God already knows every thought, prayer, and concern that passes through your mind, but relationships are built through communication. We are called to be intentional in communication with Holy Spirit to know Him and understand His ways—that takes time. In the Presence of God, we are transformed, our hearts are healed, our minds renewed, and our spirits lifted.
Paul calls all of us to pray without ceasing. This feels impossible until you learn that we can pray our way through whatever we are doing. In Mozambique, where I live, we want to do everything from the Presence. We spend a great deal of time in prayer, soaking, worshipping and interceding because we want Heaven’s strategies, not just our own strength. What does that look like practically?
On Tuesdays we have staff meetings in the morning around 10:00am. I wake up around 5am and start my day with a prayer walk seeking God’s word for the day. Then I go to a prayer room on our base next to our home and meet with friends on our team to pray and worship together, often soaking in His presence then praying. Next, we all head over to staff meeting and worship together. We pray as a group, in our departments or in small groups as God leads. We pray for those who are heading on outreaches, sometimes into dangerous areas. We pray for anyone who is sick or struggling. Honestly, by the time we get to agenda points, God has already met us in a deep way and there is not too much left to plan!
I lead discipleship for our children once a week, and I disciple some of our pastors and leaders. In both groups, we start with worship and prayer, then go through Bible teaching and practical application in our lives, and end by praying for one another. In outreach meetings, we pray over the map of Mozambique as we decide where to share the Gospel each week. For the university, many of our visitors want to take a tour of the campus. We start at the prayer room with every group. Together with our Mozambican team, we pray and prophesy over the university, then we finish the tour. We all get so encouraged every time as Holy Spirit gives more vision and confirmation. In these ways, we really do pray without ceasing as we cover each of our programs in prayer.
You can do the same thing in your life, spending intentional quiet times in prayer soaking and also praying throughout your day. Especially pray over decisions you need to make, groups you work with, and tasks you need to complete. God wants to be part of every area of your life, and it’s so much easier to work when you get wisdom from Holy Spirit.
In Iris Global, we work very hard. We are passionate about feeding the hungry, digging wells, building churches and schools, starting a university, and many other things, but all of those ideas were birthed and carried out in prayer. We love God deeply and our lives are a love offering to Him. God wants relationship with you, beloved. My good friend, Carol Arnott, talks about how, in our relationship with God, we are not servants; rather, we are lovers. When Carol and John Arnott were dating, all she wanted to do was talk to him for hours. Making him a cup of tea was a joy, not a chore. God doesn’t want us to slave away to change this world. He wants to fill us to overflowing with His love, His joy and His presence. When we are full, everything we do is saturated with love. The people we minister to can truly tell the difference. They don’t want dry grouchy people telling them about God’s love. What impact would that have? We get filled up in His presence, and then we love this world with His all-powerful, transformative love.
Today, soaking prayer, prophecy, speaking in tongues, laughter, falling down, and other manifestations of Holy Spirit are more common, but back in the 1990s, when the Toronto Blessing broke out at John and Carol Arnott’s church, this was all new territory. As John and Carol stewarded this move of God, a group of us became very close friends. We intentionally joined together to support one another and speak into each other’s lives. Those relationships are very dear to me.
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All of us loved God and gave our lives away for love before this revival started, but we didn’t know Holy Spirit in this intimate way. My husband Rolland and I were missionaries in Asia, UK, and the Mozambique before the Toronto Blessing ever occurred. We were fully devoted to God, preaching, praying, leading people to Jesus and meeting the practical needs of the poor as Jesus taught us to do. John and Carol were pastors faithfully teaching, serving and loving God’s people. They cared deeply for God, their congregation and their city. None of us expected all that would take place in Toronto. It was beyond anything we could imagine, and it took us by surprise. Holy God sovereignly poured out His Spirit in a tangible way on His people, and we all learned and grew together through this season. Many people around the world were forever changed by radical God encounters in Toronto.
Rolland and I both had experiences there that completely transformed our lives and our ministry. Our hearts were the first things that had to change—that was what allowed our ministry to change. You have to let God transform you first from the inside out, then He can use you in powerful ways. One of the core messages of my life is “all fruitfulness flows from intimacy,” a statement grounded in John 15. We can’t love others well when we don’t feel loved. We can’t feel love unless we abide in Him. For me, God stuck me to the ground for seven days and nights and also radically healed me from near-death sickness. He showed me powerful visions and spoke to my heart. Rolland changed from a grouchy man to “Tigger,” laughing and jumping for joy. Then our ministry grew from several churches to thousands of churches, from hard work and striving to joy and presence. It was not suddenly easy, but when you’re in love, you can do anything. Ministering from God’s overflow and presence is vastly different than working day and night feeling exhausted and dry. I’m forever grateful for those encounters. They led us into a lifestyle of soaking and being in God’s presence in the midst of everything we need to get done. We are much more productive now.
In the midst of this, Carol and I got very close. I love her deeply, and we pray for one another on a regular basis. She and John called me with a strong prophetic word that might have saved my life a couple of years ago. Covenant friends who can speak into our lives with what they hear God saying are critical as we step out in radical ways for God. There is strength in unity and confirmations. We are not called to live this life of faith on our own. We need each other. We are grateful for John and Carol. We love to minister together and spend hours soaking in the presence together. I learn immensely from their laid-down lives of love.
For Carol, soaking other people in prayer is a powerful part of her personal ministry. She testifies about powerful miracles that happened just from spending the time to soak with people, especially those in need of emotional and/or physical healing. Soaking also makes us more familiar with what Holy Spirit is saying to help us know how to pray for other people and see them set free. Soaking in the Spirit is one of Carol’s life messages. In fact she has written a powerful book on the topic. Soaking in the Spirit: Effortless Access to Hearing God’s Voice, Intimacy with the Father, and Supernatural Healing is about being in God’s presence in an intentional and life-changing way. Soaking is a concept that can be hard to wrap your head around, but this beautiful book brings it to a practical and personal level. You will want to jump right in to God’s glorious presence even as you read. Soaking prayer is not a strange thing just for extreme Christians; it is for everyone. In this book, Carol vulnerably shares her journey and experiences. Throughout the book, you will read personal stories of the impact of soaking on Carol and others, for heart transformation and also for physical healing. You will also get practical advice on how to soak and make soaking a lifestyle. I encourage you to make soaking prayer a part of your daily life. If you can read the book and practice soaking with your friends or small group, even better. Use the activations to get started. I promise you, time in God’s presence is never wasted. He longs for you to know how much He loves you and how deeply He cares about all the things you care about. His desire is for everything you do to flow from this Love. He is a Good, Good Father. So, dive in and start your soaking adventure with God!