Dwell, Gaze, Seek: Finding God’s Presence in His Word - Harvest Prayer Ministries Dwell, Gaze, Seek: Finding God’s Presence in His Word - Harvest Prayer Ministries

Dwell, Gaze, Seek: Finding God’s Presence in His Word

Dwell, Gaze, Seek: Finding God’s Presence in His Word

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

The Power of Silence

Dwell, Gaze, Seek: Finding God’s Presence in His Word

The health crisis that has marked 2020 has brought about an amazing silence across the earth. Sports events are silenced and concerts have gone away. The shouts of children at playgrounds have grown quiet. I watched the news in amazement the other day as it showed the streets of downtown New York City almost empty and quiet.  

 I know it’s temporary. We are by nature a noisy species. Even in this lockdown, we eagerly attempt to escape to our former activities and all the noise that would bring. I’m afraid the noise will return.

 I’m enjoying the quiet. It’s really very biblical. Stillness brings with it the opportunity to quiet our souls before our Maker. You can certainly do that with noise all around you, but it is so much easier when your environment has grown quiet. It is in stillness that we sense more of the Presence of God and are better able to discern His quiet voice. 

 Quiet yourself for a minute and pay attention to what God’s Word is saying about silence. Here are four powerful admonitions from the Lord:

 “The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him” (Hab.2:20).

 “Be still before the Lord, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling” (Zech. 2:13).

 “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him” (Ps.37:7).

 “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps.46:10). 

 Here are some simple ways to use your “holy imagination” or your “mind’s eye” to experience these scriptures as you spend time in silence before Him:

  • As you pray, imagine you can see the Lord in heaven.

There are crowds of angels before Him in complete silence. You feel a deep need not to break into that silence with any noise. “But the LORD is in His holy temple. Let all the earth be silent before Him” (Habakkuk 2:20).

  • Picture the Lord sitting on His throne.

You carefully watch and then, to your amazement, He begins to arise from His throne. He is getting up and that means something is about to happen. Imagine what that might be right now! “Be still before the LORD, all mankind, because He has roused Himself from His holy dwelling” (Zecharaiah 2:13).

  • Wait on the Lord in prayer.

Place yourself in a position of waiting on the Lord. It would be like being in a class where the teacher said, “Now pay careful attention to what I’m going to say next,” and then paused. You would be leaning forward, waiting to hear what comes next. “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him” (Psalm 37:7).

  • Draw near to the Lord in prayer.

Imagine sitting close to Jesus, or even on His lap, as a child would do. Does the immensity and grandeur of the One to whom you are speaking overwhelm you and bring you to absolute silence before Him? What does the peace of His presence feel like? You are coming to know your God. “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

National shutdown or not, it is very clear that God places a high value on silence. Will we?

 (c) Harvest Prayer Ministries



4 Prayers to Line Up with God’s Purposes

Dwell, Gaze, Seek: Finding God’s Presence in His Word

Then Job answered the LORD and said, “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:1-2).

Studying Job during this difficult season has been very enlightening and convicting! Job kept saying that he trusted God, all the while whining and complaining about his circumstances…until God reminded Job that ultimately, He was the Almighty Creator of all things and the Overseer of all of our situations, good or bad. Job, with a repentant heart, confessed his lack of understanding and renewed his belief in God’s complete power and supremacy. For Job, the choice was easy after his eyes were opened – God’s purposes could not be thwarted – even if it meant physical and emotional suffering for him. He just needed to be reminded.

J. Vernon McGee has a quote I love that can help us to relate to Job’s (and our own) situations: “This is God’s universe, and He is doing things His way. You may think you have a better way, but you don’t have a universe.”

It’s amazing how little we, the people of God, trust His purposes to be accomplished in the midst of uncertain times. We try to do everything in our own strength to “fix” our circumstances. We have difficulty resting in His promises and having faith that He is in control of our situations, finances, jobs, schooling, celebrations, relationships and everything else that concerns our minds and hearts.

God is grieving with those who are grieving, just as He was very present in the midst of Job’s suffering. If we are His, we should also be grieving with and for those who have lost loved ones, friends, coworkers, classmates and neighbors, for those who have lost jobs, for kids who can’t go to school, for healthcare workers who are afraid to bring sickness home with them, for those who can’t see and hug their loved ones…and so much more. If we are only mourning for ourselves and our inconveniences, we are lost in our selfishness rather than coming alongside of the Living Jesus to be His hands, feet and heart to others. And, to lift one another up in deep, heartfelt prayer!

God is watching us…His eye is upon His Church. Are we asking Him to search us and cleanse us? Are we a repentant people, allowing the Father to make us holy as He is holy? Or, are we wishing we could go where we want to go and do what we want to do? Are we filled with anger and frustration against our leaders, our families, the grocery store who can’t deliver our orders fast enough, and the people who bought up all of the sanitizer and toilet paper?

