3 Truths That Keep Me Coming Back to the Prayer Room

…And None of Them Are Actually About Me.

I’m five years into this prayer room lifestyle now. And to be honest, every day is not sunshine and rainbows and oceans of glory. Motivation is sorely lacking sometimes. So when I’m not feeling it, here are the core truths that keep me coming back. (You’ll notice that none of them are really about me. That’s because the house of prayer is primarily something GOD established for GOD, and any blessing I get is just a bonus.)

1. Jesus is worthy.

No matter how I feel, Jesus is still the name above every other name and the angels are still singing “Holy, holy, holy… Worthy is the Lamb that was slain.” (Revelation 4:8, 5:12). I actually believe that the greatest injustice in the earth is that Jesus does not get the worship that He is due from every heart worldwide. I can’t change that singlehandedly overnight, but I can do my best to make sure He gets everything He deserves from my life.

2. Jesus wants to talk to me more than I want to talk to Him.

I am so dull of heart sometimes. Like, a lot of times. My flesh can so easily convince me on that I’m okay without having a real conversation with God that day. That’s probably the biggest lie my flesh tells me: “You’re fine. It’s okay. It doesn’t matter.” And so I zone out in the prayer room, or choose to endlessly scroll through Facebook at home. But the truth is that Jesus wants to talk to me way more than I want to talk to Him. Some days the only thing that can get me out of bed to go to the prayer room is the fact that Jesus says “Let Me see your face, let Me hear your voice.” (Song of Solomon 2:14) He really wants to talk with me, and He misses that connection time when I’m not there. I may feel like I’m fine if I miss out for a day, but how dare I deprive Jesus of something He so earnestly desires.

3. This is part of a big, big story.

The house of prayer — corporate, sustained gatherings specifically focussed on worship and intercession, especially 24/7 — has been on God’s heart for a long, long time, to the point that the first thing He did in establishing a nation for himself was to establish the house of prayer (the tabernacle of Moses). David took this idea even further in his tabernacle model, and God promised to reestablish David’s tabernacle in the final generation. (Amos 9:11) The Church will be a praying, singing, lovesick Bride that functions as a house of prayer and partners with God to push back the darkness, bring forth revival, and usher in the return of Jesus. My getting out of bed to go to the prayer room is literally part of God’s strategy to prepare the earth for the second coming. It doesn’t get much more epic than that.

Awakening the Dawn at 5:00 am

1488133000879_image-2

Every Saturday night after service as I’m getting into bed at about 11:00 pm, I set my alarm for 3:45 am. The goal is to be out the door by 4:25, backpack and tea (earl grey, hot) in hand. It takes me about five minutes to drive to my destination. I rarely see more than three or four cars on the road. The Starbucks I pass isn’t even open that early.

But I have a fire to start.

The Prayer Room is open 18 hours a day, 5:00 am to 11:00 pm, every day, no matter what. Literally. We’ve NEVER missed a day since we started 11 years ago, and only two or three times have we ever missed so much as a single minute.

Every Sunday I have the privilege of serving as the morning section leader and opening The Prayer Room at 5:00 am with (usually) two other people. Sometimes it’s just me and my worship leader. He always starts playing his guitar a minute or two before 5:00, so that when the clock shows those zeroes the fire is already on the altar. At 5:00, I pray an opening prayer over the room, which usually goes something like this:

“Good morning, Jesus. We love You. Thank You for another day we get to sing love songs to You for 18 hours straight. We ask that Your presence would fill this place today, that You would speak and move however You want… You are so, so worthy of all of this and more.”

And then I get to sit and pace and sing and pray in that room for the next six hours (I do spend a bit of that time in the lobby as I’m ushering) overseeing the fire on the altar until 11:00 when the afternoon section leader takes over.

5:00 am prayer meeting this morning

5:00 am prayer meeting this morning

I am very much not a morning person. When I have no schedule at all, I’m likely to be awake 10:00 am to 2:00 am every day. I knew this section leader assignment was going to be a stretch for me. But even though it’s dang early, there’s something really, really precious about giving God the sacrifice of love songs at dawn.

Awake, my glory! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn!
Psalm 57:8

O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice;
in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.
Psalm 5:3

I believe dawn is a really special time to God. Even though nightime is also beautiful and holy, there’s something truly remarkable about the freshness of a new day.

