For many years now, I have found myself daily praying to dwell in God’s house. Based on David’s great prayer in Psalm 27, I regularly ask to be able to gaze on the Father’s beauty and to always seek Him wherever He might be found. It is with some embarrassment that I confess a lack of faith in my own prayers, and even more so, in the power of God’s word to let me know of His will for me. For a long time it seemed like I was always waiting for something big to happen to answer this powerful prayer. Therein was my lack of faith. I was looking for something I imagined would happen and in the process missed much of what was already happening.
I was praying based on what was clearly God’s will for me. He desires my presence even more than I desire His Presence. He has opened His house to me as an eternal dwelling place…not just someday in heaven, but right now. I certainly was praying His will based on His word, believing He would answer. My problem was that I wasn’t paying attention to how He was already answering that prayer. When we begin to pray God’s word, we must also remember to begin looking for His answers.
With fresh realization today, I see that I have been receiving the answers to my prayers for many years now. Dwelling in God’s house is a mindful awareness to experience His presence moment by moment, day by day. Today, in the midst of the Covid-19 shutdown, I find myself on my back porch, listening to English composer Vaughn Williams’s Fifth Symphony based on Milton’s Pilgrims Progress. I am very happy. But I think back three years when I was in the hospital receiving intense chemo for stage four lymphoma. I was very happy then, too. God was present in that hospital room.
God’s house is a place of His Presence and in His presence there is the happiness that the Bible calls “the fullness of joy”. You might be going through tough times. You might be going through times of great abundance. Regardless of your circumstances, what brings joy and peace is the awareness of the presence of God. When you are experiencing His presence you are dwelling in His house.
I still pray every day that I might dwell in the Father’s house all the days of my life, gazing on His beauty and seeking Him wherever He might be found. But I also thank Him for opening up His house to His people through Jesus. The last phrase of Ps.27:4 keeps me praying. We are to continually seek Him. We always press in – praying for more of His presence. But I’m now learning to look daily for the answers to my prayers as I bring God’s Word back to His throne.
(c) Harvest Prayer Ministries