I Prayed have prayed
Father, we ask you to invade our homes and our lives. Help us to keep quiet, God, and to listen to Your still and small voice speaking to us.

Analysis. I wrote a piece about a year ago that describes a life-changing experience I had at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. I was deeply blessed to spend two days in private meetings with some of the most gifted and anointed national leaders serving today. Mike Bickel (IHOP) shared remarkably accurate prophecies given by Bob Jones (1930-1975) and explained how events were coalescing to reveal further fulfillments.

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Chris Reed (MorningStar Ministries) miraculously prophesied over me in a manner I had never experienced before. So powerful was that moment for me and everyone in the room, I suddenly found myself tethered to the 50-year prophetic history that was unfolding at IHOP.

That miracle compelled me to book tickets for this past May to attend The Send, a massive Christian conference at Arrowhead Stadium. All signs indicated this would not be just another stadium event but a key puzzle piece in the emerging prophetic heaven-scape unfolding at IHOP and across the world. I will admit that my expectation to experience an unprecedented move of God was higher than any other event I’ve traveled to.

Disappointment often arrives on the heels of misplaced expectations.

Don’t hear me wrong; many nationally known speakers and worship leaders were there and did what they do best. But aren’t far too many of our Christian gatherings singly fueled by leaders doing what they do best?

Even at our very best, we know predictably well what we are capable of. This time, I had set my crosshairs much higher — I flew halfway across the country to watch God do what He does best.

Less than two hours into the 12-hour event, I slid from the expectant edge of my seat and slumped into the hard plastic back of my stadium mould. As speaker after speaker shouted their high-octane messages and band after band was more distorted than the previous, I plugged my ears in hopes to hear what the Lord might have been whispering.

I love the Church. God does not have a Plan B — we are it. But the older I get the less enamored I am with the current tides of Western Evangelicalism. Simply said, our frenetic gatherings serve up such copious helpings of excitement, performance, caffeine, and decibels, my wincing interior world protectively whispers: Can everyone please shut up for a minute? I can’t hear what God is trying to say…

We readily proclaim that Jesus is the Head of the Church, yet are reticent to hand him the mic so he can be the emcee of our gatherings.

The Still Small Voice Doesn’t Need a Sound System

Just as you Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray they will be in us…I in them and you in me — that they may be completely one.

~Jesus in John’s Gospel, Chapter 17

This is the essential placement of the Christian faith. Not so much the prominence of a passage within the doctrinal aggregate, but rather the genuine bearing of a believer and his God. And most astoundingly, the divine preposition that leaps off the page is “in.”

It begins with the indescribable, inimitable nature of the triune God. The Son is in the Father as the Father is in the Son, with the Holy Spirit as the unceasing love that flows between them. Three unique Persons: The perfect union of Elohim.

Even more inexpressible, Jesus prays that we would be in them and they would be in us.

While it may seem like a nifty word picture to run the highlighter over, this is no metaphor at all. This is Christ pulling back the earthen curtain just enough so we can behold a revelation that is more real than it is mysterious.

The intrinsically sacred modal of the Christian life lies deep within the interior world of the soul, for it is here Elohim chooses to dwell as He invites us deeper into The Trinity. While wholly impossible to grasp, the mere contemplative consideration of such truth is why someone like Brother Lawrence (The Practice of the Presence of God) found himself in the presence while washing dishes all alone in his monastery.

Too often, Christians instinctively recoil at what would be considered Eastern formularies that prize the interior practice of meditation, contemplation, and awareness. Remember two things: The Satan subtly schemes to twist, counterfeit, and corrupt things that God deems are good, and second, Jesus was from the East. Meditative prayer and contemplation were not just what He did but who He was.

Jesus frequently withdrew to the wilderness and prayed.

~ Luke’s Gospel, Chapter 5

History’s Impact on the Heart

The first fatal blow to the sacred space of the interior life came 300 years after Jesus’ resurrection when Constantine decreed the Christian faith as the national religion of the Roman Empire. In exchange for the decriminalization of worship and the ceasefire of martyrdom, a deluge of pagan, external appointments flooded the church.

The grassroots house-to-house movement that was devoted to gathering around tables, resting in the presence, and transforming lives was awkwardly ensconced with pomp and ceremony never exhibited in the first-century church.

Constantine’s motives were far more political than they were spiritual.

For more on this, read Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola and George Barna.

The second blow was in 1054 and the East/West split of the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. The schism was primarily over papal authority but by that point, position, power, and property overshadowed the cherished writings of the Church Fathers, the Desert Fathers, and the early Christian Mystics who provide us with life-giving revelations that are an intravenous flow deep into our soul.

