August 20th, 2013

Sitting in the prayer room at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City, in the middle of harp and bowl worship, my soul and spirit begin to enter into the extravagant outpouring of praise and worship.  As the music becomes stronger and the worship rises up all around me, in my spirit I envision heavenly spirits stopping in to observe the festivities.  Angels smile at what they see and hear, and they join in the dancing and singing.  Demons also take note; they are confused and angry, shrieking and muttering insults.  As the worship intensifies and the worshippers are lost in proclaiming their love for Jesus, the words and music seem to come together in the middle of the room, forming something like a bubble that rises through the roof.  The angels are quick to slip inside the bubble, almost giddy with delight.  They dance and sing and jump, bowing and encircling one another, laughing, hair flying and gowns flowing (pale blue sparkling gowns with silver streamers swirling round about them).  The demons pace outside the bubble, hurling mud and foul words that simply bounce off the bubble and melt away.  They try to poke holes in the bubble but get burned every time they touch it.  As the music and worship in the building intensify, and hearts cry out with love for Jesus, the bubble grows larger and larger, knocking the demons farther away.  They roll backwards, knocking one another over in mass confusion.  More and more angels arrive and step into the bubble as the worship continues to rise.

Throughout the room, people’s hearts become more and more passionate as they lavish their love and praise on Jesus, their Beloved.  Stretched to capacity, the bubble gets so thin that it breaks open at the top and the bottom.  The force and power of the worship in the building gets sucked up like a vacuum, mingling with the worship of the angels.  All that power gusts like a mighty wind straight to heaven, pouring out prayer and song and beautiful fragrance all around the throne of Jesus.  The Holy Spirit imparts more of His power into the worshippers, stirring their hearts and causing them to explode with even more love for the Father, and for Jesus who sits on the throne, bursting with love and crying as His heart is so stirred.  The Father’s heart swells with pride and joy at the exchange of love between bride and Bridegroom.  His heart is so full of love for His children that He just has to pour out His favor and His bounty.

Father and Son exchange glances and smiles, anticipating the thrill of the coming time when all the saints will be gathered to the Throne Room to spend eternity in worship and praise and unity, glorifying their Lord and King.

The day of that encounter, the heavenly scene was so glorious that all I wanted was to be immediately transported to the Throne Room and leave this boring world behind.  Obviously, I was only given a sneak peak and not an invitation to relocate.  And all too soon it was time to pack up and head home.  Since then, I have experienced isolated moments of that full-on heartfelt worship, and it makes me long for eternity.  Sometimes in church when worship feels flat and dull to my distracted soul, I will escape to the memory that reminds me of the glory that awaits me.  And when I miss my mom and my dad, I remember that they are now free to worship in a way they never experienced here on earth.  I can hardly wait to join them in a service where parents will never again need to tell their children to sit down, be quiet, and eat your Cheerios.


April 13th, 2010


Praise God for the rain that brings new life!

Praise Him for the physical rain that comes with the promise of spring, removing the residue left behind by winter.  Praise Him for the healing rain that washes away the shame of sin and the despair left behind from dark nights of the soul.  Praise Him for drawing us into His glory, as He showers us with a little piece of heaven on earth.

The rain pouring down outside my window brings my thoughts back to last week, when it seemed that God’s anointing had fallen over the music at church.  I pressed in and my soul was caught up in the weighty glory.  I sensed the Holy Spirit moving through the sanctuary as heaven was drawn to earth.  As I think back on that sweet worship, I am reminded that the level of my participation in the moment was less about the music and more about the condition, and involvement, of my heart.  Fortunately, on this particular Sunday, my heart was engaged. 

As we sang Let It Rain, I threw my arms out and my head back, and in my spirit I saw my heart pounding inside my chest.  As I watched, rain flooded into the front of my heart and poured out the back side.  Rushing through the chambers of my heart, the waters captured every seed, every crumb, every sin, every destructive thing that had been planted inside my heart, carrying the scraps along as it poured out.  Thousands of tiny black particles were forced out, and were washed away by the rains.  In that moment, it seemed as though spring had arrived in my heart.  I had not orchestrated the encounter; it was God’s intense love and His healing rain that did all the work.  My only part was in opening my arms wide and allowing the Holy Spirit rain to penetrate my exposed heart. 

How in the world did all this sludge find its way into my heart?  There is no denying that I was born with seeds of sin – the generational sins that were passed down from my ancestors.  (If you question the validity of this statement, all you have to do is watch little children interact with one another.  Just who taught them such rebellion and self-centeredness?)  I thought I had already broken off those curses, but perhaps I need more time under the microscope.  Lord, I once again open up my heart to your purification.  As You reveal the sins of my forefathers, I dismiss them from my life.  Once again I am a new creation in You, free of the bondage of Egypt.

I must also take into consideration that over the years, my own sinful choices have added blackness to my heart.  Although it is my desire to walk in holiness, I know that my flesh is wicked, and so are many of my thoughts and actions.  Praise God for sending His Son Jesus to pay the price for my sin; otherwise I would be buried alive in my iniquity with no hope of redemption.  Unconfessed sin will weigh me down and pollute my heart until I take those things to the Cross.  Lord, I come to you with a repentant heart as I seek Your forgiveness.  Wash me, purify me, refresh me with your warm spring rain of renewal.

Then there are the word curses that have been spoken over my life, words uttered by myself and others.  Our words really do have power.  If we truly knew the power behind our words, we just might be afraid to even open our mouths!  When we declare, proclaim, or decree an issue, those words are taken up into the spirit and they find their targets.  The enemy then has a legal right to intercept the negative decrees and prepare to fulfill them.  Those seeds always find their way into my heart and I become a victim of self-fulfilling prophecy of the deadliest sort.  Lord, forgive my careless words and let Your cleansing and healing waters rush through my soul.  I renounce every word of death I have ever spoken over myself or others. 

Ah, the goodness and greatness of God and His mercy!  He brings forth the healing power to wash away all those words, all those sins, all those curses!  I fall on my face before the Throne of Grace!  I bask in the Holy Spirit glory that pours over me.  I breathe deeply, and I am whole in Him.  Once again I am at peace in my soul, ready to pursue the calling on my life. 

Praise God for the rain that brings new life! 


Psalm 68:9-10  You, O God, sent a plentiful rain, whereby You confirmed Your inheritance, when it was weary.  Your congregation dwelt in it; You O God, provided from Your goodness for the poor.

Acts 14:17  Nevertheless, He did not leave Himself without a witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.

Zechariah 10:1  Ask the Lord for rain in the time of the latter rain.  The Lord will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain, grass in the field for everyone. 

Psalm 19:12  Who can understand his errors?  Cleanse me from secret faults.