Holy Stubbornness: Don’t Quit on Your Calling

Building a house of prayer is NOT easy. I’ve heard multiple leaders say it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever done–way harder than planting a church, doing overseas missions, etc. Really, the only reason this place is still standing is that years ago, God graciously gave us a holy stubbornness to NOT QUIT NO MATTER WHAT.

There are so, so many reasons to quit. When the money falls apart, the people wander off, the building gets taken away, other important causes demand attention… there is every good and natural reason in the world to quit.

In the “world”.

But we are not of this world. We don’t think like this world. We are not slaves to things like practicality and pragmatism. We don’t make decisions based only on numbers and logic.

We make decisions on faith.

13 years ago, God called a guy named Brad to start a daily prayer meeting that was eventually supposed to become a 24/7 house of prayer (this is TPR’s origin story). And then one by one, over the years, God called each of us to be part of it. Occasionally, He calls someone out of it just as clearly as He called them in. But MOST of the time… He expects us to plant our feet and not walk away from the thing He called us to. No matter what.

Of course we look at the numbers and listen to reason. Sometimes God leads through reason. But there are times, especially about the big things, when we need to set our face like flint and refuse to back down.

“For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.”
Isaiah 50:7

For us at The Prayer Room, that means first and foremost day and night prayer, 5:00 am to 11:00 pm with live worship, every single day of the week. We don’t take a day off and we don’t cut corners. We don’t cut the schedule when we’re running low on people–by golly, we’d invent human cloning before we’d cancel a prayer meeting.

For me personally, holy stubbornness means I know I am called to be part of the house of prayer movement. I make decisions based on that calling. I have discouraged guys from pursuing me because of that calling. I arrange my finances and my schedule around that calling. Right now, God has been clear that means full-time missionary staff at The Prayer Room. I do not have the right to decide to do something else with my life, no matter how convenient, attractive, logical, or even necessary other options may seem.

The pastor I grew up with, Pastor Danny at Water of Life, calls this “staying on your number”. Years ago, he used a sermon illustration of gym class at school where the coach would tell all the kids to stand on their assigned number on the gym floor. No matter how much you wanted to move or felt entitled to a more favourable number, you had to stay on your number. The phrase has become Water of Life shorthand for staying grounded where God has planted you.

Really what this comes down to is obedience and faith.

“And Samuel said, ‘Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.'”
1 Samuel 15:22

In the story of 1 Samuel 15, God told King Saul to completely destroy his enemies and all of their possessions and livestock. When the prophet Samuel showed up, he found that King Saul had done his idea of the right thing, which was to spare the best of the livestock for the purpose of sacrificing it to God. That sounds pretty holy, right? But God’s message to Saul was, “I told you what to do, and you didn’t do it. The excuse ‘I’m doing this for You!’ doesn’t cut it, because I TOLD YOU what to do, and this was not it. To obey is better than sacrifice.”

Obeying what God actually said is better than doing other good things for good reasons that are NOT actually what God said to do. God delights in obedience. It gives Him great pleasure when we trust Him enough to follow what He said to do no matter what, even if there are “good reasons” to do something different.

For us, that means we’re stubbornly going to keep building the house of prayer.

For you, it might be the house of prayer, or it might be something different. Maybe God has called you to overseas missions, or to a church ministry, or to a specific marketplace career. Maybe it’s your marriage, or homeschooling, or fostering/adoption.

DON’T QUIT.

God called you into this thing for a reason. You said yes for a reason. Remember what that reason was, and hold onto it. Unless He releases you as clearly as He called you… walking away isn’t really a viable option.

Get stubborn. Get iron in your soul. Get a flinty face like Isaiah. Get radically surrendered like Jesus in Gethsemane.

Walk by faith, not by sight.

When it gets hard, He will give you grace to walk through it. His grace is sufficient. He will not let you fall. He might let you come close, but His promise is that those who wait on Him will not be ashamed. I think that means that even if there are moments or seasons of pressure and even embarrassment, in the long run you will not regret choosing to trust Him. You will look back a thousand years from now and be so grateful you kept saying yes. Wisdom will be justified.

It’s worth it. Holy stubbornness that says YES to Jesus no matter what is worth it. Don’t give up on Him.

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Testimony: My Sister Got HEALED of Scoliosis!

This past week, my sister Elise came to visit me at The Prayer Room for a few days. We had a great time in the prayer room together, going to small group and Encounter service, treasure hunting through Texas Thrift, making the world’s best and simplest marinated chicken, and even visiting the Fort Worth Water Gardens and Sundance Square.

