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59 minutes | 5 days ago
#0063 – Make The Great Commission Great Again with R.A. Martinez
In this episode, Matthew chats with R.A. Martinez, a return guest to the podcast, about the Great Commission. A recent stat shows that 81% of church-going Christians in America could not define what “The Great Commission” is – Matthew and R.A. discuss why this is and what can be done. Matthew starts by asking RA to go into what their communities at MAPS Global are like, since they didn’t get into in the last episode. RA says that they are presence centered communities, focusing on worship and prayer together, but that in the place of encountering Jesus, they are seeing more and more people sent out for missions. This is based in Matthew 9, where Jesus commands them to pray earnestly for laborers, and that He’ll send them out. Something grips us when we spend time in prayer! RA says specifically, there are 3 things that will grab hold of us: 1- The Worth of Jesus 2- His Compassion 3- The Anointing to be sent out This should be pretty encouraging, due to the global prayer movement happening right now, but Matthew asks – what about those praying communities that aren’t sending out missionaries? RA says some of it is the language used(it can tend to be a little monastic), but the real issue is that we haven’t let God define the output of the prayer movement. Some people will stay and pray, but they should be in families that are sending some out. To get to that place, you really have to understand the Great Commission. RA believes that it’s been “diluted” some in the last 20 years to include just living your life as a Christian. That really takes priority away from those who haven’t heard the gospel! The language used in the Great Commission is “ethnos”, which means tribes and families – it has nothing to do with having political influence. Nationalism is a huge hurdle for the Great Commission. Politics have become a major distraction, even in church, when 81% of Christians surveyed couldn’t tell you what the Great Commission is! If we’re focused on the prosperity of our own nation, we simply don’t care about other nations hearing the gospel. They tie it in here to the Church in Jerusalem. 500 believers go from seeing Jesus’ ascension to pray and wait in Jerusalem, and by the time Pentecost happens, their numbers have dwindled to 120. After Pentecost, revival breaks out, but no one leaves for 10 years. Eventually, issues creep in like racism – seen in the story of the widows not being taken care of equally. After that, persecution begins and the Church is scattered to the nations. RA believes the nationalism/racism issue in the early church is what kept them from sharing the gospel to other nations. That’s the problem with the melding of “God and country” – it makes enemies of our nation an enemy of the Church in our minds. Then you throw in the “prosperity gospel” that’s so pervasive in America, and the idea of leaving your comfort zone to live sacrificially and endure suffering for missions seems ludicrous. But if you read the Bible, Jesus guarantees suffering for following Him! But RA believes the turmoil of persecution is what caused the first Church to be sent out, and that we’re in the beginning stages of some turmoil in America that will end in some “scattering”. God wants us to be part of His plan for the earth, and sometimes we won’t listen until there’s turmoil. RA takes it as encouragement, not something to be scared of. So our job, then, is to pay attention. Press into Jesus, understand the Great Commission, and ask Him what He wants you to do, regardless of what you want to do. Ask Him who He wants to send you to. Reach out to those who don’t look like you. And pour into young leaders who are called to do this as well! Set aside race, political and cultural differences, preferences, backgrounds – and go where God says to go. Links from This Episode Maps Global Key Scripture: Acts 13, Matthew 9, Matthew 28 Subscribe to Presence Pioneers on Youtube Join our Email List The post #0063 – Make The Great Commission Great Again with R.A. Martinez appeared first on Presence Pioneers.
18 minutes | 12 days ago
#0062 – Four Models of 24-7 Prayer That Went Viral
All across the earth God is raising up day and night worship and prayer! There are an estimated 20,000 groups praying 24-7 right now. The last 20 years has seen an unprecedented explosion of prayer and davidic worship in the body of Christ around the world. This global, Spirit-led prayer movement has taken many forms and expressions, but there are a few models of day & night prayer that have spread at an unusually “viral” pace. The only explanation is that God is breathing on some of these models of prayer to help bring the Church into its function as a house of prayer for all nations (Isaiah 56:7). There may be many more models of 24-7 prayer, but Matthew Lilley shares about four that he has noticed that seem to have virality. 1) The Harp & Bowl Model The harp & bowl was developed by the International House of Prayer in Kansas City to sustain their 24-7 prayer and live worship since 1999. This model utilizes live worship music for 2-hour “sets” that serve as either devotional or intercessory prayer meetings. The term harp & bowl describes the combination of prayer and music that reflects the harps and bowls in God’s throne room (see Revelation 5:8). Many communities and prayer ministries around the world have adapted a version of “harp & bowl” in their worship & prayer meetings. It seems that most or all of the communities that have been able to sustain 24-7-365 prayer with live worship have been inspired by IHOP-KC. You can learn more about this model in Mike Bickle’s Harp & Bowl Handbook. 2) The Burn Model Communities around the world have gathered for “Burns” of 12 to 24 to 100+ hours of non-stop worship and prayer. This model focuses on gathering local worship teams to take 1-2 slots of worship. Rather than using a unified worship model (like harp & bowl), burn events allow local worship teams to bring their unique expression and style of worship & prayer for their time slots. Many of the leaders hosting “burn” events have coalesced around the Burn 24-7 movement that was founded by Sean Feucht. However, like the “house of prayer” model developed by IHOP-KC, you will find many people hosting “burns” who are not associated with the Burn 24-7 movement at all. In podcast episode 32 we discussed hosting a virtual 168-hour Burn during the initial COVID-19 lockdown. 3) The 24-7 Prayer Model The 24-7 prayer movement in the UK started accidentally with a week of 24-7 prayer in England. Their model of prayer is focused on individuals taking hours of prayer in a 24-7 prayer room rather than corporate prayer times. Usually churches or communities will set up a temporary 24-7 prayer for a week or more. These prayer rooms are creative, multi-sensory and full of interactive “prayer stations” to guide people through their time with the Lord. You can learn more about this model in the 24-7 Prayer Manual from Pete Greig. You can also check out podcast episodes 24 and 25 with Lisa Koons, the USA Director of the 24-7 Prayer movement. 4) The One Church, One Day Model In the podcast I refer to this as the “America Prays” model. One of the more recent models of 24-7 prayer that has emerged focuses on empowering local churches to adopt one day of 24-hour prayer each month. When enough churches in a city commit to a day of prayer, they can collectively cover a citywide 24-7-365 prayer calendar. One of the benefits of this model is that local churches can host their 24 hours in whatever format that suits their congregation. This empowers local churches to host day & night prayer, but it also unites them to a citywide vision. We talked more about this model and its impact in Austin, Texas on podcast episode 53 with Trey Kent. Subscribe to Presence Pioneers on Youtube Join our Email List The post #0062 – Four Models of 24-7 Prayer That Went Viral appeared first on Presence Pioneers.