The light breaking over the horizon, chasing away the shadows.

The fragrance of dew on the grass.

The quietness of a world just waking up.

His mercies are new every morning. (Lam 3:22-23)

Scripture likes to use the image of dawn to describe Jesus’ return. Revelation twice calls Jesus the “Morning Star”. (Rev 2:28, 22:16) The same phrase is in 2 Peter 1:19, where Peter instructs the church to stay faithful to the prophecies of Scripture “until the day dawns and the morning star shines in your hearts.” The Old Testament, too, is filled with prophecies of God delivering Jerusalem and filling her with the light of His glory at dawn. (Psalm 46:5, Isaiah 58:8, Isaiah 60:1)

Will Jesus literally appear in the sky one day just as the sun peeks over the Mount of Olives on the eastern horizon in Jerusalem? I don’t know… but knowing His penchant for fulfilling things more literally than we expect, maybe! At the very least, it’s going to be the darkest hour of human history, and Jesus’ sudden return to make all things new will feel very much like morning light breaking through the black of night.

And in the midst of these prophecies, we have prophecies of songs of worship breaking out with the dawn. In the midst of a dramatic prophecy of end-time judgment on the whole earth, Isaiah prophesies:

Therefore glorify the Lord in the dawning light…
From the ends of the earth we have heard songs:
“Glory to the righteous!”
Isaiah 24:15-16a NKJV

And to bring it full circle, we come back to Psalm 57:8 (and identical phrasing in Psalm 108:2):

Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn!
Psalm 57:8

When I think of my 5:00 am prayer meetings, I think of the preciousness of giving Jesus that morning offering of love, that He is being glorified at the very beginning of the day. But I also think of the big picture of “awakening the dawn” of His appearing. Our worship is actually paving the way for His coming. 2 Peter 2:12 says we can “hasten the coming of the day” of His return, and every sleepy little 5:00 am prayer is filling up the bowls of incense before His throne. One day, the prayers of the Bride will reach a crescendo, and everything will be in place for Him to split the sky and stand on earth again.

There will come a day when the dawn will break over the horizon; just when it looks like things couldn’t get darker, the Morning Star will appear to make all things new.

As Aslan himself says it,

“The dream is ended: this is the morning.”
(C. S. Lewis, “The Last Battle.”)

Come, Lord Jesus.

 

My First Week on Staff

It’s been eight days since I arrived in Arlington, TX, to join staff at The Prayer Room Missions Base. Since then, I’ve done a lot of moving in (I bought a desk, dresser, bookcase, and nightstand for $200 using the Offer Up app!) and have been getting settled into my new role at The Prayer Room.

I’m the Internship Coordinator for our Immerse internship, and that role will expand to cover our other internships and schools as the Forerunner Equipping Center (the school branch of The Prayer Room) grows. Immerse is a part-time 14-week internship for young adults (we have interns age 17 through mid 30s) designed to help them grow in a life of prayer, go deep in study of the Word, and get connected in like-minded community. I serve by keeping track of attendance, assignments, tuition, teaching schedules, etc, and I’m the point person for any questions or situations that arise. I’m also teaching several class sessions – TPR Base Distinctives, Night & Day Prayer as a Vocation, Cultivating a Life of Prayer, and Intro to the Book of Revelation.

immerse-banner

Immerse day 1!

Immerse day one on January 9!

My weeks are pretty full, mostly with the prayer room. I have 30 hours a week in the prayer room divided into 2 hour sets; 5 of those sets (10 hours) are spent leading devotional worship sets on keys. Many of those sets are also spent ushering and/or section leading – welcoming visitors and making sure all the worship transitions happen smoothly, etc. I’m at The Prayer Room six days a week; I have Mondays off.

I also have 15 hours a week devoted to my admin responsibilities and serving around the base in various ways. Those hours are pretty flexible. This week, my service hours have consisted of serving the internship both in classes and in admin, leading extra worship sets, ushering extra sets, and meetings.

I’m also attending Forerunner Fellowship, a local church where many people from The Prayer Room attend and serve. Last week our Sunday service became a 50 minute prayer meeting for God to pour out His Spirit on our congregation. It’s an honour to be running with such hungry compatriots!

