I got to know Jesus in the prayer room.
For those of you who are instantly confused about that, the prayer room, houses of prayer, the prayer movement, are all ways of referencing … I don’t want to say organizations because that sounds so cold, but that may be what I go with here.. Organizations, churches and communities who have set up places for people to come and pray and worship together. Many of these organizations are 24/7, with men and women who are committed to gathering there all hours of day and night.
Anyway. That’s where I got to know Him. That’s where I experienced His love in such a real way that even when I’ve wanted to in the past, I’ve not been able to walk away from it.
I did an internship at one of the most well known houses of prayer, IHOP Kansas City.
It changed my life. After returning home to Orlando I continued to be deeply involved in the prayer movement and was a part of a ministry school. For about 5 years, it was abnormal to have less then 4 hours a day set aside to mandatory prayer and bible reading.
And in the midst of it, I saw a lot of things I didn’t like, like legalism and religion. Last summer I went to a gathering and one of my long time friends saw me and cried he was so happy I was there. “Why are you here?” He asked. “You don’t come to things like this”
I thought for a moment before answering, “I want to see if I still believe in the prayer movement.”
I believed in Jesus. Even that same night I remember telling my friend, “give me the Jesus movement and I’ll take it but I don’t want the prayer movement or the justice movement or any other trend. They aren’t the answer.”
But… It’s not as easily separated as that. The prayer movement exists because it’s a piece of His heart. Same with the justice movement. They are not in Themselves the answer. But please don’t push them aside because some people have brought religion and legalism into them. People do that because they’re religious and legalistic, not because the thing is.
I remember that same weekend hearing a man by the name Lou Engle speak. I’ve heard him many times and would dare say he’s a father in our generation of these different movements. As he spoke I cried as I so often do because it kept hitting my heart that he wasn’t legalistic, he was just passionate, just hungry for heaven. He spoke of things that had been foundational to me and now I was deattached from because I’d made it legalistic and didn’t know how to make it about Jesus again.
That weekend was a turning point for me. A lot of things changed. I remembered who I was and the power of my stories.
That’s not at all what I meant to write about. I just wanted to give a reference point for what the House of Prayer was.
Today I stumbled upon a periscope clip of Mike Bickle, founder and director of IHOP KC, talking about eternal rewards– a teaching I’ve heard hours and hours on back in the day, my time as a House of prayer kid. He said everytime you choose Jesus, the little yeses to Him today, though now you may feel His pleasure a little, in the age to come, when this life has faded, you feel such tremendous outpourings of His pleasure.
I don’t know how, but I had forgotten there’s a coming age that we’re living for. It’s been enough to live for today because… I love Him. And am confident that He is at work. He is heaven to me. Being with Him, feeling His nearness. That is heaven. But there is also an age coming when we will see Him clearly and He will let all know that He has loved us.
The questions and doubts won’t be needed because He will be physical. And we will be rewarded for how we lived this life.
He will write His name on us, knowledge of who He is will flood us. He will ask our opinions, the meek will really inherit the earth… And in this life you will have troubles… And that is why we must set our minds on things above, on that which has yet to come, on the things that are unseen.
My confidence comes from living for another age… And it sounds crazy!!! Except for the truth that the next age floods into this age and we find that by choosing Him, by being love, by walking in truth and kindness, we are living our best lives now and later.
And every time you choose to not hit back, even in your heart, it matters. Every time you give generously, it matters. Every time you choose to guard your eyes, it matters.
What we do in life echoes in eternity. It really does.