MY ADVENTURES IN JESUS-LAND
Hi, my name is Audrey Church McIntyre and I’m the senior leader of House of Good Hope in Hartford. I’ve written many articles here in the past, but have never written what I consider a formal “blog”. As one of my goals for this year, today, January 1, 2019 I’m starting this blog. This will be about what I call my “Adventures in Jesus-Land”: My personal and ministry walk with the Lord.
My prayer is that you join with me and pray for me as I share my heart with you?
Many years ago the Lord had laid it on my heart to write a book about my spiritual journey. Over the years I’ve written notes in many various places, filled many journals and books with all that I’ve been hearing from the Lord. But the notes were never organized and the book never fully came into fruition. My sister – a web designer and teacher on how to use social media – has been encouraging me to write a blog, One thing she said that especially struck my heart is this: “If you start a blog and faithfully write in it daily, by the end of the year your book would be written.” So here it is, the start of a new year, 1-1-19. Wouldn’t this be a great time to start a blog? I don’t know if I can do this daily, but if I write even just a weekly or monthly blog, this book may finally be born! Whoever reads this, please pray for me? Pray that I be consistent in this new adventure? I’ve started many projects including a YouTube channel, but have never followed through. As you join with me in this journey through my blogging, pray that a book would be born?
Here’s my story:
I’ve always had a passion for Jesus since the day I fully surrendered my life to Him. There was a holy hunger that consumed me. I was madly, passionately in love with the Lord ever since I gave my life to Him and this was never a half-way thing for me. I belonged to Jesus and He belonged to me! That day so long ago, July 22, 1978 was the beginning of a lifelong wild and crazy adventure, and it hasn’t stopped since. I pray that it never stops until the day I meet my beloved Lord and Savior in heaven. There have been excruciatingly dark times in my life, but I’ve always been given a deep joy and hope that always carried me through.
Over the years I became a single mother, along with all of the financial struggles, hard work and the loneliness that accompanies single motherhood. Those years drove me to press into God even more. Many long, lonely hours were spent in relentless travail and prayer. I pressed into God as never before, because as what Simon Peter once said, where else can I go? Who else can I turn to? Through all of the many hours of prayer, the Lord revealed Himself to me in such sweet miraculous ways! I started a small weekly prayer group in my home, and invited my friends to join me in pursuing the Lord through worship and prayer. As we prayed, the Lord started speaking to me about my laying everything down and entering into full-time ministry. He told me He was raising me up in leadership, that what was to be birthed through me would affect the 4 corners of the world. I was astounded when I first started hearing this. I certainly didn’t look like someone the Lord wanted to use in that capacity! I’m a poor single mother, twice divorced. I didn’t think leaders or for that fact, anyone in the organized church ever took me seriously. And the Lord was speaking this….. to me!
One day at sunrise one of my prayer partners and I were prayerwalking a local school as we usually did the weekend before school started. We would pray for the teachers, the schools – for their protection and the Lord would permeate the school grounds. This time Holy Spirit – the Ruach Ha Kodesh came to us as we prayed and He overwhelmed both of us. We both had to hang onto a nearby fence in order to remain upright, His Presence was so heavy upon us!
I heard Holy Spirit ask one question to me:
“Are you willing?”
I wasn’t even sure exactly what the Lord was asking me to do at that time, what it would look like or where I was to go. But whatever it was, I knew it was BIG!!! I told God I was a twice-divorced woman, a single mother with no money. And no one took me seriously! How could I do whatever He was asking me to do? Even though I wasn’t quite sure what was asked of me, I knew it was going to be huge, even worldwide. I was so painfully aware of how incapable I was to accomplish this, whatever it was. I was painfully aware that I couldn’t do it.
Then I heard the question again:
“Are you willing?”
I then raised my hands and said: “Yes Lord, I am willing”. At that moment a heavy burden for the lost overwhelmed my heart. Later that day I was at a store and broke out in tears, on the verge of travailing prayer. The store was packed with people, but how many of them know Jesus? I felt so incapable, yet my heart ached for their souls. I knew at that moment I felt just a small taste of how the Lord’s heart breaks for those who don’t know Him. At that time I wasn’t called to evangelize. I was called to pray.