It’s so wonderful to be back with friends that I’ve grown to love so much over the past year and a half! Last night my house hosted a cereal themed game night in honour of my moving in; everyone brought their favourite cereal to share, then I killed everyone at Pit (which NEVER happens!) and my fellow new full-time missionary Chris killed the rest of us at Farkle, by approximately a bajillion points (except for Josh, who was right on his tail). The night before I took the interns out for milkshakes, then met up with a whole crew of TPR ladies at Cheesecake Factory to celebrate the one and only Mykah’s birthday. I know most of you don’t know any of these people, but I want you to know that I know them, and love them dearly, and we have a lot of fun together.

So many exciting things are happening and about to happen at The Prayer Room. It finally feels like a season of mostly good news, which is quite a change around here! Good stories are coming; stay tuned!

Revive Texas: 50 Days of Prayer, Unity, Evangelism, and Discipleship

First, quick update: I’m currently in Wisconsin visiting my dear friends Abigail and Rondale, whom I know from IHOPU and whose wedding I was privileged to be in last July. It’s been a lovely few days hanging out, watching LOTS of Netflix, and tagging along with their normal life stuff. I’ll be in Texas on Wednesday, January 18, and then my new life as a full-time intercessory missionary with The Prayer Room Missions Base will officially begin!

However, this post is mostly not about me. This post is about something EPICLY HUGE that God is doing in the DFW region. The Prayer Room is participating wholeheartedly, but it’s so much bigger than us.

revive_tx_banner2

Time to Revive is a ministry that tours the country mobilising dozens or hundreds of churches in a city to unite and strategically spread the gospel through their whole region. The focus is on awakening the church to pursue revival in their cities.

This spring, from April 16 through June 4, 2017, Time to Revive is launching a 50 day campaign in Dallas-Ft. Worth called Revive Texas. Revive Texas will unite the church (hundreds of churches across many denominations) in an unprecedented way to come together in prayer and go out together to share the gospel. I’m so excited for what this will do for church unity in the region and also for the incredible testimonies we’re about to hear!

Check out this video to find out more about the vision and strategy behind this movement:

The DFW region has been divided into ten smaller regions, each of which will have its own host churches and outreach teams. To my understanding, having ten regions is something Time to Revive has never done before in any other city. We’re basically getting ten revival campaigns for the price of one! I will be in the green area centred around the city of Arlington.

dallas-mapEvery day for 50 days, local believers will come together at host churches for fellowship, prayer, and training, and then will be sent out in small teams to pray for people and share the gospel using a very simple evangelistic model. People are welcome to participate in as much or as little of the schedule as they are able.

  • 7-8am: corporate prayer
  • 8-9am: community breakfast
  • 9-10am: training
  • 10am – 12pm: outreach (go out in teams to pray for local churches)
  • 12-1pm: testimony time (share what God did during the outreach)
  • 1-2pm: community lunch
  • 2-3pm: training
  • 3-5pm: outreach (go out to pray for people and share the Gospel)
  • 5:30pm: community dinner
  • 7-9pm: evening service (teaching, testimonies, worship)

Each of the ten regions will have a prayer hub covering the outreach in prayer with worship for several hours each day. These ten prayer hubs will be existing local houses of prayer that are smaller than The Prayer Room but already have the vision and structure in place to lead the charge in intercession.

On top of these ten smaller prayer hubs, The Prayer Room will serve as a central prayer hub with 24/7 prayer and worship for all 50 days. This is huge for us. We already are doing 18 hours a day, and even outside of Revive Texas we’re just a few steps away from being able to launch a night watch that will make us continually 24/7. Since we already have the vision and structure in place, the extra people and motivational oomph of Revive Texas will enable us to carry the torch 24/7 for these 50 days. Hopefully, some of the people who join us and the other local houses of prayer for this campaign will stick around after June 4, and the entire prayer movement in DFW will be strengthened long-term.

Check out the video below, and also THIS LINK about The Prayer Room’s involvement in Revive Texas:

If you live in the DFW region, you can find out how to get involved at ReviveTX.org.

I am so excited about all God is going to do during Revive Texas. I will keep you all updated as preparations unfold, and I will certainly share testimonies as the campaign gets underway.

