Typically, it is a five week program designed to help those who struggle to maintain a meaningful daily prayer time to establish a beachhead in the Secret Place.
What is the process?
There are a couple of foundational “lectures” based on the principles found in the book Contending for the Habit of Daily Prayer, and then a twenty-one day period begins in which you make every effort to:
Pray every day
In the same place
At the same time
Pursuing intimacy with Jesus first and foremost
Every seven days, in a group of people who also are in the project, you answer the questions:
Did you pray every day last week?
(If not, what hindered you?)
When you did pray, was it in the same place?
Was it at the same time?
Did you pursue intimacy with Jesus first?
How will we do this online?
Sign-up by letting me know through Facebook Messenger, email, or replying on the Facebook page that you are interested in participating.
If you have seen the movie Father of the Bride, you may remember Franck’s reaction the first time he sees the Banks home:
Oh, it’s adorable…Oh, it’s very nice…Very romantic. We change it all, though. Let’s go.
Max Lucado related the same message years ago in one of his books. His wife fell in love with a certain house—loved everything about it—so they bought it and she changed everything!
This is the way it is with God. He sent His Son to die for us while we were in the filth of our sin. In fact, the old hymn says, Just as I am…I come. However, He does not intend to leave us like He found us. He wants to change everything!
Why Can’t I Change?
Herein lies the crux of the problem: After we get saved we look at ourselves in the spiritual mirror and discover that we don’t look different. We still have our struggles, shortcomings, weaknesses. No matter how hard we try we can’t seem to be “righteous” enough. No matter how hard we try we can’t seem to change in the areas where we are supposed to be different than our old un-saved self.
First of all, the only way we are ever going to be able to be righteous is by faith. We must trust God for righteousness.
4 Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. 5 However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.
You have to settle this! The more analytical you are—the more introspective—the harder it is. It goes against human logic. This is the leap of faith you have heard about.
Next, the answer is, “Yes: God expects us to live righteously.” That is part of our salvation. However, the only thing that makes living righteously possible is that we have first been counted as righteous by faith. But this part of our salvation does not happen instantly. That is, we become positionally righteous when we trust God for salvation, and we may even experience immediate transformation even in some of the most stubborn areas of sin. But even then we will discover that we have much more growing to do; many more aspects to our inner man that must conform to the image of Christ. There’s no getting around it. But, of course, because we have met Jesus, we love Him and we don’t want to get around it. We just want it to happen!
Here is an important truth that has the potential change everything in your life. It has the potential to set you free!
The same way that you had to trust God for righteousness is also the way you will continue to grow and be transformed. We must trust God for salvation and then trust Him for everything that needs to happen after that.
Bundling Up Your Needs
When we begin to realize just how much we don’t look like Jesus, we can be tempted to show up every day in the Secret Place feeling guilty and burdened down. The fact is, we may even stop showing up in the Secret Place because of those burdens. But there is a better way.
A few years ago, I found myself agonizing over things that I regretted, aspects over my own character that needed to change, things I needed to see happen. But those things were producing a wedge between me and God because I was trying to fix them myself. Finally, wrestling in prayer I began to realize that I could simply bundle up all of my concerns and give them to God, asking Him to bring about His will in all of it. My prayer became,
“Father, here’s the bundle of all of my concerns. I can’t fix them. I invite you to bring about your will in every area of my life. I’m trusting you to bring my life into complete compliance with Your will.”
Now, this is not an invitation to make light of our sins. Nor does it mean that there won’t be things God wants us to do or not do. But it does mean that wherever there needs to be the heart-change necessary to bring us into compliance with His will, He will bring it to pass. He alone can advance us from where we are to where He wants us to be.
The bottom line? Whatever you are concerned about today—I mean whatever—invite God to fix it. We can trust God with absolutely everything. That’s something you can do right now!
Sometimes it can be hard to press through the busy-ness and get to God. This video will help you today and here’s why:
Sometimes during a worship service something changes in the atmosphere and you can hear the sound of heaven! It’s not in the music or even in the words people are saying. It is a palpable change in the spiritual atmosphere and it is as though you were standing in a dry creek bed when all at once the river comes rushing in and you are swept away with God’s Presence.
In this case, we were inching our way into the river throughout the service. Then, it happened! The sound! After a few seconds into this video you can hear the sound. Almost immediately after I stopped recording, everything broke loose!
“The Lord has heard the voice of my weeping.” Psalm 6:8
Is there a voice in weeping? Does weeping speak? In what language does it utter its meaning? Why, in that universal tongue which is known and understood in all the earth, and even in Heaven above. When a man weeps, whether he is a Jew or Gentile, Barbarian, Scythian, bond or free — it has the same meaning in it. Weeping is the eloquence of sorrow. It is an eloquent orator, needing no interpreter — but understood by all.
It is sweet to know that our tears are understood, even when words fail. Let us learn to think of tears as liquid prayers, and of weeping as a constant dropping of importunate intercession which will surely wear its way right into the very heart of God’s mercy, despite the stony difficulties which obstruct the way. My God, I will “weep” when I cannot plead, for You hear the voice of my weeping! 1
“Look at the nations and watch—and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your daysthat you would not believe, even if you were told.” Habakkuk 1:5
Isn’t this what we want? We want Him to do something in our days. That’s what Habakkuk wanted, but he wanted God to follow his plan. Instead, God began to let Habakkuk in on what He wanted to do.
What is the key to answered prayer? Pray the heart of God. How can we do that? We must first know the heart of God. How? Answer this: How have you gotten to know the heart of your spouse, your children, your brother or sister? Your best friend? Through time spent with them. Real time; intimate time. It’s no different with God.
Ok Project veterans and prospective Project participants—it’s a new year, a new start, a new opportunity to pursue intimacy with Jesus! So, wake up those prayer bones, make a fresh commitment to the guidelines we have learned together, and let’s pursue the fragrance of intimacy with Jesus together!
Sometimes—especially when we have experienced some remarkable times in the Presence of God—we can find ourselves struggling and even discouraged when we can’t seem to find God. Sometimes there may be a reason we can’t seem to enter into His Presence—an attitude, a sin, an offense—but I think most of the time it is just because we are human and susceptible to the ups and downs of emotion and physical/mental energy, etc. BUT HERE IS AN IMPORTANT POINT TO REMEMBER: Our access into the Presence of God is not our ability to feel a certain way. It is our faith! Sometimes just remembering that fact is enough to jar our hearts and press through the numbness that can happen to us!
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1-2, NIV, 1984)