July 6, 2013
My heart aches for nonstop worship and prayer! Oh how I long for a place where we can come in, sit on the floor and pray worship God nonstop; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Oh for a place where we can stop by no matter what time of day or what day of week. Where the place never closes! Oh God! Can I have that place? Can I help build that place? Show me how? Guide me? Lead me? Direct me?”
I wrote that in my journal on July 6 of this year, when I was sitting in a church waiting for service to start. My heart was aching for deep intense worship, where it never had to end. I longed for a place where time seemed not to matter, there was a flow of the Spirit, prayer was according to God’s leading, not according to man’s schedule. A place where we can soak in God’s Presence and not be told we have to leave because service was over and they have to lock the building. A place where worship doesn’t have to stop or be put in a box because it was time for the pastor to preach. I’ve read about times & places like that. Places where time seemed to stop. People would come at different times, some would stay for hours. It wasn’t about the teaching, the people who came, or the technical skill of the worship leaders. People came because they wanted to meet with God.
Preaching came up as Holy Spirit moved upon a heart, not because someone was assigned to preach. Nothing was said until Holy Spirit spoke into someone’s heart. The preacher could be some well-known preacher, or the sermon could come from an office worker, carpenter, housewife or even a child. It didn’t matter who did the preaching, it was the word of God. That had happened during previous revivals and great moves of God. People learned to wait, sometimes even for hours or days or even months until they heard from God. People learned to really pray and connect with God, not just pray their petitions while on the run, either for for work or ministry. People took time to wait and listen, really listen to hear the voice of Holy Spirit. I desperately wanted to go to a place like that. Such a passion, such a drawing wells up inside me to find a place like that!
I remember when I was a young believer I wanted to join a monastery. But the only monasteries I knew about weren’t places where I wanted to live. I wondered if there was such a place where people can visit or even live? A place where the worship and prayer never stops? It wasn’t until I heard of the International House of Prayer. I remember in 1999, I heard that no key was made for the front door because the door is never locked. I thought, how amazing! How wonderful! But the people I hung around with at that time discouraged me from investigating IHOP further. So it didn’t go anywhere.
Then I went IHOP Atlanta in January 2012 and got totally wrecked! All of these old passions and desires suddenly welled up inside me once again. So, I came home, quit many ministries and projects I had been doing and am focusing totally on House of Good Hope. We now hold 4-5 prayer meetings a week, including a school of prayer on Monday nights.
But oh God I want more! I want to be released to do this 24/7! I know I’m not yet disciplined to do this yet, but I want to be. I am willing to be made more willing. I feel like I barely pray, yet I run a prayer house and am in prayer every morning and hold prayer gatherings almost every night of the week. But it’s not enough! I want more!
It has been on my heart to hold prayer at House of Good Hope every day during the 10 Days of Awe. I was going to just open the house from 9am-7 or 9pm, but I felt The Lord lead me to consider keeping the house open 24/7. I believe this came to me as I wrote the above passage July 6. I hear The Lord challenged me with my own words, “You say you want to have a 24/7 house of prayer. Why not try it? Try it for 10 days”.
As I considered this challenge, I kept thinking this will be a great stretch. We’ve held many 12 & 24 hour prayer watches and they were never that well-attended. If one day or night watch was difficult, how can I hold a 24 hour prayer watch for 10 DAYS??? What daunting task! The very thought scared me, yet it excited me. If anything, this would give me opportunity to press into God as I never had before. I’m taking these days off from work, that part of my schedule has been set aside, even for just a few days.
Can it be done? Can I do it? We’re at least going to try. What better date to start than the 10 Days of Awe? We are starting at sunset, September 4, through to sunset, September 14. Some of are even going to try to throw in a little fasting with it.
Are there people out there who are like me? Are you hungry for more of God’s Presence in your life? Are you dissatisfied with where your own personal walk with God is? Are you dismayed with the condition of your family, your neighborhood, your city, your state or your country and you want to see God change the circumstances? Do you want to pour out your life into prayer? Do you want to connect with The Lord in a deeper, richer, fuller way yet you don’t have the time or place to do it?
I challenge you to join us in this experiment. How hungry are you for more of God? Do you only say you’re hungry, but if its inconvenient or even difficult, you’re not going to do it? if it even means putting aside another good thing just to do nothing but sit in a little house in prayer, are you willing to do it? Pray about getting stretched. How much do