In the meantime, here’s how you can pray:

  • Unity, vision, and hunger for revival in DFW churches
  • Wisdom and strength for the leaders
  • Necessary funding and logistics to land
  • Hearts to be prepared, both in believers and the unbelievers we will encounter

And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.
Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest
to send out laborers into his harvest.”
Luke 10:2

unity-humility-hunger

IHOPU Graduation: Looking Back on Four Years

(Keep scrolling and then keep scrolling some more, because I’ve got a lot of pictures for you today!)

I’ve finally graduated from college for the second time… but this time feels far more significant than when I got my bachelor’s from APU in 2010. At IHOPU, I have received invaluable teaching and discipleship in an environment saturated with prayer, worship, and the Word. I’ve caught a vision for what God is doing in raising up a global prayer and worship movement in our generation. I’ve gained a family passionately devoted to the fame of Jesus being spread throughout the earth. I’ve been equipped to teach, lead, prophesy, pray, sing, and serve. Most importantly, I’ve encountered a God who is stunningly incredible in every way, who is 100% committed to me and really likes me, and who actually does stuff when I talk to Him.

Last weekend, I walked across a stage with 82 other four-year graduates. My parents flew out from California to see me, and a few local friends came to the ceremony as well.

Graduating from IHOPU feels bittersweet. I did what I set out to do and I know that my season here is done, and I really feel like I got good fellowship and closure in the final days, but I will miss this place and these people greatly.

Receiving my diploma from Allen Hood, president of IHOPU

Receiving my diploma from Allen Hood, president of IHOPU

20160514_151632 2

My parents flew all the way from California to see me!

20160514_114421 2

Abigail, my roommate and dear friend

20160514_161048 2

After four years, I finally got to meet and chat with Mike Bickle.

In my small group during my last week, my leaders asked us each to summarise what God was teaching us during that past season. As I think back over the four years I’ve been in IHOPU, I can identify separate banners over each year.

Freshman year: VISION. During my freshman year, I started as an intern in the One Thing Internship. Not only did I grow in prayer and intimacy with Jesus, but the entire rhythm and focus of my life shifted. I blogged about this vision that was growing within me several times (HERE and HERE, for starters), and concluded that season with a conviction that God really is raising up a global movement of 24/7 prayer and worship in our generation, because the darkness is getting darker but the return of Jesus is right around the corner, and He WILL have a bride made ready.

Internship graduation

Internship graduation, freshman year

Sophomore year: GRACE. Now that I had a brand new idea of what my life was supposed to look like, I struggled to live up to it. I really wanted to pursue Jesus with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength with undistracted focus, but I was constantly in cycles of condemnation feeling like I was failing. I still don’t know if I’ve found a good balance, but I have a lot more peace now than I did then. I had to keep relearning grace every week.

Small group, sophomore year

Small group, sophomore year

Junior year: HEALING. After experiencing a heartbreak the week before school started, I had to walk through a LOT of healing that year. (Find my blogs reflecting on that season HERE and HERE.) It was a time of shattered emotions and many, many tears, but I encountered the tender heart of the Father who lets me just cry in His lap when I can’t even muster the energy to pray. I learned to love Him more as I fought to trust Him every day. It hurt like hell, but there was such a tender nearness during that time–and there did finally come a progressive breakthrough into freedom and joy. I am wiser, stronger, and more open-hearted because of the events of that year, I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything.

JPR worship team, junior year

JPR worship team, junior year

Senior year: LEADERSHIP. In between my Dallas externship and College Station ministry trip (read about those HERE and HERE), I feel like this year has been about taking ownership of what I’ve learned and stepping up to do something with it. God has grown a lot of confidence in me this year, and I’ve come to realise that even though I have so much more to discover and grow in, I actually have internalised a lot and I have something to offer in ministry. I really can preach and pray and prophesy and lead worship. I really can rally, envision, and organise a team. God called me into this thing, and He’s already given me enough tools to take a few steps and get going.

