The Feeling is Mutual
When you hear things like, “Seek my Face continually…” (Ps. 105:4), “Men should always pray and never stop…” (Lk 18:1), “Pray in the Spirit always…” (Eph. 6:18), and “Pray without ceasing…” (1 Thess. 5:17), do you hear a call to dutiful discipline or do you hear the voice of someone longing for unbroken communion with you? You might want to reread these verses with the understanding that “The Spirit that lives in us wants us to be his own” (James 4:5 God’s Word Translation). I know that we talk much about our longing and hunger for the Lord but have you considered the Spirit’s longing for us? Our communion with the Spirit is the result of mutual longing.
William Seymour was desperate for the fullness of the Holy Spirit. He had such a hunger for more that he gave himself earnestly to the secret place five hours a day for two years. He wasn’t satisfied. Seymour asked God, “What else can I do?” The Spirit spoke to him and said, “Pray More.” Seymour then changed his five hours a day to now seven hours a day. He continued in secret prayer seven hours a day for another year and a half. The result was a glorification of the Spirit, not just in Seymour, but one that would have a historic impact called the Azusa Street Revival.
John G. Lake said of Seymour’s hunger, “God had put such a hunger into that man’s heart that when the fire of God came it glorified him. I do not believe any other man in modern times had a more wonderful deluge of God in his life than God gave to that dear fellow, and the glory and power of a real Pentecost swept the world. He [Seymour] preached to my congregation of ten thousand people when the glory and power of God was upon his spirit, and men shook and trembled and cried to God. God was in him.”
When you hear this story do you say, “Wow, what a price?” or do you say, “Wow, what a communion?” Are we hung up on the price or in awe of the glory that came with that depth of communion in the Spirit? Make sure to listen to the Spirit’s longing in this story, “Seymour, I want you to pray more.” The Spirit is longing for an unbroken communion with this man! What an honor and permission!
Do you hear your name being called inside Seymour’s witness? I believe Seymour positioned himself in the secret place for what we all should crave, the “Pray more,” “the pray always,” the place of unbroken communion with the Holy Spirit. The result was a glorification of the Holy Spirit for something historic and I’m so glad he responded to the Spirit’s longing for him to “Pray more.” The Holy Spirit’s longing for communion wasn’t going away. Seymour’s longing for the Spirit wasn’t going away. Don’t ignore the longing. The feeling is mutual.