THE RIVER PRINCIPLE
By Kim Johnson
And he shewed me pure river of water of life clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. REVELATION 22:1
Reverend Nathaniel Haney describes prayer as being much like the flow of a river. All rivers have a starting point and usually end up flowing into a larger body of water. As you follow a river’s edge you will observe that the river curves, taking on different depths and widths. You may have noticed that where a river is wide and deep the water does not appear to be moving. Yet, as the river bed becomes narrower and shallower, you will see the current with the same amount of water begin to churn. As it churns, it turns into what is called “white water” or rapids. White water moves with great force and swiftness. As you near the end of the white water, the flow of the river appears to slow as the river begins to deepen, producing a refreshing quietness and stillness.
The quality of time you spend in prayer can be dramatically increased by learning how to flow in the river of God’s Spirit. At times in prayer, it will seem as if you are not moving at all, and yet at other times, it’s as if you are rafting through white water. It is in these contrasting times of quietness and exhilaration that you learn how to flow with the Spirit of God,
Often, after an exhilarating move of the Spirit, you will find yourself winding down into a time of quietness and calmness in the Holy Ghost, At this point you may mistakenly think that you are through praying—you’re not, hold on! Though it may appear to be a stopping point, this is often the time that God desires to speak to you. You have entered into a place in the Spirit that even though the waters are still, the river is still moving, and the waters are deep.
In this deep, still place God speaks to your heart. As you wait, He may impress a thought or a Scripture on your heart for you to meditate on, You will also experience a renewal of your strength, for it is written, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31). Your mind will be renewed, and you will take hold of God’s promises as you gently float in the river of God’s Spirit. If you stay there long enough, the river’s intensity will escalate again and push you on through more white water of the Spirit until you find yourself in another quiet cove of glory, nestled in the heart of God.
If you can learn this principle of prayer you can spend all day in prayer.
How to Get into the River
There are two ways to get into a river. You can either wade in slowly or jump right in. It is the same when you are entering into the river of the Spirit. There will be times when you enter slowly through praise and worship, and then there will be times when you jump right in with inter cession. In either case, you always enter into the river with an attitude of humility and holy reverence. When you humble yourself in His presence, He will lift you into His glory.
As your spirit unites with His, be sensitive to the impressions placed upon your spirit. Worship may lead you into a season of repentance, which may lead you into a time of weeping and supplication (humble petition) for your needs and the needs of others. Then a shift in the Spirit may come, and you may begin to intercede for your city or nation. Your intercession may be followed with a calm and quiet time. During this time, the Lord desires to talk with you. He may impress a song or Scripture upon your heart. He may give you a promise or revelation as you wait upon him. After a time of quietness, you may feel the Spirit beginning to stir you again. Jesus may drop a need into your heart and suddenly you’re again riding the white water of intercession. The moanings and groanings of travail may overtake your heart until you feel a release. After a break through, you will find yourself, once again, nestled in a quiet place with God, receiving strength to move ahead.
When you learn to flow in the river of God’s Spirit, you will find there is a place in the Spirit where you can minister to the Lord. The Bible is full of examples of those who ministered to the Lord. Acts 13:2 mentions, ‘As they ministered to the Lord. . .“ Deuteronomy 10:8 states, “At that time the Lord separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to minister unto him, and to bless in his name, unto this day.” I Samuel 3:1 says, “And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli.”
In what ways can you minister to the Lord?
• Whatever the present need of the Lord is, you can help carry that burden in prayer.
• Talk to Him not only about His mighty acts, but also about His commandments and His ways.
• Meditate in His Word day and night. Meditate means “to speak to oneself repetitively.”
• You fulfill the highest purpose of your creation when you love Him and worship Him.
To reiterate, prayer is a conversation with God. Sometimes it’s quiet and still, and at other times it’s so exhilarating you can hardly contain yourself. Sometimes you are ministering to the Lord, and sometimes the Lord is ministering to you! When you are involved in prayer, you are involved in a real relationship with a real God Who can hear you, see you, talk with you, and touch you with His divine presence!
John 7:37-3 9 says, “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”