As a house of prayer in Kansas City, we are coming up on 20 years of night-and-day prayer—365 days a year, seven days a week. Personally, I have spent the majority of those years ministering to the Lord in the NightWatch. There are still some nights that I wish I could see earth a little more clearly through heaven's perspective. Tonight was one of those nights. As our worship team was singing through Revelation 1 about Jesus loving us, I was struck yet again with the power and beauty of a people gathered at three o'clock in the morning to worship the Lord and minister to Him, a people not given over to the darkness of this fallen world, but a people reaching to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength.
In the middle of our worship, I like to picture the Lord, our heavenly bridegroom, shouting over us, "You have ravished my heart!" I like to picture the Father drawing near and letting us feel His heart, letting us know that He sees us as His children, and that He delights in us.
I have found that the biblical truths that are foundational to sustaining a 24/7 prayer room also sustain and fuel any believer personally striving to live a life of prayer and to heed the command in Scriptures to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thess. 5:17). I would like to talk about a few of these truths here in order to encourage us as believers in our quest to enter into walking out praying without ceasing.
1. Rejoice in the Lord.
The apostle Paul exhorts believers in Philippians 4:4 to "rejoice in the Lord." In the past, I saw this verse as a kind suggestion to get around to whenever I saw fit. However, after coming back to it many times, it became clear that it wasn't an option but a clear command that I am to obey. Once I began to view this verse as a command, to seek to apply it in very simple ways, it ended up bringing profound joy and peace to my heart. I discovered that I am to rejoice in Him in the middle of the mundane beauty of everyday life. In my relationships, in my successes, in my failures, in life's joys, and in life's sorrows, He is to be where my joy is seated, and found in, always. Foundational to continually praying is understanding that the one whom we are approaching in prayer is the very source of our joy, and that in all of our living, before Him and before man, we are to find joy in Him. Prayer was designed to be filled with joy and delight.
2. His delight is in us.
In Song of Solomon 2:14, the bridegroom addresses the bride in a very powerful way, which I consider to be applicable in our relationship with Jesus as our heavenly bridegroom—"O my dove, ... let me see your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely." In order for us to live confidently before God, understanding His heart toward us is key. We must believe that He is the God who wants to see our face; in other words, that He wants us to draw near to Him, so close that He is able to see the most precious things about us. Him wanting to hear our voice tells me He cares deeply about what is on our hearts and on our minds, so much so that He, with deep longing, proclaims to us, "Let me hear your voice!"
3. Cling to the promise of seeing the King in His beauty.
The prophet Isaiah speaks of a coming day when our eyes will see the King in His beauty (see Isa. 33:17). Ultimately, this promise is for the coming age; but I believe we receive down payments of this promise in our day-to-day lives by the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, making Jesus known to our hearts through the beautiful tapestry of the written Word. Discovering the manifold glory of the person of Christ will unlock our hearts to want to discover more of this beauty. The more we discover, the more we will want to keep discovering.
Seeing the King in His beauty is key to sustaining us to pray continually. Seeing Jesus described all throughout the Prophets, the Psalms, the Gospels, the Epistles and the book of Revelation has only awakened more and more wonder in my heart and a desire to keep discovering this one in whom is all the Father's delight (see Isa. 42). I have found that seeing as beautiful the one to whom I speak, sing to in worshipful adoration, bow and tremble before and bring my supplications to is key to sustaining me not only as a watchman who ministers to the Lord in the night, but also as a believer who wants to lovingly walk in His command to pray continually.
Sada Rogers and her husband, Nate, live in South Kansas City. Sada has been on full-time staff at IHOPKC for the past 18 years, primarily serving as a worship leader and giving oversight to the worship teams and prayer room during the night hours.
This article originally appeared at ihopkc.org.
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