The final blow came in the early 1500s. We are still recovering from the hiving off of the Protestants from the Roman Catholics in the Reformation (Think Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli.) Timed perfectly with the unveiling of Gutenberg’s printing press, the once inaccessible Holy Scriptures were readily distributed to the masses. Pursuant, the intellectual rigors of biblical exegesis beclouded the hallowed chambers of the heart and moved the action 2 feet north to the hollowed confines of the head.

The contemplative formularies were not readily carried forward and even the reformers of today harrumph that scripture is the only thing people need. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Bible.

This brief drive-by church history serves to frame where we entered the story and how the centuries have impacted what we call church today.

Rhythms or Arenas?

When Mike Bickel took the mic, I sat up in expectant hope that the heavens were about to open. Though he touched on a brief story of Bob Jones’ prophetic gifting, the promised outpouring remained elusive.

Even when Francis Chan called for a time of quiet to allow everyone space to commune with The Lord, the band immediately launched into deafening tones which sent me walking to the concession stands. My interior world was prepared and pregnant to receive new revelations amid long-awaited signs, and wonders — and it was at that moment I realized I was conflicted within myself.

Why did I get on a plane and fly halfway across the country to seek the glory which is already resident in my heart, in our family, and in our home?

As a worship leader, I have often said: Don’t expect a congregation to reach a height of corporate worship that exceeds the level of daily worship that happens in each of their homes. If individuals resist or refuse the invitation of Jesus to reside in the sacred space, don’t expect the collective to manifest something unexpected and never practiced.

As a family, we attended many Hillsong NYC services and conferences. While the times of worship remain as high watermarks, I remember Pastor Carl Lentz preaching with soaring energy and searing passion. Only later would we learn he was managing extended extramarital affairs during those same sermon series.

Reports allege ARC church leaders who have had similar failures ranging from torrid affairs to embezzlement of funds to abuse of power. And just today I read about a Wisconsin Pastor who was caught soliciting sex with a minor and it wasn’t his first time.

All of these churches had exuberant teams of greeters, high-amped bands, and exciting activities listed on the Connect Card under your seat. Lay aside your judgments about these unconscionable pastors and simply ask: What was the condition of their interior world as they contorted themselves to please people in seats while avoiding the Trinity who desired communion within? Likewise, what is the condition of your interior world if the externalities of an exciting Sunday experience were taken away?

Where is the Kingdom?

Teams from The Send KC worked tirelessly for years preparing for last May’s event. Over 5000 homes in the area were visited and prayed for, 6000 impoverished homes were gifted with tangible blessings of food and goods, and countless orphans were placed into loving families. I have no doubt Kansas City will never be the same because of The Send.

But these heavenly statistics do not resolve my immense disappointment and shattered expectations to experience the move of God I desired to see.

Jesus faced people just like me. In Luke’s Gospel, religious leaders asked Jesus what it will be like when the Kingdom of God erupts on Earth’s scene. I can feel Jesus within me lean in to say:

The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is in you.

May we look first to receive the indwelling nature of God long before we set watch on the wall for the outpourings. May the revival fire in our homes always surpass the revival fires in our churches. And may we rest in the awareness that we don’t have to get on a plane to behold the glory that already rises upon us. And within us.

Are you waiting for a move of God? Experiencing one? Share your thoughts and prayers below.

(Used with permission. The Wine Patch, by Keith Guinta. Photo Credit: Jon Tyson on Unsplash)

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CN
September 3, 2022

I grew up in a Lutheran church. As a child or young adult, we filter our surroundings differently.
There was no before/after service coffee or snacks….at least not that I remember. If there was, I would have zoomed in on it! Those things were not present. But what’s sad is I don’t remember much “life” either. It was quiet but it was also subdued. That’s seems to be a norm with many denominational churches. I think I would have considered our church foundationally strong but not with very close relationships, which I believe are critical to the outreach of any church body & function. You could tell that there were a few that had a strong, ongoing relationship with Christ. One of them was the pastors son, who was 9 years older than me. We are still close friends to this day – 50 years later!!
We are an imperfect people, gathering with others who are imperfect. But we must be on the watch for staleness. I appreciate good music in a church. I’m not into the theatrics – just solid worship music that pushes us towards the presence of God.
Sometimes a cup of coffee after helps us engage in conversation & fellowship, even prayer – giving people a chance to catch up with one another. I’m not opposed to it but I don’t want it to be the highlight of our time gathering together either.
Not only is it up to the pastor and leaders of a fellowship to encourage people to seek God the “entire week”…. it’s up to each individual and family members to follow those instructions. Development of a consistent, vibrant relationship with God takes both dedication, work… and encouragement from others.

