It’s best to read this post first. Many are awakening to the love of prayer, and are seeking to connect with God in a deeper way. Seeking to experience the Holy Spirit is a biblical, tangible reality.
In John 5 Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees; He says, “You do not have His word abiding in you, because [Him] whom He sent, Him you do not believe” The Father sent Jesus, but they don’t believe Him. Why? Because they don’t have His word abiding in them.
- Verse 39 is when it began to really become clear. He says, “You study the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life, but these are those which testify of Me. You are unwilling to come to Me that you might have life (Jn. 5:38).
- Often we as believers confuse the value of bible understanding we get. We confuse its value, thinking, “It’s complete; it’s enough to have this.” Yes, it’s valuable to understand the passage, but it’s incomplete, but often you end up with leaders who have head knowledge, but they don’t interact in a fresh way with the Living Son of God, by the Spirit.
I read that verse once and I was shocked, I said, “That’s what I do. For hours a day, I’m searching”—you can also use the word ‘studying’—“the Scriptures. I’m engaging my mind. I thought that through Bible study I would experience life. That was the same problem the Pharisees were having; but here’s the key phrase, in verse 40: “But you are not willing to come to Me that you might have life” (Jn. 5:40).
What came to my thinking the first time I saw this, changed me forever, it is that you can do Bible study all day long, but if you don’t take the Word to Jesus with a hungry heart, you don’t experience life. It hit me like a fiery arrow: “You’re not coming to Me, Brandon. You’re not dialoguing with Me. You’re not interacting with Me in your searching of the Scriptures.” The written word must take us to the Living Word.
So from that point on, I began to try and have a running dialogue with Jesus as I read the Scriptures. Each passage is a door to knock on and ask Jesus for the Eph 1:17 spirit of Revelation. The bible never says to read it in a year, but it says over and over to meditate on it. A verse can be made a prayer quite easy.
The implanted Word delivers our soul from bondage to filthiness. 21 Lay aside all filthiness…and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save (supernaturally deliver) your souls. (Jas 1:21) 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you…ask…and it shall done. (Jn. 15:7)
There are three components necessary for the power of the Word to live in us. First, we use our choice to pursue God with a spirit of obedience, faith (confidence He answers) and loving devotion. Second, we feed our heart continually on the Word (implant it in our heart) through mediation. Third, we need the activity of the Spirit to turn meditation into living revelation (turn water into wine, Jn. 2) to save or deliver us from sinful desires. We must fellowship with the Holy Spirit by talking to Him. Summary of the three components: we must obey God, feed on the Word and talk to the Spirit.
- The bible highlights two ways to focus our mind in seeking God: God on His Throne (Rev. 4) and God in our innerman. The Spirit flows from our “innermost man,” its where the Holy Spirit lives in us if we are born again. We know from Scripture that He dwells in our innermost man (John 7:38), but we only experience Him in the innerman. The innerman contains our mind will and emotions (Eph 3:16) We turn the attention of our soul to the Spirit in our spirit to grow in the deep things of God.
1 Cor 2:14 But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
- Meditation must be made prayer to enter the heart. Christianity is relationship with the Man Jesus, we are sanctified and transformed by beholding Him, via the Word and Spirit. Paul reveals here, that Scripture verses aren’t too just be figured out by the mind, but require the Holy Spirit to impact the heart, we want living understanding. It takes God to get God.
38 If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believes on me, the way the Scriptures say, From his innermost being (belly, KJV) will flow rivers of living water. (Jn. 7:38 NAS)
- By believing the Scriptures with authentic faith, we will connect with God and experience the Holy Spirit. This experience Jesus likens to drinking from rivers of living water. I’m going to talk about some very powerful activities that have been highlighted as a focus in the prayer movement. Its easy to slip from the discipline of pursuing God, we must resolve to go after loving Him with all of our heart. Getting the Word alive in your heart takes time and focus, it must become your main priority, and you must resist activity and speech that hinders it. If we will commit to agressively feed our heart on the Love of God, we will take spiritual ground and be anointed by the Spirit to love God in yet greater ways. If we are not agressively taking new ground, we will lose the ground we have, in stagnation.
1) Pray-Read Scripture to God (thanking Him, asking for revelation or power to obey).
- Jesus said “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” (John 5:39-40) Scriptures will impact us when we pray them directly, not just thinking about them or studying them. We when meet with Jesus, the Scriptures are our anointed conversation material. ”We let the written word take us to the Living Word, Jesus.”