51 minutes | 19 days ago
#0061 – Discipling the NextGen in Prayer with Trace Vining
In today’s episode, Matthew talks to Trace Vining, a young prayer house leader from Starkville, Mississippi. Trace’s journey as a prayer leader began when he was in the 9th grade! In his personal prayer time, he was struck with the revelation ” When we pray, He comes” – and so he decided they should be praying more. He and a few friends from youth group started meeting at the church after school and praying for hours. He had no paradigm for understanding what he was doing(neither did his church leaders at the time!), but felt strongly that it was what God wanted. He eventually discovered places like IHOP-KC and realized he wasn’t alone! He took this with him when he left for college and carried a vision for more and more prayer – starting at 72 hours once a month, and building from there. They have a great discussion about the “sleeping giant” of traditional churches in the U.S.(especially in the South), about facing resistance when branching out in something new like Spirit-filled prayer. But they also both feel a shift happening, and believe God is doing something in those churches. If you find yourself in one of those churches, keep praying for them! Psalm 139 has been very impactful for Trace. It brought real encouragement during this Covid season, when many leaders have struggled with the decision to keep gathering or not. It lifted him up to consider the character of God in Psalm 139, that coming together to pray meant talking face to face with a God who knows us better than anyone. As Matthew points out, many house of prayer leaders start these prayer ministries for revival, but eventually they all realize that the real prize is just God’s presence, and revival is simply a byproduct. So who has stepped in and helped as a mentor for this very young leader? Local pastors. There was a church in his home state of Alabama that was very helpful and supportive that launched a campus in Mississippi as Trace was moving there for college, and then after getting married the local church was actually able to host their prayer room. Just regular pastors being willing to say yes to a young guy with big vision, and also showing up and praying alongside him. Matthew asks Trace to speak to those older ones in the church – how can those of us that are beyond the college/young adult phase of life help pour into what’s happening in the generations behind us? Trace says that showing up and praying with these younger kids is a lot more impactful than you probably realize. It may look different than it looked when you were in that season, but Trace says it’s about honoring each generation. And what about the younger ones? Trace says sometimes you have to just wait. They had a vision for a prayer room in 2015 but didn’t see it until 2017. He also says you have to be willing to change your mind, pay attention to what’s happening, and be humble enough to learn. Don’t be afraid to ask for spiritual mothers and fathers – don’t be afraid to be the one to reach out. What about the struggles? For Trace, hosting on a college campus means losing people every time someone graduates. It’s hard to pour in so hard, and then watch the seasons shift in ways beyond your control. But Trace goes back to Psalm 139 – it’s about God, and He doesn’t change. So what’s ahead for their crew? Trace says they felt like God wanted them to go back to their roots – those small living room gatherings. They didn’t totally understand, but then Covid hit and suddenly it made sense! They want to reach out to more small towns, to people that may feel like hosting prayer isn’t something that could happen where they live, and some alongside and equip those people. And Trace is doing more worship, hoping to travel some with that in the future. But their heartbeat, he says, is that ongoing prayer. Links from This Episode Trace at New HorizonRocks Cry Out (Trace’s Music) Key Scripture: Psalm 139 Subscribe to Presence Pioneers on Youtube Join our Email List The post #0061 – Discipling the NextGen in Prayer with Trace Vining appeared first on Presence Pioneers.
18 minutes | a month ago
#0060 – Keys to Persistent Prayer
In this quick teaching, Matthew goes through Luke 18 to find the keys Jesus gives us to be faithful in prayer. We won’t pray until we hear His word, and He won’t delay when He hears our prayers.Matthew Lilley When you look at this story in Luke 18, you first have to understand that this isn’t a comparison – it’s a contrast. He’s saying that if a widow can get a judge who is openly unjust to grant her justice, how much more will God, our Good Father, answer our prayers? It’s important to understand that we are approaching a loving Father, and not an angry judge, when we pray. In Luke 11, He touches on this again contrasting earthly fathers and our Heavenly Father. So the secret here would appear to be that when it comes to prayer, it’s not understanding prayer itself that matters as much as understanding Who we’re praying to. We also have to pay attention to who God says we are – we aren’t coming as a widow, or a slave, but as a son or daughter. We have a relationship with God that gives us access to come close to Him and lay out our requests. Then, He connects consistent prayer to having faith. You can also catch that thought in Romans 10:17 – the idea that faith is being aligned with His Word. What that means is, we’re reading the Bible and and believing it, so we are praying it – and that builds faith. Who God is, who we are, and what He wants to do on the Earth are what we find in the Bible that we have faith in. So that’s what we pray and how we pray. What is God’s justice that it says He’ll pour out? It’s His kingdom coming down. As He comes, He will confront evil and injustice in the world and in our own hearts. Now, God could do all of this by Himself in an instant, but He loves to work in partnership with humanity to bring His kingdom. That happens through prayer and intercession. The ultimate culmination of this will be Jesus coming back, which is the end goal of every prayer. That’s what the Bible points us to, and that’s where our hearts can find hope to keep praying. Key Scripture: Luke 18, Romans 10:17 Subscribe to Presence Pioneers on Youtube Join our Email List The post #0060 – Keys to Persistent Prayer appeared first on Presence Pioneers.
53 minutes | a month ago
#0059 – Pioneering a 24-7 House of Prayer with Brad Stroup
In today’s episode, Matthew connects with Brad Stroup, a prayer leader from the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas. They discuss Brad’s story and what it’s like to sustain daily prayer meetings, nonstop, for 15 years! Brad actually started out as a missionary in North Africa, but felt called away from that – so he stepped away, not knowing for sure what was next. In an encounter with the Holy Spirit, he heard very clearly that he was to start a 5 am prayer meeting the NEXT DAY and not stop until Jesus came back. He laughs that he had no idea what he was saying yes to, but said yes anyway. The next morning, he and a group of young adults started this prayer meeting at his home, and they’ve gone every day for the last 15 years! It’s gone from just that 5 am meeting to an extended group of sets, now from 5 am to 1 am, every single day. It started as a drive for revival for Brad, but as he went along, he felt more and more that it was simply because Jesus is worthy. It’s about rallying a group of people to express their love to God. And, he says, it’s how God gets His kingdom done! They started this prayer meeting not knowing why or what to pray. So, Brad says, they prayed 2 things : first, for more people (he jokes that they grew from 11 people to 3 people very quickly). And people started showing up! Random connections started occurring that led to their numbers actually going up instead of down. Second, they prayed for more houses of prayer to open up all over their area. Brad says they weren’t even sure why they prayed this, but they had to pray something. They started getting phone calls months later from the people starting these houses of prayer in these specific locations they’d prayed for, and eventually there were 30 houses of prayer in their city! Matthew then asks Brad to share the bible verses that have encouraged and sustained him over the years in this calling. His daily Bible reading plan the day they started was 2 Samuel 24, where David bought the dirt that would later be where the tabernacle was built. David refuses gifts from another man to use as sacrifices, making a profound statement : “I will not offer sacrifices to the Lord that cost me nothing.” This was encouragement to Brad, who was struggling with this brand new calling that didn’t look like the missions work he wanted to do. He accepted that this would be a sacrifice, and that sacrifices have a cost. Giving of time and resources to God, he says, can’t always come out of the abundance – sometimes it has to come out of lack. Just like the widow with the 2 mites, the tiniest offering that really is all we’ve got left is often the most touching to God’s heart. So what have been the hardest parts of this journey? For Brad, it’s been the transience of people in the prayer room. Of course, they’d prefer to have people be in it for life, but more often than not people are there for a season and then it’s time for them to move on. It’s hard to be the guy left over with the calling when everyone else gets to shift in and out sometimes! But it’s important, Brad says, to love people well in the transitions. Lastly, Matthew asks Brad about the importance of consistency. Brad says it’s all about the schedule. The single most important administrative role in the prayer movement is creating a schedule that people can stick to. It’s a lot of communicating, and shuffling, and readjusting. He compares it to WalMart – the only reason you can decide to go to WalMart anytime is because someone put together a schedule so that someone will always be there! They use the term “sacred trust” for the time commitment a person makes. They choose a 2 hour block somewhere within the prayer room’s schedule and commit to be there every week. It’s simple, but it lets people get in the door and experience it. Want to engage? Check out their internship! You can check out their live stream, but of course Brad encourages us to come on down and get in the room. Links from This Episode The Prayer Room Live Stream on YoutubeThe Prayer Room DFW Website Key Scripture: 2 Samuel 24, Isaiah 56 Subscribe to Presence Pioneers on Youtube Join our Email List The post #0059 – Pioneering a 24-7 House of Prayer with Brad Stroup appeared first on Presence Pioneers.