MN
September 3, 2022

May God bring revival to our hearts, minds & homes. As He answers this prayer, the natural outcome will be revival throughout our nation.

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Joanne
August 23, 2022

2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV)
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

I belong to a large and growing church which offers expository teaching through the Scriptures and where the teaching pastor is not afraid to speak out Biblically on many issues of the day, receiving hearty amens from the congregation. I am thankful for this. We are waking up to the state of our nation and our world and see the need for revival.

However, a few years ago I had a desire to know the TRUTH regarding the topic of marriage/divorce/remarriage. I have been married for 40 years, but I am watching my children’s Christian friends marry only to divorce just a few years later. I had heard divorce is allowed in the case of adultery, or abandonment, etc., but it was obvious that divorce had become so common, so accepted, I was hearing of people in church leadership leaving their wives and children for someone new, and resuming a role in church leadership perhaps elsewhere. Our ladies group spent probably 6 weeks studying the Scriptures on this topic, and we were stunned at our discovery.
Now, I am not saying that there can not be a valid reason for a Christian to separate from an abusive marriage or even get a legal divorce, however, the teachings of Jesus are clear that a marriage does not end until one spouse dies and that to remarry while both still live is to be in adultery. Surely this TRUTH would help our children to prepare better for entering into this sacred union and to weather the storms that seek to destroy it. Jesus said it plainly, “Moses allowed you to divorce because of the hardness of your hearts.” It seems we have conformed to the world in believing that divorce frees a Christian to remarry. Are there any churches that still teach this?

It is not hard to connect the dots and see that many of the current devastations on our land are related to the breakdown of marriage and family. Perhaps instead of chasing a revival we need to get back preaching sin and repentance.

Recommended
Divorce and Remarriage: A Position Paper by John Piper, Founder and Teacher, desiringGod.org
I think Piper does a good job discussing this topic Scripturally, at least until the last paragraph where he does not use any Scripture to support his views regarding whether or not to stay in a second marriage.

Joycelyn Robinson
August 17, 2022

This article is right on the mark. About 15 years ago I was standing in the foyer of the church I attended, one of the largest in our community, there was a look-alike Starbucks station, a gift shop fully of shoppers & in the auditorium (no longer referred to as the Sanctuary) loud music was playing in preparation for the next service. I realized in that quick observation that church was no longer a place where stillness/waiting on The Lord was nurtured/encouraged instead the atmosphere had become like a hyped event, almost like we had to pattern ourselves after the world’s events in order to stay relevant to the day’s culture of entertainment all with the hopes of drawing more people…
May we return to “waiting on Him & worshipping Him, to allow that still small voice of the Holy Spirit to speak. ❤️🙏🏻✝️

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    Karen
    August 23, 2022

    Yes, the ‘snacks’ provided for the adults has Always left me shaking my head, wondering why in the world do they feel they have to offer that?? I wish there was more reverence and deeper truths taught in churches today. Oh, don’t dare teach scripture that someone might be offended by.(homosexuality is a sin, transgenderism is a lie, etc.) They may leave and take their tithe with them. We need more pastors who have the courage to teach the truth that we need to hear so desperately these days.

Allena Jordan
August 17, 2022

Why are we so reticent to enter into that quiet place (The Holy of Holies) with the Lord? Why do we remain in the outer court with the clamor and the activities? In my quiet time with the Lord this morning, I was reading from Derek Prince’s book Declaring God’s Word. The Outer Court has natural light. The Holy Place has no natural light. Light is provided where oil is ignited in bowls to provide light. In the Holy Place, you are no longer living by your senses, but by faith. Beyond that second curtain, there was no light at all. The only reason to enter was to meet with God. Only God can entice us into that place. “The light that I seek is neither natural nor artificial; it is supernatural – the presence of God Himself.”
Father, forgive me for the times that I look everywhere else for “a word, a moment, a revelation.” Entice me into Your presence in the Secret Place with You. When I come into that place, it is gloriously illuminated by Your Supernatural presence. Thank You, Lord. Amen.
And this old chorus came to mind: Come Into the Holy of Holies:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnOaXSynvLg

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Priscilla Meyenburg
August 16, 2022

To Win for our Father!! And America!!