Dallas externship, senior year

In my final few weeks, I’ve thought a lot about the vision God planted in my during my first year. I really do believe it. I believe that God’s deepest desire is a restoration of perfect intimacy with us, and 24/7 prayer and worship that reflects the reality of heaven is a key part of how we’re going to get there. I believe that in this final era of history, God is raising up a new song of night and day worship and intercession for justice from the Church as His lovesick bride in every corner of the earth, and He will use this global worship movement to usher in the return of Jesus and the restoration of creation. It’s a big vision, but I’m fully bought in.

So what’s next? I’ll be home in California for the rest of the year, preparing to launch into full-time ministry at The Prayer Room DFW in January 2017 (read more about that HERE). I plan to be there indefinitely, which doesn’t necessarily mean forever, but no matter what comes next, I know God is writing my story and more importantly, He’s writing me into His story.

Every time I look back and remember how God has led me, I melt in awe and gratitude. He’s been so, so good to me.

Catch me up in Your story
All my life for Your glory
–“All Is For Your Glory” by Lisa Gotshall

I love you, IHOPU!

I love you, IHOPU!

Announcement: I’M MOVING BACK TO DALLAS!

Silly family send off at the end of my externship

Silly TPR staff send off at the end of my externship.

You heard right, and this is NOT a drill — by this time next year I expect to be on full-time missionary staff with The Prayer Room DFW!!

I’ve been sitting on this announcement for months, wanting to make sure that it was really God’s calling. At this point I’m 99.3% sure that it’s happening… who am I kidding, I can’t imagine myself anywhere else.

As you probably know, I spent all of last semester serving as an extern at The Prayer Room DFW (TPR) in Arlington, TX, which is right in between Dallas and Ft. Worth. While I was there I fell so in love with that house of prayer. Their heart and their vision for 24/7 prayer until Jesus’ return is exactly in line with the passions God has placed in my heart, and their beautiful community has made me feel like a lifelong family member since day one.

I didn’t plan to go back after my externship, but once I got the idea in my head sometime in September, I couldn’t get it out. My heart has been knit to that community, and I want to labour alongside them to build 24/7 prayer and to equip the Body of Christ to be with Jesus where He is. I’ll be doing some of the same things I did there before – worship leading, administrative tasks (possibly as Community Life assistant again), and I’m sure a lot more as well.

There are really four specific things that stand out to me about TPR:

  1. The prayer room itself. I’ve never known another house of prayer that takes its prayer room more seriously. There’s a stubborn refusal to let the fire go out no matter what! I’ve heard so many stories of two people rotating hour by hour through snowstorms when no one else could get to the building, beginning piano students thrown into worship leading when no one else could get there, even playing guitar in a closet when the police showed up! They take their mandate of 24/7 prayer very seriously.
  2. The community. TPR is a family. Most of the community has lived in someone else’s house or opened up their house at one point or another. They really do walk with each other through every kind of joy and sorrow. They hang out constantly and laugh a lot. Night and day prayer is FUN when you do it with your best friends.
  3. The end times. When God called me into the prayer movement, He got me in with the vision of how He is raising up 24/7 prayer in this generation to prepare the church and the world for the events surrounding Jesus’ return. I can’t imagine doing this without that understanding as foundational. TPR has a strong emphasis on understanding the end times and its relationship to the prayer movement. Not every house of prayer has that emphasis (and God may not be calling them to emphasise it!) but for me, this was very important.
  4. Teaching. I believe I have some level of a teaching gift on my life, and part of TPR’s vision is to raise up and equip teachers of the Word. They once had a Bible school and hopefully will again soon, and they want to be a regional training centre with as much influence and reach as God will give them. This would the perfect place for me to learn and grow and spread my wings as a teacher.

I will graduate from IHOPU in May, and then I’ll go home to California for a while to focus on raising financial partnership. Depending on how that goes, I may move to Dallas as late as January 2017 – which would allow me to spend the holidays with my family!

I’ve moved around a lot the past few years, but this will be the first time I’ve moved away from home indefinitely. It’s a huge transition, but I know in my gut I belong there.

Worsh

Worship leading in my prayer room.

Download: Guest appearance on the UnCommon Christianity show

benotcommon.com

benotcommon.com

Last Tuesday, I was given the opportunity to speak on the UnCommon Christianity internet radio show. This is a weekly two hour program hosted by some old friends of mine, and they’ve discussed all kinds of theological and cultural topics over the years. This week’s topic was spiritual warfare, and I was invited to discuss how prayer and worship relate to spiritual warfare. I’m not normally the go-to person for spiritual warfare, but I certainly have a thing or two to say about prayer!

