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Press in. I learned how to yield to the presence of God by pressing into Him; that is, by being deliberate about my pursuit. When I sensed His presence, I humbled myself enough to admit that I wanted Him desperately. I longed for His nearness. I wanted whatever He had for me.
The Bible encourages, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you" (James 4:8, NASB). We have to make an effort to pursue God. However, even our desire for God comes from Him.
Ask Him to draw you to Himself. Ask Him from a pure heart to renew the flame of desire within you. Pray to your Beloved, "Draw me after you and let us run together!" (Song 1:4)
Remove the rocks. Why do some of our encounters with the Lord seem to be deeper than others? We have many layers in our beings, and sometimes we hit a layer of "rock" that needs to be removed in order to get down to the next level of living water. These layers of rock are hindrances to prayer that reside in the realm of our souls.
As we press into God, the Holy Spirit reveals the hindrances--unforgiveness or stubbornness or rebellion, for example--that are keeping us from Him. Once they have been removed through repentance, our hearts become softer and more yielded to the Spirit. Free of these hindrances, we often experience a release of the anointing into our lives and ministries.
When you pass through a layer of rock and get to the next level, something wonderful happens. You begin to drink from His storehouse of pleasures. His love refreshes you and fills your every longing. You realize what you've been searching for all your life.
His loving presence brings wholeness, health and a sense of well-being that no food, drug, medicine, person, material good or worldly pleasure can ever produce. This kind of release in prayer will leave you breathless.
Wait patiently for Him.
The discipline of waiting is something many of us know little about. The Lord calls; He beckons us to come and be with Him, but we don't know how to wait. So we often give up too soon--we get discouraged.
Then we try to fulfill our desires and longings with substitutes. But what is required of us is simply to wait--sometimes for days. We must set aside times for God alone--times of remaining quiet, of meditating upon His Word, of praising and of worshiping Him.
When His presence comes into our prayer closets, He often comes with power, love and passion. His Spirit enters like a mighty, rushing wind--a great big surprise package wrapped with a big bow.
When you experience Him in this way, you may cry aloud, "You, Lord, are the joy of my soul's desire! You fill my heart with laughter and song. My heart is filled with love for You, O God.
"Put back together all the broken pieces of my life. Blow away my insecurities with the breath of Your Spirit. Wash me in Your presence. I want nothing more than to be with You."
At other times, He may come with utter silence and stillness, and you may not be able to move or speak a word. Such a visitation of God's presence is fearsome.
You may also experience long seasons during which you feel nothing, see nothing and hear nothing as you wait for His presence. It doesn't matter. He is there watching your every move and listening to your every thought. He knows, and He is there with you.
Are you willing to wait silently, expectantly, for Him? Will you pay this price for intimacy with your heavenly Bridegroom? Ask Him to teach you to wait upon Him.
Persist in prayer. Pray the prayer of importunity; in other words, keep going, keep asking. This is persistent, prevailing prayer, and God encourages us to engage in it
Jesus said, "'Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened.
"'Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?'" (Luke 11:9-13).
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