Our Personal Journey
Our journey began in the mid-seventies when I was stationed on a Navy ship that frequented ports around the Mediterranean Sea. Some of the ports of call were Cadiz, Barcelona, Naples, Malta, Palma de Mallorca, Gibraltar; to name a few. I later returned to Spain where we have built friendships and ministered in churches since 1986. Since then there has been a growing sense of a worldwide move of God which would also involve Spain and the Mediterranean regions. With that in mind we have sought to carry out the Lord’s will in fostering prayer born out of love for Him and His bride, bringing together many streams Christians for unified prayer.
My wife Debbie and I moved to Kansas City, Missouri in 2010 after living for fifteen years in Virginia. Our reasons were to be involved in what we began to see as the “marriage of missions and prayer.” It was obvious that the single most resounding cry from the mission field was for more prayer while the fuel for those in the place of prayer is mission. We moved to Kansas City to tap into the vast resource of intercessory missions to seek the promotion of the Gospel in the most difficult areas of the world. My wife became part of the Global Prayer Room staff while I was asked to be part of a pastoral role in the fellowship. Our role in the community is more relational than administrative or leadership.
I want to preface my thoughts with the fact that much has been written about prayer yet it is still the least practiced grace. Some have said that prayer is the Christian’s spiritual breath. John Bunyan, a Puritan writer said, “You can do more than pray after you have prayed but you can not do more than pray until you have prayed. It is important to talk to men about God but it is much more important to talk to God about men…” As I share my thoughts I feel that affective prayer, as James describes, “The effectual prayer of a righteous man is powerful” is needed before we take more action. But it should not eliminate action. As much as we depend on God, He also is depending on us to carry out His revealed will but only in close relation to Him and not in exclusion of it. The house of prayer is the power-house from which all of our work should originate.
Prayer alone is not the answer. Why should we pray if God is not listening? There is a small but important clause in the promises Jesus gave to His disciples, “If you obey my commandment…” His commandment was that we love one another, unfortunately, much of the church, especially in the west, has specialized more at promoting their brand of faith while discrediting others. This will not stand in the place of prayer. If you don’t love your brother, then don’t come to pray either. You’re not being heard! It is for this reason so many movements are hindered. On the other hand the power and frequency of answered prayer is a marvel when we are in humble and obedient relation to God and loving one another.
In our times of 24/7 prayer I have often imagined the earth from the Lord’s vantage point. “The eyes of the Lord roam throughout the earth seeking to strengthen those who’s hearts are fully committed to Him” (2 Chronicles 16:9). He looks on a city and sees small flickering spiritual fires of prayer rising but then becomes captivated by the column of incense rising from a place that meets the criteria of a “spiritual tabernacle of David.” The scriptures say that His presence comes to “rest” amidst such gatherings.
The International House of Prayer in Kansas City (IHOPKC)
We recently met with a Kansas City pastor of forty five years, who is also personally known to IHOPKC founder Mike Bickle since he was a teenager. I asked this pastor if he has seen a difference in the last fifteen years since the beginning of 24/7 prayer in the city. His response was immediate and firm, “Yes! There are things happening in Kansas City that we would never have imagined. The church is coming together in unity where before it seemed impossible.”
Though I am not leader or staff member of the the International House of Prayer (IHOPKC) I have studied the concepts, theology, practices and have grown close to many, including some in the leadership. I compare this to the fifteen years span of working with Operation Mobilization and other ministries; it is replete with people who love God, who are broken and struggle. The truth is that it is a reflection of the global church, weak and flawed but dear the the Lord. I often have read the accusations and criticism on the web and ask if these people writing have ever been here and talked, face to face, with anyone in this community. Or do they have an eschatology that includes the rejection of others who call on Christ because they are different? Do they, in fact, know future events as portrayed in Scripture?
The official start of the IHOPKC 24/7 prayer was in 1999 but there was thirty years of groundwork in prayer, prophecy and watching God work. Like any organization there are many places to find weakness; we are all growing. One, outstanding reality of the Kansas City International House of Prayer (IHOPKC) is that it has influenced millions to follow suit in a passionate pursuit of Jesus. The passion to know and proclaim the excellencies of Christ to all people. That is why the prayer room in the house of prayer is more than a place of petitions, it is a place of extravagant worship, lifting up the name of the Lord Jesus and declaring His excellencies.
For the most part, the IHOPKC is a young people’s movement with some who have left sinful and or personal pursuits in order to serve the Lord in intercession for nations. There is also a desire to do works of justice which include feeding the poor, setting free captives (human trafficking) healing the brokenhearted as well as preaching the Gospel. The prayer room is the central pillar from which all the other ministries are supported.
In conjunction with all this, I have studied and grown in understanding of the escatalogical significance related to a prayer movement which will encompass the earth before the Lord returns. The upward focus and understanding of our eternal, intimate relationship with the Lord in a place of adoring worship and prayer, paves the way to understanding our partnership together with the Lord in a victory over darkness which leads the way to His glorious appearing.