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.


The Miracle Internship That Almost Didn’t Happen

Ever since the conclusion of our spring Immerse internship, we’ve been hard at work laying plans for our summer Immerse internship. At last, it’s time and WE HAVE AN INTERNSHIP! That in and of itself is such a miracle. The past few weeks have been a figurative roller coaster…

Up to about three weeks ago, we were seriously questioning whether Immerse would even happen. At that time, we only had two interns, and were asking the question of what our minimum would have to be. The senior staff settled on five — if we didn’t get five interns, we would cancel Immerse.

Over the next few days we did get two different people signed up! So we had four… and we still had four the day before orientation, which would be Sunday, May 28. We had some generous partners help make two full scholarships available, and we were still actively personally recruiting as hard as we could, but no luck was to be had.

I was praying hard, and I still felt like I was supposed to keep working on preparing. So even while the internship was probably going to be cancelled, I was editing curriculum and finalising the schedule and assignments.

On Saturday afternoon, senior staff put their heads together and eventually decided to go ahead and do the internship even with four. I was at the base that night till 2:30am after Encounter service printing orientation papers and assembling intern binders.

The next morning, I got two texts about new interns who wanted to come to orientation! I quickly assembled binders for them, and at orientation, we had six Immerse interns!

The roller coaster wasn’t over, however. Since then, we’ve lost one, gained one, and gained-and-lost one. We had seven for a hot minute, but our total seems settled at six now.

We’re already in our second week of classes, and I will be teaching session two of Intro to the End Times tomorrow. Most of our classes are taught by a small band of staff on rotation, but the End Times class on Saturday is all mine to teach every week. I’m excited! Our interns are really great, and I’d so excited to get to know them better and watch them grow over the next 12 weeks.

New Rapid Fire Prayer Topic

At the end of every set, everyone in the room lines up at the mic to pray short “rapid fire” prayers on a certain topic, usually related to something happening within the ministry. Right now, our topic is:

For 100 new people to sign up for a weekly prayer meeting here at the base (we call this our Sacred Trust) in order to help us continue to contend for revival in DFW.

This is how we build and grow, by inviting people to commit to come pray with us at the same time each week for a two-hour prayer meeting. The name Sacred Trust reflects how seriously we take this time as priests before God. We’re especially asking for people who can serve in specific roles as worship leaders, prayer leaders, ushers and section leaders. Also, in order to properly grow, we REALLY need some more full- and part-time missionaries!

God, set watchmen on the walls here at The Prayer Room. Build Your house of prayer — bring us a hundred new people to join Sacred Trust!

YWAM Week of Prayer

YWAM prayer week 2

IHOPU students praying in the YWAM Kansas City chapel!

During our monthly Global Bridegroom Fast (GBF) week February 1-5, IHOPU continued a tradition we started last semester: the YWAM week of prayer, in which IHOPU partnered with the local YWAM base to keep a prayer room running with live worship and intercession all day long for five days. All of our JPR (the student-led Justice Prayer Room) activities were moved to YWAM Kansas City, and being in that prayer room counted for our regular prayer room hours. Classes were cancelled for GBF, so I got to spend hours every day at the YWAM base. On Tuesday I ended up being there for 8 hours straight, and Wednesday night I ended up leading a devotional worship set 11pm-midnight with only one other person in the room. It felt like I was back in my little prayer room in Dallas!

This was a really special and refreshing time for me. Especially on Tuesday when I left my phone at home, I was completely locked into the worship and intercession with no distractions. I really, really love smaller prayer rooms, especially when I know almost everyone in the room. During the times I was there, most of the people in the room were IHOPU students while the YWAM students had other activities scheduled, and almost all of them were actively engaged nearly the whole time. It felt very much like praying with family. This is why I love our JPR sets, and getting to do this in partnership with YWAM was incredibly precious.

We spent the week praying for YWAM’s mission team being sent to the island of St. Vincent. As part of a 7+ year plan to reevangelise and disciple the nations of the Caribbean, they are aiming at preaching the gospel to 50,000 people (half the island’s population) during the month of February with 21 evangelistic event nights. It was such a privilege to join with YWAM and see yet another beautiful collision of the missions movement and the prayer movement.

This is what Jesus said is supposed to happen. “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.” (Matthew 9:37-38) The praying and the sending were never supposed to be separated.