39 minutes | a month ago
#0058 – Every Christian’s Ministry – Ministry to the Lord
In this episode, Matthew shares a teaching from Facebook Live that he gave for Cassidy Campbell, a leader in Texas. He saved that video so that he could share it with the Presence Pioneers community as well! Cassidy starts by asking, what is the deal with ministering to God? Does Jesus even need to be ministered to? Matthew quotes Kirk Bennett as saying that not only is it important, it’s the most important thing we should do! A lot of people think that you have to be called into ministry, but if you look at Acts 13:1-3, it says that they were all ministering to the Lord, and then Paul and Barnabas got called out to go. That would indicate that everyone ministers, not just those who are called “Ministers”. But does God need ministry? That takes a shift in what we consider ministry. We don’t help God or give Him something He doesn’t have when we minister to Him. However, when we worship Him, we give Him something He loves. 1 Peter 2:9 says that we are a “royal priesthood” – every believer. So what do priests do? They interact with God, they worship and they offer sacrifices. That was how ministry to God worked in the Old Testament. Now we are to offer “spiritual sacrifices” like these, as His priests: Romans 12:1 says that we offer our bodies as sacrifices. This would be laying down our hearts and lives for Him. Hebrews 13:15 says to offer the sacrifice of praise – that’s where our worship comes in. Worship is not for us – it’s not about enjoying the music or the moment – it’s for God. Revelation 5:8 says that the elders are offering incense to God, and that incense is the prayers of the saints. So our prayers are a “pleasing aroma” to God that actually brings Him delight! So when you worship and pray, Matthew says to literally imagine Jesus there – because He is – and know that He is smiling! Cassidy jumps in to point out that this is similar to how we interact with our kids. A parent does not need their child, but they bring so much joy and delight. As Matthew puts it, while this is our duty to minister to God, it is also our Joy. God is a good Father who designed our duty to be the thing that brings us the greatest fulfillment. Intimacy with Jesus should also be our starting point for everything, but we often skip it because we’re chasing our vision and other ministries. And yet, this is where all the power comes from for all those other callings! It’s how Jesus started the Church – He told them to go and tarry and pray until the Holy Spirit came, and once the power came, they could rush out with power. It can feel silly, to be sure. Sitting in a room alone singing and praying doesn’t seem like a great use of our time. But if we can understand that we are ministering straight to God’s heart and bringing Him Joy when we do that, it’ll change everything. As Mike Bickle puts it, there are lovers and workers – and the lovers get way more done than the workers do. In the garden, in the very beginning, Adam and Eve were put there to be priests and kings. Genesis 2:15 says He put man there to “tend and keep it”. But when you realize that Moses wrote Genesis, in the middle of the Israelites caring for the Tabernacle, it jumps out that the phrase “tend and keep it” actually refers to priestly work in the sanctuary. So it would be more accurate to call the Garden of Eden a tabernacle or a sanctuary! The people of Israel, who Moses was writing for, would’ve read it as a priests job, not a gardener’s. God literally created humans to fill the earth with worship from the beginning! So when we minister to Him, we are connecting in with God’s original vision for humanity, and our calling from the beginning of time. Links from This Episode Cassidy on Facebook Key Scripture: Genesis 2:15, 1 Peter 2:9, Revelation 5:8, Romans 12:1, Hebrews 13:15 Subscribe to Presence Pioneers on Youtube Join our Email List The post #0058 – Every Christian’s Ministry – Ministry to the Lord appeared first on Presence Pioneers.
45 minutes | 2 months ago
#0057 – The 24-7 Worship Tent in Washington DC with Jason Hershey
In this episode, Matthew interviews Jason Hershey, the founder of David’s Tent DC. They go into the history, the victories, and the struggles. Matthew starts by asking Jason for his backstory – how on earth did he end up hosting a 24/7 worship tent on the National Mall for 5 years (and counting)? Jason started out in Lancaster, PA with a Mennonite pastor/dairy farmer for a father, working on the farm with his family. He feels he truly accepted Jesus after his brother came back from a mission trip to Asia, when Jason was 19. It was his first introduction to Grace. At 22, he joined YWAM and hoped to go to the nations full time, but he realized God was calling him to intercede for the U.S. This meant he moved his young family to DC, and began connecting with groups like JHOP, led by Lou Engle. In 2009 and 2010, he went through what he calls a “pruning season”, where his entire team left him and his wife there in DC and he had to lean into what God had said. He just started going to any prayer meeting he could find! In 2011, he did a 72 day fast with Lou Engle and the Circuit Rider Movement, and what was birthed out of that was David’s Tent. They went to the parks service to find a spot for 40 days to start, hoping to find a side park to set up, and they suggested them setting up on the Ellipse instead, in view of the White House. So they did 40 days in 2012 and 2013, 50 days in 2014, and on September 11th, 2015 (in honor of Amos 9:11), they began the 24/7 model that’s still going today. Matthew then asks him to expound on that pruning season – it’s a pretty common setback for people with big vision. So what did Jason learn in that season? He calls it “the dark night of the soul”. His advice is simply Isaiah 35 – Be strong, fear not, your God will come. It’s tempting to believe what’s happening is your fault, but he insists that if you can trust God, you will come out of the wilderness “leaning on your Beloved”, with deeper intimacy. God isn’t pruning the ministry, He’s pruning us. Looking back at David’s Tent over the last 9 years, Jason recalls the cookie jar. They have a prayer request cookie jar in the tent, where anyone passing through can write down a prayer request and then the staff will pray over it for 2 weeks. They’ve averaged 400-700 prayer requests in that cookie jar EVERY MONTH! Most of the time, there are 3-10 people in the tent, not huge crowds. It’s actually random people off the street – joggers will stop in, write it down, and jog out. Jason believes this proves that people are hungry for God. One woman flew back to DC from Georgia just to tell them that her daughter had been healed of depression after she put it in the cookie jar! That’s one of the special things about the tent setup – people can just wander in and experience what God’s doing. Committing to 24/7 prayer is “weird” enough, but committing to do it outdoors takes it to another level. Jason definitely got ostracized a bit for wanting to do prayer “instead of” missions, but he’s watched them converge at David’s Tent in a powerful way. So what are some of the challenges of sustaining this for years? Basically, he says, prayer doesn’t END the conflict – it starts it. You’re poking at things that the enemy wants left alone, and that will lead to attack. Often, it’s through relationships that he attacks, which can be heartbreaking. The other challenge is the nightwatch – he jokes that people are into the nightwatch for about 2 weeks tops. There’s also been a rise in issues with the homeless, since Covid has shut down the shelters. But Jason says the solution is to rejoice, and be glad that you can see the big picture. The team there believes in building from the Father’s House – He must be the strength of the house. They must be going deeper on a heart level, and not just powering through. It can’t just be in the tent – it must be in our lives. Links from This Episode David’s TentJason on Facebook Key Scripture: Matthew 5, Amos 9:11, Isaiah 35 Subscribe to Presence Pioneers on Youtube Join our Email List The post #0057 – The 24-7 Worship Tent in Washington DC with Jason Hershey appeared first on Presence Pioneers.
20 minutes | 2 months ago
Why Is God Always On A Mountain in the Bible?