If His eye is upon us, what is He expecting? He is looking for those who will know that God can do all things and that His purposes will not be thwarted. Perhaps this season is more about watching to see what God will do with a people who keeps their eyes focused upon Him, trusting Him to accomplish something so big and deep and powerful in His Church that the world will never be the same. He has stripped away all of the traditional patterns of our gatherings and moved us to engage in new ways and to look at people we haven’t spent much time with before…to meet needs and to think outside the box creatively about how to care for the least of these and the lost. Can we have great faith to believe that God is at work in and through us?

Jason Meyer said, “Faith doesn’t just bring your soul to heaven; it brings heaven to your soul.” So – how do we pray in such a way that we are changed by God and not by our circumstances? Prayer that brings heaven to our souls? Here are four simple prayers to help our hearts shift toward remembering that God can do all things and that His plans cannot be thwarted:

  1. The Prayer of Confession: Father, I confess my lack of faith in Your ability to work in the midst of everything I am facing. I confess that I haven’t trusted You for _____________. I confess that I have depended upon my own ability to ­­­­­_____________ rather than release it into Your care. ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Thank You, Father, that You are faithful and righteous to forgive my sins and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness when I confess those sins to You (1 John 1:9).
  2. The Prayer of Repentance: Lord, I have confessed to You those sins that separate my heart from Yours. I am Your child, called by Your name. Your word declares that if I humble myself in repentance and seek Your face and turn away from my sinful ways, that You will hear from heaven, forgive my sin and heal my land (2 Chronicles 7:14). Now I declare that I will turn away from these things, and turn toward You once again! Your word says that if I do this, my sins will be wiped out and that times of refreshing will come from You once again (Acts 3:19). And, Lord Jesus, please help me to produce fruit in keeping with repentance (Matthew 3:8)…fruit that will last (John 15:16), not only in this season, but throughout the rest of my days. May I emerge from these days changed in ways that will bring glory to You alone!
  3. The Prayer of Submission: Lord Jesus, when the outcomes of life are hidden, uncertain, or unclear, give me the humility and the strength to simply submit to Your purposes and plans. Help me to remember that You humbled Yourself before the Father and submitted Yourself to death on a cross (Philippians 2:8) for me! That humbles me and creates a deep desire in me to be obedient to Your will forever. Your word says that these troubles and sufferings of mine are small and won’t last very long, and You promise that this short time of distress will result in God’s richest blessings forever and ever (2 Corinthians 4:17 TLB). Surely, I can submit myself to inconveniences and troubles without whining and complaining!
  4. The Prayer of Acknowledgment: Almighty God, I acknowledge that my adequacy comes not from myself or my own abilities, but only from You (2 Corinthians 3:5). I acknowledge that I can do all things through You, because You are the One who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). And, Lord, in all of my ways I will acknowledge You, for You have promised that if I will do this, You will make my paths straight (Proverbs 3:6).

May the God who is everywhere, and who created everything, be very present in your life in this season, and from this moment forward! May your faith swell to heights you never imagined as you dwell with Him in the midst of hard times, but also allow Him to lead you to a much deeper understanding of His ability to create calm in your storm, peace in your uncertainties and joy along your journey of life with a Father who, as Job acknowledged, is not only the Creator of the Universe, but the One who can do ALL things…and whose plans can never be thwarted!

©2020, Harvest Prayer Ministries



Kim serves as the Executive Director of Harvest Prayer Ministries which she co-founded in 1993 with her late husband, Dave (1953-2022). Her ministry involves teaching/training and consulting as well as writing and developing resources. She is content coordinator for HPM's teaching platform, PrayerU.com and also compiles and edits HPM’s free daily devotional, Connection! as well as Prayer Tip Tuesday.

Kim has written multiple books and has published articles in a variety of magazines and publications. She is a member of America's National Prayer Committee and serves as President of Gospel Revivals, Inc. (Herald of His Coming).

Kim has a BA in Psychology and a Masters degree in Spiritual Formation and Leadership.

Some of Kim's Books

Peace that Passes Understanding

Dwell, Gaze, Seek: Finding God’s Presence in His Word

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)

The Lord has amazing timing, doesn’t He? For several months, I had been pulling together resources and studying Scriptures to write a devotional about peace. By the time I sat down to actually write it, peace had become far more than just a topic to study. It was becoming an integral part of my life. I had no idea how important that was to become.

