How to build your personal prayer altar: Suzette Hattingh at Momentum 2018
Dr Suzette Hattingh speaking at Momentum 2018.
“If we don’t have a personal revival, we cannot be part of a national revival,” Dr Suzette Hattingh declared at Momentum 2018 on May 1.
Speaking about the need for Singaporeans to rebuild their personal prayer altar, Hattingh told the attendees at the sold-out Star Vista Theatre: “When God wants to bring a true revival – a true outpouring of the Spirit – He will bring it to the same level as the prayer in the land.
“God is preparing the nation for a harvest. God is dealing with our destiny for the nations.”
As she paced across the stage, the 61-year-old doctor asked the rhetorical question of why we have prayer meetings or personal altars in the first place: “Our personal altar is not just for us to be personally blessed. The personal altar of God is the beginning of revival.
“You cannot give what you don’t have. Whatever flows out of your spirit will touch others – nothing more, nothing less!”
But, she said, it takes discipline to grow the passion for prayer at the personal altar.
“People always ask me if I wake up excited to pray everyday. The truth is I wake up, and the first thing I say to God is, ‘God you made this night – but you made it mighty short!’
“Though prayer wasn’t my first passion, I made it my first discipline. Now it’s my first passion and discipline – a lifestyle.”
WHAT IS THE PERSONAL ALTAR OF PRAYER?
While she said she believes in being prescriptive and directive about prayer, the key is not the exact format of prayer, said Dr Hattingh. The key is to be praying at all.
“The issue is not how we pray. The issue is that we pray. Prayer is not about how long we pray. It’s not about an hour or a half hour. It’s about making time to meet my beloved – to love God,” she told the audience of 6,000 at the LoveSingapore event.
“My personal altar is where I meet with the Lord. It’s not a place – it’s where you commune with God. Whatever form it takes – it’s between you and God.
“Some shout, some speak in tongues. I don’t believe in recipes … I believe in the presence of God!”
God is preparing the nation for a harvest. God is dealing with our destiny for the nations.
HOW TO BUILD YOUR PERSONAL ALTAR
Dr Hattingh, who began her ministry interceding for Reinhard Bonnke’s evangelistic rallies, gave some handles on building a personal prayer altar, based on her own daily communion with God.
1. Worship, because your first love is Jesus
“The personal altar for me is the place where I must touch God before I can touch the people. Jesus gave us the pattern. He fellowshipped with the Father – loved the Father – then He loved those around Him,” she said.
“I love the Lord so that I can love people who I love. My personal time with God is not just to intercede or ask for things – my first and utmost responsibility is to love God.
“We are called to be a lover of God before we are a pastor or a leader.”
Here she lowered her voice, to almost a tender whisper: “Our first call is to be a pleasure unto God, and from there flows out everything else we do.”
Dr Hattingh warned that you can keep a daily prayer altar but lose sight of your love of God; a prayer discipline can devolve into a routine. “Losing your first love does not mean losing zeal, it means losing focus,” she said.
Sharing about a time when she was burnt out with prayer, Hattingh said: “My whole prayer life had become about what God must do for us, instead of just loving Him.
“You need to build your own fire if you want fire. So at 4am I will start worshipping. If you’ve ever heard me, you’ll know my singing kills the living and raises the dead – but it doesn’t matter.
Alone in my room, I start worshipping God. “My altar of passion has to burn high before I even dare to pray for others. You are only as strong as your personal altar.”
2. Words released, because we worship a God of revelation
“After you have worshipped and magnified Jesus, don’t stop there. It’s only the beginning. From that place, you become God’s mouthpiece from your personal altar!”
Her voice dropping to a whisper, Dr Hattingh referenced Matthew 6:4. “What you pray in secret, God reveals in the open.”
She added: “In the Holy of Holies, you’re in there not just for you to be blessed. That task you have is to start releasing things into the spiritual realm.”
Your task at the personal altar, is to be able to speak on behalf of God, because Christ is in you.
We must have a thirst to hear the word of God, said Dr Hattingh. And we must have the confidence that His Word is good and true.
“The spirit of God in you is a Creative Spirit – the same one that raised Christ from the dead, the same one that gives you words that release life into the Church. The same spirit that moved on the day of Creation, that raised Christ from the dead, that fell on the day of Pentecost!” she declared.
“We need to understand, at that personal place with Jesus alone, we become the voice and channel – the very vehicle of what God has shown to us – so that God can use our everything to start speaking into the emptiness of Singapore!
“Your task at the personal altar, is to be able to speak on behalf of God, because Christ is in you (Colossians 1:27).”
3. Wage war in the spiritual realm, because you are God’s mouthpiece
God speaks to us for a reason, said Dr Hattingh, citing Isaiah 55:11. “So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
Because God has a plan for us to be the “vehicles” of His message, Christians must move to the next level of hunger to build our personal prayer altars, she said.
“Move on from the place where just you are blessed – just enjoying Jesus. Move to the place where we contend for the destiny of our life, nation and nations.
“If we can have 6,000 people releasing everyday the fruit of what God wants into the spiritual realm – Singapore will be getting ready for revival!”
But Dr Hattingh said that the responsibility falls on believers to respond and speak up in faith. If Singapore, the “Antioch of Asia” fails to rise up to the calling, the surrounding nations suffer, she said sombrely.
“If you don’t speak, you rob your land from healing. You rob your nation from its destiny – the nations from your nation’s destiny!
“Move on from the usual place, you have the Creative Spirit of God within you. Move on to your destiny – to be a worship channel of what God wants to say over the land, so that its destiny can be fulfilled.”