In this episode, Matthew discusses the significance of mountains in scripture and how they relate to our access to God’s presence. There’s even a little pyramid/Babel talk in there. It’s a short teaching, so give it a quick listen! Matthew starts in the Garden of Eden, where many scholars believe there actually was a mountain. In Ezekiel 28, there seems to be a hint at that – “you were in Eden…you were on the holy mountain of God”. This would indicate that God had a mountain in Eden where He dwelt. It makes sense, then, that soon after humanity was kicked out of this garden, that in order to be like God they tried building the tower of Babel! In their experience, mountaintop heights were synonymous with God’s presence. Matthew believes that’s why in ancient history, people built pyramids and ziggurats to get closer to their gods. Moving forward in scripture, we look at the first time the word worship is used – and it’s Abraham taking Isaac up the mountain as a sacrifice. Later, when God is bringing His people out of Egypt, He says it’s so they can worship – and He brings them to Mt. Sinai. That’s where Moses has the incredible encounter with His presence where He calls them a kingdom of priests! It’s almost like God wanted to remind them of the access Adam and Eve had to Him in the garden, and to restore that access to His people. They didn’t get it in fullness, but that seems like what was in God’s heart. The next moment would be on Mount Zion – where David established his tent. Then, when the temple was established, it was on Mt. Moriah. Christian tradition even leans towards Jesus being crucified on a hill (although it doesn’t specifically say that in scriptures). So when God says He wants to manifest His presence, it seems to include mountains very often in scripture. Psalm 24:3 asks, “Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? And who may stand in His holy place?” This shows a link between ascending a hill or mountain and then being in God’s holy place. Looking more closely at Mount Zion, Matthew points out that while it’s a very important mountain in scripture, the only structure even built on it was David’s tent. Zion grows in its meaning as scripture progresses, sometimes meaning the actual mountain, sometimes Jerusalem, and sometimes meaning the entire nation of Israel. It became used as a place of worship AND of government. Psalm 9:11 says to sing to the Lord, who sits enthroned in Zion. Isaiah 56 shows God saying that He will “bring them to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer”. There are dozens of scriptures connecting God’s presence to mountains, specifically Zion! But we worship a King – Psalm 110 says He’s ruling out of Zion. So it’s not just a place of worship, but of authority and rule. Psalm 48 calls Zion the city of the Great King. In Hebrews 12, the writer brings up Mt. Zion to say that because of Jesus we have access again. This is where “Zion” changes to meaning a heavenly place. We don’t have to be in Jerusalem anymore to ascend the hill. We have access, through Jesus, to God’s presence where we are. And God calls us to be a generation of priests – so His heart is that we use that access He’s provided us, through giving up His Son, to come be in His presence. We are called to advance His kingdom on the earth for His glory, as his priests. Key Scripture: Psalm 65, Psalm 87:1-2, Joel 3:17, Psalm 6, Psalm 48 Subscribe to Presence Pioneers on Youtube Join our Email List The post Why Is God Always On A Mountain in the Bible? appeared first on Presence Pioneers.
23 minutes | 2 months ago
#0055 – Heart of a Presence Pioneer, pt 2 – Encore Presentation
In this episode, we get the rest of Matthew’s teaching last week on what it looks like to be a “Presence Pioneer”. Last week, we dove into Psalm 132, and we got as far as verse 1 (haha!). So this week we’ll dig into the rest of the chapter, and how it describes a pioneer of His presence. David makes has a vision and makes a vow in these verses, and his vision is a dwelling place and a resting place for God. These could be described as the same thing, but since the terms are used separately, Matthew looks into it a little deeper. The dwelling place would be God’s manifest presence – which is what David longed for. It’s different from His omnipresence; it’s what Jesus refers to when He talks about “2 or 3 gathering together”. It’s a special manifestation in a certain geographic location, and David wanted that for his city and nation. The phrase “resting place” here gives us some insight. We know God rests, because of the creation story. We know God doesn’t need rest, and He doesn’t get tired. His rest is a sign of completion – that His will has been done. On the 7th day, everything was perfect and His kingdom had come, so He rested as a seal on the completion of His will. Now, there is sin and wrong in the world. Instead of resting, He’s fighting for us. So a place that could be called a resting place for God would be somewhere that is fully submitted to His will – where His kingdom has come. David wanted his kingdom to be God’s kingdom. This is what moves David to make his vow, that he won’t rest or sleep until he finds a dwelling place for God. It’s definitely an overstatement, and David even says in another Psalm that God gives those He loves sleep. But his heart was that he wanted the norms of life interrupted – completely wrecked – until God had His right place. That heart that Matthew calls the “until” is the Presence Pioneer’s heart. It’s locking in with God’s zeal and saying “I’m in until Your presence and kingdom come”. It’s the heart Jesus had on earth. So Matthew encourages you – lean in to the vow. Be open to God interrupting your everyday life. Lock arms with the Holy Spirit until your city is changed. Be a Presence Pioneer right where you are. Key Scripture: Psalm 132 Subscribe to Presence Pioneers on Youtube Join our Email List The post #0055 – Heart of a Presence Pioneer, pt 2 – Encore Presentation appeared first on Presence Pioneers.
23 minutes | 2 months ago
#0054 – Heart of a Presence Pioneer, Part 1 (Encore Presentation)
In this “encore” episode, we go back to the very first episode of the podcast. We’ve had so many new listeners join in over the last year, it seemed right to go back and share some of these first episodes you may not have heard. This episode is the story behind what it means to be a Presence Pioneer – it’s a short teaching, but it’s packed with information and encouragement! Matthew starts out explaining the story behind the name Presence Pioneers. In 2013, he was praying with his friend Niko Peele (who has also been a guest on the podcast), and felt stirred to connect with prayer leaders all over North Carolina. As he looked, though, some of the people connecting in were prayer house leaders, but many were pastors, or holding tent gatherings, or part of other ministries like The Burn – and he wondered what on earth God was doing with this crew. The Matthew heard God say clearly that He wanted him to gather the Presence Pioneers, which was a phrase he’d never heard before. He also felt God impress on his heart Psalm 132, 133, and 134, which became the vision for Presence Pioneers. In Psalm 132, we hear David’s cry for a resting place for God. But he starts out mentioning his afflictions – what does that mean? If you look back to Psalm 69:9, he says his zealousness for the house of God brought reproach on him, didn’t understand him and made him “like a stranger”. David is an early “Presence Pioneer”, and a great example. His desire for making a place for God was a personal passion, not a job or even a ministry. It starts in the heart and flows out, not the other way around. Another Presence Pioneer Matthew has encountered was a woman in her 80’s, with the sweetest countenance and with decades of consistent prayer under her belt. When Matthew got to sit down with her and ask, “How do you keep praying?! How have you not just given up?”, he was expecting some practical tips or tricks to make yourself stay in it. Instead, she answered, “He won’t let me go.” She had learned that it was about His pursuit of her, not her ability to pursue Him. Just like David had learned to connect in with God’s zeal instead of sustaining his own, this sweet older woman had learned to lean into God’s faithfulness, instead of trying to work up her own faithfulness. When we stay connected to God, we are connected to the passion, zeal, and steadfastness that’s in Him. We partner with Him and don’t have to carry it ourselves. That sometimes means that the reproach mentioned in Psalm 69 also falls on a Presence Pioneer, but Matthew points out that this puts us in good company, as the same reproach drove Jesus to the cross. So how do we connect in to this zeal? Step one, Matthew says, is to read, sing and pray the word of God. Step two, get connected! Find other people who have this zeal, or the desire for it. Step 3, pray in the Spirit- this builds your faith in awesome ways. Step four, fast. There’s nothing like fasting to get your heart in the right position. Click Here to Give Towards Our Year-End #FundPrayer Campaign Subscribe to Presence Pioneers on Youtube Join our Email List Key Scripture: Psalm 69, Psalm 132, 133, 134 The post #0054 – Heart of a Presence Pioneer, Part 1 (Encore Presentation) appeared first on Presence Pioneers.
