Why Night and Day Worship and Prayer?

Why Night and Day Worship and Prayer?
At our house of prayer, we long to create a place in our city that goes on 24/7 by filling all 168 hours of every week with raw, passionate and creative worship and prayer. Every now and then I get asked, why we do what we do. Why 24/7 prayer and worship? What drives us is that it impacts God's heart, what sustains it is that it impacts our hearts, and what excites us is that it impacts our region.

Because it's what God longs for and what He deserves.

From the beginning of time, God had a desire in His heart to be close to human beings and dwell among them (Ex 25:8; John 17:24). Throughout the Bible, this longing has manifested in various places being set apart for unceasing worship and communion with God (from the garden of Eden [Gen 3:8], via the tent of meeting [Ex 33:9-11], the tabernacle of Moses [Ex 25:8], the tabernacle of David, the temple in Jerusalem, through to its ultimate fulfillment found in the New Jerusalem [Rev 21:3]).

Through worship and prayer, we create dwelling places for God (Ps 22:3; John 4:21-24), because it's the atmosphere God chose to surround Himself with (Rev 4; 5:8). David set the standard by employing over 4000 singers and musicians to perpetually minister to God day and night (1 Chr 9:33; 23:5; 25:7). Just as David drew heavenly realities down to his nation, Jesus commanded us to pray for heaven to be released on earth in the Lord's prayer (Mt 6:10), day and night worship and prayer being one of those realities that God prophesied to establish thousands of years ago (Isa 24:14-16; 42:10-12; Mal 1:11).

The immense impact of this on God's heart and the unfathomable privilege of weak human beings to be capable of moving Him cannot be stressed enough. His heart aches for our nearness (John 17:24), our prayers are a delight to Him (Prov 15:8), His eyes run to and fro on His quest for worshipers (2 Chr 16:9; John 4:24). All of this being so dear to His heart is the reason why He is so zealous for His house (John 2:17).

We long to give it to Him, relentlessly. We long to lavish our love on Him in extravagant devotion, let Him have our nearness, let Him hear our voice, and love Him with our all (Deut 30:6; Mt 22:37) – literally all there is available to creation in terms of time. Because this is what He longs for, and because it's the only reasonable response to who He is and what He has done. Night and day worship and prayer is His delight, and our way of saying, “You are worthy of it all, You are welcome here and we desire Your nearness, too.”

Because it's what the human heart was made for.

God created human beings in His image because He wanted a companion (Gen 1:27). As the Bride of Christ, our supreme calling is to live in deep relationship and intimacy with the Godhead forever (Hos 2:19-20; John 17:3). We were made for Him, to be with Him, behold Him, be enthralled by Him and fall madly in love with Him (John 17:26). God placed within the human makeup a deep hunger for His presence (Ps 42:1-2; 63:1; Acts 17:27). There, and only there, the human spirit finds true satisfaction and highest pleasure (Ps 16:11; John 6:35) – in the Creator Himself, the greatest joy of all (Ps 43:4).

Worship and prayer – loving God and talking with Him – are the primary ways of how human beings have fellowship with God and experience His presence. It's not only the most basic characteristic of His people, but also the place where God releases unprecedented joy (Isa 56:7).

By praying without ceasing (1 Thess 5:17), we proclaim like David (and countless saints throughout history), that being with Him is the “one thing” we want and seek (Ps 27:4), that His nearness is to us our good (Ps 73:28), and refuse to fill the void within us with anything less than our dearly Beloved as we position ourselves to encounter the fullness of joy in Him.

Because it's what our city needs.

Prayer and worship enthrone God over a region (Ps 22:3). It's God's way of ruling the earth and how His Kingdom, His purposes, justice and breakthroughs are released (Ps 2:8; 147:5-9; Isa 62:6-7; Lk 18:7-8; Acts 16:25-26). Through worship and prayer, battles are won and the enemy is driven away (2 Chr 20; 1 Sam 16:23). In these contexts, the Bible places a specific emphasis on crying out night and day (Isa 62:6-7; Lk 18:7-8).

There is also a striking correlation between prayer and the great commission. Jesus' initial conclusion to seeing the great harvest was to call His disciples to pray (Mt 9:37-38).

First, because in the place of intimacy with the Lord, we get to know His will and heart, discover who we are in Him and what He called us to do (Eph 1:17-19), and get equipped to walk out His purposes with His zeal, wisdom and power. Prayer is an end in itself, but it's also the place where God prepares us for His work. Night and day worship revitalizes and deepens our relationship with God, and is a key component for the Church to become salt, radiant light, and a mature Bride of Christ. Positioning ourselves in His presence inspires and empowers us to know and agree with His plans, purposes and His heart in intercession and hands-on ministry.

Prayer and worship was the launching pad of the apostles (Acts 13:2) and the place where they received the power to become witnesses (Acts 1:4,8). Spiritual authority grows out of intimacy (Mt 17:21). History again testifies of this, as prayer initiatives like the 300-year long prayer meeting in Bangor, Ireland as well as the Moravian prayer chain of Herrnhut, Germany, that went on non-stop for over a century, always resulted in a fresh and remarkable zeal for missions where people even sold themselves into slavery to reach the unreached.

Second, prayer is crucial to any missionary endeavor because the Great Commission needs more than human strength, resources and willingness. It's greater than what we could do alone and needs God's supernatural intervention for without Him, we can do nothing (John 15:4-5). Through prayer, missionary activity is increased as God equips and sends forth laborers (Mt 9:38). Through prayer, messengers are empowered and evangelism gets anointed (Eph 6:19), hearts are made receptive to (2 Thess 3:1; 1 Tim 2:1,4) and doors are opened for the Gospel (Col 4:3).

God Himself links the house of prayer reality of night and day worship and prayer as partnership with God to the global harvest (Isa 56:6-7; Amos 9:11-12). Houses or prayer where the Church worships together are centers of unity within a city which again is a key of evangelism (John 17:23).

We believe that the massive explosion of night and day worship in the last 2 decades is a mighty move of God that is restoring the First Commandment (Mt 22:37) to the first place and at the same time preparing and equipping the Church for the Great Commission, making the global harvest inevitable. We want this in our city. We want His Kingdom to be released, His will to be done (Mt 6:10) and people come to fall in love with Jesus. That's why we pray, night and day.

1 comment:

  1. Wow!!! This was sooo timely...awesome! Love His ways... Thanks! You did a great job as always, I really like how you're writing!