Mike Bickle explains the importance of today’s prayer movement
I am honored and challenged to be the guest editor of this issue of Ministry Today. It’s impossible to cover all the important elements and ministries the Holy Spirit is emphasizing right now regarding the prayer and worship movement. But in this issue we seek to highlight some of what is happening, why it is important, and how it will strengthen the church’s efforts in evangelism, world missions and in establishing local congregations.
In this hour of history God is raising up a worship-based prayer movement as the leading edge of a youth-led missions thrust that will reach all nations with the power of the gospel as it invades every sphere of society with the presence of God’s kingdom. This massive movement involves people from all around the world, in many different congregations, ministries and denominations.
The Lord led me to focus on building an evangelical missions organization based on night-and-day prayer and led by worship teams serving 24/7. For the past 12 years our missions base, the International House of Prayer, has continued nonstop in worship and prayer.
Our goal is to stir up courage and confidence in others, knowing that if weak and broken young people in Kansas City, Mo., can cultivate a prayer culture in the context of an outreach ministry, then anyone can do it. The point here is not how dedicated we are, but how weak we are—and how sufficient the grace of God is. Our message is not that every local church should establish a 24/7 prayer ministry. Continual prayer will be accomplished most effectively by the body of Christ together, as God’s people offer up prayer from many different locales across a city or region. Rather, we encourage pastoral leaders to seek to develop a culture of prayer in their church families.
The increasing focus on corporate worship in the Christian music industry over the last two decades has been significant for the prayer and worship movement that is exploding across the earth in this hour. The truth is that a growing number of believers have a deep desire to engage with Jesus’ heart instead of merely being entertained by Christian “recording artists.”
Worship is a witness on earth to Jesus’ indescribable value. The truth of His greatness must be declared corporately in song by people who love Him. The Lord desires to be worshipped on earth as He is in heaven (see Matt. 6:10). This prayer and worship movement is being energized by those who experience intimacy with the Father’s heart as He relates to them with tender mercy, and intimacy with Jesus as He touches them with fiery desire as their Bridegroom God.
As you read this special issue, my prayer is that your heart will be stirred with how instrumental the end-time worship and prayer movement will be in releasing the greatest harvest of souls in history (see Matt. 24:14; Rev. 7:9,14). The Spirit is calling the church to rise up in unity across cities and to offer continual, strategic intercession with worship, flowing from prophetic music and intimacy with God.
With a heart of humility and passion, the church across the earth will work together to fulfill the Great Commission. Jesus will respond to the voice of His bride calling out as one with the Spirit for Him to come in power to vanquish His enemies and fill the earth with the knowledge of the Lord.
About Our Guest Editor ...
Mike Bickle is the director of the International House of Prayer Missions Base of Kansas City (IHOP–KC). IHOP-KC is an evangelical missions organization based on 24/7 prayer with worship that is engaged in many evangelistic and inner-city outreaches, along with multiple justice initiatives, planting houses of prayer and training missionaries. IHOP–KC has continued in nonstop prayer led by worship teams since Sept. 19,1999, and it is committed to combining 24/7 prayers for justice with 24/7 works of justice. Approximately 2,000 people (staff members, students, interns) serve full-time on the missions base, investing 50 hours per week in the prayer room, classroom and ministry outreaches. Bickle is also the founder of the International House of Prayer University, which includes a full-time Bible school, music school and media school. He is the author of several books, including Passion for Jesus, Growing in the Prophetic, The Pleasures of Loving God, After God’s Own Heart and Prayers to Strengthen Your Inner Man. Bickle’s teaching emphasizes growing in passion for Jesus through intimacy with God, doing evangelism and missions work from the place of night-and-day prayer.