The first time I heard of the International House of Prayer was 2002 and 2003. At that time I was a junior in high school and loved God, didn’t know the word in a deep personal way, but loved prayer and believed in intercession. My mother Susie has been such an inspiration of a life of prayer and intercession. I have watched her travel the world and preach the gospel. But IHOP really became the place where what I saw in my mom and what I was hearing in my church in Colorado.
The One Thing conference the end of 2003 was the first time I was in Kansas City and when I first heard this call to intimacy( though I was hearing that a lot before) and more so the vision of a life of prayer that was not just devotional prayer, but corporate prayer and intercession. Being away from IHOP now for 2 full years( since Jan. 2013) I still spend the end of the year tuning in by the web stream. I kind of mildly joke with friends now and say, “I kind of don’t know how to spend the end of the year!” And I understand more clearly now that I am not in Kansas City and I am not doing what I did for nearly a decade. But, I want to live always receptive of the message of passion for Jesus. Never do I want to get to a place where I say I have heard this my whole life. And at 29 years old I have heard it most of my life, but it is more dangerous to think you have arrived when really you are weaker and lack more knowledge then you think.
We do move on from communities, ministries, churches and go to other areas. People move. People leave. People go to other assignments in God. But in the midst of things changing in life I want to respond to the corporate invitation of living for God. It can be so easy to always focus on how Godless we are in America. Mark Driscoll’s 2013 release of his book has the tagline(paraphrasing): will Christianity have a funeral or NOT? And I will need to read the whole thing to review the whole of that point. We are right to point out that we are worse off then we maybe esteem ourselves to be. It is truth that more people probably just attend church then actually live for God. And I know for myself I can be so focused so easily on the crisis at hand. I look at a lack of maturity among men that seem not like they are adults. I spent so much time after high school focused on wanting to grow up for the sake of not being deemed a tool or a loser. And all of these things are real, but the focus is Jesus. The solution to immaturity is the love of God. The solution to Christianity dying or being deemed as something it is not is the revival in the heart of who God is to us and who we are to him.
I honor One Thing in Kansas City for pulling people into the crisis but giving people hope in Christ. The people parish without vision and so what is the vision for your life? What do you want to become in God? God speaks and we can respond but now the challenge is how do we live it out in the context of our lives. I seek to live this next year in more of a violent pursuit towards having Ephesians 1:17-19 alive in me. To have “A Spirit of wisdom and revelation( not just general things) but in the knowledge of Christ Jesus!”
We are a godless generation in terms of the number of people choosing immorality over God. But, enough with just the stats on how far we have fallen( I think everyone just does this, so its not one particular ministry or person) but what to say YES to and who to follow, so that we don’t become the general statistic of living for ourselves and living for the temporary pleasures of this world. Both the bad and the good do need to be mentioned, but I turn my eyes to Jesus who is the one thing that I desire. My desires are fallen and I do want ungodly things, but in saying YES to Him I can become like Him in every way. I honor the One Thing Conference for unashamedly preaching the Gospel with power and conviction. Be blessed by this conference!
Watch now: here.
The Conference has one more full day all day tomorrow and ends at midnight KC time!