Is the House of Prayer movement running out of steam?
FIRST—This afternoon (Sunday, November 22) at 4pm is the Revival Church Thanksgiving Dinner! Come on out and make some new, hungry (for turkey AND revival!) friends! Then, we’ll kick into strategic pursuit of revival at 6pm. www.detroitrevivalchurch.com.
Is the House of Prayer movement running out of steam? That question is sure to elicit a wide range of emotions and reactions, from radical disagreement to a yawn of indifference.
Here’s my thought: The House of Prayer movement is a strategic and divine plan of God. However, the House of Prayer movement in its current form is to bring recalibration to the church—it in itself is not meant to be an enduring structure.
Now, allow me to bring some clarification. The church is to be a house of prayer for all nations. Those of you who follow my ministry know my heart on this topic well.
I feel it is utter insanity that prayer is nearly non-existent in churches today. I mean, lets talk about this. Churches that don’t have prayer as the primary ministry and activity is like encouraging people to stand in a shower with no water. It’s so obviously nonsensical.
Prayer is the clear, tangible connecter between man and God. It’s the conduit of relationship that Jesus made possible for us on the cross.
Matthew 7:21-23 (NKJV) 21 "Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'
The clear idea here is that it’s possible to align ourselves with God, work for him, be dramatically involved in his business, while also not knowing him, not ‘saved’.
So, the problem is that we have churches full of devoted people, people who are working, serving and ministering, who don’t intimately know God. This is a more serious issue that we can imagine.
In my book The Terror of Hell I wrote about a dream that shook me to my core. As I prayed for interpretation of that dream, God wrecked my theology and comfort level. He said, “John, many people in the church will be shocked one day to find themselves in Hell.”
I believe the House of Prayer movement is a necessary shock to the church system. It must bring recalibration to a prayer-starved church.
It’s re-emphasizing the call to return to our first love. Check out this striking scripture:
Luke 10:25-28 (NKJV) 25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" 26 He said to him, "What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?" 27 So he answered and said, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,' and ‘your neighbor as yourself.' " 28 And He said to him, "You have answered rightly; do this and you will live."
This should be our primary salvation scripture. This should be our primary salvation strategy. The question was clear: What shall I do to inherit eternal life? Love God! Deeply! With every part of our being!
If we do this, and let that love reach others around us, we will be saved.
So, with prayer being the vehicle of relationship and intimacy with God, we must be severely alarmed when that vehicle is out of service.
The Global Prayer Movement and the House of Prayer Movement are not one in the same, though, of course, they are uniquely connected. The Global Prayer Movement is ramping up and gaining momentum. Right now, it seems that the House of Prayer is its primary driver.
However, this cannot remain. The church, with its governmental authority and biblical mandate inherent in it, must receive the baton of intimate, prophetic prayer from the House of Prayer movement.
I don’t believe Houses of Prayer, in their current form, can survive indefinitely. They must transition into or merge with churches.
For example, we see the International House of Prayer in Kansas City functioning as a keenly focused prayer ministry. People there pray hours a day as their primary life activity. However, it also functions as a church. They meet that need for people. They have no need to send people to a ‘real church’ because IHOP is a church.
Additionally, this year, they moved from an 80%/20% model of prayer/ministry to a 50/50 model. Their prayer is enabling and infusing church ministry.
I know this is a provocative and even offensive question, but if we at least consider it I believe we’ll be well on our way toward reformation in the church: Is it possible that IHOP and prayer-fueled ministries like it have a radically higher percentage of people who are truly saved than a typical church?
I’m not saying they have better theology or that they are somehow elite. I’m decreasing this issue to the lowest foundational level. They pray. The are intentionally applying the Luke 10 salvation strategy. They are focusing on the call to intimately know God.
This strategy and primary focus must return to every typical church on every street corner. That’s what the House of Prayer movement is doing. Rick Joyner says that if house of prayer leaders do their job well, they will work themselves out of that job. The true, biblical structure is the church, which is a house of prayer for all nations.
If houses of prayer succeed in their mission, there will no longer be a need for houses of prayer as we now know them.