It’s always enjoyable to discuss the House of Prayer reality with good friends over a great lunch. That is exactly what happened last week. I shared our history of moving more intentionally from a ministry focused church to an intimacy focused church. There were lots of great questions as my friends were exploring this reality for their own ministry.
A few months ago I created two simple diagrams that show, what I would consider to be, the main difference between a House of Prayer reality and a more traditional approach to church. I would propose the House of Prayer model as a growing redefinition of “doing” church.
There are two things that really stand out as difference-makers in a house of prayer reality.
- All life and ministry flows out of the Prayer Room.
- Occupational Intercessory Missionaries staff the Prayer Room.
Regarding the first distinction, “all life and ministry flows from the Prayer Room”, I put together a simple graphic that I think might help leaders.
House of Prayer:
In the more traditional structure we see the weekends as being the “main event”. The weekends are the benchmark to church life and success. While I’m sure this does not apply to all churches I would venture to say that it is true of most.
A House of Prayer structure sees the Prayer Room as the “main event” . The benchmark of success is found in those going deep in God and interceding on behalf others. Ministry flows from the Prayer Room. So then, are the weekends important in the House of Prayer reality? A huge YES! But it’s not THE number one priority.
The Great Omission
While running with the Great Commission there has been a Great Omission. In our fervency to evangelize we have assumed that people are going deep in God. This is not so.
As I approach almost 30 years of full-time ministry it still amazes me that the number one problem believers have is knowing how to go deep in God and have a vibrant relationship with Jesus. In fact, my “How to Love God” series is still far and away the most sought out posts on this blog. People realize that there is a gap and are trying to fill it.
The Great Commandment
There is a reason that Jesus stated the first commandment first. It’s first because Jesus knows this is how we are designed to truly live. If it ceases being first then it’s a matter of time before we eventually burnout, walk-away or self-destruct.
Luke 10:27 “And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
If we ignore intimacy WITH God then we begin to do ministry FOR God. Ultimately, ministry moves from a GET TO to a HAVE TO. There is life beyond faithfulness, it’s called fulness. Fulness is God’s dream for us!
Ephesians 3:19 “and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
The Great Commission is never to be preached at the expense of the Great Commandment. It’s as if we have convinced ourselves that it is one or the other. It’s actually both.
The Great Commission and the Great Commandment were always meant to be married. The two becoming one. Yet the priority is to keep growing in the knowledge of God as we do ministry with God.
The House of Prayer reality is an intentional attempt to keep this priority.
Questions: Love to get your thoughts on this. Please take time and add your comment below.