STARTING HOUSES OF PRAYER
In 2001, the LORD called me to build Him a house of prayer. He kept saying this to me over and over whenever I prayed: “Build ME a House of Prayer”. In 2004, the Lord revealed this house of prayer was to be located in Hartford and it’s name is to be HOUSE OF GOOD HOPE. At about that time I discovered that was the original name of the city of Hartford when it was an old Dutch fort located on the banks of the Connecticut River. I knew that I knew that I knew there was to be a house of prayer in Hartford, Connecticut’s state capital and it was to prophetically take on the original name of it’s settlement. Hartford was to rediscover it’s destiny – it is called to be a city of hope….good hope……GOD’s hope. I saw this as an “intercessory assignment” and began praying it in, asked the Lord to raise up someone who would start this house of prayer. Little did I know the person God wanted to raise up was me! Again I tried to argue with the Lord about His choice. I’m not the “right kind” of person to lead a house of prayer! I’m a poor middle-aged woman who no one took seriously. I didn’t see myself as a good leader, in fact I didn’t even know how to be a leader. Especially a leader of a house of prayer! But the Lord made it very clear to me that I was to move to Hartford and I was to start this house of prayer. Over the years I was given many prophetic words, even those who were my spiritual leaders and authorities asked me when am I moving to Hartford? So, even though I don’t like cities, and especially didn’t like Hartford, in 2005 I sold my home in Stafford and moved to Bloomfield. I felt I needed to move into Hartford by degrees. I needed to get used to this. I was alone, my daughter was in college at that time and the city frightened me. Hartford, with it’s crime and poverty, and not being a “white” city scared me. I’m a country girl from the Midwest, this was something totally out of my paradigm.
In 2007, I was shown a house on Brown Street, and used all of my money to buy it. A house of prayer was finally born in Hartford! I didn’t know how to bring people in and spent many hours praying alone. Every time I did, I declared: “Lord, there is now a House of Prayer in Hartford and there is someone praying in it, even if it’s only me!”
In 2012 HOUSE OF GOOD HOPE was born
I knew I needed to learn how to run a house of prayer, but at that time there were not a lot of manuals written to teach us how to do it. There also were no other prayer houses in Connecticut that I knew of. Where was I going to learn how to do this? Here I am, alone in doing this and not knowing who to ask for help or how to learn to do it. So I started to visit other houses of prayer outside of New England, spent most of my time reading books and watching video teachings from Mike Bickle and the International House of Prayer in Kansas City (IHOPKC). Almost every house of prayer I encountered used the “harp & bowl” format of worship and intercession that came out of IHOPKC . When I visited other houses of prayer, I saw how they all patterned their prayer “sets” or prayer meetings after IHOPKC. They all had at least one prayer meeting using the harp & bowl format of worship and intercession. I love this format, it is so beautiful! It seemed to flow and encourage prayer sets & meetings to last for hours. I saw how it worked for them and I desperately wanted something similar in House of Good Hope. There was such a great longing in me for the harp & bowl format of worship and intercession, I carried this longing inside me for years.
BUT I HAD ONE BIG PROBLEM
Problem is: harp & bowl never worked here, not at House of Good Hope. We don’t have musicians, even though we prayed (and are still praying!) for the Lord to bring them in. Musicians have come and gone during different seasons, but no one stayed. No one caught the vision or had the heart to help with building this house of prayer. The Lord also revealed to me that I’m not to lead worship even though I had been a church worship leader in the past. I’m not to learn to play a guitar or a keyboard, in fact I wasn’t allowed to even purchase a guitar or keyboard for others to use to lead worship. The only thing I’m to do is continue to use YouTube or worship cds. So we continue to pray for musicians. We’ve been praying for musicians for years, and even though we’ve had visiting musicians come in and out, no one stayed. No one became part of House of Good Hope. No one had a vision for this house of prayer or wanted to partner with us in this work. The harp & bowl format really never took off here on a consistent basis. We’ve held many powerful prayer meetings with visiting musicians on special occasions, but that’s it. Also, when musicians did come to lead us, It never was true harp & bowl, just variations and mostly prophetic worship. No one stayed. I wanted musicians so much! I wanted someone to lead us into the Presence of God. I would have even taken a teenager who knew only 2 chords on a guitar! But for some reason no musicians came, and if they did come, they didn’t stay or partner with us. They all left after very short seasons.
