A few weeks ago, our worship pastor spoke at church and what she shared revolutionized the way I’ve been spending my mornings with Jesus. I had fallen into a boring routine, and I felt like I was missing something, big time. The Monday after this message, I followed the steps that Jasmine outlined in her sermon and WOAH! I was completely blown away by how the Lord’s presence showed up and what He shared with me. Since then, the difference in my prayer time has been incredible.

Today I came across a blog post from the early 2000’s that also talked about my personal encounters with Jesus and I was surprised to see that I used to do almost the exact same thing as I’m doing now. How did I ever get away from that? As I type, I’m reminded that life looked a lot different back then. My kids were little and weren’t involved in all the activities and I was also a stay-at-home mom. I had a lot of time to sit and explore ways to connect with the Lord and to linger in His presence. I also didn’t have to get up at 5:30 a.m. just to have time with Him.

Everything is different now. There is a lot more demand for my time, so at some point, I found a way to set aside space for the Lord and still get to work on time, but I lost something important. I lost the intimacy of my times with Him. I’m sad to say, that many days were more about checking it off the list than actually connecting with the Father.  I finally asked the Lord, “How do I do this better? I know that I’m missing out here. I know that I’m falling short. Show me what to do.” The answer came that very weekend when our worship pastor spoke on prayer at church.

I’m going to share the bullet points from the message along with my own process, and then I’ll link post the sermon video below. I urge you to listen. It’s available in podcast format as well, just search for Mercy Culture Church, and listen to the July 2nd episode.

Presence Driven Prayer, by Jasmine Weiler:

  1. Make a place for Him. Have a designated spot where you regularly meet with the Lord, and make sure it is set up the way you like it. Even if it’s just a corner on the couch, if you need the space to be clutter free or if you need a certain blanket, a cup of coffee, worship music, whatever it is, prepare the space so that you are distraction free, which likely means putting your phone on silent, or even leaving it in another room.
  2. Welcome Him. At my church we tell the Holy Spirit, “We don’t make room for you, we give you the whole room.” His presence is always around us, but we invite Him to come closer in this space. We let Him have access to the entire room.
  3. Acknowledge Him. When the Holy Spirit comes closer, something shifts or changes. He makes His presence known in some way, shape, or form. For me, it’s goosebumps. Others feel a light breeze, whatever it is for you, when you sense His presence has come closer, do something to acknowledge Him. It can be as simple as saying, “I feel you, Holy Spirit,” or kneeling, or lifting your hands . . . just do something.
  4. Stay with Him. Keep your eyes fixed on the Lord during this time. There will be countless opportunities to get distracted in this time but stay with Him. Be patient in the stillness of His presence.
  5. Pray with Him. This is the one that was new to me, at least in the way it was presented: Ask the Lord what is on His heart. I spend most of my prayer life telling the Lord what’s on my heart. It’s never occurred to me to ask Him what He wants me to pray about. This is a game changer, friends. When you partner with what is on the heart of the Lord, you will feel His presence in an even more tangible way, and you will begin to pray prayers that are packed with a punch.

I’m sharing all of this because a few days ago in that quiet space, the Lord highlighted very strongly to me that I’m not the only one who’s been missing out on intimacy with Him, and the church is about to enter a season where intimacy is going to be crucial to our survival. Not just emotionally and spiritually, but physically as well.  The Holy Spirit’s presence is not a novelty, it’s a necessity. We need the Holy Spirit just like we need air and water. True believers in Jesus need to be so filled with His presence that it’s impossible to tell where one ends and the other begins. We need to be intertwined and interlocked with the Lord, we need to know Him better than ever, we need the Truth rooted so deeply in our hearts that anything else sounds like complete foolishness. He is  our only hope.

I realize that for some of you, this is might be different than what you’re used to. I was raised in a home where practicing the presence of the Lord was a daily habit, but not everyone was lucky enough to have that kind of upbringing. Regardless, God’s presence is here on earth today, and the Holy Spirit wants to reveal Himself to you and show you what it’s like to walk in intimacy with God the Father.

It is time for the bride to get intimate with the Bridegroom again.