My friend Joanna posted this on her site back in November when the IHOPU Student Awakening began, it was good enough to warrant a repost, and to print and keep in your journal for the rest of your life 🙂 Read below or click here to be redirected to her original posting.
Ways to keep your mind, will and emotions healthy to receive all that the Lord is doing during seasons of refreshing
The Lord is doing incredible things in Kansas City right now through the outpouring of His Holy Spirit. I was inspired to write, not about what the Lord is doing for those who aren’t here, (check out www.ihop.org/watch if you haven’t heard about it) but about what to do for those of use who are here in the thick of it, or for others who find themselves in an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
When I think about previous outpourings, renewals or awakenings, I think of Toronto, Brownsville and Lakeland. When I think about what I would term “revival culture” or people who have cultivated a lifestyle of encounter with the manifest presence of God, I think of Bethel with Bill Johnson. From these, there are practical dynamics and lessons learned. We should desire to receive the council of those who have gone before us. From what I’ve gathered, they have rather profound insights. In all honesty, none of the following thoughts originated with me, they came from asking questions and receiving some advice, reproof and exhortation regarding the way I was living and ways to create a “revival culture” in my own life.
The premise is “When in a Move of the Holy Spirit” – and this is particularly focused towards people who are involved in altar ministry, administration, deliverance, platform ministry, ushering, singing, worship leading, etc. etc.
1. Eat Food If you have an ambitious fasting regimen, transition to something like a Daniel fast, no caffeine, or fast only one day a week.
I was in an internship a few years ago and we talked to Bob Jones about fasting, and He said “When the Bridegroom is with you (referring also to an unusual season of visitation) you don’t fast, but when He’s not there, then you fast.”
2. Stay HydratedDrink lots of water. You will get dehydrated really really fast, and then you will wake up with swollen gunky eyes, chapped lips, raw face, and you will feel worn down in your body and be more susceptible to colds or the flu.
3. Try some cranberry juice I know this sounds strange, but a few years ago, I was leading worship at prophetic classes with Shawn Bolz and Paul Keith Davis. Every night after worship, my lower back would BURN in pain and I could hardly even get to my seat. Finally, Paul Keith pulled me aside and shared with me that how Bob Jones’ always drinks cranberry juice. Bob had said that when you were ministering in a flow of the anointing, that you needed to take good care of your kidneys, which he called the Biblical “reins.” He said that’s where the anointing flows from. Now I didn’t ask a lot of questions or try to figure out the who’s, what’s, and why’s of all that, I just started drinking cranberry juice and more water and I noticed that the pain was GONE.
For inquiring minds, here are more Scriptural references for Bob’s perspective on kidneys and “reins.”
Reins: the kidneys, the supposed seat of the desires and affections; used metaphorically for “heart.” The “reins” and the “heart” are often mentioned together, as denoting the whole moral constitution of man (Ps. 7:9; 16:7; 26:2; 139:13; Jer. 17:10, etc.)
Paul Keith also suggested finding a friend or leader that you trust to pray for you, or if you can’t find somebody, putting your own hands on your lower back and asking the Holy Spirit to fill you up, refresh and sustain you if you’re feeling that type of pain during or after ministry.
A Note on Intercessors If someone is engaged in a dynamic ministry where the Lord is really resting on them – whether its a minister, worship leader, prophetic singer, or someone with an unusual anointing during altar ministry, (in our case people like Wes Hall, Allen Hood, Laura Hackett, Shelley Hundley, Ed Boasso, Graeme Walsh, Steven Beauchamp, and so many others) they may need some “back up” or prayer that the Lord would continue to flow through them, cover them from attack and fill them up. This is why many times in different churches and conferences (Bethel, conferences with Shawn Bolz or Paul Keith, and many more) you will see someone standing behind the singers on the platform – a platform intercessor – or someone following behind a minister during altar ministry.
A word of caution: Don’t start praying for someone you don’t have relationship with at close proximity without their permission. What I do during the IHOPU awakenings is to pray for Wes and Allen from wherever I’m at: “Lord bless Wes and Allen right now. Holy Spirit, cover them, sustain them, fill them up. Release your ministering angels to them even now God, strengthen their bodies, renew their spirit man..” Speaking from my experience as a worship leader, it is more unsettling to have a stranger pop up behind you and start praying (you hope).
4. Eat healthy.I’ve experienced this scenario firsthand: It’s 1:30 am and you’ve been in the meeting for 8 hours. You’re starving, and nobody wants to go home and cook at 1:30, and nothing else is open! So you go to Buffalo Wild Wings for the 10th day in a row.
I also observed junk food eating behind the scenes at a more recent outpouring and thought to myself, “You guys have been eating that? No wonder you feel bad! It’s not warfare, it’s your diet.” 65 days in a row of junk food will make you feel terrible. The Holy Spirit is not going to transform that deep fried, sugar covered, bacon marinated junk into fruits and vegetable in your stomach. You need to make healthy choices that will help sustain your “weak frame.”
