I seek to understand things from a Biblical world view. When I refer to encountering God, I start with the fact that we live in a universe where the infinite God is also personal. He desires to be known by each person on our planet. This desire to be known is the reason He came to this world in the person of Jesus Christ. Knowing Jesus begins with our acknowledgement that His death on the cross was necessary because we had turned away from Him and His standards. But it does not end there. Knowing Him more and more will be a key part of the life we will enjoy forever. So, in this life – between our surrender to Him and our eternal home with Him – knowing Him is of primary importance.
We know Him more as we encounter Him in some manner. So, when I reference encountering God, I am referring to times which result in a person knowing and enjoying Him more.
The word encounter carries several elements with it. There is an element of surprise. We can’t plan them, but we can anticipate and respond to them. The word also suggests impact. When we have an encounter with God, we are changed.
Some of these may seem very minor as when I am reminded of His greatness by viewing part of His creation. Some of them may seem much more significant as when He restores part of my broken soul through helping me forgive someone who deeply offended me. These encounters may take place as I read His word or hear it preached, as I ponder His plans, as I appreciate others He has put in my life, or as I sing with others in deep worship.
I have experienced many encounters like this during times of corporate prayer. And I have witnessed many others having similar encounters with Him in the context of corporate prayer. In fact, I have concluded that corporate prayer is an environment where God enjoys encountering us. This is why I have written this book. This is why my prayer is that it will be a great tool for you and others as you seek to facilitate more and better corporate prayer.