42 minutes | 2 months ago
#0053 – 100 Local Churches Hosting 24-7 Prayer with Trey Kent
In this episode, Matthew talks with Trey Kent, a pastor from Texas and leader of the groups Unceasing Prayer and America Prays, which unite churches all across the United States for prayer. Matthew starts off by having Trey clarify what exactly started this Austin Prays movement. It began 12 years ago with the thought, “What if 31 different churches each took a day a month and covered the city in 24/7 prayer?” Trey wasn’t aware of the prayer movement at the time – he just heard God’s heart for Austin and went with it. As this thing progressed, he realized that the prayer movement has sort of bypassed pastors, and the local church, and felt that pastors needed to step up. Trey and Matthew both believe this is the direction the prayer movement is going – engaging local church communities, and becoming part of the DNA of the Church. Now there are 100 churches in Austin, each taking 12 days of 24 hours of prayer a year (as they’ve grown, churches are now overlapping and sharing days). They don’t have a set of rules for how it should look for everyone- each church can decide how they want to cover those hours. And they started planning for 2021 this past summer, so that it can just keep growing into its 13th year. Trey jokes about how they’re not at the “Moravian level” yet, where they had a revival that kicked off over 100 years of night and day prayer, but he loves the model of planning for it to continue – he says there are documents from the period showing that people would bequeath their prayer time slot to their child upon death! The First and Second Great Awakening happened during this Moravian prayer movement, and we haven’t had another Great Awakening since. Trey believes that’s no coincidence. He’s seen a lot of heart changes in the local pastors and churches as this has grown. There’s something about extended times of prayer that makes people hungry for more. As they’ve persevered, it has naturally spread and grown into America Prays. Beyond that, they are reaching churches in OTHER countries now, helping them start night and day prayer in their cities across the world. He invites everyone to join into the prayer movement, to be part of this incredible time in history. As he puts it, if they can do it in Austin, Texas, you can do it anywhere. If you have a heart for your city and want to see this kind of prayer happening where you are, Trey encourages you to use the resources on their website (linked below), reach out to your pastor, and go for it! Focus on your local church first, he says, and then you can reach out to other local churches as you have some consistency and start to grow towards the 31 days. It will spread! As Trey puts it, very simply – you want to see your city changed? Then, pray for it. As a closing thought, Trey says that the “house of prayer” goes from an individual level to family, to churches, to nationwide, to worldwide. Realizing that it’s part of our identity as believers, all the time, will change our hearts and our cities. He encourages you to ask God what the next step is for you, and then step out in it. He will take you places you never imagined. Links from This Episode Unceasing PrayerAmerica PraysCity of Prayer (book by Trey Kent)The Hour That Changes The World (book by Dick Eastman)When People Pray (book by Brian Alarid) Key Scripture: 2 Chronicles 7:13 Subscribe to Presence Pioneers on Youtube Join the Presence Pioneers Email List The post #0053 – 100 Local Churches Hosting 24-7 Prayer with Trey Kent appeared first on Presence Pioneers.
41 minutes | 3 months ago
#0052 – Prayer & Humility in Times of Crisis – with Benjamin Nunez
In this episode, Matthew speaks with Benjamin Nunez, a house of prayer leader who began in Mexico and is now at IHOP Kansas City. They discuss what it looks like to pray faithfully, even in crisis, and what it can do for individuals and nations. Benjamin starts by sharing his story a bit – he was raised by Christian parents, accepted Jesus early in his childhood, and always enjoyed being around ministry that was happening. But as a young adult, the vision became clearer. He remembers realizing that his generation was called to something different, and feeling that God was calling him specifically to build a house of prayer. But what God said to him spoke very deeply – “I want you to build because I want you.” The impact of God’s love for him changed his life. It prepared him for the crisis of the war with the cartels in Mexico, when his little prayer house became a hub for the country and they launched 72 more houses of prayer over 10 years. In 2007, he remembers a push to legalize abortion in his state in Mexico, which is really progressive – and God told his little prayer group to fast for 3 days. The vote was looking like 70% in favor of abortion, and they knew that if change happened , it would have to be God. The day of the vote, they learned that the most pro-abortion legislator in the state had shown up drunk to vote and had accidentally swung the vote in favor of pro-life. He talks about how they prayed in a way that made them check the newspapers the next day, to see what God had done through their prayers. Amazing perspective! Next, Matthew asks about the tension between the kingdom being here, but also the kingdom still being yet to come. We’re longing for Jesus to return, but we’re also praying for change now. As Benjamin puts it, the Kingdom is in Heaven, but through prayer we have access to it. He knows that God says that darkness will increase towards the end, but that it’s for our good so that we can be humbled and see His power. Benjamin thinks the biggest mistake he made as a young leader was lack of humility and meekness. He now sees the wisdom of the biblical command to submit to your leaders – not because they’re right, but because of what it does in YOUR heart. The scripture that says that God resists the proud lit a fire under him – as he puts it, “I’d rather have 10,000 demons chasing me than God resisting me.” The other piece of advice he gives young leaders is to learn from dead people. Someone told him once that you don’t have enough time on earth to make every mistake and learn from it, but you can read the stories and lessons of those who have gone before you and receive the wisdom without having to make all the mistakes. So what’s God doing right now, in our time of crisis? Benjamin agrees with Matthew that God is trying to form humility. As he points out, God is preparing us to marry a Lamb. We’re going to the marriage supper of the Lamb, not a warrior. So humility will allow His church to be equally yoked with her Bridegroom. He admits that while it’s okay to pray for life to get easier, the Bible says that discipline makes us Holy. He knows from the pressure they were under in Mexico that the pressure we’re feeling now will force those who are on the fence, or lukewarm, to decide once and for all where they stand. God wants our hearts – He wants us. That’s why He’s willing to let us feel some pressure, to give us the opportunity to choose Him. To close, Matthew asks Benjamin to share his thoughts on Satan as the accuser of the brethren, as he’s called in Revelation. As Benji points out, Satan can be called any horrible thing you can think of – murderer, liar, etc – but his final identity, revealed in Revelation, is Accuser. That’s his main point of authority, and it’s his main tool against the Church. If he can get us to participate in accusing each other, or God, or ourselves, he can keep us from participating in God’s plan. At the end of things, though, when Satan is cast down, the Unity of the Church is manifested and the Kingdom can come down. But Benjamin says we shouldn’t wait until then – we know Satan’s plan and should actively work with God to dismantle it. What an incredible calling! Links from This Episode IHOP – KCPassion for Jesus (book by Mike Bickle)Benjamin’s Facebook page Key Scripture: Zechariah 3:1-3 , Revelation 12, Hebrews 12 Subscribe to Presence Pioneers on Youtube: Http://youtube.com/presencepioneers.com Join our Email List: http://eepurl.com/gfw9vH The post #0052 – Prayer & Humility in Times of Crisis – with Benjamin Nunez appeared first on Presence Pioneers.