Now like I said, I understand (I’ve been to BWW twice already as have an entire worship team) that no one wants to cook at 1:30 am. But you need to become deliberate about eating healthy! Some friends of mine have a plan: we’re getting 10 or so people together into a little cooking co-op where a couple of us will leave the service around 11:30 to go prepare some food, and the other 8 can come after the service and we’ll all eat together. We rotate houses, and cooking responsibilities and pitch in some funds. You can get some of your friends together and do something like that and you’ll save lots of money, feel better because you’ll be eating better, and you’ll have great redemptive fellowship in the afterglow of the Holy Spirit.
You also might want to get some cliff bars to keep with you – 8 hours of ministry is a long time.
5. Get Plenty of RestThis isn’t a time to push your body to the point of exhaustion. You may find yourself needing a lot more sleep than you did before, that’s normal and okay.
6. Eliminate the Unnecessary.Stay faithful with what the Lord has really called you to: Mike used the example of continuing to feed the homeless, but if you’re doing lots of unnecessary “stuff” consider downsizing. Suspend your end-times Bible study for a season, cancel meetings, and simplify your life so that you can fully receive all that the Lord has for you during this season. When you look back on this time years down the road, you’re not going to regret being as involved as you can, but you may regret not being more involved.
7. Keep your Devotional TimeMaybe before this, you’ve been able to have devotional time in the prayer room, but with all that’s going on in there now you may to need to carve out quiet time ALONE with Jesus. There, He’s going to speak, minister, fill you up, and sustain you. Don’t think that because you’re spending 8 hours praying for people at an outpouring service that you can suspend your personal devotional time. The Lord will meet you in such sweetness during these private times – He will meet you with that same manifest presence that is there during the altar ministry for impartation to others if you take the time.
Another note: During the meetings or prayer room ministry time, remember that you can switch back and forth from praying and releasing to personal receiving. Your “ministry mode” doesn’t have to last the entire time, you can have sweet personal encounter, and transition right into praying for others.
8. Keep Taking Your Day Off Nightly meetings will ebb and flow, and some nights will be “better” or “stonger” than others. That’s just how it works. Don’t feel like if you take a night off that God is not going to meet you anymore. There is NO condemnation for resting your body or spending time with you family. Even in the midst of the most dramatic healings, miracles, salvations and power demonstrations that we look forward to in the capital letters REVIVAL, you’re still going to need a Sabbath and some time off with your family.
Some people throw themselves so into a renewal that their family suffers. You don’t want your wife or children to acquire offense towards the Lord because you’re not stewarding your relationships.
9. Realize that You are going to be SensitiveThings that didn’t bother you before may grieve your spirit now. It’s good to keep that in mind that in your conversations and activities before you ask those “Why do I feel this way” questions. Keep in mind that you may feel the presence of the Lord or manifest when you’re out to eat and get prophetic words for the barista at Starbucks, or you may be grieved at a film you used to enjoy. Be extra vigilant about what you allow to enter your “gates” (eyes, ears, etc) because it will strike your heart in a heightened way.
10. Backlash is RealFrancis Frangipane’s “New Levels, New Devils” is real: If you’re experiencing breakthrough, freedom, joy and increased manifest presence, the enemy doesn’t like that. You will need to stand your ground in agreement with the Lord over hopelessness, depression, shame, condemnation, disqualification and other lying “fiery darts” the enemy may deploy in an attempt to take you out. Stand Firm, declare agreement with the Lord OUT LOUD and use the Scripture.
11. Remember The First and Second CommandmentIf this awakening continues and grows here in Kansas City, there may be quite a lot of people who come for a touch from the Lord. After a while, His sweet presence can become viewed as a commodity that is passed around: “Blam Blam Shaba Blam…Get ‘Em, Blam.”
We can become sidetracked by the unique sensation of His manifest presence, and overwhelmed by the numbers of people. We will need to continually remember that we are called to love the Lord our God, not just His tingles but His Person, and to love our neighbor. Not neighbors as if they are a mass group of people, but neighbor singular, dealing with each one as an individual as we’re praying at the altar, prophesying, singing, or even just running into them in the bathroom.
12. Make Lists of Stuff you Really Need to DoI’m noticing this for myself: I am preoccupied with Jesus. That is an AMAZING thing. After years of being preoccupied with me, this is way better! Some unexpected side-effects are that I’m forgetting to do some stuff I need to do, like trash day, grocery shopping, and going to the bank. Errands that previously were just a natural part of your life may completely slip your mind because you’re thinking about JESUS, which is AWESOME, but you do still need to pay your gas bill. I’ve started making a sticky notes I take everywhere with me:
2. Walk and Feed Dog
3. Talk to Parents
4. Pay Utilities
5. Trash Day is Wednesday
Sounds a little silly, but it may be necessary for you like it is for me.
Love to hear your comments