…as in, “the embryonic stages of my journey back to Kansas City.”
Hi, all. So it’s been nearly two months since my last post… my bad. I’ve been back working at my outdoor science school in the mountains of SoCal for about six weeks now. I love being here. I work with some completely amazing people who inspire me every single day. It definitely does feel like being home, and I’ve loved discovering what God has in store for me during this season.
I know I’ve been mentioning going back to Kansas City in the near future. Yep, I am going back in August to start IHOPU, even though when I started OTI I had ZERO intention of that happening! Here’s the story of how that changed.
One Tuesday morning in the internship, we had a class on Joel and what it says about the role of the church in the period of history in which Jesus returns. (Hint: our main role is to PRAY.) At one point, our teacher asked us to name different verses about the end-time praying church. We shouted out references like Revelation 22:17, Isaiah 42, and Luke 18:6-8, and like a diligent student I scribbled them all down in my notes.
That night in the prayer room, at about 11:30 pm, I decided to get started on my assigned meditation for the week, which was Luke 18:6-8.
And the Lord said,“Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
I didn’t even realise that it had been on the list in class that morning, so I looked it up and thought, “Oh, the parable of the persistent widow– I know this story. Pray persistently, I get it, yada yada… I guess I ought to do it properly, though.” So I started journaling through the passage phrase by phrase like I always did on my meditation verses. The first few phrases were simple enough, and I thought it was cool that the verse highlighted “day and night” prayer just like IHOP is dedicated to, but then I started getting confused.
“‘Speedily’?” I thought. “Since when does God ever do anything speedily? Okay, this is just motivation to keep praying, because from God’s perspective it’s speedy, even though from our perspective justice may take forever to come.” And then I got to “when the Son of Man comes,” and got even more lost. I’d read this verse hundreds of times before, and never understood why Jesus made this sudden abrupt reference to his return.
Then I thought, Oh snap, this just became an end-times verse, and it suddenly all made sense. When God stirs his church up to pray day and night, it is because he IS planning to do something speedily. This is the faith that he’s looking for when he comes.
And it suddenly hit me that this verse had been on the board that morning. I frantically dug out my notes, and there it was– end-time praying church, Luke 18:6-8.
As soon as all that clicked, I realised in shock,
This is our story. This is MY story!
This verse is the very reason I am sitting in this room right now!
I still love the way God blinded me to the reality of this verse for YEARS when it was staring me right in the face until the time was right to blow my mind personally and lead me into my calling. I am wholeheartedly convinced that in one way or another I’ll be a part of the house of prayer/praying church/forerunner movement for the rest of my life.
My immediate reaction was along the lines of, “This is what’s happening! Jesus is REALLY coming back REALLY soon and the very fact that the Spirit is stirring us up with faith to pray day and night means that he’s coming SPEEDILY to bring justice to the earth and HOLY CRAP I’m right in the middle of it!!!!” I wrote in my journal that night, “He is looking for his faithful elect who will cry out day and night for the return of the Son of Man, the Righteous Judge.” And the path that was instantly crystal clear to me was to come back to Cali, work at camp for a while while keeping up with IHOPU online, and then return to start Year 2 in the fall. I’ve been figuring out some of the details, but I haven’t deviated from that plan since.
I’ll be working at camp till the beginning of June, then do a summer program called SEEP to catch up and be ready for IHOPU in the fall. SEEP runs June 17 – August 9 and I would (95% sure) do it online from Rancho. It’s a pretty intense program, especially since it includes 8 hours/week of required prayer room time. I’d probably do as many of those hours as possible at The Refuge, my local house of prayer. I’d love to also pick up a very small part-time job, possibly at the restaurant I used to work at. I could do SEEP in Kansas City, but I feel that doing it at home would allow me to 1) save two months of rent money! 2) get involved with an actual local church community again, probably The Refuge, 3) “test-drive” the lifestyle in a more “normal” environment, 4) get actual HOP experience outside of IHOPKC, and 5) spend more time with my family who hardly ever see me anymore.
At IHOPU I’ll be part of the Forerunner School of Ministry (FSM) and during years 3 and 4, if I stay that long, I’ll be on the house of prayer leadership track. Theoretically, after that I’ll go… somewhere… and plant a house of prayer.
So there are a lot of things that still aren’t perfectly worked out, but for the next few months at least I have my trajectory, and I am confident that this is what God is leading me into.
I would very much appreciate your prayers for the details to all work out, for financial provision (I may end up doing support letters this time, once I really get into IHOPU), and for me not to miss what God has for me in the here and now, even as I’m looking forward to the next season.