring transfor-mation into our hearts and our cities. It’s time we seek to grow our hearts and watch it affect every area of our life for God’s glory.
“Loving God with all our heart is the greatest commandment because it is the one that encompasses all else. It is the one that steadily takes over every area of our lives, from our thought life, our words, our relation-ships; to the way we spend time and money. If we truly give ourselves to loving Him entirely, we will in time love our neighbor as ourselves and be given to extravagant service, yet with a heart burning in the sustaining fire of intimacy.” Dana Candler
By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International