Up late tonight praying and reading the Word. So much is happening in the world today. My heart is breaking over what is transpiring with Hurricane Harvey. Greg and I lived in Houston for ten years. We love this city and our family and dear life- long friends who live in this city. I weep for this city and the people of this city, but also believe that God will show Himself so beautifully to those who are in need and who turn to Him in this time. He is a good, good Father. Then there is the battle that is rising with North Korea, the unrest in our nation, the pointing of the finger to our President, media outlets that are reporting false truths and twisting communication and words, attempting to falsely shape the beliefs of our American culture. While in intercession concerning these pressing issues, the Lord directed me to the book of Luke. As I began to read and study the life and ministry of Jesus, I was drawn to several scriptures. Below are two of the scriptures to bring us into the topic of this article.
Yet even more so His fame went everywhere. And great crowds came together to hear and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. But He withdrew to the wilderness and prayed.
Luke 5:15-16, MEV
In these days He went out to the mountain to pray and continued all night in prayer to God.
Luke 6:12, MEV
Jesus knew where to receive the necessary anointing for His kingdom assignments. It was in quality time in prayer, relationship and communion with His Father. You see, I believe in these intimate times of praying to and seeking His Father, Jesus heard and saw what His Father had called Him to do. I believe He saw the faces of those He would heal. His Father prepared Him to cast out demons. He was told the cities to minister in. He received great love and compassion to minister to those in need. He received the revelation of truths to speak and release to the people. He began to understand and know of His forthcoming crucifixion to redeem mankind. And in this time with His Father He received the strength to endure the unspeakable torture and death He would experience. He was dependent on this time with His Father to be able to fulfill all He was called to fulfill. I also firmly believe that He loves His Father and because of the this deep love, Jesus wanted to be with Him. He abided in His presence and love.
Upon reading and studying these verses, the Lord reminded of our annual prayer network meeting and the following Engage2017 conference where our friend, Lance Wallnau, shared a powerful truth, “Proximity is power!” I completely agree. Proximity means nearness in place, time, order, occurrence, or relation. I would like to share several viewpoints of this statement.
Proximity to Him
If we want to have the power, authority and anointing of the Kingdom of God we need to spend quality time in proximity to our Heavenly Father, Jesus our Savior and Holy Spirit. We must know Him and His voice and His ways. God wants us to be personally revived. Not just ones surviving one day after the next, but ones who are revived in His presence and His glory. As we spend this time with Him we are empowered to reflect and radiate Him to a lost world. As we are revived we are anointed to be ministers of reconciliation and transformation. Do we spend enough time in His presence so that we carry the fragrance of the Kingdom? Do we know when the heart of our Lord is grieved? Do we weep over those things that cause His heart to grieve? Do we hear His heart and cry out for mercy? Do we spend enough time with Him to allow His creativity to bring us into new ways of favor and success? Are we dying to self and receiving more of Him in order that we increase in spiritual authority? Do we know and hear His voice prophetically guiding and leading us? Have we grown in our walk with Him or are we stagnant? If we want to be a people of power, purpose and action, we must be ones who are in close, abiding proximity with Him. Just as Jesus withdrew to pray, we must withdraw to pray, spend time with our Father. In this place of abiding in His glory we hear and see what He is saying and calling us to do. We are anointed to go and do what He is calling us to do. We are anointed to love, heal, deliver, speak truth, bring solutions to problems, war against darkness when it is time to war. The following is a quote by Leonard Ravenhill,
“No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying. We have many organizers, but few agonizers; many players and payers, few pray-ers; many singers, few clingers; lots of pastors, few wrestlers; many fears, few tears; much fashion, little passion; many interferers, few intercessors; many writers, but few fighters. Failing here, we fail everywhere.”
Abiding, staying in close proximity to Him is a must.
Proximity to Those Who We are Called to Influence/Kingdom Assignments
From this place of relationship, we become people who take what He has given us out into the world and become ones of influence. We need to be in the proximity of those we are called to influence. Meeting together as the Body of Christ is good, but it serves the purpose of preparing us to go out to bring His kingdom and light into the world. If we want to influence and be world changers, we must be in proximity to and engaged in those areas where He has called us. Wherever, we are being called whether it be government, education, media, arts and entertainment, business, family, medicine, Church, neighborhoods, Bible Study groups, cities, regions, nations; it is key to begin to step out in faith and action steps toward the calling. Seek His leading and take the first baby step of obedience and step out, then take the next baby step and then the next. Begin to build relationship with those who can influence and mentor in your passion and gifting. Proximity is power.
Proximity in Assignments
When He reveals breakthrough prayer assignments and kingdom assignments, oftentimes He will call us to pray at, to be planted in and building in the geographical location in need of healing. Corporate prayer times are great. I have led them for years and will continue to do so. But, true transformation comes when we stand on the land and in the place God is calling us to redeem. We bring His presence, anointing and authority. We repent, war, praise, worship, prophesy, decree His Word, plant and build and see breakthrough come. Proximity is power.
Prayer Should be the Business of the Church
John Wesley said, “God will do nothing but in answer to prayer.” S.D. Gordon said, “The greatest thing anyone can do for God and for man is to pray. Prayer is striking the winning blow….Service is gathering up the results.” I love this quote by E.M. Bounds, “God shapes the world by prayer. The more praying there is in the world the better the world will be, the mightier the forces against evil…..The prayers of God’s saints are the capital stock of heaven by which God carries on His great work upon the earth. God conditions the very life and prosperity of His cause in prayer.” In closing, I want to end with one more quote, “If these things are true, then prayer should be the main business of our day. You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.” Lord cause us to stay in a place of abiding. A place of nearness to You in order that we might go out in the world to be those ministers of reconciliation and transformation.