Welcome to Prayer

Reblogged from www.maxwellgthomas.com

A thousand years ago Prince Vladimir the Great, the pagan monarch of Kiev, was looking for a new religion to unify the Russian people.  Toward this end Prince Vladimir sent out envoys to investigate the great faiths from the neighboring realms.  The envoys who had investigated Christianity in the Byzantine capital of Constantinople reported finding a faith characterized by such transcendent beauty that they did not know if they were in heaven or on earth.

“Then we went to Constantinople and they led us to the place where they worship their God, and we knew not whether we were in heaven or earth, for on earth there is no such vision nor beauty, and we do not know how to describe it; we only know that God dwells among men.  We cannot forget that beauty.”

Prince Vladimir adopted Christianity as the new faith for the Russian people. – Brian Zahnd(Beauty Will Save the World)

There is an existential and transcendent beauty about our faith.  Christianity is far from cold and stale as some would suppose.  It is more like the beauty of a fire, it catches our gaze with its ever changing yet perfectly steady flame.  We’ve all spent at least one glorious night staring at the beauty of a fire.  With every passing second the flame hypnotically dances about so that all who turn their attention to it get caught up in its splendor and wonder.  What will it do next?  Where will it turn?  As the flame bends breaks from left to right it shoots sparks and ash into the air like a miniature volcano but our eyes never blink.  Hour after hour we stare and peer into that dancing flame like we are looking into the soul of the universe.  Every conversation, even what would normally be the dullest of topics, suddenly becomes irresistibly fascinating because of the beauty of the fire.  This is our faith.

Our faith is beautiful because our God is beauty, the very definition and source of all that is beautiful.  Our faith necessitates the rejection of the ugliness of sin, poverty, death, sickness, disease and sorrow.  Sin cannot stand in the presence of God because sin is ugly and He is beauty.  There is nothing and no one more beautiful than Jesus Christ.  In fact He is described by the prophet Ezekiel and the apostle John as an amber flame burning from head to toe.  He is seated upon a throne of fire that has wheels of fire, around which lampstands of fire burn day and night, with creatures and wheels of fire twisting and circling around His throne room. Ezekiel recounted his encounter by calling what he saw like a “great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself”.

Looking at Him is like peering into the mysterious beauty of an eternal all-consuming flame.  His very essence is fire, His appearance glows like amber around and within, His throne is on fire and has wheels of flaming fire with a torrent of fire cascading from it like a mighty river; lampstands of fiery flames stand all around Him and creatures of flaming fire wind around His throne day and night.

This is beauty.  This is our God.  This is Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Welcome to prayer!  This is where every conversation becomes a passionate love song because it takes place around the fire.  Where every moment becomes an epic story because it takes place around the fire.  This is where friendship is forged, in the fire.  This is prayer because this is who you are talking to.  So next time you pray remember you are talking to beauty Himself.  When you heart and mind begin to wander into boredom just remember where you stand, among the lampstands and living creatures, ask the Lord to open your eyes to see His beauty.

by Maxwell Thomas


 

MaxStefBioMax and his wife Steffaney have been part of the leadership team of the Potter’s House of Prayer since December of 2013. They believe whole-heartedly that prayer is the primary calling of every believer and should be the principal activity of the local church.

Max was first marked with the calling to pray in late 2007 and has had a number of dramatic prophetic encounters since then. These clear prophetic words act as stones that simply lay upon the foundational teachings of the Scriptures that call all believers to live lives of prayer and worship. Max met his wife Steffaney while both attended school at Minnesota State University in Mankato. While they were dating Stef spent 4 months in Mozambique, Africa at the Iris School of Missions under Rolland and Heidi Baker. During her time their the Holy Spirit marker her heart for the broken and marginalized while also calling her to the place of prayer as the primary mode to release justice in the earth.

Max and Stef’s dream is to establish a prayer culture in the city of Mankato that brings about regional transformation in every realm of culture and society. From that place of breakthrough they desire to go and establish Houses of Prayer among unreached people groups that will ultimately help usher in the return of Christ as the nations join together in prayer and worship.

