Pasadena Ministry Trip part 2: USC Outreach and PIHOP Prayer Room

The continuing saga of my IHOPU ministry trip to Pasadena, April 10-20.

Tara and I love PIHOP.

Tara and I love PIHOP.

Monday was our first full day in Pasadena. We ate breakfast together and had our morning briefing at 7:00, as would become our tradition. We then spent 8:00-10:00 in the prayer room at PIHOP (Pasadena House of Prayer).

PIHOP is not in any way directly affiliated with IHOPKC, but they are inspired by some of the same vision and use some of the same format. PIHOP’s prayer room is located in the historic Mott Auditorium on the Frontier Ventures campus and is open nearly 24 hours, 6 days a week. They have chosen to close on Sundays so people can participate in their own local churches. It was a real treat for our team to see how another house of prayer functions. As it turns out, their style and format is nearly identical to the harp and bowl model we use at IHOPKC. Since their community is smaller and is not on such a global stage, they have the freedom to be a little less structured at times, which was a fun treat for us to experience.

The prayer room at PIHOP

Some of our team serving with PIHOP’s team in the prayer room later in the week

In the afternoon, we piled in our vans and drove to the USC (University of Southern California) to meet up with the leaders of United House of Prayer on the USC campus (they have an AWESOME VIDEO you should watch!) and also of a recent church plant for USC students called The Warehouse. Wesley Hall, the pastor of the Warehouse, gave us a briefing on doing outreach on campus, and then we headed out to worship and to meet some students.

Briefing with Wes at UHOP

Briefing with Wes at the UHOP prayer room

Our outreach strategy was simple: We ate a lot of pizza (hallelujah) and established a central beachhead of ongoing worship and prayer at one of the fountains on campus. We had one guitar, a trash can which served as a drum (our class has actually gotten really good at this technique during our UMKC prayer meetings), and our own voices, which we had to project to be heard over the fountain. From there, we broke up into two-person teams to spread out around the campus and engage people in conversation to pray for them, prophesy over them, heal them, and ultimately and share the gospel as the Holy Spirit led.

Worship and intercession at USC

Worship and prayer at USC

The atmosphere on campus posed a challenge for us because everyone was in such a dang hurry! It seemed every other person was on a bike whizzing past us, and those who weren’t had earbuds in and were walking like they were on a mission. USC is a very driven and competitive school; many students are taking a heavy classload and two or even three majors!

Even with all the bustle, a number of people were able to have really good conversations and get to pray with osme of the students. My partner and I met a Jewish girl named Cava. The only reason she stopped to talk to us is that we had been asking God to show us who He wanted us to talk to, and He told us to look for someone with red hair. Cava was the first readhead we saw, and she was pretty tripped out that she was on our “treasure hunt” list! She allowed us to pray for her and she really got touched, and I know Jesus is continuing to pursue her heart. Especially since she’s a daughter of Israel– she has a legacy and a destiny that she can’t even imagine!

Another awesome testimony from that afternoon came from a few of our girls who had the chance to talk with and pray for a guy by the fountain who happened to be a Christian. They prophesied over him (by which I mean they spoke the impressions that God was putting on their hearts for him, which described him perfectly and was exactly what he needed to hear) and he was blown away! He said he had studied what the Bible says about the gift of prophecy in the church,* but had never seen it in action. They explained to him how simple it is to hear the voice of God for another person, and invited him to try it. He and one of the girls started praying for the other girl, and as he was praying he did indeed start feeling a word from the Lord for her! He spoke it out, and it was dead accurate and actually moved her to tears. He was thrilled that he could actually hear God’s voice and God would use him to speak His heart to others, and she was personally encouraged and so excited to see God teach him to prophesy like that!

That night we were served dinner by an Arminian church that one of our IHOPU friends not on the trip belonged to, and they were incredibly generous and hospitable. Connecting with our spiritual family from around the world was one of the great honours of this trip.

We wrapped up the evening with an intercession set in the PIHOP prayer room. We prayed for kids in the Los Angeles foster system. I was so proud of my team, that even for those of us who had never before thought to pray for this issue, we knew it was on God’s heart, and we had been sent there to pray, so pray we did.

This is how we pray.

This is how we pray.

That night was our trip coach’s (the main staff leader) birthday, so we decorated the courtyard of our dorm building and hosted a (good-neighbourly quiet) little surprise birthday celebration for him! Matt Kossler has poured out so much for this trip and he is truly one of the kindest, strongest, most encouraging human beings I know. We were all blessed to get to serve with him.

And that was our Monday. Stay tuned for more Pasadena adventures coming soon! Tuesday was possibly the craziest day of all…

*Since I mentioned prophecy… here are a few highlights, from 1 Corinthians 14 (read it ALL!) and others:

“Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy…. the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation… if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you… For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged.” 1 Corinthians 14:1, 3, 24-25, 31

“I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy…” Acts 2:17

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27

“…For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Revelation 19:10

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