Best of all, Elise got a few very special testimonies! On Wednesday night at a small group, she received a prophetic word that was partly related to her ministry being tied to kids, that they would be drawn to her like to the Pied Piper. The next day, two little girls in a store bathroom struck up a conversation with her through the stall door and created an open door for Elise to minister to their mom. It was such a fun confirmation!

The next day Elise asked Jeremy, the TPR leader who had given her the word the night before, to pray for her back. Her spine had been curved slightly to the left for years, was very sensitive to touch, and had been informally diagnosed with mild scoliosis. Related to that, when she sat with her knees pulled up in front of her, her right knee was noticeably higher. Jeremy and I prayed for healing, and Jeremy actually felt the muscles rippling and moving under his hand even as Elise swore she wasn’t budging. She asked me to press on her back to test it out because previously even the slightest touch would cause pain. I then gave her her first painless back massage in close to ten years! When she sat down to test the alignment of her knees, they were completely level and even! We’re all so amazed at what Jesus has done for her!

Check out the video below or click HERE to watch it on Youtube (click CC to view captions).

Meet My “Chickens” – Interns and Externs!

It’s been too long since I posted an update here. A lot of things happened all at once, but I’ve finally caught my breath and can share some pics and news!

First of all, just to bless you (or click video link HERE):

In my role as head of the Forerunner Equipping Center at The Prayer Room, I serve as “mother hen” over our Immerse Internship, School of Supernatural Ministry, and any other student programs we may be running at the time. Right now, I have a total of nine “chickens” in my programs!

On May 27, we launched another summer Immerse internship! (Check it out on our website HERE.) This one is special because we completely revamped the curriculum to make it even more dynamic and strengthening. We have seven interns, most of whom are very new to our community and the message of the house of prayer. They are already encountering God and getting their minds blown by what He’s doing in the earth! Immerse includes 8 hours a week in the prayer room, weekly Encounter service, monthly three-day Global Bridegroom Fast, and five hours of classroom time a week. Classroom sessions include theology on intimacy with Christ, the biblical foundation of the house of prayer, LOTS of end times, practical how-tos for developing and sustaining a life of prayer, Bible discussion night, and community night.

We do Immerse both to help anchor young adults in the message of intimacy with Jesus and the importance of night and day prayer, and also as an onramp for those who may feel called to join missionary staff with us. Two of these girls (the two immediately to my left) are already on volunteer staff with us after doing previous programs. We’re praying that God would capture the hearts of one or two more to radically uproot the lives they had planned and choose to give themselves full-time to the vision of night and day prayer unto Jesus’ return and a great end-time revival!

Over the years The Prayer Room has hosted a number of IHOPU students who come as externs to experience a few months of missionary life at a smaller house of prayer, and several of the externs have decided to join us long-term. We did not expect to have any externs this summer, but at the last minute a different externship location fell through, and we ended up receiving not one but TWO amazing young women who are serving with us for eight weeks this summer! In the wake of one of our leadership team recently transitioning off, I’ve inherited leadership of our externship program and it’s great! Their first day was officially June 4.

Jarah and Christi are incredible and have already been such a strength to our team. Both have a passion to devote themselves to lifestyles of prayer to serve what God is doing in our generation and to see Jesus have His inheritance in the adoration of the nations. They are helping sustain prayer and worship in the prayer room and are also serving as assistants to division heads in two of our busiest divisions.

Other things that happened the past few months:

  • The Prayer Room hosted an IHOPU ministry trip of 20-some students for a week in April! I hosted three girls in my house, and they all served in the prayer room and around the city, leading worship, praying, prophesying, and ministering in the love of God. We love IHOPU!
  • Immediately after the IHOPU trip, I travelled home to California for a week to watch my sister graduate college and get engaged!! It was a very special and exciting week to spend with family and my spiritual community back home.
  • I joined a summer dance program at a local Christian dance studio! Every Monday evening (my ONLY day off), I’ve been dancing for four and a half hours in a rotating variety of styles with super kind and gifted teachers and students. Tap, ballet, lyrical, and jazz have been my favourites so far. I haven’t had a real dance class since high school, and it’s been such a gift to my heart to push my body to create in this way again.

Current resource recommendation:

A few weeks ago, Brad preached on “Awakening Our Hearts for Revival” and it was POWERFUL. We talked about some of the high points of revival history and cast a vision again for what it is exactly we’re praying for. It stirred something up in our community that we’re still figuring out how to ride the wave of… it really seems like God is calling us deeper in this area! Stream or download the session HERE.