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Prayer in Central MN

Beloved Intercessors and worshippers, 

Please read the following invite from Jim and Kim VanGilder and join what the Lord is birthing in Central Minnesota! 
I am extending this invitation to a number of friends who i believe have a passion for Jesus and desire to see him honored in Central Minnesota.
 For the last year, we’ve been hosting 2-hour worship and prayer nights across the St. Cloud Metro. No two nights have been the same, and each one holds a unique place in my memory.
This January, as we step into what I believe is going to be a shifting point for St. Cloud and Central Minnesota, we are going to host 12+ hours of unending worship starting on Friday evening and going into Saturday January 22nd & 23rd at Jubliee Christian Center. (7pm – 7am) We can’t do this on our own, and even more, we don’t WANT to do this on our own! This love song will be a representation of the whole of our city and beyond, and the collaborative heart of the Bride.
We’ll be scheduling two hour blocks of time, whether you have a full worship team, a small music group, a choir or even just a duo. Even if you don’t have a “group” but are wanting to be part of this, please let us know and we will try to coordinate as many people participating as possible. We are also looking for media techs to help out with both sound and visuals, as well as artist who create God-centric, worshipful art. (paint, dance, draw, etc)
If you find that this invitation stirs something in you, please sign up as soon as possible. If you have specific questions, you can email me at Email@JimVanGilder.com . Also, if you think of someone who would love to be part of this, please help us out and make the connection!
 – Jim VanGilder
12 hours of Prayer in Central Minnesota
7pm-7am
January 22nd-23rd
Jubilee Christian Center

Sign Up Link:  http://goo.gl/forms/zXOmgyZD87

Igniting an Impassioned Prayer Life

The Minnesota House of Prayer is honored to announce the release of Tom Stuart’s new book.  Tom is part of the senior leadership of the Twin Cities Justice House of Prayer, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota House of Prayer.  He has a long history in the place of prayer, and he brings a rich treasure of knowledge in his book.

Igniting an Impassioned Prayer Life

How to Develop the Energized, Extended, and Sustainable Life of Prayer You’ve Always Wanted

Do you wish you were more motivated to pray?

Stuart Bk on Prayer Cover

Is your prayer life sporadic and inconsistent?

Are you tired of waiting for answers to prayer?

This book is written for people just like you, people who love God, but struggle in their personal prayer lives. It provides a remedy for those who carry nagging regret for not praying as frequently and as fervently as they desire.

This book features many liberating biblical insights into prayer and empowering ways in which to practically apply them in your prayer life.  Major topics include:

God’s Presence – Our Priority in Prayer

The Three Keys to an Impassioned Prayer Life

The Place of Structure and Spontaneity in Prayer

Prayer Mandates – the Secret to Being Faithful in Prayer

Praying Prayers that Get Answers

Overcoming Obstacles to Prayer

What to Do While You Are Waiting for an Answer

To Purchase: visit Amazon 

A Kindle Version is also available.

The God Who Knows Our Names

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In the beginning of November, I had the opportunity to take part in Love New York as the Prayer Room Director. We spent a week of 24/7 exalting the name of Jesus alongside day and night mission. It was powerful, overwhelming, and absolutely amazing.

I highly encourage you to take a look at the testimonies on http://www.lovenewyork247.com

On my day off, I was out doing some site seeing with my friend Aubrey. We were on our way to Central Park, walking up 5th Ave on the upper east side of New York.  Everything was full of lights and color, and overwhelmingly decadent. Gucci, Prada, Bvlgari, Tiffany & Co, etc. etc. etc.  The whole of everything you could ever want represented.  The two of us, carefree and delighted for a break.

Ahead of us, a light turned red, and we stopped.

Lying on the sidewalk, wrapped in a dirty muslin sheet, was a homeless woman.  Her dark hair was matted into dreadlocks; her lips crusted with dehydration.  And across her beautiful ebony cheeks tears were flowing one after another.

My heart broke in two.