23 minutes | 3 months ago
#0051 – Christmas, Forerunners and Jesus’ Return
In this episode, Matthew talks about what it means to be a forerunner. There were people in the story line preparing the way when Jesus came the first time, and there will be people called to do the same thing when He comes back! Most of us are familiar with the story of Jesus’ birth – what people now call the Christmas story. But Matthew points out right away that one of his favorite parts of that story is all of the secondary characters. It shows that God wanted to include people in His story line! He could have just manifested or sent angels for each part – Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth,Anna, Simeon – but His heart was to work with us and through us to bring His kingdom. The people like the wise men and shepherds weren’t necessarily prepared to be part of the story, although they certainly rose to the occasion. But you can see, especially in Luke, that there’s some history with some of the characters. An angel comes to talk Mary through what’s going to happen to her, and she embraces her role. Anna is at the temple praying for decades before she gets to see Jesus. God always brings Heaven to Earth in partnership with humanity. When you look at Anna’s story, it says she stayed in the temple day and night for 84 years. It also calls her a prophet. But, Matthew says, she’s also an evangelist! It says that when she saw Jesus, she went and told people about Him. She isn’t just an inspiration for us, though – she’s a type and example of the Church before Jesus’ return. We’ll be a praying, prophetic people who are in tune with God’s plan and also evangelists in the great harvest. Anna was positioned in partnership with God through her prayer and worship. Anna was a forerunner to Jesus’ coming – but John the Baptist was a forerunner to His ministry. If you look in Luke 1, John was prepared from in the womb for his calling as a forerunner! He’s mentioned as far back as Isaiah as the one who will prepare the way for the Messiah. John operated in the “Spirit and the Power of Elijah” – which means…? In Matthew 17, the people ask Jesus if John actually is the one who comes with this spirit and power. Jesus’ response is interesting. He basically said that Elijah has already come, as John the Baptist, but also that he is still coming. He’s pointing out that the Kingdom has come and is still coming at the same time. God is moving through His people, like His kingdom, even in the brokenness. So what does it mean NOW to be a forerunner? Matthew thinks the description of John the Baptist in Isaiah 43 is a good “job description”. Forerunners are “forged in the wilderness” of fasting and prayer. This is the challenging season that prepares forerunners – David being chased by Saul, Israel wandering in the desert – but it builds our dependence on God. Song of Solomon 5 gives the picture of the woman coming out of the wilderness “leaning on her Beloved” – which is a picture of our posture as the Church when we come through the wilderness. We’re also the “voice that cries in the wilderness”! Forerunners come from a place of intimacy, and emerge as prophetic messengers. They can see what’s coming and prepare the way. The problem is, you can’t skip steps or hang out too long in one place. Some people want the voice and authority but haven’t been “forged” in their wilderness season yet, and it becomes a burden rather than empowering. Some people enjoy the intimacy in the wilderness and never want to leave – but God’s plan is for us to come out from that place and be a voice. We have to live in the tension! Then, forerunners are intercessors. They’re praying His plan, and bringing people in. We’re working in partnership with God to see that Kingdom come. So as we celebrate Jesus’ birth in the coming weeks, let’s remember the people God used to bring that to bear and agree to say YES to being those people for when He comes again! Key Scripture: Luke 1-3, Isaiah 43 The post #0051 – Christmas, Forerunners and Jesus’ Return appeared first on Presence Pioneers.
26 minutes | 3 months ago
#0050 – Giveaways & Testimonies: Thanksgiving 2020 Special
In this episode, Matthew and Shepard take a look back at 2020. They focus on gratitude, thanking the Presence Pioneers partners, listeners, and guests. In between the (amazing!) giveaways, they discuss testimonies from the past year and plans for the end of the year. Linked below are all of the books and episodes mentioned in the episode – but you have to listen to see if you’re a winner! Niko Peele – Make Us One – Episode 17 and Episode 18 Randy Martinez – The Joseph Journey – Episode 35 Billy Humphrey – Unceasing – Episode 29 David Sliker – The Nations Rage – Episode 46 David Fritch – Enthroned – Episode 7 and Episode 43 They look back at some of their favorite episodes from the first 50, and also give a shout out to Johan, who edits the episodes and was on an episode himself! Kirk Bennett – Episode 41 Jose Diaz – Episode 36 Johan Heinrichs- Episode 31 Adam was A Worship Leader, Not A Gardener – Episode 47 Matthew takes a few minutes to look to the future, discuss the Charisma Podcast Network, and mention the #fundprayer campaign coming up. But most importantly, this episode is just to show our gratitude on the Presence Pioneers team for all the people who have made these episodes possible- and if you’re reading this, that includes YOU! Thank you! The post #0050 – Giveaways & Testimonies: Thanksgiving 2020 Special appeared first on Presence Pioneers.
44 minutes | 3 months ago
#0049 – The Davidic Worship Revolution – Peter Leithart
In today’s episode, Matthew sits down with Peter Leithart, a Presbyterian Minister with 2 masters degrees, 10 kids, and a PhD. They’ll discuss what the Bible says about worship. Currently, Dr. Leithart is in a training and teaching position at the Theopolis Institute. He has a focus on liturgy, and how worshipping biblically can affect us. He believes that it starts in Genesis 2, and flows through to Revelation 21 and 22 – There’s an image of a place of worship that has an outflow that affects the world. In his eyes, worship has a missional dimension. Matthew starts the discussion of David’s Tabernacle by asking how Dr. Leithart even got into studying it – because not many people do! Dr. Leithart credits his mentor, James Jordan, first. Jordan pointed out in the Psalms that David references the temple, but there was no temple in his day – his son Solomon built it. David also has an emphasis on music rather than sacrifice. Then, he read the book The Lord’s Song, by John Kleinig. That book points out the role of music in Chronicles and how David set it up. He also came across The Tabernacle of David by Kevin Conner, which highlighted to Dr. Leithart how unusual the tabernacle of David was and how much there was to explore. This is what paved the way for his own book. In the Presbyterian Church, worship is always based in biblical truth, and David seemed to go off in his own direction. The tabernacle of Moses was still around, so why did David create his own? Why did he shift from animal sacrifice to music? How were Gentiles able to care for it (like in Gath)? How was David able to sit down and just talk to God in the sanctuary, right in front of the ark? And when the temple was built, by Solomon, why did all these go back to how they had been before? 1 Chronicles is the main source of information on David’s tabernacle. In Leviticus, the language that describes animal sacrifice is the same language used later to describe the songs in David’s tabernacle. The common word is “memorial”, a sacrifice that “helps” God remember His promises. The same word is used to describe the Psalms that recount the good things God has done for His people, and asking Him to do it again. It’s described as “reminding” God, but it’s really more about building up the people’s faith that He’ll do it again. As Dr. Leithart puts it, we’re better equipped for the future when we’re rooted in the past. Before David, only Melchizedek was able to function as priest AND king. Dr. Leithart believes that’s a defining moment for David’s reign and Israel’s history. Solomon was able to do some things that were considered priestly, but nowhere near the intimacy of David or Melchizedek. The next man who could function as priest AND king? Jesus. Next, they focus in on the musical aspect. In Moses’ tabernacle, there were sometimes trumpets referenced, but no singing. By the time Solomon’s temple was established, they went back to animal sacrifice, but included singers. The imagery is that the voices rose with the smoke and made it to God. This points forward to modern Christian worship, where it’s only song and no animal sacrifice. Dr. Leithart describes it as our life’s breath rising instead of the animal’s life blood. It’s a true sacrifice of praise. And as he points out, if the music replaced the animal sacrificed and those animal sacrifices were integral to the worship, how much more, then, should music be integral to our worship? He references James Jordan as saying that music is a glorification of the words you’re singing. He also points out the role of the Holy Spirit in music. He looks to Paul, who says “Be filled with the Spirit, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, making melody in your heart.” It seems to be an immediate effect of being filled with the Spirit! Dr. Leithart believes this reflects the Trinity – God is a speaker, Jesus is the Word, and the Spirit is the one who glorifies that Word – making the Holy Spirit like the music of the Trinity. So if we’re filled with the Spirit, music is the natural overflow. It’s carried through all the way to Revelation, when singing in Heaven precedes the coming of the Lamb. There’s a solid connection between the worship of the tabernacle of David and the worship happening in Heaven as described in Revelation. Links from This Episode Theopolis InstituteThe Lord’s Song (book)The Tabernacle of David (book)From Silence to Song (Peter’s book) Key Scripture: Genesis 2, Ephesians 5, Amos 9, 1 Chronicles, Revelation 4&5 The post #0049 – The Davidic Worship Revolution – Peter Leithart appeared first on Presence Pioneers.
