My senior year of college (Fall 2010) I started attending Tuesday night equipping services at Gateway House of Prayer (GHOP). Amidst the pressures of nursing school, something kept me going on a semi-consistent basis. During that season I had a lot of “mixture” in my life. Which inwardly looked like a continual pulling toward the Lord, yet also wanting to remove the ‘Christian sticker’ from my forehead and in doing so walking in compromise.
At that time Jimmy Nimon was the director of GHOP. Something about the messages he preached was unlike anything I had ever heard. Now I describe it as he was putting language to the emotions, thoughts, and desires in my heart. And, like most profound and true ideas, it was simple. Simple and pure devotion to Jesus.
After nursing school I somehow ended up at a conference called Onething, put on by the International House of Prayer. Day one of the conference I was hit with a reality check the Lord had been leading me toward. My “mixture” was exposed against the backdrop of the reality of who God was. I felt the severity of what being a true disciple of Jesus meant; full surrender of my life.
Before I even got back from the trip I signed up for the Gateway internship. I knew that revelation only lasts for so long if you don’t act on it. I’d had moments of revelation like this before on missions trips and youth retreats, but the normalcy of everyday life would eventually dull my passion and I’d find myself back in complacency. So I put myself in what I considered an “extreme” setting. The internship had many aspects, but the two biggest ones were doing 10 hours a week in the prayer room and fasting all media.
I could tell you that the internship changed my life, and it did. But not because of any new or profound information. See the 10 hours of prayer and the subtraction of the endless noise of media created this space within me where I actually was hearing from God. Where my inner man, my spirit, was awakened to the reality and pleasures of communing with a God who is the embodiment of all that we long for; truth, hope, justice, peace, righteousness, and above all else love. My paradigm of what it meant to know Jesus completely shifted, as I began to actually meet with Him and spend real time with Him.
At this point you may be confused as to what the point of me telling you all this is. I actually started this post with the intention of articulating why 24/7 prayer and worship is important and why I’ve chosen to join full-time staff at Gateway House of Prayer. But for some reason I couldn’t do that without first sharing my testimony of how God has transformed my life, and my relationship with him through the house of prayer and through the prayer movement. See at the heart of the prayer and worship movement is this one thing focus (yes, that’s why the conference I went to is called Onething). That one thing is the worth and beauty of the man Jesus. The firstborn Son of God, the one who is preeminent in all things, who reconciled us to the Father by his death on the cross, that we, by his blood may be holy and blameless (Colossians 1:15-22). Knowing him, really knowing him, because he is a real man that can be known, is the core of the prayer movement. Because when you know him, you can’t help but adore him, when you know him you can’t help but talk about him, when you know his love, revealed at the cross, where he gave his life for yours, it beckons you to offer yours in return. I could go on and on, but the reality is He is an all consuming fire.
Thus, my life pursuit has become seeking the face of Jesus. I want to know the man that loved me first with a matchless love, and be transformed into His likeness (2 Corinthians 3:12-18). I minister in the house of prayer for many reasons (which I will expand upon in coming posts), but the biggest one is my belief that Jesus deserves to be praised day and night. If you check out the Tabernacle of David in 1 Chronicles, you’ll find this isn’t a new idea.
Psalm 27 has become my life psalm. In verse 4 David proclaims:
“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.”
David’s heart was to know God, to behold his beauty. It was his one thing desire and pursuit of his life. Likewise, it is mine.
Many of you know I write some poetry and most recently have started doing some spoken word poetry, which is simply poetry that is spoken. Here’s one I wrote about my one thing desire and pursuit.
“What about evangelism? The Great Commission? Isn’t that a bit monastic and religious to be sitting in a barn all day praying?” These questions are valid and I will be answering them in coming post as I talk about intercessory prayer.