Keeping the Fire on the Altar in DFW

Over the weekend of November 7-9, I drove down to Arlington, TX (Dallas-Ft. Worth area) to visit a ministry called The Prayer Room (TPR)TPR is a small house of prayer compared to IHOPKC, but reportedly it’s the fourth largest in the US. They operate with mostly volunteer staff, though some are full-time missionary staff, and have live worship and prayer 18 hours a day (5 am – 11 pm) 7 days a week. Like IHOPKC, they have a vision for the prayer movement being strategic in God’s plan of global preparation for Jesus’ return.TPR DFW

I first encountered TPR in the spring when their director Brad Stroup and a few of their staff came to IHOPU to speak at our externship expo. I fell in love with their heart immediately. As Brad was sharing their vision, he passionately emphasised the fact that Jesus is worthy of night and day adoration, and shared the story of a word he received from God a number of years ago: “Start a daily prayer meeting tomorrow morning at 5:00 a.m. and don’t stop until I come back.” And thus daily 5:00 a.m. prayer meetings began, and hours have only ever increased since.

They came back in the fall for our next externship expo, and this time I was able to have a late meeting with them after Friday evening EGS service. We planned to go to a coffee shop, but it closed at nine so we met instead at a Burger King! We had a great talk getting to know each other over milkshakes and it seemed they connected with me as strongly as I connected with them.

TPR offers preview weekends to groups of IHOPU students who want to come down and experience their ministry for a few days. I went with eight other IHOPU students and they hosted us splendidly! The entire community was so gracious. They paid for most of our gas, put us up in host homes, fed us deliciously, took us hiking, and really expended effort to know us and to allow us to know them.

TPR externs and staff with visiting IHOPU students on a giant Texas-shaped Texas flag. (I'm fourth from the left.)

TPR externs and staff with visiting IHOPU students on a giant Texas-shaped Texas flag. (I’m fourth from the left.)

The Prayer Room

Saturday morning in the prayer room

Since I am used to the 2000+ community of IHOPKC, TPR felt small indeed. Most of their worship sets have just one person playing and singing, and often there are only a few people in the room. On Saturday morning, I was sitting in the room while one girl played and sang to Jesus on piano, and it was forcing me to ask whether I really believe in this enough to do it when I don’t have the full support structure of IHOPKC around me.

As I sat in the orange pews, I watched the small candle suspended over the altar in the front of the room. The flame was small, but it was steady and it was real. I felt God saying to me, “Yes, it’s small, but they’re doing it. They’re keeping the fire on the altar. (Leviticus 6:13) My heart is so moved by this.”

"Fire shall be kept burning on the altar continually; it shall not go out." Leviticus 6:13

“Fire shall be kept burning on the altar continually; it shall not go out.” Leviticus 6:13

The answer is YES. I believe in this. I didn’t say yes to the prayer movement for IHOPKC; I said yes for Jesus. This is real, whether it’s in a huge globally broadcast 24/7 prayer room in Kansas City, or in a small rented sanctuary with just a faithful few in orange pews in Arlington, Texas.

I decided that weekend that this is where I’m going to spend my fall semester next year serving on my externship. I even told Brad that I’m hoping to be able to lead worship! (Gulp.) I felt so at home there, and I can’t imagine a better place to spend three months learning how to take ownership of a small house of prayer and even how to plant one in the future! God is doing big things in Texas, and I want to be part of the story God is telling there.

If you’re an IHOPU student interested in visiting The Prayer Room DFW for a preview weekend, please talk to me, or contact TPR directly via their website: theprayerroomdfw.com

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Monday Night Worship | Fragrance Arise
  2. Trackback: Better Than a Thousand Elsewhere | Fragrance Arise

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