Seeking God’s presence in prayer is vital. In Genesis 1:26-28, the first thing that mankind (Adam) received was God’s presence. Throughout history, the Children of Israel after being chosen (see Exodus 40:34-38, 1 Kings 8:4-14, Haggai 2:3-9) were not active or consistent enough towards the things of God. They were were defiant or sought idols rather than being diligent in seeking God’s presence (see Exodus 32, Hosea 4:16). As a result, they did not preserve God’s approval.
In fact, Ezekiel chapter 10 verse 4 indicates how God’s glory left the temple due to the slothfulness of His people. In the same way, we must be dedicated and persistent towards the things of God and in finding God’s presence. That means not just praying, but seeking for God’s presence and establishing a meaningful relationship with Him.
God said, “There is a fine line between complacency and religion.” He doesn’t want us to be complacent and He doesn’t want us to just be religious. He desires a deep relationship with us…
Genuinely pursuing God’s presence is essential.
Prayer emphasizes one’s willingness to be closer to God and to establish a meaningful relationship with the Creator of life. That means not being complacent with religious ritual, but finding God on a different level than just a short prayer or a Sunday service.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.”
God’s presence is sort of like digging for gold—the more you dig, the more you find.
Hebrews 11:6 says, “For without faith it is impossible to please Him; he who cometh to God must know and believe who He is and that He is a rewarder to those who diligently seek Him.”
Jeremiah 33:3 says: Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”
God repays us for our efforts in seeking His presence.
There are several ways in which God can reward us. However, for a God chaser, God can reveal a very divine presence… For that reason, it is important to seek God in prayer until you find Him. That means lengthening our prayers if necessary – doing away with 10, 15 or 20 minute prayers.
For instance, if we only spend 15 to 20 minutes with our husbands and wives per day, our relationships would be in jeopardy. We must consider the same with God. Perhaps more time is needed seeking the glory of God.
Let us ask ourselves, do we really think that David, who wrote many poems to God, spent 15 minutes with Him? How about Daniel or Ezekiel? No, they spent valuable time with God. In reference to David, Psalm 55:17 says, “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice.” In the same way, Daniel 6:10 says, “Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God.” Ezekiel 3:24-26 says Ezekiel was asked to shut himself inside his house, isolate himself from his community, for 390 plus 40 days in the presence of God.
Can a strong relationship be developed with just 10 to 20 minutes per day? Perhaps to some degree it can, but just think about what would happen if 40 minutes to an hour were dedicated to seeking God…
I would like to share a story.
In the year 2000, in Baltimore, Maryland, I was a member of a small church. One particular day, we attended the Sunday morning service; the congregation enjoyed the presence of God. We all had a good time in the Lord.
Afterwards, I returned for the night service and noticed no one else showed up. So I went up to the door to confirm and walked in and the pastor greeted me and said, “No one else showed up for service, let us pray.” We then began to pray – the pastor on one side of the room and I on the other side. As we bowed down before God in prayer, we reached out deeper unto God – to the point where we were walking around the church with our hands in the air and exalting God and reaching for His presence.
About 40 to 45 minutes went by, and all of a sudden, a very divine presence of God manifested…to the point where we could not stand in the presence of God – we had to bow down at His glory…As if God was standing right next to me. A very warm and powerful presence lingered for about 15 seconds. Then it withdrew.
Then the pastor looked up at me from the other side of the room and said, “Did you feel that awesome presence of God?” I said, “Yes” (I was in shock).
In my mind, I said to myself, I wish it didn’t go away. Then God spoke right to me and said, “Who said I was gone?” Immediately, the awesome presence of God returned… it lingered for another 10 to 12 seconds. Identical to my experience, the pastor explained to me that he was also standing and he felt that God’s presence was so glorious that he had to bow down.
I have been in the presence of God many times, but that encounter in the year 2000 was unprecedented. Personally, I believe that God allowed us to experience that type of manifestation so we would always be hungry for that level of presence and to tell others about how important it is to seek for it.
You see there are different levels of God’s presence. God is omniscient, and omnipresent, and omnipotent. God’s presence is deeper than the ocean. Like the deep waters. “Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.” (Psalm 42:7) David says in Psalm 139:7-8, “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!”
Ezekiel 47:1-2 says, “Then he brought me back to the door of the house; and behold, water was flowing from under the threshold of the house toward the east, for the house faced east. And the water was flowing down from under, from the right side of the house, from the south of the altar. He brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around on the outside to the outer gate by way of the gate that faces east. And behold, water was trickling from the south side.” The manifestation of God’s presence reached his ankles and was continuous (see Ezekiel 47:3).
Therefore, there are no limits to His glory…
If we are complacent, we will miss out on the glory of the Lord. At the same time, God does not want us to feel forced to pray. He wants us to wholeheartedly desire His presence. His heart yearns for it.
Moreover, God’s Spirit is more effective when the full Body of Christ is actively engaged in prayer. Deuteronomy 32:30 mentions that one can chase a thousand and two can put ten thousand to flight. Therefore, when the Body of Christ is united in prayer, the move of God is activated and the gates of hell cannot prevail.
Prayer should not be a ritual, but it should communication from heart to heart—our heart to God’s heart. However, there should be some sort of structure to prayer.
Those phases of prayer may be as follows:
1) Meditate upon the heart
This is to ensure that our hearts are pure in the initial presence of God. For example, if someone has offended us, we are to meditate upon our hearts to love that individual in order to stand before God appropriately and to follow His commandments effectively.
Psalm 19:14 says, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
2) Exalt God with praise
This is to ensure God is openly honored and reverenced. Exalting Him with words of admiration, gratitude or singing invites God in our midst.
Psalm 86:12 says, “I will give thanks to you, O Lord my God with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.”
3) Pray in the Spirit
Those who have the Holy Ghost, pray in the Spirit. This is to ensure that we are in accordance with God in communication with our heavenly language. However, those who do not have the evidence of speaking in tongues can pray unto God fervently from their hearts.
1 Corinthians 14:2 says, “For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.”
4) Listen for God’s voice
This is to ensure we have completed the communication process. In fact, it makes since to listen after we speak. Oftentimes, if we walk away without listening for God’s voice, we miss His leading at that particular moment.
John 8:47 says, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
5) Open up the Bible
This is to ensure that God has communicated all He has to say to us. For instance, if God does not speak to us during or after prayer, He will often speak through His holy word.
Psalm 119:105 says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
- Meditate upon the heart
- Exalt God with praise
- Pray in the Spirit
- Listen for God’s voice
- Open up the Bible
The more time we spend with God the more of His presence He will reveal to us. Without diligence there is no progress. Lacking progress disrupts the move of God in our lives. Praying and finding God’s presence is the essence of life. Let us be diligent in communication with God and prayer. We must value our time with God. Praying without ceasing, lengthening our prayers when possible, praying fervently with a sincere heart of submission.
This article was written by Floyd Brown
Read also: What Is Intercessory Prayer?