Prophetic Testimonies from TPR

It’s been a fun month for prophetic testimonies!! I’ve personally had four or five separate occasions the past few weeks of people giving me prophetic words out of the blue when I was least expecting it, and that’s not normal for me. (Yes, they were very encouraging and several of them were about the same thing!)

We’ve reached the point in our School of Supernatural Ministry semester that our students are ministering not only to each other but to staff and visitors as well. Two weeks ago, four students served 15 visitors through prophetic ministry. Some of these visitors had never even been to The Prayer Room before. They were deeply blessed to encounter the heart of God through the words of our students.

A couple came in with their son, who had a developmental disability. One student felt led to ask him, “What’s your favourite fish?” and said he saw Jesus grilling up some fish for him. It turns out, he was on a special diet and could only eat fish! The family was touched to be so known by God.

Another couple came in with a specific question on their hearts regarding a property decision. A student gave them a word about a property that was exactly what they needed to hear and brought so much peace and clarity about the situation!

Two students who were partnered together for the ministry time experienced a great flow of team ministry. Over and over, God gave one girl a picture and the other girl the interpretation. So many people were blessed by God using them both together!

My favourite recent SSM testimony was the student who came up to me outside of class and told me that she had encountered a woman who needed help with her car. She was nervous, but she obeyed the nudge of the Holy Spirit and asked the woman if she could help her, and then if she could pray for her! This is what it’s all about. We want students to encounter God in a way that it breaks the hold of fear and affects the way they live as powerful witnesses of Christ everywhere they go!

Prophetic Equipping Workshop – 65 attended!

On March 31, we did a Prophetic Equipping Workshop in place of our normal Encounter service. We had around 20 visitors on top of our usual crowd, and some of them were completely new to TPR. Andy and Jeremy taught on how to hear the voice of God and share it with others, and then everyone in the room gathered into groups of three or four and practiced prophesying over each other. My favorite stories were the people who came in skeptical, and were blown away that God would actually speak clearly to and through them!

One of our staff members brought her parents. She had been telling them for months about things that God was doing and how she was hearing His voice, but they didn’t really know how to take it seriously. When they came to our training night and started seeing accurate prophetic ministry in action, they were amazed. An SSM student gave the mom a prophetic word about yellow roses, and come to find out, she had actually been planting yellow roses just that morning!

Another young man who was not a believer came with a friend, and he actually heard the voice of God for himself for the first time! I don’t know what his history with God is, but he now knows experientially that God is real and wants a relationship with him.

The teaching from that night is available to stream or download on TPR’s Recent Messages page.

SSM Testimonies – Healed Achilles Tendon!

L to R: Makayla, Jade, me, Rhoda, Nikki, Walter, John

We’ve completed the first half of our School of Supernatural Ministry! Our six students (yes, we lost another since my last update) have been really pressing in to hear the voice of God and to minister to each other. We’ve done several activations which involve asking God for His thoughts for each other. I’ve been so proud of their tenderness and boldness!

Earlier this month, John, one of my students who is also a fellow staff member, shared a testimony at Encounter service: “Every time I’ve walked away from the teachings I get convicted; there’s a new holy ache and burden that my voice matters, this is important… And after that, we have a ministry time, and it’s been very fruitful for me and worth it—getting to hear the Lord’s heart over me, strengthening my spirit, giving me confidence. I look forward to every class to get re-amped… it’s empowering me and I feel it throughout the week.”

The first six weeks, our Thursday night sessions were focussed on ministry training. From here on out, we will be doing “real” ministry on Thursday nights! Last week, we started slowly by prophesying over each other. Everyone received several accurate words which built on each other, and everyone was encouraged!

On Saturday, we prayed for a student’s ankle. Her Achilles tendon was in a lot of pain due to a recurring injury that had been going on for almost a year and she had been really struggling in believing that God would heal it. She hadn’t been able to walk that morning. The pain dropped as we prayed, and by the next day, her ankle had no more pain at all! Praise the Lord!

Kansas City IHOPU Recruiting Trip

Every year, IHOPU in Kansas City, where I was a student for four years, hosts an externship expo and ministry fair for their students who will be required to serve on a senior externship. Various ministries and houses of prayer come to recruit students to come spend a season serving. This was how I first got connected with The Prayer Room in 2014 and 2015.