The team going into St. Vincent is called Impact World Tour. Check out their promo video for this tour!

Guest Ministering in Barstow

Desert House of Prayer in Barstow, CA

Desert House of Prayer in Barstow, CA

I do indeed still have more Pasadena stories to tell, but I’m going to skip ahead to the present to share something that happened just last week… but began that week in Pasadena.

During the Onething regional conference that my team put on in Pasadena, I met two guys who were from the Desert House of Prayer (DHOP) in Barstow, which is about an hour away from me in the desert. We kept in touch on Facebook, and soon after I came home the director, Trent Williams, invited me to come speak at DHOP at the end of June! They are a pretty small house of prayer and aren’t able to run many live hours of worship yet (though they are planning to activate a 24/5 schedule of prayer with the IHOPKC webstream very soon!) but every month they do a “sacred assembly” of 24 hours of prayer and worship with live worship teams and believers gathering from all over the high desert. This month’s sacred assembly was Friday, June 26, 9:00 pm, to Saturday, June 27, 9:00 pm, and I was invited to speak at a closing service on Sunday, June 28 at 6:00 pm. Additionally, they invited me to speak at Abundant Living Fellowship in Barstow for the Sunday morning service.

I got there Saturday afternoon during the 24 hour burn to help strengthen their worship and intercession as well as get a feel for what their community is all about. I saw a gap on the schedule from 2:00 to 3:00, so I volunteered to lead worship during that time. I led a solo devotional set on piano for an hour, and it was a lot of fun! I love spontaneously singing the meditations of my heart to God, especially out of Scripture, and forming new choruses that the room can join me in. During the last five or ten minutes I was joined by members of the 3:00 worship team, so that was officially my first experience of leading worship with a team of musicians. Whew! Later on, the director and I traded off praying during the intercession times. It was powerful to join Jesus’ heart in what He wants to do in Barstow.

Saturday evening I was hosted by a wonderful couple who opened their home to me and shared stories of their walk with God. I heard stories of dramatic salvation, conviction, guidance, radical hospitality, and God’s relentless pursuit of hearts. Jesus is awesome.

Sunday I showed up at the small church, which could seat about 40 people, at 9:00 for their pre-service prayer meeting. I felt right at home. The prayer with spontaneous worship continued till 10:20 or so, as people trickled in for the 10:00 service. Later as the worship leader led some corporate worship songs, since I was planning to preach about Mary of Bethany, I found myself wishing that he would play a song by Christina Reynolds called “You are My Great Reward (The Mary Song)”. To my shock, minutes later, he actually did!! I was so moved that Jesus would prepare the way by playing the exact song I wished for.

I had so much fun preaching on Mary of Bethany. I went through all three scenes of her life shown in scripture (Luke 10, John 11, John 12) and highlighted her repeated choice of Jesus as her “one thing” over everything else. Mary’s story has meant a lot to me ever since God started speaking to me about her at age 16. God really moved and touched a lot of people that morning, and the pastor said that it felt like confirmation of God calling their community back to intimacy with Him as their first priority.

After a delicious Mexican lunch and a few hours hanging out in the prayer room, the evening service began. An awesome worship team comprised of musicians from around the high desert area led us in powerful, exuberant worship, during which I threw hair and makeup caution to the wind and danced with abandon in the back of the room. I admit to looking a little bit like a mess by the time I took the mic a bit later, but I did at least put my shoes back on!

I had so much fun speaking to that group. I recast vision for the global movement of 24/7 prayer and worship that God is orchestrating in our generation, emphasising Jesus’ desire to be with us, His plan for earth to reflect heaven, and His ultimate worthiness. It was a joy and an honour to encourage their community with what God’s been burning on my heart these last three years in Kansas City!

Esteban Vargas, the worship leader that evening who also pastors Redemption High Desert church in Victor Valley, put together this video of the event, featuring an interview with the DHOP director and me.

As I drove home that night, I felt like I was flying high on what God had done that weekend. He had met us in worship, shared His heart with us in intercession, moved through the messages, and bonded us all together as family.

One other thing – on Saturday morning on my drive out, I noticed this sign marking my freeway exit. Barstow Road is CA Route 247. Coincidence, you say? If you think that’s coincidence, you don’t know my Jesus. 😉

God's raising up 24/7 prayer in Barstow!

God is raising up 24/7 prayer in Barstow!