Her shoulders were shaking in agony as she wept.  We stopped. I placed a dollar in her plastic solo cup full of pennies and nickels. Aubrey knelt down and tenderly asked if she could pray for her. The woman nodded.  We prayed.

Hundreds of people, dressed in the finest this world has to offer walked by, without even a moments glance for the broken woman in the street.  There was not enough space in my heart to contain what I felt in that moment.  As Aubrey prayed, the woman raised her eyes.  Slowly, afraid at what she might see, she looked up into my face. Surprise registered as she saw that I was crying too.  She held my gaze for a long time, without blinking, or looking way, like a thirsty man drinking in water.  She tentatively held my hand with two of her bony fingers.

Aubrey continued to pray.

A woman, in heeled boots and white cashmere sweater, came marching up to me from the restaurant down the way and angrily spat at me,

“I just want you to know, we decided to buy her dinner, and they’ll bring it out to her.”

Off she left, in a huff.  I had to smile. As angry as she may have been about it, because we saw the woman in the street, she had as well.

We told the woman in the sheet how Jesus loved her.

We told her that we loved her.

I could see that she knew it was true.

We carried onto Central Park, but my heart was overcome by the helplessness of the scenario.  I so desperately wished that I could have picked her up in my arms; she couldn’t have weighed more than a child.  But, one thought resounded above all rest.

I wish that I knew her name.


 

Someone does. Jesus does.  Jesus knows her name.  Intimately.  When I pray for her, he knows her name.  What a beautiful hope in the midst of all the crises that we face in the world right now.

Jesus knows our names.

He knows the name of every wounded heart. Every starving child. Every broken family.  Every war torn refugee. Every victim of terror.

He knows their names.

As we enter into this season of Thanksgiving, this is what I am most thankful for.  That we serve a God who knows us.  I am thankful that when I pray from from my little prayer room in Minnesota, I am not praying about faceless people that are unknown in heaven.

I am entering into the courts of heaven, and asking the great Judge to work on behalf of people whose names are precious to him.

People who he loved so deeply that, forsaking all else, he humbly went to the cross and died in their stead.

What a powerful, beautiful, majestic God we serve.

Thank you, Jesus, for the man that you are.

“See, I have engraved your name on the palms of my hands;”  Is. 49:16a


 

alissa-holmes

Alissa Holmes leads worship and serves as the Director of Intercession at the Becker International House of Prayer and the Media Director for the Twin Cities Justice House of Prayer. She has been serving on the Minnesota House of Prayer Board of Directors and Leadership Team for three years. Alissa is a musician, a writer and an artist. She believes deeply in creativity in the House of Prayer and its application in everything from the way we worship to the way we fund raise.  

Aligning With God Recap

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This past weekend we had our Annual House of Prayer retreat in Forest Lake, MN.  We so loved seeing you.  What a time of encouragement and affirmation it was for all of us!

If you weren’t able to attend, we want to make sure you know that you can order tapes from the retreat.

DAVE WAGNER gave a faith-inducing address about the power of obedience, and the way God wants to launch us into creativity in business and invention.

ALISSA HOLMES spoke on the future of the prayer movement in Minnesota and God’s heart for the House of Prayer to come into fullness.

MAX THOMAS & KRIS JACOBSON led a session with practical advice on how to engage college age young adults and how to reach out to churches and small communities.

Costs are as follows:

$8 for one tape

$15 for two tapes

$20 for all tapes.

To order tapes, visit paypal. To specify which tapes you want to receive, click to add special instructions.

Or mail your payment to:

MNHOP

P.O. Box 7898

St. Paul, MN 55107

Answered Prayers in Cloquet, MN

One of the greatest joys of fostering prayer in Minnesota, is to hear stories of answered prayer coming from the houses of prayer around our region.  The story below came from a participant in the Cloquet House of Prayer.

