After George Muller had been sick for a while he related an experience during that period when the Lord helped him in prayer.
“No sooner had I begun to pray than His Spirit shone into my soul and gave me such a spirit of prayer as I have not enjoyed for many weeks. He graciously revived His work in my heart. I enjoyed that nearness to God and fervency in prayer for more than an hour. My soul had been panting for many weeks for this sweet experience.”
I believe this is an experience many believers can relate with, in one fashion or another. Since I am an intercessor like Muller, I find God’s presence in fervent prayer, but I know many others experience the presence and nearness of God in worship. David did, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.” (Ps. 42:1). I’ve sensed this in majestic scenes of God’s beautiful creation, not just awe at the beauty, but His Spirit shining into my soul to produce thanksgiving, adoration, contrition, and renewal.
These are not productions of our own longing, though we may yearn for Him. It is a work in our heart or soul by God; this is Spirit connecting to Spirit, but initiated by the Lord Yeshua. Our weakness and neediness or circumstances may or may not have anything to do with it, but it is a humbling thing to be in His presence. Even so, our God is Love, and a loving God, so Muller’s use of “sweet” is quite apropos.
Do you allow time for God to meet with you? He will not force Himself on you, love is not that way. Do you pant and yearn for God’s presence, patiently waiting for Him in humility. “My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.” (Ps. 84:2). You might get paper and pencil to help you stay focused. Write as you pour out your soul to Him, and write what you hear in your heart – scriptures, prayers, hymns – keep silent, still your anxious thoughts, wait on the Lord. Give thanks and offer praises