The last few days Mike has been calling us again at IHOP to our calling of prayer. I have found it to be a timely and refreshing word as I prepare for a support raising trip and then the 40 day fast.
First, a bit on the fast. The buzz word for the fast is that we are to ‘put our face in the Mantle of God’s name’. I find this a fascinating and stirring picture. First, what it means we are to do. Literally it is a calling to sit at Jesus’ feet in adoration, like Mary did. Eyes locked only on Him. It is what Jesus was asking of us, in the Song of Solomon, when He said “Let Me see your face, let Me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet and your face is lovely.”
Second, what it means we are not to do. It means stripping down your day-to-day life for this period of time and removing all unnecessary distractions. Distractions to the senses, the eyes, the ears, the mind, the stomach and so on. Anything and everything that causes your spirit to be muddled and befuddled we want to strip away.
Third, the picture. I love the picture, of wrapping my face in God’s mantle because what it means I get to do. I get to wrap His mantle around me! Folding the canopy of Him around me until all I smell is His fragrance, all I see is His lightening, all I hear is His thunder, simply distracted by His glory until I am swept up into the whirlwind of His chariot of fire.
In the midst of this time, as we as a staff set aside our time and energy to seek the Lord, I am also pondering the glory of being an intercessor! I was struck today with how much I do not deserve to be in the place of prayer. Yet, God has called me to this place and I am so grateful! Long ago I cried out to God that I might be allowed to be in the middle of His End-Time move and here I am! Learning and growing in the midst of a people of prayer, learning how to carry my heart and what it means to be an intercessor.
The glory and the trust of standing on the wall day-by-day. And so, in the midst of this pondering and savoring what God has been saying, I am also in pain and mourning. I mourn at how much I fall short of this calling. I am in pain at my lack of diligence in being on-time for my prayer hours. Yet, by this one thing I am comforted. Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount said that ‘blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted’ and ‘blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.’