By Stephanie Pridgen
I hope one day to travel the world sharing the message of Christ with those who have not heard. Its been a dream of mine for years. My passport lies blank just begging to be used. Books of different countries lay stacked on a shelf in my bedroom. CDs boasting learn such-and-such language while you drive fill my CD case, though I havent learned a single one yet.
Standing before God recently I proclaimed, Here I am, send me! Ill go to Africa. Ill go to Bulgaria. Ill go anywhere you call me, just send me! After what I deemed such a radical petition, Gods answer came. If you never step foot in another country, am I enough for you? This echoed in my heart for weeks. My lips silent, afraid to produce an answer.
See, the adventure God has proposed for me is not the journey I would have picked out of my list of potentials. In all honesty, it wasnt even on the list! He has sent me on a mission of prayer, worship and fasting.
For quite a while now I have prayed, Lord, I know theres more to life than this rat race of the American dream. I want to impact the world! Then God spoke into my heart to do an internship with the International House of Prayer in Atlanta (IHOP-ATL). This wasnt the direction and impact I was looking for, so for over a year Ive tried to ignore and reason it away.
IHOP-ATL is one of several places in the earth with a 24/7 reality of intercession and worship going up before the Father. In my mind, spending thirty or forty hours a week in a room with God, praying and fasting, didnt conjure up exciting images. In fact, the jungle seemed a lot more exciting, not to mention safer! I rationalized that I could do a lot more for Him somewhere else. What is sitting in a prayer room really going to accomplish?
As God dropped that question into my heart a few weeks ago, it all became painfully clear. Theres been too much I in my plans and not enough Your will be done, Lord. My pride believed that I could do more for God by traveling around the world than God could release through prayer.
See, when we worship and intercede, the atmosphere is changed, the power of God is released, and ministry becomes more effective. The first commandment to love God with our all is restored, and we become empowered and energized to fulfill the second commandment to go and love others.
There is no distance barrier in prayer. Nations can be touched through intercession for governments and people. Exalting God in prayer and worship is imperative for the work of God to be fully accomplished in the earth. There is no comparison between having the presence of God in our city or having money, power and the newest luxury car.
My heart is still for the nations. I hope that God will open that door for me one day. Yet, if God asks of me to stay in a prayer room, I will answer the call to stand in the gap for those He does choose to send and for those people who have yet to hear the message of Christ. It is my desire to see God lifted high and for His church to walk in love and in power.
So in a couple of weeks, I will pack up my belongings. I will leave my nice house, conveniently located near the dollar theater. I will leave both of my jobs and begin my internship at IHOP. I dont know how my bills will be paid. At this point, I dont even know how my internship tuition will be covered. That isnt to be considered reckless, though. When you have heard a clear word from God, it requires action. All I know is that God said Go, and the only running I desire now is to run headlong into Him.
Stephanie Pridgen is just your average twenty-something, who immensely enjoys Starbucks white chocolate mochas and a good book. She is looking forward to her upcoming internship at IHOP-ATL where she will have the privilege of seeing God transform lives and cities, and where she will finally have a good reason to sit up all night and sleep all day.