“We are to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. By placing our eyes on Jesus and giving Him our heavy burdens, life’s journey will be met with much less exhaustion and much more joy. time.”’
“‘When I read this quote, the words leaped off the page! At times I may feel life is crazy, out of control, and going in the wrong directions, but His Word tells us that He works ALL for our good (Romans 8:28). All means all!’ God desires for us not to live in an atmosphere of weariness and frustration, but instead, an atmosphere of hope. We need to confront the appalling, dark atmosphere by binding it in the name of Jesus (Mark 3:27). We must refuse to live under a cloud of confusion, fear, hopelessness, and despair. God’s presence is greater than the attack of our adversary. We thank you Lord for your words of wisdom and the Hope they give us.

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Jim L.
August 16, 2022

Amen and Amen!!

5
Peggy
August 16, 2022

Be still and know that I am God
Be still and know that I am
Be still and know
Be still
BE

12
Michelle
August 16, 2022

No one seems to have noticed the writer of this piece has praised the writings of the Desert Fathers, Church fathers and Christian mystics over the Word of G-d. By his own words this writer is embracing Eastern Religion. This is the same thing that Mike Bickle and IHOPKC believe and practice. It’s on their web site. In their bookstore they have books about the Desert Fathers. and Mothers. What they are/were practicing is not Scriptural. We are not to worship other men, isolate ourselves from others to gain some type of exclusive spiritual knowledge/experience (mysticism), etc.. God is a jealous God! Desert Fathers and Mothers started pre- the Catholic church and brought in pagan practices! This is where we get the priests and nuns taking vows of celibacy. Is that what led to all the homosexuality in the Catholic church ? We need to read G-d’s Word , obey Him and be disciples of Yeshua/Jesus!
YHWH/Yeshua said if you love Me keep My commands. Also remember satan seeks to deceive even the elect!! He comes in sheep’s clothing but is a ravenous wolf! He comes as an angel of light. Be ware lest you be deceived! May we all cry to Abba for Him to reveal TRUTH and discern very carefully who or what we are listening to. Yeshua said he who has ears let them hear SHEMA. May the Ruach ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit) give all the disciples of Messiah increased discernment in these last days. Shalom

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    Deb
    August 17, 2022

    Thank you for the reveal.We must be careful that we are not deceived.The enemy is cunning.Sheep clothing is right.

    1
Gretchen Glover
August 16, 2022

Amen. Revival begins in our homes, in our hearts, in our minds. God speaks to me in songs that are really prayers. Jesus draw me close. closer Lord to thee, for I desire to worship and obey”. Shepherd of my soul, I give you full control, wherever you may lead, I will follow. I have made the choice to listen to your voice, wherever you may lead I will go!

15
Allena Jordan
August 16, 2022

Listening to the IFA Pray today, I heard God say that people look to others to fulfill our needs, even for worship. I’ve been there and sometimes still slip into it. You’re right Keith. He is within and desires to “dine” with us. And, when we meet together:
Colossians 3:16
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Lord, show each of us, Your children, that we can and must hear Your voice for ourselves, personally. We are so valuable to You that this is possible through Holy Spirit. It’s what You desire for each of us. We are that important. Thank You, Lord. Amen

15
Jeanne Williams
August 16, 2022

This really spoke to my heart.
God seem to speak to me
When I had Covid, and I was forced to be quiet and stop all my activities.

7
Mary Nadwodny
August 16, 2022

I stopped running to conferences a long time ago for the same reasons. What I found is my time alone with Holy Spirit is to be so cherished. I invite Him to service every Sunday at a church that doesn’t give Him control like all the other churches in NOVA. He told me that I was the only one who invites Him. So sad that the church doesn’t want Him. It’s my most cherished time of the week, my fellowship alone with Him.

11
Linda k Rice
August 16, 2022

I tired of events about 15 years ago. The daily walk and daily repentance is what Jesus seeks.

19
    Cynthia
    August 16, 2022

    I agree, but also we are commanded not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, where we are to encourage one another, especially as we see the day approaching.

    9
Bev
August 16, 2022

You so brilliantly shared what has been on my heart. Thank you. I live in Kansas City. Holy Spirit take us into the secret place that we may hear your still small voice. Let your temple light up with glory from within.

25
Brian
August 16, 2022

I am absolutely waiting patiently for a move of Almighty God. He is our only hope in these perilous times that we live in. Satan has had far-reaching influence in this world. He has inspired way too many evil occurences and needs to be stopped before he is allowed to ruin our nation. I pray daily for revival. Not because we have done anything to deserve it, but, because we are in desperate need for a mighty move of God. Prayer does change things, and I strongly encourage ALL intercessors in America to pray for revival. It is our ONLY hope.