NEW REVELATION / NEW SEASON
On my way to church one Sunday morning, I suddenly felt a huge urge to repent. In fact, my heart was so tenderized, I wanted to pull over so I could have a good cry. But I was on the highway, almost to church and was running late. After I got to the church, I took out my notebook and wrote down all that I was hearing the Lord say to me. Tears came to my eyes as I wrote this:
“Audrey, stop trying to copy someone else’s format and someone else’s blueprint of a house of prayer. I want to give you a NEW blueprint, but you keep trying to copy others! Do not use what others have done. Your house of prayer is called to be different. You are called to be unique. Dare to be different. Dare to imagine! Dare to be unique!.
I am redesigning you. I am redesigning House of Prayer, the whole House of Prayer movement. Would you dare to go in a different way…..for ME??
Use what I am giving you. I am opening a door to show you what I am calling you to do. Would you dare to go through that open door? Would you dare to be different? Do you have the courage to be unique?
I’m giving you a blueprint for prayer. Look in MY Word for the blueprint. Look at the Tabernacle. This is MY blueprint. This is the blueprint I had designed and I gave it to Moses. Now I give this to you.
The harp & bowl blueprint is what I gave to someone else. This prayer model is from ME, and yes, it’s beautiful, powerful and effective. But I did not give it to you, I gave it to someone else. I am now giving something different to you. Would you dare to use it? Do you have the courage to develop it? Do you have the courage to break the mold?
Develop the Tabernacle format of worship, prayer and intercession. Take it further. Use it.
Behold I’ve given you Bible verses to use in the Tabernacle. I will give you more. Tabernacle prayer and worship is throughout My word but it has yet to be fully discovered by My people. Will you go on a treasure hunt with Me? Will you be willing to look for this, use this and teach it to your people?
Take your people into the Tabernacle. Take your people into the Holy of Holies. I DARE you to use this! I will show you how to use this. Take it further than Cho. Dare to use this in every prayer that you lead.
• I am giving this to you.
• It is My gift to you.
• Steward this well.
• Develop this well.
It is MY Gift and I give it to you. Use it.
DR. CHO’S TABERNACLE PRAYER PATTERN
Over the last several years I’ve used many different prayer patterns as I lead prayer – from John Eckhardt and Cindy Trimm’s prophetic declaration and spiritual warfare models to the Courts of Heaven. I even used ancient prayer models such as contemplative prayer or Lectio Divina.
One of the prayer models we used was developed by Dr Yongghi Cho in South Korea, called the “Tabernacle Prayer”. This is an anointed prayer revealed by Holy Spirit to Dr. David Yongghi Cho. Dr Cho is the pastor of Yoido Full Gospel, a Korean church that is one of the largest churches in the world today with over 4 million members. God revealed this prayer to Dr. Cho over 50 years ago in the country of Formosa when he was teaching ministers how to preach and how to pray. He says that prayer is like “jogging: you decide the course or track to follow before you start.” He’s a strong believer in the use of prayer patterns or prayer models on a daily basis. He believes we all need some sort of prayer structure to keep us focused. “You cannot pray effectively unless you decide the course to take”. Now Dr. Cho attributes the success of his 50 years of ministry efforts to faithfully worshipping God and praying using the Tabernacle format during his devotional times. He’s taught this prayer model to many others, including Marilyn Hickey.
In my next blog, I will start sharing what Holy Spirit has been teaching us on how to use the Tabernacle Prayer model and what has happened when we use it.
Again I ask whoever reads this, please pray for me?