I spent two hours on the air with them discussing prayer, worship, IHOPKC, the harp and bowl model, and “soaking” worship. We even spent a bit of time discussing some of the most common accusations against IHOPKC. I was really nervous, but Andy, Nathan, and Kim made me feel so at home on the air and I really enjoyed sharing my heart and my experiences with them.

The two-hour broadcast (my favourite part is in the first hour) is available for streaming or download on the show’s website at the link below.

listen UCC 2

Click here to listen or download!

Nationwide Corporate HOP Fast

Recently, IHOPKC called a three-day time of prayer and fasting, to focus corporately on praying for breakthrough in our regions and nation. Many of the larger houses of prayer in the nation have committed to join them, and so for the past three days we’ve all been fasting together for God to move. Many of us are focusing specifically on breakthrough in the prayer movement. The corporate nature of this fast is so powerful (and so much fun!). The Prayer Room‘s leadership team and many of the staff are gathering in the prayer room 9am-5pm Monday,Tuesday, and Wednesday to cry out together. Also. I’ve been seeing many of my friends in Kansas City as well as at houses of prayer across the nation post pictures of their prayer rooms interceding together.

“Blow the trumpet in Zion; consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly.” Joel 2:15

This is an unprecedented movement of unity within the prayer movement. Many of the leaders have been texting each other updates and encouragements from our respective prayer rooms. Private prayer is powerful, but there’s something unique about God’s people gathering together in unity to fast and pray.

I felt this fast impact my heart personally as well. On today, the final day, which is normally supposed to be my day off, I decided to come and do a full 18 hour day in the prayer room. The corporate fasting hours were from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm., but the prayer room opens at 5:00 a.m. and closes at 11:00 p.m, and today I was there for all 18 hours.

5:00 a.m. intercession for houses of prayer.

5:00 a.m. intercession for houses of prayer.

I arrived at about 5:05 a.m. (I know, boo, I missed the opening prayer!!) and was one of a whopping four people in the room for the morning intercession set (or rather “petition set”, which around here is like a mini intercession set). Shockingly, I had so much joy and grace in waking up at 4:00 a.m., and I loved the sweetness of “awakening the dawn with my song”–not because I had to, but because I chose to. I got to pray on the mic for the houses of prayer across the nation, and looking at the list of locations on the screen, I actually felt connected to many of them. I have friends in several locations and I’ve heard stories about almost all of them. Knowing that they were also praying and fasting with us during these three days made the connection all the sweeter.

Corporate prayer is a beautiful, beautiful thing. This fast has made me so grateful for the community I’m in – at TPR, at “home” in Kansas City, and more broadly in the global prayer movement as a whole. God really knew what He was doing when He told us to gather and do this thing together. There is a rich sweetness and power in lifting our voices and crying out to our Father together.

This 24/7 prayer movement is the dream of His heart. All of these houses of prayer belong to Him. He will build His house, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.

For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts.”
Malachi 1:11

“These I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.
Isaiah 56:7

The Beauty of Hiddenness

iphone_hidden_flower_072011

At The Prayer Room, anyone who can play a few chords and is willing pretty quickly becomes a worship leader. That’s the nature of a small house of prayer. Many of us are in that boat, including me. Others… WOW. One guy in particular is crazy talented. Like, dang. He’s basically TPR’s Matt Gilman. I would confidently throw him up on a Onething conference stage in front of 30,000 people and he would rock the house no problem.

And yet, day after day he’s playing and singing in an empty room in a rented church in Arlington, Texas.

One day while I was in his set (I was literally ushering an empty room) I was blown away by this picture of hiddenness. He wasn’t holding back or singing halfheartedly because his audience was lacking. He wasn’t singing for any audience but One. As God started showing me what He sees in this moment, I almost felt like I was intruding on something private and sacred.

The great heavenly chorus of “HOLY HOLY HOLY” pales in comparison to the way one human voice lifted in an empty room captivates Jesus’ heart.

There really is such a beauty in hiddenness. There’s a purity in undistracted worship–in secret faithfulness.

