Have you ever felt an uncommon hunger for God that no amount of corporate gatherings could satisfy? There are times when the Lord beckons us deeper into the secret place of prayer. There are seasons when the only thing that seems to fill our hearts’ desire is to be alone with Him, one-on-one.
I have experienced this on multiple occasions in my own walk with the Lord. In my early days of Christianity, I would seek to fulfill this longing by any means possible except by going to the Lord in my secret place. As I matured, I learned that when this desire strikes my heart, the only thing that really satisfies my longing for Him… is Him.
Although that answer may seem obvious, it can be difficult to realize! After all, there are so many other things we can find to occupy our time other than the Lord Himself. So many other things clammer for our attention. But when an uncommon hunger for God arises in the human spirit only one thing will satisfy it. What I’ve discovered is that only God can satisfy hunger for God!
I believe many of you that are reading this have sensed this hunger in your own lives. In this blog, I want to give you three big keys to discovering God in the secret place of personal devotion to Jesus.
Jesus stated in Matthew (v. 6:6) that when we pray we should “go into [our] room, shut the door, and pray to [our] Father…” (NIV). What Jesus is saying here, is to block out all distractions for a period of time so that we can encounter God on a personal level. What an amazing invitation! God gives us permission to seek Him for personal encounters with Him.
Before you begin, I must issue a warning that this may feel uncomfortable at first. It might seem like you are just alone with your thoughts. The silence may feel strange and awkward. The next key is crucial to overcome this initial stage.
On many occasions, the Bible speaks of waiting upon the Lord. That word “wait” in the scriptures is not a passive term, but an active one. It can be interpreted as the confident, disciplined, expectant, active clinging to God. This is the posture we should take when we get alone with the Lord in prayer. Not passive, but active and attentive to His presence.
This is what the disciples did in Acts 1–they waited with eager expectation for the Holy Spirit to be poured out just as Jesus had told them. Ten days after they gathered, on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out and we know what happens next in that story.
Waiting upon the Lord is a weapon. It is an active stance we take, positioning ourselves for answered prayer. It is all about the position of your heart and the faith that you possess to touch Him in the secret place of prayer.
The third key is probably one of the most important, and that is to receive from Him. There is a point where the waiting ceases and He answers the cry of the heart. Many times, for me, this moment is a time of personal encounter that can almost be missed if my heart is inattentive.
In 1 Kings 19, the Lord told the prophet Elijah that He was about to pass before Him. God then sent a windstorm, an earthquake, and a fire, but the prophet discerned that the Lord was not in any of these phenomena. Then Elijah heard a gentle whisper. Guess what? The Lord was in the quiet whisper in such a powerful way that it caused the prophet to pull his cloak over his face.
I find that more often than not, the Lord is wanting to encounter me in a gentle whisper. It might be an impression. It might be a quiet thought of His love for me. It may be a particular passage of Scripture. Whatever the case, it is typically a simple affirmation of His love for me. These are always the best encounters and these are the ones we ought to look for more than anything.
I encourage anyone who feels stirred for the more of God to find Him by getting alone with Him, expectantly waiting upon Him, and receiving from His voice- even if it is just a whisper.
-Brandon McKenzie, Harvest House of Prayer Director
I have been serving in some way with Take the city since October 2013. I spent a lot of time on the prayer team in the beginning and encountered God’s heart for the city in a life changing way. When the teams came back and shared testimonies, it was always fun to see that our prayers coincided with some of their testimonies in special ways. More recently I have had the privilege of leading a team to a nursing home where I used to be an employee. I used to pray over the facility every day, and it was such a miracle to see an old friend who lives there give his life to Jesus on one of our outreaches a year later. God sure has a way of answering prayers. And Take the City is an answer to so many prayers that have gone up here.