The past several years as we’ve recruited from IHOPU, we have had 14 externs, 5 of whom stayed on staff. The same three of TPR’s senior staff (Brad, Lisa, and Caslin) go together every year, and due to a scheduling conflict, I was invited to go for Lisa this year.

It was such a special experience for me to travel with Brad and Caslin to represent The Prayer Room at IHOPU. I remember well what it felt like to be a student hearing from so many different ministries and praying about where I should go. The TPR team was amazing at reaching out and getting to know me then, and the opportunity to do the same for the next generation of students was an incredible honour.

We drove 9 hours to KC on February 8, and arrived at the home of our dear friends and TPR-to-IHOPKC transplants Andrew and Lauren Meek. The next day was the expo and ministry fair. Brad was given five minutes to give a short presentation about The Prayer Room at the expo. He shared his testimony of how in 2005 he had been a missionary in Africa getting kidnapped by crime lords and seeing Muslims get saved, and then God abruptly called him back to Texas and soon after gave him the most clear and dramatic word of his life: “Start a daily prayer meeting tomorrow morning at 5am and don’t stop until I come back.” And thus TPR was born as a daily 5am living room prayer meeting that over the years has grown into our own building with live prayer and worship 18 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We were one of the last presentations, so the students’ attention was starting to drift, but the story had them gripped. We got to talk to dozens of them afterward at the ministry fair, and we tried to set up coffee meetings with them all. The next day we had close to 20 coffee meetings with students every 30 minutes.

We made several great connections and look forward to keeping in touch with these students as they consider their futures. Please pray with us that God would lead some of them to extern and/or serve long-term at The Prayer Room!

Our table at the ministry fair

Clockwise from top left: Caslin, Whitney (TPR’s first extern, now a missionary in Hong Kong), Brad, and me

What I’m Praying: Monthly Financial Breakthrough!

Continuing my What I’m Praying series, I’d like to share with you an urgent need that The Prayer Room is devoting the month of February to contend for. In 2017, our monthly finances took a $2000/month hit compared to 2016. We’ve been limping along for a while, but moving forward we can’t really limp much more without a serious financial breakthrough. We’re asking God to stir the hearts of His people (or the hearts of unbelievers; we’re not picky!) to commit to partner with us financially on a monthly basis. For some people, that might mean bigger numbers, but for others, that might mean even $5 or $10 each month.

It’s an amazing principle in the Kingdom of God that your heart follows your wallet. (“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21) In the weeks before I graduated from IHOPU, I remember sitting around a kitchen floor with some fellow graduating seniors talking about the future and being emotional, and I’ll never forget what my friend Nathan said: “If you want to fall in love with each other for a lifetime, start partnering with each other financially.” It’s so true. I have given special financial gifts to many of my classmates, and I partner monthly with a good friend from IHOPU who is now serving at another house of prayer a few hours away. My heart is so much more connected to them all now because I have a tangible investment in what God is doing through them. I know for a fact that the ones God brings to partner with us will end up more connected to the vision of night and day prayer and more invested in the story of what God is doing.

This blog post serves a dual purpose: first, to invite you to pray with us that God would send monthly financial partners, and second, to invite you to become the answer to your own prayer by going to The Prayer Room’s DONATE page and committing to give monthly at whatever dollar amount you like.

We’re spending the entire month of February focussing on this need as a community. We’re strategising and reaching out in as many ways as we can think of, but most importantly, we’re mobilising the community to pray.

In the book of Haggai, God gave a promise to Zerubbabel the governor of Judah and Joshua the high priest in the days of the rebuilding of the temple after the exile. This is His heart to build and supply for His house of prayer:

“And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the LORD of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the LORD of hosts.The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the LORD of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the LORD of hosts.”
Haggai 2:7-9

We invite you to draw upon that promise with us in prayer. Below you can watch a five-minute clip of a 5am prayer meeting praying for financial breakthrough just a few days ago. (If the embedded video doesn’t work for any reason, visit it on our Facebook page.)

2017 Highlight Video

Happy 2018, friends! It’s been quite the busy holiday season… and when I got home from California and Kansas City, I was immediately hit with preparations for The Prayer Room’s School of Supernatural Ministry! Now that it has officially launched on January 20, I can catch my breath and catch up on some blog posts.

The first thing I want to share with you is my highlight video from 2017! When I went home for Christmas, I hosted an open house for some of my friends and partners, and I shared with them this video. I’m delighted to be able to finally share it with you!

TPR Staff Retreat 2017!

