Many times our focus with the subject of patience is on external behaviors, like beeping my horn at the slow driver (hypothetical example of course! :) But the challenge I’ve been in recently has been waiting for change on heart issues, like my lack of faith or wrong mindsets about life, God, or others. Some of these struggles have lasted for months and even years, so it’s hard to keep praying for breakthrough when it seems like there’s little or no change.
Aaron Leatherdale, the rapper on my worship team has just released a unique music project that I am really excited about. It's a four song rap EP called, "The Book of Philippians". The album is a verse-by-verse paraphrase of Paul’s letter to the Church in Philippi.
Earlier this year, my team and I spent about three months studying and singing through the Book of Philippians during our Wednesday morning 8am sets. All the rhymes on this CD came directly from those times of worship and prayer and Aaron wrote 100% of the rap lyrics on stage in the prayer room at IHOPKC.
The past few weeks I’ve been purposefully drawing away from daily activities and making time to sit before Him in silence. The Lord speaks to us in many different ways; through His Word, sermons, worship songs, prophetic words and countless other ways. I’ve recently realized that many times I can get so consumed with studying, listening to sermons or even listening to worship music that I forget one of the most precious ways that God will speak; in silence.
My experience has been that it usually takes a bit of time to quiet the conversation or song that’s playing in my head, but then after a few minutes of just sitting and asking Him to help me focus my brain begins to clear. Sometimes I feel Him whispering to my heart. Sometimes I sense His presence. Other times I feel nothing and am so distracted that I eventually just give up! But after sitting in silence consistently for the past few weeks I’m now finding a longing inside of my heart to sit in silence more. There is something special about silence.
If you haven’t read part 1 of this post you should do that first here.
Here’s how it works: as the team begins singing through a passage I have my computer open with a blank word document (you can use a pen and paper if you can write really fast and still have it be legible by the time you’re done – I canNOT do this : ). Write down every phrase that is spoken and sung by the worship team. For example if the team is singing through John1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
Experiencing the Word of God
Whether you’re sitting in a prayer room or sitting alone in your bedroom praying there are many options of things we can do to help facilitate prayer and help us stay focused on the Lord. Journaling, sitting in silence, listening to worship music, intercession, praying with other people, and the list goes on and on. I want to add an option that I have found incredibly helpful to facilitate prayer in my heart.
Hey guys, I'm excited to have a guest blog post from my dad Mike Rizzo. My dad and mom have been in ministry as long as I can remember and have been on staff here at IHOP for over five years. Their main role for the past several years has been leading the marriage ministry; doing pre maritial, counseling people, and just investing into the lives of many young (and old) people here at IHOP.
My dad gave me a book to read several weeks ago that has taken my faith in prayer to another level. The book, ‘Angels of Humility’ follows the lives of two believers, an elderly woman named Sarah, and a young pastor fresh from seminary named Paul.
Sarah, who is newly saved after the death of her husband, begins to realize that though she doesn’t have many years left to live she wants to make as much impact as she can through prayer. She eventually crosses paths with Paul, who has a single focus to grow his church and ministry. As we observe their interactions with each other and their prayer lives, we see the angels and demons that are affecting their desires and longings unmasked and are given a potent glance into the power of prayer. Numerous opportunities arise throughout their journey to rebuke the enemy and pray, or agree with the darkness and do nothing. The story takes an unexpected turn and in the end and we see them both having to live with the consequences of the choices.
I’m sitting in the prayer room this morning being struck again with the simple fact that God hears my prayers. It sounds elementary but it is so easy for my heart to forget this and get into ‘faithless mode’ so quickly. But to think that I got up this morning, came to a room, and when I whisper my weak prayers to the Lord things actually change. This is a stunning truth.
The past hour I spent time praying for my heart, my family, and for those in the market place to be empowered as they enter their mission field today. Though I didn’t feel much in the moment, I know that the ones I lifted up before the Lord just might have a divine encounter today because I prayed. I believe that others I prayed for might just have that weight and oppression lift off of them and experience the Holy Spirit in a greater measure. If this is true then there are no wasted prayers, and this gives so much validity to prayer!
I’ve been chasin’ the wind
Trying hard to win
A race I was never meant to run
Seeking for selfish gain
All the while using Your name
As a stool to stand upon
To hear mine proclaimed
So many wasted days
I’ve spent living for the dream
Seeking a life of comfort
No matter what the means
So many wasted days
I’ve spent living for the dream
Until I finally realized
That life isn’t what it seems