- So depending on the verse, we can thank God for the truth in it, and then ask for revelation on the verse, or ask for power to obey them. The Scriptures are living and active (Heb 4:2) and are so powerful to transform us and renew our mind as we pray them. They rewrite the code of our inner man enabling us to abide in God/Christ to dwells within us (Eph 3;16-19). We renew our mind (Col 3:10) and walk as a new creation.
- So with a verse like 26 The Holy Spirit…will teach you all things… (Jn. 14:26) We would pray, Thank you Holy Spirit that you teach me, I ask for revelation on what it truly means for you to teach me, and help me to understand you leadings. Or John 15:9 As the Father has loved Me, I love you. We would pray, Jesus thank you for this love, strengthen me with might (Eph 3:16) to experience this love. I ask for greater revelation of this love. And we would worship and journal revelation.
- Continually asking for revelation is so powerful, we grow in revelation. Each Scripture is like a door we knock on, as God is inviting us into encounter, in the Knowledge of God.
- The Holy Spirit is with us to teach us, like Jesus taught His disciples. We must lean not on our own understanding, but seek God. It helps to ask for the Eph 1:17 Spirit of wisdom and revelation and enlightening of the spiritual eyes.
- 26 The Holy Spirit…will teach you all things… (Jn. 14:26)
- 13 The Spirit of truth…will guide you into all truth; He will tell you things to come. (Jn. 16:13)
- 27 The anointing…abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things… (1 Jn. 2:27)
2) Sing the Scriptures to Him
- Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord. (Eph 5:18-19 Niv)
- I believe Eph 5:18-19 is being emphasized by many Spirit-led ministries, as the way to be filled with the Spirit. The verse says we should not answer the longing of our hearts with drunkeness, but rather be filled with the Spirit, by Singing to Jesus the Scriptures. I believe this is one of the most important verses in the bible. This message of singing the Word is being spread all over the world through the prayer movement, and it needs to be a part of our prayer life. God created the human heart so that singing opens the heart in a way that nothing else does. Singing the Word is the main biblical prescription, the premier way, to be filled with the Spirit and set on fire for God. Jesus was the Living Word before He became a man, and now we encounter Him by singing and praying/dialoguing the written word. So we let the written word take us to the Living Word. But we must grow our hearts in praying the Word.
- “Biblical ideas that you sing are ideas that you own.” They become yours.
Premiere means to get the scripture deep in us: sing it, pray it, and not to the air, but to Him. Often.
Is there anything as satisfying and powerful as singing about the details of Jesus, and declaring to Him that He is beautiful?
- To pray consistently, pray the scriptures. The word of God is the “chariot” the Holy Spirit rides on best in our lives and heart.
To pray consistently, sing the scriptures. Singing unlocks the heart, causes truth to go deeper, and makes prayer enjoyable.
Sing the word of God until you feel something on the inside move. Then sing more.
To study the word and comprehend it is transforming; to then pray it and sing it – consuming.
Prayer & the corresponding power of the Holy Spirit makes the heart fertile soil for the seed of the word to flourish.
- Click on the picture on the top right to see an archived worship with the Word set, with us at ihop-kc, a 24-7 worship and intercession ministry.
- When we stand before God on Judgment Day, He is not going to ask us how big of house did we get, or how big did we make our bank account, but how big did our heart get by experiencing His love and revelation (1st commandment.)
- Fasting does not ‘earn’ us more of God. It does increace our capacity to experience the Holy Spirit, and accelerate the process of communing prayer. I have found fasting on water, 1 day a week, to be unparelled in terms of its impact on my experiencing of God. Ihop-kc calls believers to fast at least one day a week. The benefits are tremendous in fasting two days a week, but let desire for God drive your fasting, not commands or religious spirit.
- This depth of fasting is well within the reach of most people. But we desperately need more revelation of Jesus as our Bridegroom who has burning desire for us and fiery affections toward us. As we live in the truth of the bridal paradigm, we fast because we long for Jesus. Jesus told the Pharisees the day would come when the Bridegroom would be taken away from the disciples, and then they would fast out of longing for Him (Matt. 9:15). When Jesus ascended to Heaven after His death and resurrection, He was taken away in the sense indicated in this Scripture. The Bride of Christ is meant to long for His return, His Second Coming, and fasting is one way we express this longing.
- By knowing Jesus as our Bridegroom and seeing ourselves as His Bride, we will become energized with a spirit of prayer and filled with courage to live lives abandoned to God in holiness. Only then will fasting seem appropriate, reasonable or