Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
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“Might we not set ourselves to learn silence, stillness, and solitude? It will not be easy to come by. It must be arranged. The Lord Jesus, available to people much of the time, left them, sometimes a great while before day, to go up to the hills. He could commune in solitude with His Father. Job, enduring his friends’ tiresome lectures and accusations, was very much alone in the ash heap, but it was there that he came to know God as never before. When Paul received God’s call to preach the gospel he did not consult anyone. He went into Arabia. The old apostle John, when exiled to Patmos, must sure have known a holy aloneness through which he received the book of Revelation.” Elisabeth Eliot
I like to write motivational books on prayer. One of my books is called Deeper Still: Secrets to a Deeper Prayer Life. As I wrestled with what to call this book and after finally deciding on a title, God gave me several confirmations that this was His choice. Within a very short time I saw the words “deep,” “deeper,” and “deeper still” everywhere—a street name, a magazine title, a song on a CD, an article title, and several other places.
God was showing me that depth is very important to Him as we learn the lessons of prayer. The great biblical characters like Job, Paul, John, and even Jesus had to learn this lesson. God wants to take each one of us deeper still—deeper than we have ever been before. And this requires an invitation to times of aloneness.
Going deeper in prayer is not always easy or fun.
Actually it can be quite difficult, especially when we don’t know what God is doing. We have to give extravagant time to God. When I wrote Deeper Still, God was wooing me into a deeper prayer life. I thought to myself:
“Haven’t I gone deep enough? Do You still want me to go deeper?”
That is exactly what He wanted. The difficulties of the end-times require it. You may wonder, “Lord, isn’t it about time that I take action? I’ve been waiting a long time.” But you may not realize the strength that is needed at the foundation of your life in order to stay consistently stable in hard times. Your foundation has to be strong so that no attack from the enemy can penetrate your firm trust in the Lord.
The word “deep” in Webster’s Dictionary means “extending far below the surface, descending far downward, profound, opposed to shallow, piercing a great way, not superficial or obvious, hidden, secret, heartfelt, intricate.” God wants to take us far below the surface in our relationship with Himself. This relationship must not be superficial—as so many are—but heartfelt, hidden, and of great depth.
The quality of our aloneness with God can actually enhance the quality of our time with others. Cultivate that deep, alone time with God and make it a holy aloneness. Make your relationship with God of prime importance because this is what life is all about. Someone once told my husband and I, “God is taking you deeper and working intricately with your life, so that you can work intricately with the lives of others.” I’ve often thought about how true that statement has been to us.
We used to live in Virginia Beach so we learned a lot about hurricanes. A few years ago we had a hurricane called Ernesto that swept through the area. I’ve written about this hurricane before because of its’ profound message. Ernesto was not a very forceful hurricane, yet many trees fell because of the strength of the winds. Many people lost one or more trees during that hurricane. It left Virginia Beach in a huge mess with trees and branches lying everywhere.
The stability of the trees depended on how deep the roots went below the surface. Shallow roots could not stand the force of even a small hurricane. In Virginia Beach in mild weather you could never tell how deep a tree’s roots extended, but in a hurricane the truth was exposed. Shallow roots meant a big downfall. The roots just could not sustain the tree.
Likewise, right now God is developing your prayer life and the depth of your personal relationship with Him. He is inviting you deeper for a purpose. He has great plans to use you in the coming days. You must not bypass this most important season in your life.
During the last several years, I have concentrated a large majority of time in writing books on prayer. This has called for a lot of root work. It has called for alone time with God and heavy concentration. I am an active person and like to be out in the nations, but God is inviting me to go deeper. I have learned to say “yes” to this call. I know it is perhaps the most crucial time in my relationship with God. I have learned that the value of this time of going deeper with God is worth gold. I need to be exceedingly grateful for it even though it takes effort and a prioritizing of everything I do.
God is inviting you to enter into deeper intimacy. As you accept this invitation, I recommend that you do the following:
Your depth with God now is of utmost importance. He knows what is needed. He is working intricately with your life. He is deep, and He is inviting you to go deeper into His heart through prayer. He knows how strong the winds will be howling in the end-times. He is very purposeful in what He is presently developing in your life. The devil will say it is not important. He will tempt you with these thoughts:
“Eat, drink and be merry. Nothing will happen. Live just for today.”
But God is developing this holy aloneness with Himself for a purpose. Every day of “root building” is beneficial. When you are building depth, often you can’t see anything happening on the surface. It can even feel that all is dead and lifeless, but actually the opposite is true—sustainable life is being built deep down where it really counts. Realize that your root development will one day pay off. Let His song be with you even during the midnight hour.
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“Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. By day the Lord directs His love, at night His song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life” (Psalm 42:7-8).
By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International