On October 6, we’re planting ourselves again in Columbus to pray into TBI’s next New.
It wouldn’t take long to find out, but I’ve literally lost count of how many years we’ve done this. One of the reasons I enjoy praying each time is because every “round” is completely different. There is no constant but Christ himself, and He continues to encourage and enlarge our hearts.
However, many folks come in with the wrong expectations. They act like going 12-hours is a rollercoaster. They enjoy the ups and downs (in volume, for instance), but don’t know what to do when it’s over. Most times, we do the same thing… eat and crash. That’s normal. Praying again the same night – not so normal!
We call this gathering a Plant, because it’s an organic, living thing that’s designed to grow! The most amazing things CAN (and WILL) happen in 12-hours, but that’s “technically” not the point. For me and many of my friends, planting yourself to pray a long time actually helped create a new normal that we could identify with thereafter. In other words, it got things going for us.
The best part of any prayer gathering for me is… immediately after! So many people miss out on the all the stories we share later on because they leave too early. (Too early, you say: Isn’t it over though?) Yes, the scheduled moment is “technically” over, but that’s when things are just getting started (or planted). Want to know what everyone is doing? Here is the secret…
Learn to linger in the Lord’s Presence.
There are times I don’t like to linger – like being at the dentist office or the occasional “errand” when I follow my girlfriend around the make-up store. (I don’t like staying on elevators longer than I have to either.) BUT I love, love, love to stay in “the Anointing” (and or the Lord’s Presence) after a set-apart gathering. We ask Him to come, and He always does… Why leave when He’s still going?!
For me, those times are rare and valuable. True, it’s not like I won’t enjoy His Presence everywhere else. However, there is a rare combination of people and opportunities to see the Lord at work in our lives. It may be a followup conversation on the side. It could be a smaller circle of intercession, or just praying for whoever you can find nearby! There have been times when nobody – a sample out of those who came – moves at all. No talking. No nothing. It’s just that thick in the room. I’ve seen laughing, crying, and everything in between. I’ve seen “wild fire” from time to time, but most of the time I’m burning right in the middle, too.
See, it’s not spooky – it’s your choice. You can leave, or you can linger. There is no pressure to stay. There are times when I have to wake-up early the next morning, and I just cannot stay. Sometimes, we have to drive home. Other times, the Lord will tell me to prioritize devotion the next morning instead. It doesn’t matter what happens, just obey. Remember, no one made you come in the first place. No one is making you stay over either. When that is the rule of thumb, people actually stay longer!
My siblings and I grew up in the altar – literally. We have been so privileged to experience so many different “moves” of the Spirit. “The Anointing” – there’s that word again – is more than our happy place, it’s Home! Our parents are pastors, which meant they’ve served thousands in those kinds of settings. In all those services, all those hours, I’ve never gotten tired of the Anointing. (Sure, I’ve gotten tired and wished certain people shut up, but the Holy Spirit always overcompensates!)
Funny thing about it… seems like the best parts were always at the end, or after the end. I’m not making a rule out of it. I’m just saying things keep getting better. Dad would say: The longer you stay in it here, the stronger you’ll be out there.
That’s one of the reasons we plant ourselves to pray – we get to practice His Presence together. The other reasons are waiting on you when you get here… and get planted!