And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
(Matthew 6:4, 6, 18)

It reminds me of David’s years of preparation, singing to the Lord alone while watching his father’s sheep. I think God cherished those songs even more than He did the songs that came out of David’s amply-staffed 24/7 tabernacle later on.

And of course, it reminds me even more of Jesus–who was in the very form of God yet emptied Himself to take the form of a servant. (Philippians 2:5-11) He hid his own glory so thoroughly for 33 years–and especially for the first 30 before His ministry began. Even today, He hides Himself. He who will one day split the sky and appear in the clouds like lightning flashing from the east to the west (Isaiah 64:1, Matthew 24:27-30) goes unnoticed and unconsidered by billions of people every single day.

Many of us feel hidden right now. Many of us feel like we have something to offer, and we’re stuck in a back corner somewhere, because it’s not our season yet.

Guess what. If you love Jesus well in the corner, He’ll treasure it forever. He may have been the one who put you there. Maybe He wants your undistracted gaze just a little while longer. It’s a beautiful thing to be alone in an empty room singing to Jesus. All the best leaders in history did their time in obscurity… and many of the most faithful ones, whose names we’ll never know until heaven, spent their whole lives in hiddenness. What kind of glory are they swimming in now?

Holy hiddenness is a beautiful thing, because you can lock your heart fully on Jesus and know He’s the one who hears your song. He’s the one who counts your secret faithfulness as a personal offering of love. It doesn’t matter whether anyone else ever sees you. He sees, and He loves every moment.

Lauren worship leading the 7-9pm set on a Thursday night.

“It’s the joy of being lovesick…” Lauren worship leading the 7-9pm set on a Thursday night.

Updates and Testimonies and $50,000… what?!

It’s been quite an exciting few weeks in Dallas on my externship with The Prayer Room! Here are a few highlights:

TPR collage w captions

(Oops… that little princess’ name is spelled Madilynn!)

1528707_597173963695449_443930012_nI do want to especially highlight that last happening. Jake Hamilton, a worship leader from my hometown whose music and ministry have been impacting me since high school, came to Dallas to play at a coffee shop as a benefit for Unlikely Heroes, a nonprofit for the restoration of human trafficking victims. It was a joy to catch up with him briefly, and it was an honour to support their efforts to house and restore these girls. I’d encourage you to check out Unlikely Heroes at unlikelyheroes.com and help however you can!

Okay, MAJOR testimony and prayer request…

Something very exciting has been happening in the life of The Prayer Room as a whole. A few months ago, God started talking to the community about moving to a new building, and He had a particular place in mind. He did a miracle to get them the building, but then the real struggle began. Remodelling has been a little bit like the Cary Grant movie “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House” – nothing has gone to plan and everything is expensive.

Original artist's rendering of the new building

Artist’s original rendering of the new building

God has broken in in major ways for us already. A few months ago, this happened: (Seriously, no excuses, you need to watch the video.)

.
.
.
God gave us $50,000 in cash as a surprise, anonymous donation!! Our director, Brad, found a basket of cash in the prayer room one morning. That allowed us to get the remodel project off the ground.

Soon enough, we hit another series of roadblocks that made it impossible for us to continue paying our contractors. Work was at a virtual standstill, until…

God gave us $50,000 in cash as a surprise, anonymous donation!!

Yep, you read that right; there’s not a glitch in the Matrix. Brad and his wife found a gift bag of cash on the back porch of their home just a couple of weeks ago. God did it again and now we have enough money to get a certificate of occupancy and be in the building by early October!!

However… we still need another $50,000 to pay off our debt and get the basic furnishings we need to make the new building fully functional. As a community, we’re all daily pressing in in prayer for God to break in again. We’re also asking Him to bring us more monthly partners so we can be financially stable on a monthly basis.

Please pray with us for continued financial breakthrough. God has spoken and done so much to make it so clear that He really, really wants to place us in this building. Only He can do it!

For more details and updates on the remodel project, visit The Prayer Room’s building update page.

This will be the lobby of the new building.

This will be the lobby of the new building.

This will be the prayer room of the new building. The stage will be in that right corner.

This will be the prayer room of the new building. The stage will be in that right corner.

Previous Older Entries