Yes, I confess. I attended a . . . ladies event. But, it was not just any event. It was the annual Ladies Prayer Advance. Now, I had no plans to attend, but was asked by the ladies from our church if I would drive the van. Let me say up front before I move into the purpose of this blog post, what an honor to serve anyone who wants to advance in their spiritual growth with Christ! I’ll be at the front of the line anytime to help accomplish that goal! But, when it is a Prayer Advance, it’s a no brainer!
Prayer Advance (Men, Ladies, Couples or Teen) can be described in the following words: prayer, freedom to worship, passionate prayer, convicting preaching & teaching, heart-filled worship, confessional prayer, practical preaching & teaching, praise-filled prayer, stirring music, request-filled prayer, challenging preaching & teaching, changed lives, corporate prayer, Christ-exalting music, believing prayer, get-to-the-heart preaching & teaching, lifting up holy hands worship, Sweet Hour of Prayer, giving God praise and glory worship, grace-enabled preaching & teaching, BIG prayers, and . . . a break for meals. And what is discussed at meals? You can’t help it . . . . you talk about what God has been up to in your heart and how awesome He is!!
For three days, you gather around preaching, prayer, praise, and fellowship. This is not a retreat; this is an ADVANCE. This is an intense, moving-forward meeting with God. Lives are changed. Sin is exposed, victory is claimed, and God is glorified! Hearts are humbled, marriages are restored, homes are put back together, sins such as bitterness is exposed, confessed, forgiven and abandoned.
As is always the case, the Advance begins at 1:30 on Thursday with preaching and then a breakout session. After the evening service comes the powerful group prayer meetings. These small group prayer sessions have been known to last all night. What an awesome time to kneel, get honest before God, and watch hearts be changed at the Throne of Grace. I saw it happen at Men’s Prayer Advance in January, and heard about it happening this past Thursday night with the ladies. I will tell you without reservation, the ladies I transported to Prayer Advance on Thursday were not the same ladies I saw on Friday morning! On Friday morning I asked, “And how are you ladies this morning?” Immediately and in one chorus they said, “It’s a beautiful morning because our hearts are free! Our consciences are clear!” Oh, how awesome it is to watch the Holy Spirit convict and change, and then to see the countenances of souls set free from the bondage of sin!
My heart is full as I’ve watched God answer prayer and do some awesome works since Thursday. Let me ask, are you advancing with Christ in prayer or retreating? Get on your knees and “attend” your own personal Prayer Advance. But do more than “attend,” get honest and fervent with God in Christ through the Holy Spirit. You, too, can be set free!
Hebrews 4:14-16 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Psalm 42:1, 8 As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. . . . The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, And in the night His song shall be with me— A prayer to the God of my life.