Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.
This week, The International House of Prayer of Kansas City celebrated their ten-year anniversary. While it did not start having prayer and worship 24/7 until a few months later, on May 7th 1999 Mike Bickle launched IHOP with a vision for round the clock prayer and worship. Though there are many reasons that 24/7 prayer is really the wisest thing to be doing in this hour of history, the psalmist lays forth really the best reason for why we do what we do… God is worth it.
Beyond all else, there is this reality that God is worthy of wasting our lives on, he is worthy of people living off support, changing their sleep schedule, wasting occupations and talents, and worthy of being praised and worshiped every hour of everyday. God is either one who answers prayer, who hears the sound of our voice and acts, or else he doesn’t. If he does, then there is nothing wiser to give yourself to than prayer, and if he doesn’t, then there is really no reason to do anything for him. IHOP was founded on four standards, or Heart Values, with have been foundational to the formation of the vision of this House and the ministry here. While they are traditionally some of the most overlooked or misunderstood subjects in the Body of Christ, still the Lord has highlighted them to be the foundation of what we do, as a House and as the Church-body worldwide.
- Intercession: commitment 24/7 prayer and worship
- Holiness: a Sermon on the Mount lifestyle of 100-fold obedience
- Offerings: extravagant giving to the poor and needy
- Prevailing Faith/Prophetic: Persevering in the prophetic promises and having faith for the in breaking of God’s power.
For the last ten years IHOP has been a signpost to the nation, encouraging the prayer movement worldwide to go after the high vision of raising up intercessors to contend for God’s purposes on the earth. The prayer room is a furnace for forging forerunners who will go forth to call the nations to the reality of the return of the Lord. The fact that there are a people in the earth who have given themselves to prayer in such a way, to what Bob Jones calls “the place of the watchful and the wise,” should serve as a prophesy to all the world that God is doing something in this generation. Even is the weakness of what we do, the immaturity of its expression and the barrenness of its reality, the fact that there are a people going for prayer and calling others to do the same, and the fact that many are responding, should awaken our hearts, my heart, to the reality that there is something bigger than me going on. We talk a lot at IHOP about signing up again. What we mean is that we sort of get in a groove, get comfortable, and relax and every once and a while we need something to come along, wake us up, remind us of what we came here for, of the wisdom of what we are doing and call us to go hard again. After ten years of prayer, and me having only been here for the last ten months, I am stuck once more of the reality I am a part of this, that this House in my House, even in the limited time I have been here, that it is a part of my history and its promises become my promises, that what I am doing, even the weakness with which I do it is still wisdom, that we really need intercession, that we need to raise up messengers to go to the nations, to go to the church, to awaken the Bride from her slumber and to call a people to repentance. This is what we came here for. So once again, every night, every day, worship ascends from what the natural eye would call the most insignificant of rooms on the planet, offered up by the most insignificant band of people and yet it touches God’s heart, he calls it wisdom and he will respond. We contend for the release of the promises to his people. We still believe that to the church without mixture he will give the Spirit without measure, that there will be a prayer room in this city where and young man or woman can come at 2:00 in the morning and be delivered, that there will be a day when no disease known to man will stand before a people of diligent worshipers and intercessors. And we still believe in the coming forth of a Church, of the Bride, without spot or wrinkle, which will rise up with healing in her wings, which will overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of her testimony, that will shake off the dust and the lethargy and will answer the heartbeat and cry of heaven, that their might be a people united to him in Love, that the Lamb would have the reward of his suffering and that he would receive in us, his inheritance.
May Newsletter (PDF)