How Intimacy Fuels Prayer
by Adam Wittenberg
It’s existed long throughout history—from the time of King David onward—but in this day and age, the Lord is raising up 24/7 prayer on a global scale like never before.
The International House of Prayer of Kansas City is privileged to be part of that, through our training and equipping programs, university, and free webstream of prayer and worship that we offer to the world.
As our 17-year anniversary of unceasing prayer approaches on Sept. 19th, we are taking time to reflect on the values behind what we do. Chief among them is enjoying intimacy with the beautiful God.
The Lord is beautiful! This may seem strange, but we’re not talking beauty in the traditional sense. In fact, Isaiah 53:2 says that Jesus had “no form or comeliness . . . no beauty that we should desire Him.”
What is beautiful about God is His power, His plan, and His affections (burning desires) for His people. The Lord desires and delights in you. He enjoys His children, and wants us to be with Him. This is good news!
David discovered this reality. His knowledge of how much God desired him caused him to make seeking God his chief pursuit:
One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek . . . all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD. (Psalm 27:4)
For David, God’s beauty included His affection, attention to every detail of life (Psalm 23), and plan to preserve him and make him great. This gave him joy in seeking God.
For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation. (Psalm 149:4)
David taught the people to enjoy the Lord. In place of the word rejoice or joyful, you can think of the word enjoy.
Let Israel rejoice in [enjoy] their Maker; let the children of Zion be joyful in [enjoy] their King. (Psalm 149:2)
This knowledge, more than the desire for 24/7 prayer itself, is key to sustaining ministry.
The more we understand God’s beauty and affection, the more we’ll want to encounter Him. And as we encounter Him, we’ll experience His delight.
This is a natural birthing ground for 24/7 prayer, as God wins our hearts and affections, setting us on a course of wholehearted pursuit.
Prayer is sustained by focusing on God—not man, sin, or the devil. While times of repentance and warring in the Spirit will occur, they are not to be our main focus.
When we fix our eyes on Jesus, receive His love, and gaze upon His beauty, our weak hearts are encouraged to press on. King David stumbled many times, but he repented and God restored him. “Create in me a clean heart, O God,” he prayed (Psalm 51:10).
The Lord has promised to make us joyful in His house of prayer.
Also the sons of the foreigner who join themselves to the LORD . . . to love the name of the LORD . . . even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. (Isa. 56:6-7)
God’s affections will draw us into intimacy, keeping us in pursuit of Him for years to come. In this place we can enjoy intimacy with the beautiful God and fuel 24-hour prayer and worship to His name.
Listen to Mike Bickle preach on delighting in the Lord in a recent sermon »
A Detroit native who was raised in Vermont and Connecticut, Adam worked as a newspaper journalist until 2012, when he moved to Kansas City to complete the Intro to IHOPKC internship. Afterwards, he earned a four-year certificate in House of Prayer Leadership from IHOPU and is now on full-time staff in the Marketing department at IHOPKC. He also serves in the NightWatch (overnight prayer hours) and is active in evangelism. He, and his wife Stephany, have a vision to reach people everywhere with the good news of Jesus Christ.