R2HOP exists to passionately engage believers in perpetual worship and intercession as described by King David—to foster intimacy, to agree with God as it touches the Rock River Valley and beyond, and to announce the fast approaching final hour of natural history.
God continues to set in motion His manifold plans for the end of the age. One piece of that plan is the restoration of the tabernacle of David which will trigger a great seeking among the lost (Acts 15:15-17) – an end time harvest of enormous proportion. Restoring the Davidic experience of intercessory worship—his understanding of the House of Prayer (HOP), is one part of the restoration of that tabernacle of David.
David erected a tent to house the Ark of the Covenant (2 Sam 6:17) that he brought from Kiriath-jearim. For many years the sacrificial system had continued in Israel without the ark. But David understood that the ark was the place of God’s presence. He appointed 288 prophetic singers and 4,000 musicians to worship and minister to the Lord continually in Jerusalem under Asaph’s direction (1 Chr 16:37; 23:5,30; 25:1,7).
In Psalm 27:4, David makes this declaration. “4 One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to meditate in His temple.” Out of his extraordinary experience with God, David saw God in at least three dimensions that would be significant for all generations that followed him. He saw God as the one who longs for intimacy (Ps 27:4—bridal paradignm), the God who is king (Ps 2) and the God who is judge (Ps 7). These three themes are interconnected and resound throughout all of the scriptures. The House of Prayer through intercessory worship seeks to re-energize the church in each of these spheres in preparation for the Lord’s return.
The House of Prayer encourages the cultivation of a number of attributes. Four are emphasized more regularly because of their weak presence in the body today, but all the attributes or heart standards that are given here are part of the value proposition for the House of Prayer.
The name IHOP was chosen in Kansas because it represented the four ’short supply’ attributes. “I” for Intercession is the literal night and day pursuit of God in prayer and worship that undergirds the ministry. “H” for Holiness of heart, or passion for Jesus, is the cry of the Bride who seeks to be wholly devoted to the bridegroom (first commandment saints). “O” for extravagant offering is God’s heart for the poor of the earth. God cares greatly about them and desires to meet their needs: both the spiritual and natural ones. “P” for embracing the prophetic or the daily operation of the Spirit is God’s heart for moving forward. This includes the full range of Holy Spirit activities: guiding, leading, convicting, gifting, teaching, creating fruit and sustaining the people of God etc.
Key biblical applications given below contribute to a growing understanding of God’s purposes behind the 24/7 House of Prayer. Taken together, they provide the DNA for this ministry. (The order of presentation here does not imply any order of importance.)
Song 8:5-7 “Who is this coming up from the wilderness leaning on her beloved? Beneath the apple tree I awakened you. There your mother was in labor with you. There she was in labor and gave you birth. Put me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, jealousy is as severe as Sheol. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord. Many waters cannot quench love, nor will rivers overflow it. If a man were to give all the riches of his house for love, it would be utterly despised.”
Our bridegroom God intensely loves us even in our weakness and brokenness. And He is not waiting for us to mature before He expresses this great love. This knowledge and experience of God’s strong love for the bride causes his people to fall desperately in love with Jesus and opens our hearts to a dedicated pursuit of intimacy with Him. Love will ultimately move us far beyond the place where ordinary discipline will take us.
We have fallen desperately in love with Jesus. The revelation of His intense, fiery desire toward us (Songs 8:5-7) has captured us. His love for the weak, immature and broken believers has fascinated us and propelled our hearts into passionate and intimate pursuit (Ps 27:4). Lovers will always out do doers!
Sure mercies of David—Intimacy
Isaiah 55:3 “Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live. And I will make an everlasting covenant with you, according to the faithful mercies shown to David.” David failed in many areas of life, but God treated him with kindness and mercy. This has always been God’s promise in Jesus, but is graphically demonstrated for us in the life of David. And David has become a sign or witness to us.
Isaiah 56:7 “Even those I will bring to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar. For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.” God intends to give those who come to the house of prayer joy! It won’t be a work of drudgery. Instead, intercession mixed with worship will sustain itself and be enjoyable.
Jude 1:3 “Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.” Salvation is a free gift, but relationship takes pursuit! It is not the simple result of salvation. Many of the benefits of the kingdom grow out of relationship. And to enter into these relational promises we must earnestly contend for all that God would give.
The attendants in the bridal party who had oil were able to wait for the long delayed arrival of the bridegroom. They were able to enter in (Mt 25:1-12). The oil of God can not be gained from some other source. It must be personally cultivated.
Agreement With God—Kingdom
When we agree with who God is, we call this worship and when we agree with God’s purposes, we call this intercession. We proclaim both in song and prayer (1 Chr 16:23-25).
The Kingdom on Earth—Kingdom
The Lord taught the disciples to pray, “Thy kingdom come Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Mt 6:10)”, Rev 5:10. God intends to have two kingdoms: a heavenly one and an earthly one. The resurrection bodies that we receive will allow us to operate in both realms (Rev 5:10; Eph 2:6)
Personal intercession is not the only prayer God seeks. He is waiting for the corporate expression of our cry to Him as well (Is 30:18-19; Joel 2:15-17).
Night and Day—Kingdom
Praying without ceasing is much more than having a continual spirit of prayer (1 Thes 5:17) which is certainly good. It is about a community of believers that manage their lifestyles so that they can engage in 24/7 prayer asking for a habitation of God (Ps 132:1-5).
Resolute of heart—Kingdom
Matthew 11:12 “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.” Advancing the kingdom takes force or a resolute heart and men of resolute heart will advance the kingdom. It is not a matter of knowledge or skill, but passion for Jesus.