24 minutes | 4 months ago
#0048 -Speaking in Tongues & Praying in The Spirit
In this episode,Matthew teaches on a somewhat controversial topic – speaking in tongues. Matthew starts by looking at Paul, and his statements in 1 Corinthians. He actually says in chapter 14 that he prays in tongues “more than anyone” at the church in Corinth, which is described as a spirit-filled church. If praying in tongues was such an important part of Paul’s prayer life, shouldn’t we stop and consider that for ourselves? Then, Paul also says “I wish you all spoke with tongues” – that’s pretty clear! This would indicate that it is a good thing for Christians to use. When he speaks about the gifts of the Spirit, he says we should pursue those. What does the Bible actually say about tongues? There appear to be two broad categories. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul says “though I speak with tongues of men and tongues of angels” in his famous passage about Love. This would appear to be referencing the “tongues” (or in other words, languages) that Paul uses by the power of the Holy Spirit. There’s the earthly languages of men, and the heavenly language of angels. An example of “the tongues of men” is Acts 2, when the disciples are filled with the Spirit and begin preaching, and everyone hears them in their own language. It was supernatural, but it was still languages of men. This happens in pioneering mission groups – when people are trying to teach the gospel to those whose language they don’t know. He gives us supernatural ability to speak to each other. The other type is the “tongues of angels” – heavenly languages. These are obviously languages that we don’t understand. Paul even says that it needs to be “interpreted”. In Acts 2, nothing needed to be interpreted because the people understood right away. With heavenly language, the Holy Spirit has to help us understand. This is usually what people think of when they think of tongues. Paul says in chapter 14 that these tongues are a way to speak to God, not to men. He also says that praying in tongues is to edify ourselves, whereas prophesy is for edifying others. Then, he say we should pray to understand what we’re praying in tongues – there’s also a gift of interpretation. Matthew does focus in on the prayer aspect of this for a moment. Paul says that praying in tongues is praying in the Spirit. The goal isn’t to speak another language, it’s to interact with God. Praying in tongues can make way for vision, for revelation, and for strengthening our hearts. It creates space to receive from God. The Bible also indicates that praying in tongues is a form of spiritual warfare in Ephesians 6, when it describes the sword of the Spirit. Praying in the spirit can often turn into intercession! So, what does it feel like when you pray in tongues? Matthew shares his own journey. It’s a partnership with the Holy Spirit, of him stepping out in faith. He even says that when he first started praying in tongues as a teenager, he often felt like he was making it up, because it didn’t feel “super spiritual”. But the reality is that if we’re filled with the Holy Spirit, the supernatural feels more natural. It’s not about God controlling our mouths, but about us opening our mouths in faith and God flowing out. There have been scientific studies done on what happens to our brains when we speak in tongues, and it’s interesting because the speech part of their brains weren’t engaged in the process – it’s like God totally bypasses it. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like a “flow” at first, it feels more intentional. But if you can press in, something changes and the flow begins. It’s like exercising a muscle. Matthew considers it a gift and a joy, and hopes that you begin to use it in your personal prayer time. You can simply ask God to help you – and because He’s a good father, He will! Related Links to This Episode Youtube Video of Praying in Tongues During an MRIEpisode 44 on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit Key Scripture: 1 Corinthians 12, 13, 14, John 7:38-39, Psalm 81:10, Jude 2, Ephesians 6, Acts 2 The post #0048 -Speaking in Tongues & Praying in The Spirit appeared first on Presence Pioneers.
21 minutes | 4 months ago
#0047 – Adam was a Worship Leader, Not a Gardener
In this episode, Matthew gives a quick teaching on our role as worship leaders (not just the musician kind), starting with Adam and ending with Jesus. We are all called to be priests and kings! What does that mean, though? It really just means that we are here to minister to God. We do that through our worship, and through our love. Our job is to keep the earth a resting place for God’s presence. In Genesis, God created the Earth to be a place for worship of Him. We tend to think of the Garden of Eden as a modern vegetable garden, with Adam as a farmer. If you dig a little deeper, the Garden was actually set up as a temple. It was set up as a sanctuary for God’s presence, and Adam and Eve were there to steward that part as well. In Genesis 2:15, God tells them to “tend and to keep” the Garden. This is actually the same language used for the Levites with the Tabernacle in Moses’ day! To “tend” actually means to serve or minister. They were there to “tend” to God. When He tells them to be fruitful and multiply, He’s referring to multiplying the sacred space where He dwells. That makes it less of a stretch to call Adam a Worship Leader! And THIS is why we exist – to worship God, to spread the places where His glory dwells across the Earth. This is also why Adam and Eve failed as priests – they let the enemy in to the sacred place and allowed sin to create a boundary. If we fast forward to Revelation, we see that language again – that we will be “priests and kings unto Him forever”. Matthew takes a minute here to blow through the parallels in Genesis and Revelation – it’s epic! But what this basically means is that we will function as worship leaders forever. Not in the current sense, but in the real sense – creating space for God’s presence. So Jesus coming back was a step towards restoring us to this role! The priestly model is important to understand in the culture we live in now – where everyone wants a stage, every worship leader wants to have the next hit song, our “likes” are priority number 1 – but the priest ministers directly to God, even when no one sees. There are things you can get from God that you can’t get anywhere else – it’s why He made us to crave intimacy with Him! It all circles back – Genesis to Revelation – to His zealous Love for us and wanting to give us more of Himself. Key Scripture: 1 Peter 2:9, Revelation 1:6, Revelation 5:10, Hebrews 4:14-16 The post #0047 – Adam was a Worship Leader, Not a Gardener appeared first on Presence Pioneers.