 I often withdraw to quiet places to write, and I did so for this devotional. The Holy Spirit was at work and it seemed like the words flowed for several days. Then came the call. It was a call I was waiting for from some medical tests I had done a week earlier. The tests results showed that I had a rare form of cancer called Mantle Cell Lymphoma…Stage 4. I confess that the writing stopped for two days while my wife, Kim and I prayed and scoured the internet to learn all we could of this disease. We discovered things we didn’t want to know! This was going to be a full-on struggle to survive! I can honestly say that though we had moments of uncertainty and stress, God’s peace never left us because we had been immersed in it for months. Only the Spirit of God could have known exactly what we would need in this moment and had prepared us ahead of time.

 Writing a manuscript on God’s peace in an imperfect world was a miraculous blessing from God to prepare me through his Word, with his peace, for the news he knew I would soon receive. Far more than just an academic topic, his peace is a reality. A precious gift to be received and for which we give thanks.

 It is a peace beyond understanding. A cancer diagnosis typically brings much fear and anxiety and I do not pretend that there have not been anxious thoughts. But in a way I do not understand and cannot begin to explain, God’s amazing peace has guarded our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 I think the key word is “guard”. It isn’t that there are not anxious thoughts and fears that arise. But a guard has supernaturally been set upon our hearts through Christ Jesus. This guard is awake and alert and prevents the natural thoughts and fears from gaining a foothold in our lives. Our minds and emotions do not have to be subservient to the circumstances around us. The peace of God is a strong guard that protects us and allows us to overcome a situation with the thoughts that come from him.

 Once again, the key to all of this is desiring it and asking for it. You can read Philippians 4:7 and feel good about it, but if you do not, through prayer and faith, accept it into your life, it is simply nice words. God’s peace is available for all followers of Christ if we will ask for it and accept it into our lives. Then we can cultivate his peace through a life of prayer and trust.

 Adapted from Prayer, Peace and the Presence of God by David Butts

 (c) Harvest Prayer Ministries

Peace in the Dark Places

Dwell, Gaze, Seek: Finding God’s Presence in His Word

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4, ESV)

I was a 13-year-old paperboy, getting up at 3:30 a.m. every morning to fold and pack my papers and put them on my bicycle. Off into the dark by 4 a.m., I typically finished by 5-5:30 and could crawl back into bed for a short finish to the night’s sleep. It would never be allowed today, and yet my loving parents never considered it to be dangerous. Different times.

 I had a large area for my route and most of it was in our lower-middle-class neighborhood. A few streets though, led me through some pretty run-down areas. To put it bluntly, today I wouldn’t want to drive through the area in my car, much less send a teenager through it at night on a bike. Most of the time, I was oblivious to the possibility of danger. But occasionally a few things happened to bring fear to the surface. Nothing major, more like “things that go bump in the night,” but nonetheless, it created some fear in this 13-year-old paperboy.

 How do you handle fear in dark places? In our youth group at church, we had been learning a new chorus based on the 23rd Psalm. It was a simple melody, often sung as a round, and it stuck in my mind.

The Lord Is My Shepherd I’ll Walk with Him Always

The Lord is my Shepherd

I’ll walk with Him always; 

He leads me beside still waters

I’ll walk with Him always.

Always, always

I’ll walk with Him always;

Always, always

I’ll walk with Him always. 

—Composer Unknown

God used it to bring peace to me on some of those dark mornings. I would ever so softly begin to sing that simple chorus as I pedaled my bike through the rough areas. As I focused on the one who walked with me, even through dark places, I realized that I did not need to fear any evil. Peace replaced fear because of the awareness of the presence of Christ with me. 

 I almost didn’t use the 23rd Psalm as a text today because it doesn’t actually have the word “peace” in it. Yet the entire psalm is about peace. From green pastures and still waters to dwelling forever in his house, David gives us a picture of peace and the means of peace. The key to all of what the psalm promises is the presence of God. “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will not fear, because you are with me.”

 For followers of Jesus, the indwelling Spirit is an absolute promise. He is with us! The trouble often is our lack of awareness of that fact in the moment of danger or fear. That’s why it is so important to bring the power of the Word of God into our lives continually. Somehow as a 13-year-old paperboy, I stumbled onto a truth that has served me well for many years. Whether it is singing a psalm or praying it without melody, the promises of his presence will bring peace.

 Lord, I am so grateful that you have provided for me green pastures to lay down in and still water to walk alongside. Thank you for preparing a table before me, even in the presence of my enemies. How grateful to know that your goodness and mercy will be with me always and that you have provided for me an eternal home. Most of all Lord, I am grateful that your presence is continually with me. Keep me aware of that amazing fact. Thank you for the peace that comes from your presence.

 Make it a point each day to affirm the Lord’s presence in your life. You can use the phrase from Psalm 23 and simply say . . . ”because you are with me.”


Adapted from Prayer, Peace and the Presence of God by David Butts

(c) Harvest Prayer Ministries