When Mike Bickle launched International House of Prayer in 1999, I never would have suspected it to such a far reach globally. I also never dreamed that we would ever become a House of Prayer ourselves. In fact, I had no clue there was an International House of Prayer until around 2004. The only connection I had with Mike Bickle was through his books on prophetic ministry when our church community was (and still are) “flowing in the river”.
Our Introduction to International House of Prayer
My first formal introduction to iHOP-KC came in 2006 when I and a team traveled to iHOP-KC. As soon as I stepped into the Prayer Room I knew this is how church ought to be. From the presence and into the streets, life and ministry. To have a perpetual place of unceasing worship and prayer was, and still is glorious.
Anyone at anytime can come and intentionally go deep in God, find refreshing, presence, community and prayer. To me this was much more of a biblical model of “church”. What I found at iHOP-KC was a group of people who actually pulled it off and have done so for close to fifteen years!
Through a long series of prophetic events we started our journey to a House of Prayer reality in 2007. Small steps led us to a prophetic point of no return. On January 1, 2011 we officially changed our name to Convergence House of Prayer. Again, it’s really an amazing story and journey.
The Main Difference Between a House of Prayer And A Traditional Church
Often I get questions from Pastors and leaders about the difference between what I call the House of Prayer and a Traditional Church.
From our own journey, here is what I see to be the main differences:
- The House of Prayer intentionally places the worth of Jesus, prayer, worship and encountering God (i.e. Prayer Room) at the center of all church life and ministry.
- Traditional churches are generally structured around weekend gatherings and ministry. The weekend and ministry groups are the focus.
So, the focus of the House of Prayer is the Prayer Room (some call it a Worship Room etc). In a traditional church the weekend services get the focus.
I’m not saying the House of Prayer is the only right model/structure and the traditional church is not. Each of us have our calling and anointing and a sense of His leading in leadership in our lives.
Ultimately, we need to ask ourselves just what we are building and why. We need to pray and look at how the Lord wants to establish His church in these days. We don’t have to default to the way things have always been done.
For us, it’s about establishing a place where the name of Jesus is boldly proclaimed because He is worthy, period.
In addition, we are intentionally creating a place where worship is offered, prayer/declarations are made, a place where the Lord is encountered, people are encouraged and healed. And from the place of puerperal worship and encounter people are empowered to fulfill the Great Commission.
More to Come
I will be sharing more about this topic in future posts, so stay tuned! We are definitely on a learning curve so any comments/questions help grow and sharpen us.