Experiencing the presence of God is the primary need of all Christ followers. This is what God created us for, fellowship with him. Spending time with God and experiencing intimate moments with him is what takes being a Christian out of the religion context into a personal relationship. Matthew 6:6 states, “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
Time invested in private, intimate moments with God results in ushering in times of the manifest presence of God in our day-to-day interactions and also in our public worship services. Moments of God’s manifest presence comes about through his people who have spent time with him. Acts 3:19 speaks of the need for Christians to wait on the Lord in prayer: “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” The message of preliminary prayer was clear throughout the book of Acts. The early believers would take time to pray, and God would show up in miraculous ways.
As leaders in our homes, businesses, and churches, it is imperative that we spend times of intimacy with God on a daily basis, along with times of corporate prayer. These disciplines are vital in the pursuit of hearing God’s voice and conforming our thought processes to be in line with God’s thoughts. In Acts 1:14,”They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.”
When we have spent time with God, as leaders, we are positioned to serve God more effectively in every setting, whether at home, work, or in our local church. Our local church experiences the presence of God when we set the stage for others to experience the manifest presence of God through our prayers and service. Creating the environment for others to experience God is accomplished through both our private prayer lives and through our leadership by creating a positive, life-giving environment at our church and everywhere we go.
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality,” Romans 12:9-13.
As leaders, we desire everyone to experience God’s presence. No matter what our day may bring or who we interact with, it is vital that, as Christ followers, we remain ready to experience God’s presence. This is especially important at our churches as we serve and worship corporately. Our sensitivity during our services helps to ensure that the Holy Spirit is free to flow through our worship and teaching times, even as our serving teams set the stage for God to move on our hearts and minds collectively as we all operate in our gifts. “All of these things must be done for the strengthening of the church,” 1 Corinthians 14:26.