“When my family and I first began attending the Cloquet House of Prayer (CHOP) I had some specific requests for our community. One of these involved a locally-owned gas chain.  Some months earlier I had been in this business to purchase gasoline.  While inside, I noticed they were selling pornographic magazines.  This alone was reason for my family to stop purchasing gas from this business.  However these dirty magazines were placed at eye-level for my 4 kids (then ages 4-9.)  I called one of the owners to express my concern.  He told me the magazines could easily be moved, he just needed to speak with the store manager.   For several months, I occasionally went in, but the magazines never moved.  Thus I avoided this business as much as possible (however, they were the only 24-hour gas station in Cloquet until last fall).

Another of my prayer requests was that SUGAR DADDY’S (a strip club in Scanlon/Cloquet) would close.  This was not only my prayer request, but also was (and had been for 20+ years) the prayer request of many Christians in the area.

In early 2014, the strip club was torn down!  In it’s place a gas station owned by a Christian family was built and opened at the location of SUGAR DADDY’S.  Many people praised God for this and began supporting this business.

The other gas station continued to be in my prayers…not only that they would quit selling the magazines (or at least move the location), but also for the salvation of the owners.

When the Christian owned gas company opened two locations in the Cloquet area, the other saw a decline in business.  This along with a couple of other factors, led them to sell their gas stations.  My family and I will continue to pray for the salvation of the owners, but we see this decision as a blessing to our community.

I never would have thought that God would use two gas stations to get rid of a pornographic influence in our community, but that is exactly what HE did.”

More and more houses of prayer around the area are seeing concrete answers to prayer.  If you have thought about beginning a house of prayer in your city, the MNHOP leadership is available to assist you.


dsc_6623Dale is a founding member of the Minnesota House of Prayer. Dale has served churches as pastor in Minnesota for 33 years. Since Dale left his last parish in 2004, he have worked to encourage the establishment of houses of prayer around the state. Dale, with Kathy’s support, has begun and led statewide and citywide prayer groups throughout his ministry.  Dale’s passion is for people to have a vision of God’s past work in Minnesota coupled with what God desires to do now in our state.

Dale & Kathy have been married for 47 years and they make their home in South St. Paul.  They have two grown sons, living in Africa and Arizona, and 5 grandchildren, from age 4 to 18.

Sovereignty, Suffering, and Glory: Our Response to the Last 9 Months of Unexplainable Pain and Seeming Unanswered Prayer

maxwellgthomas

Suffering, its the white elephant in the sanctuary of many churches.  Not in the sense that it is ignored (although it is in many hyper-spiritual portions of Evangelicalism) but in that it’s depth and power is rarely explored largely due to fear that is masked as faith (in my opinion).

Our lives are largely shaped and defined by a few watershed moments and those moments are typically marked by one of two emotions; joy or pain.  These two emotions are the white hot fires used to brand a memory upon the human soul.  At any time it decides life will plunge our body, heart, and soul into the burning furnace of sweetness or suffering.  When we reflect upon such memories, whether happy or painful, what we tend to remember is not just the physical event but emotional experience attached to it.  We don’t just remember the shape of the brand…

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Resource Spotlight: Illegal Prayers

“God. Answers. Prayer. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is an unbroken series of supernatural interventions. Almost every page in your Bible pulsates with evidence of God’s involvement in the affairs of mankind. Clearly, He is eager to be an active participant in our daily lives. The Bible calls Him, ‘The God who answers’ (1 Kings 18:24). He answers prayer because that’s just who He is. He talks. He talks back. He likes to talk back. When Paul contrasted the idols of the Gentiles with the Holy Spirit, he described them as ‘dumb’ (1 Cor. 12:1-2) — that is, incapable of talking. Mute. But not our God; when other gods are silent, He hears and responds.” — Excerpt from Bob Sorge’s “Illegal Prayers” Bob Sorge’s book “Illegal Prayers” deals with how to pray when you need an answer NOW.  He teaches you, out of the parable in Luke 11, to approach the throne of God in confidence, knowing that God’s heart is to answer you. If you are dealing with an urgent situation that needs an immediate answer, we highly recommend “Illegal Prayers” Unknown To buy your own copy visit Oasis House Publishing