29
    R. S.
    August 16, 2022

    Revival requires repentance and we do NEED to repent. How did our nation come to be in this condition? How did the Church? How have we become entertainment seekers rather than seekers of God? We allowed it, through our compromises. Pray the the Church will repent , Christians will sacrifice self to the infilling of our loving Holy Spirit and become the spiritual army the Lord intended His church to be.

    19
    Karen
    August 23, 2022

    I was just telling the Lord how awesome it would be to meet with each of you that are commenting on here for a ‘gathering’. I said oh dear Lord, it would be such a wonderful time of praise, worship, teaching and encouraging one another, together, in your presence! And it would be. Guess that will be happening eventually when the trumpet sounds and we are called to join our Lord. I look forward to meeting each of you there!

Frank Elavsky
August 16, 2022

I would like to make 5 statements in reply to this article (actually I would like to make more than that, but I will limit myself to just 5):

1st, God’s Word says:
“With the kind You show Yourself kind, With the blameless You show Yourself blameless;
With the pure You show Yourself pure, And with the perverted You show Yourself astute.”
2 Samuel 22:26,27 NASB, 1995
God knows how to precisely and lovingly meet with us right where we are in our journey, to both affirm us when we see correctly and to use His perfect, cuts-both-ways sharp Sword to divide soul from spirit when we reveal, embrace or traffic in bias, bitterness or error.

2. When Jesus said, “Permit the children to come to Me”, He was not just referring to the biological ones under 12 years of age! Jesus also promised that whenever 2 or 3 have gathered in His matchless Name, He will always be there in their midst! Those with more experience in this awareness will usually see Him easier than others do. I agree that The Still small voice does not need a sound system, but the author of this article does not seem to be aware of how much fasting and private meditation and prayer was done by several leaders of the Send, not just prior to the event, but as a lifestyle.

3. Love that comes from The Source of unconditional Love is patient, kind, (and much more), but very, very patient. Mature receivers of faith-based prophetic promises know very well that seed-words must be received properly into good (uncluttered and bitterness-free) soil to properly bear much fruit, AFTER the seed has fallen into the “earth” (of the receiver’s heart) and died for a while. Without faith (and hope and especially love) to the finish line, are we going to please God or become disappointed in Him, or eventually bitter at Him?

4. Jeremiah, David and others who wrote in our Bible went through episodes of bitterness and disappointment with God but eventually came out of those episodes into deeper trust, faith and confidence in God and His unfolding goodness and astute wisdom. If we don’t work through those things thoroughly, we can develop a root of bitterness, and/ or become double-minded.

5. There were absolutely NOT 3 “fatal blows” to the “interior life”. God worked through history and does now through always imperfect people and mature, agape-love motivated believers focus on solving problems and meeting needs. The Eastern and Western traditions both have strengths and weaknesses (and have had immature, immoral and corrupted Church leaders along the way) but the Trinity God of Truth (whose heart is revealed well in Jesus’ prayer in John 17) is leading us all (true believers Globe-wide from all generations) into UNITY in Him, The Truth.
The Reformation was good, not at all a “fatal blow” to the inner life. It was incomplete, but positive, helpful, and true spiritual progress. There is so much more that could be said, but in Isaiah 5, as so many IFA participate know, God says,
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”
Isaiah 5:20 NASB , 1995

Go is pleased when His people draw near to Him, both in private and in groups!

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    Susan Newby
    August 16, 2022

    My husband and I SO appreciate this thoughtful and well-worded response to Keith Guinta’s article!! We are SO grateful for the Reformation— without it, how could we laymen HAVE a Bible in our home to meditate on?? We would be dependent on the sometimes corrupt priest to “intone” it to us!! Not much “still small voice” there! We need to OFFER our disappointments to God so that they don’t become bitterness which will cloud and muddy our view of things. I have a feeling that bitterness in the “on ramp” to judgment and isolation and other sins. It should be taken seriously.

    6
Linda Lunn
August 16, 2022

2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV)
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

This is the verse that God spoke to me. So true the words I just read in this article. Revival must come from within each of us and we must remain strong in these last days.

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JoAnn
August 16, 2022

Thank you for this message. It is powerful and beautiful. I believe the Lord does look first at each heart. Is mine in line with the triune God? I need to feel closer to Jesus in my quiet time than in any worship service. I’ve long been concerned about the theatrical presentation of the gospel. Yes, people do come to Jesus in these services, but we are to make disciples…this takes one-on-one or a more intimate quiet relationship. With that said, I do praise HIM that HE uses all methods for winning souls!

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Allena Jordan
August 16, 2022

Profound words. Lord, teach me to take time to enter into the holy of holies right here at home. Help me to take the time to commune with You. You said, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” I draw near, Lord. Amen.

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