50 minutes | 4 months ago
#0045 – Revival in a Bar on Bourbon Street – w/ Chris Burns
In this episode, Matthew catches up with Chris Burns – author, worship leader, and most definitely a presence pioneer. Key Scripture: 2 Samuel 10, Acts 16, Song of Solomon 5, John 4 Links from This Episode Chris’ Site (e-course, music, booking info, podcast)Sons of Thunder ProphecyPioneers of His Presence Book Episode Description Chris got radically saved at 19 while touring with his band, and had no background in the church. He jumped right into leading worship and found himself enjoying extended, prophetic times of worship right away. He loved finding others who felt that, and it’s taken him all over the country – from Ohio, to San Francisco, to New Orleans, and many places in between. Fast forward to now, leading a worship movement out of a bar on Bourbon Street – right in the middle of the French Quarter! While serving in San Francisco, he got a call that a bar owner in New Orleans had gotten saved and wanted to bring someone in to host worship in his bar. Chris agreed, and began an adventure he wasn’t expecting. Instead of just being another worship event he traveled to lead, it quickly became clear that this was a God-ordained moment in time. All he did was show up to worship, and as he puts it, God showed up. Not only were these worship nights filling the bar and wrecking the people who were there to worship, but from the street, it looks like such a great party that drunk people are wandering in and immediately getting touched by God and saved on the spot. It’s been so impactful that Chris and his family have now moved to New Orleans to plug in more permanently. And Chris doesn’t believe it’s a move that’s only for Bourbon Street. He believes they’re seeing a part of what God wants everywhere! As Matthew points out, we are seeing more and more of this “public space” worship happening with groups like the Burn and Awaken the Dawn. Covid restrictions even seem to be fueling this movement rather than hindering it, as more and more churches and organizations move services outdoors to allow for spacing out. Chris says he gets asked a lot if they’ll turn the bar into a church as things grow and evolve, and his answer is that it IS a church – it’s just one that sinners come to. They are more along the lines of Jesus as the One who hung out with the sinners where they were. They just open the doors and worship, and “church” happens. For now, at least, he feels like that’s the format they’re called to. For his last point, Chris looks back to the revivals of history. He submits that when God introduces a new way to worship, He does it outside the four walls of the church. Songs used for worship were actually well-known bar and pub songs that people re-wrote the words to, so that everyone could sing along. This was God stepping outside of the church and reaching people where they were. That’s what Chris believes is happening in the church now with these new expressions of worship! As a closing encouragement, Chris says this : We must be a priest in secret first, and that when we do step out, these things don’t look amazing at first. There’s something to being faithful in the small things that gives you strength to sustain as it grows. And finally, he says simply – don’t miss it! The post #0045 – Revival in a Bar on Bourbon Street – w/ Chris Burns appeared first on Presence Pioneers.
21 minutes | 5 months ago
#0044 – Power to Pray Through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit
Basically, we need help to live our lives for God. In this episode, Matthew dives in to how to get that help from the Holy Spirit. Key Scripture: Ephesians 5:18-19, Ephesians 6:19, 1 Corinthians 14:15, Jude 1:20, John 20:22, Luke 24, Acts 1:4&5, Acts 2, Acts 8, Acts 19 Episode Description Matthew starts out listing several verses that indicate our need for the Holy Spirit in order to pray or worship (all are listed above). So it’s clear that the Bible is saying we need help! We need the Holy Spirit to be present in our lives. He believes that the baptism of the Holy Spirit can be an ongoing thing in our lives, but often we don’t really know how to ask for or receive it. If you look in John chapter 20, after Jesus is resurrected, He interacts with His disciples and He “breathes on them” for them to receive the Holy Spirit. But hold on – in Luke 24, Jesus tells them to stay in the city after His death until they receive “power from on high”. That’s referring to Acts chapter 1, when they’re waiting in the city until they all receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. So why did Jesus breathe on them to receive the Holy Spirit but also tell them to wait for the Holy Spirit? Did they receive the Holy Spirit or not? Matthew is saying that in John, when Jesus breathes on the disciples, they received the Holy Spirit the way we do when we accept Jesus. That’s what people sometimes refer to as the “indwelling” of the Holy Spirit in us. The disciples couldn’t fully accept Jesus as their savior before this moment because He hadn’t died for their sins and resurrected until this moment(even though they definitely had faith). So this is their moment of salvation and becoming a temple for the Holy Spirit. But they were still told to wait for the power of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. In Acts chapter 2, we see that moment. This is a different experience with the Holy Spirit than when Jesus breathed on them. This is what they refer to as being “clothed with power” from the Holy Spirit. In Acts 8, it says that while Philip was teaching, as people believed they received salvation and were filled with the Spirit. Then in verse 14, the disciples sent Peter and John to come pray for these new believers so the Holy Spirit would “fall on them”. They had been baptized in water, but not yet in the Holy Spirit. Using Jesus as an example, in Matthew 1:18 it says He was born of the Holy Spirit. Jesus didn’t need to be born again like we do, because He never sinned. But in Matthew chapter 3, Jesus was baptized in water, and that’s when the Holy Spirit rested on Him (“like a dove”), while He was fully man. Even Jesus, because He was fully man, needed that interaction where the Holy Spirit came down on Him. How much more, then, do we? What results do we see in these stories from this baptism of the Holy Spirit? First, we see boldness. Boldness to do the ministry they’ve been called to do. Then, we see the gifts of the Spirit – like speaking in tongues and prophesying. Also, there’s an assurance of sonship and identity. Jesus is a good example. For us, the bible refers to it as a spirit of adoption. There’s the supernatural power to worship and pray – like in Ephesians 5:18. The indicator is that the power of the Holy Spirit enables us to worship and pray in a sustainable and impactful way. There are people who believe that being baptized or filled by the Holy Spirit is a one time thing, but scripture would seem to show that it can happen to us more than once, like the disciples in Acts 2 and again in Acts 4. In Ephesians 5:18, the Hebrew is in “present progressive tense” which would literally translate to “be being filled with the Holy Spirit”. This shows that it’s an ongoing process. It’s a relationship with the Holy Spirit. The purpose of the Holy Spirit is power and identity. Power to love one another, power to love God. The Bible openly says to pursue those gifts of the Spirit. So, pursue Him! The post #0044 – Power to Pray Through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit appeared first on Presence Pioneers.
43 minutes | 5 months ago
#0043 – Encountering Jesus in the Bible w/ David Fritch
In this episode, Matthew catches up again with David Fritch, discussing his new course. David takes us through some ways to study the Bible that take it from a struggle to something supernatural. Key Scripture: Luke 24:13-35 Links from This Episode David’s WebsiteSupernatural Bible Study CourseDavid’s Book, EnthronedThe Bible Project Episode Description David began his deep dive with the Bible when he was asked to teach a college class on studying the Bible, and he realized he didn’t actually know how to do that for himself! He had been through bible college, but having to walk with his students on their journey learning how to really study the scriptures changed his life. It’s one thing to know the facts of the Bible (still good), but he realized that the goal of the Bible was to lead us into a deep relationship with God. So before you begin, David says you must realize that you need supernatural assistance. There are things in the Bible that only reach your heart via the Holy Spirit. Next, David goes over a 3 step process to help you: 1 – Observation. Ask simple questions about what you’re reading. What’s really happening in this passage? This is the who, what, when, where, how part. 2 – Interpretation – So what does it mean? This is the “why”. David says for this step it’s imperative that we come as students, knowing that the Bible never contradicts itself, instead of searching for a specific verse we can use to prove our point. 3 – Application – This is the prayerful part. How does what you’ve just read impact your life when you get up from reading? While these are the steps David gives to help you make the best of your time in the Bible, he points out that the most important step is actually reading your Bible. The average Christian reads the Bible maybe once a week. Compare that to all the other sources of information coming at you in a typical day! If you never pick it up, the Bible never has the chance to affect your worldview. It makes it very easy to misinterpret when you do decide to pick it up. Last, David goes through some practical ideas for praying the Bible. He uses Psalm 23 as his example. He suggests reading a verse or two and then praying it – whether thanking God for whatever truth is in it, praying it over yourself, or praying it as intercession over someone else. Even in the tougher passages, you can simply say to God, “Help me understand this and why You wanted it in here.” It’s all about reading the Book with the Author. The post #0043 – Encountering Jesus in the Bible w/ David Fritch appeared first on Presence Pioneers.
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