No standing still—Kingdom
Mark 4:25 “For whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.” To those who hotly pursue God, more grace will be given. To those who stop or begin to move away from God, even what they have, they will lose.
Daniel 9:3 “So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes.” Daniel recognized the prophetic time he was in. He understood Jeremiah’s prophecy. He knew about Cyrus, and set his heart to seek the Lord with prayer and fasting. It is an appropriate time to seek the Lord with fasting. Such a lifestyle will help us to more quickly connect with God’s plans for the times and consequently a fasted lifestyle should be pursued.
Ephesians 3:19 “And to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” God intends to give the bride more than can be imagined and our desire is to receive all that God wants to give in the coming colossal end time move: intimacy, revelation, signs & wonders, unity, fellowship, love and much more.
2 Corinthians 12:9 “And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”
What God is looking for is voluntary weakness. When we expend ourselves and choose the lifestyle and behaviors of the Kingdom that outwardly look foolish and wasteful to the world, we will know God’s power. When we pour out our lives for God, He will pour out His power. Voluntary acts of weakness include, but are not limited to, fasting, prayer, worship, study, giving and other kingdom activities that require a measure of sacrifice. God is going to release outstanding power through his servants in the last days. But He does not wish to see His children corrupted by His powerful gift. Consequently, He has determined to release His power in the context of our weakness and our love sick devotion to Jesus.
Not offended by Christ—Kingdom
Jesus told His listeners to not take offense at His actions and style (Mt 11:6). The coming pressure of the last days may offend many believers who do not see Jesus in all His attributes. They have cultivated a limited Jesus after their own tastes and interests rather than the bridegroom, king and judge that scripture provides.
John the Baptist was called a forerunner (Luke 1:17). And the HOP has a similar purpose—announcing, in this case, the fast approaching return of Jesus and the end of natural history as we know it.
He has placed watchman on the walls (intercessors) who will cry out day and night until God makes Jerusalem a “praise” in all the earth (Isa 62:1-2). Israel has not dropped from God’s heart. The church has not replaced Israel. One of the great mysteries in the Bible is God’s intention to make one new man from Jew and Gentile (Eph 2:15). The groundwork was completed at the cross. And our ability to stand with Israel in their coming trials will be vital to God’s purposes. This promise of joining Jew and Gentile can’t be fulfilled if all Israel is destroyed as Satan would like to do, or if the church is suddenly absent at the most pivotal point of Israel’s history.
Joel 2 people—Sound the Trumpet—Judge
Joel 2:12-18 “Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “Return to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, weeping and mourning; and rend your heart and not your garments.” Now return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness and relenting of evil. Who knows whether He will not turn and relent and leave a blessing behind Him, even a grain offering and a drink offering, For the Lord your God? Blow a trumpet in Zion. Consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly. Gather the people, sanctify the congregation. Assemble the elders. Gather the children and the nursing infants. Let the bridegroom come out of his room and the bride out of her bridal chamber. Let the priests, the Lord’s ministers, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, “Spare Your people, Lord, and do not make Your inheritance a reproach, a byword among the nations. Why should they among the peoples say, ‘Where is their God?’ “ Then the Lord will be zealous for His land and will have pity on His people.”
Business as usual Christianity will not survive. Joel 2 is a cry to forsake this pattern of regular religious activity, repent and intercede for the hour that is coming upon the church and the world.
A Terrible day…Judge
Joel 2:11 11 And the LORD utters His voice before His army; Surely His camp is very great, For strong is he who carries out His word. The day of the LORD is indeed great and very awesome (terrible), And who can endure it?
A day of judgment is on its way, but there is still time to cry out for mercy. God may well provide pockets of mercy as He did in the time of Joseph (Gen 41:57). It will be terrible because of the rage of Satan (Rev 13:5-7):, the travail of the physical earth (Rom 8:18-21), the ripening of the sin of men (Dan 8:23) as well as the judgments of God in the land.
A Great day…judge
It will also be a great day of salvation and deliverance as men cry out to God in their distress and wonder. All who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved (Joel 2:32). Both the ‘great’ and the ‘terrible’ will function at the same time.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-6 “Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.”
The church will be present for much of the hardships that will come on the world prior to Christ’s return and there is a need to prepare. This preparation is primarily spiritual and involves recapturing the intimacy, power and revelation that God intended, and it is partly physical. As God used Joseph to preserve Israel and much of the world in his day, so God will use the church in a similar way to call forth ‘pockets of refuge’.
The attributes listed above are not exhaustive, but reflect locus of thoughts growing out of the HOP movement. As the movement matures there will be better ways to express the reality and lifestyle associated with the HOP. This document will grow.
In the early 1980’s God supernaturally began to build the Kansas city House of Prayer which has become a model not only in the Rock River area, but throughout the Midwest and beyond. God gave Mike Bickle 5 promises as the House of Prayer began to unfold. By extension, these will also affect the Rock River House of Prayer to one degree or another.
The Lord was going to lead Mike in many of the ways that He led King David. His life would mirror in many ways the life of David.
- God was going to give him a revelation of divine gentleness (Ps 18:35). God was going to treat him with unusual gentleness and God expected him to treat all people in a similar fashion – even those that sinned against him.
- God promised to give him an abundance of dreams, heavenly experiences and angelic encounters etc. And He promised it as well to those whom God brought around Mike.
- God was going to make the Word of God the primary pillar of all that Mike did. The Lord insisted on it. And He promised to awaken in Mike a great love for the Word.
- And lastly, God warned him that he would have much opposition. When one battle was done, another would be on the way. The source of struggle would be from unbelievers and believers alike.
Peter wrote, “So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.” God has built a prophetic foundation around the House of Prayer in Kansas and we will continue to collect and carefully consider the biblical applications God has highlighted.