The annual The Prayer Room staff retreat is our highlight of the year. We rent a huge house on a beautiful property about an hour away in Rainbow, TX, and we spend the weekend playing games, vision casting/discussing, and generally enjoying each other’s company. One of the beautiful strengths of TPR is the close-knit family feel of the community, and the annual staff retreat is a big part of fostering that. This was my third staff retreat in a row! (Check out 2015 and 2016.)

During our living room sessions, we discussed taking ourselves seriously as a house of prayer before the Lord and how rare and precious it is that He has given us the grace to sustain daily prayer for 12 years! As of last month, we passed 45,000 hours total of live prayer since our inception in 2005! That’s a culmination of five years of incense arising from our prayer room!

One discussion that really provoked and excited me was our Saturday night talk about what we could each do to make The Prayer Room better 1% at a time. We dreamed together and then made action plans to establish those plans. “What can we do to get the cords behind the sound booth more out of the way?” “I know a way to do that. Done.” “What else could we do to recruit worship leaders?” “We could make small flyers to put on our welcome desk directing people to our website.” “I can design and print some up. Done.” We talked about stepping it up, individually and as a staff, to be more proactive about our responsibilities and “raise the water level” of prayer and worship engagement in our prayer room. At the end of the day, all the clever admin solutions we come up with are about strengthening the atmosphere of prayer and worship that happens 18 hours a day in our prayer room.

I love this staff so much and am so grateful that I get to build the house of prayer with such a family!

Livermore Update

On October 31, we finally finished selling the house on Livermore Dr. that has served as our dorm for the past several years! Originally, this house was purchased to be the prayer room when the meetings outgrew Brad’s living room. When we moved into a storefront space on Pioneer Pkwy., Livermore became remodeled as a guys’ side/girls’ side dorm building. This is where I lived in 2015 on my externship. The house has some significant structural issues and we were losing money on it for months, and we’re so glad to turn the keys over to someone who can turn it into something useful to them so we can move on to a better dorm situation.

Now, we’re looking for one or more duplexes (or even a fourplex, if we can find one) where we can house externs, interns, staff, and guest speakers as needed. I was asked to move in as house manager, and after weeks of prayer and consideration, I said yes. It will be much cheaper rent and it will be an opportunity to live with and serve other staff (my current roommates both left staff to go back to school earlier this year). I’m praying that the dorm would be a consecrated place where we can provoke each other in love and pursue Jesus together. It’s going to be an exciting transition!

What I’m Praying: Refreshing

Continuing my What I’m Praying series…

The past few weeks, TPR has been focussed on praying for a time of deep refreshing to come to our community. This has been our rapid fire topic at the end of every set. To be honest, it’s been an exhausting year. Many people feel a bit dry and dull and just soul-weary. We need a good strong “time of refreshing” (Acts 3:20) from the Lord to revive our hearts. Living dry is no fun.

It’s true that most of life is lived in the mundane. Most of the time, we’re neither on the mountaintop nor in the depths of despair; rather, we’re sort of on the plateau of daily walking out life with God, trying to stay obedient and faithful no matter how we’re feeling.

But we don’t want to just be okay with not encountering God.

We’re asking God for a season of refreshing, that as individuals and as a community we would receive an increased touch of the Holy Spirit.

This past week, I believe we’ve started to see glimpses of that. On Saturday night, Brad was called last minute to attend a meeting, so instead of him continuing our teaching series, our weekly Encounter service became a prayer meeting with extended worship for exactly this topic of refreshing. We asked God to move in signs and wonders and to refresh us with an increased manifestation of His presence. The corporate nature of that prayer meeting, with all of us in the room joined with fervor and unity, and the worship team’s excellent prophetic leadership, definitely brought refreshing to our hearts. With the leanness of our 18/7 schedule right now, we’re not able to have those experiences together very often.

Also, on Sunday night a prayer group from a local Messianic congregation visited the prayer room. Almost 30 ladies joined us for an hour or so, and God really moved among them. Our worship leader felt a strong prophetic nudge to spontaneously lead a ministry time from the prayer mic (don’t worry, the usher took his seat so the stage wasn’t empty) and give a call for anyone who felt called to missions. The room was deeply touched and many responded. That kind of move of the Spirit is the kind of thing we’re praying to see more of.

Please join us in praying that God would refresh us with a fresh wave of His Spirit!

God, thank You for Your presence here – please increase our experience of Your presence. Open the heavens and send another wave of Your Spirit to refresh, awaken, and revive us. We’re crying out for fresh fire. Meet us in our hunger as You’ve promised.

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