International House of Prayer’s founder reveals how the 24/7 ministry hub actually works
On Sept. 19, 1999, a group of 20 people in Kansas City, Mo., began to worship God 24/7 and pray for an outpouring of the Spirit on God’s people to build the church and establish His kingdom in every sphere of society. Today we have about 1,000 staff members who raise their own financial support as “intercessory missionaries.” We were inspired by the financial model used by Campus Crusade and Youth With A Mission, both of which have about 25,000 full-time staff who have raised their own financial support.
All staff members spend at least 25 hours each week in our worship-based prayer room and a minimum of 25 hours per week in ministry outreach, works of justice, administration and service. About 300 of our staff and interns have reordered their lives to serve in the prayer room from midnight until 6 a.m. We call this faithful company the NightWatch. Along with staff, we have 1,000 students and interns in our full-time Bible school, International House of Prayer University (IHOPU), training to serve their local churches in prayer, worship and outreach.
Our week is organized into 84 prayer meetings, each lasting two hours. Every meeting is led by a worship team of 10 to 12 staff members who interact with intercessors in what we call the “harp and bowl model” of prayer (see Rev. 5:8). This refers to combining worship music and intercession in corporate prayer settings.
Alongside the importance of worship in our prayer meetings we emphasize intimacy with God, knowing that God’s purpose and desire for His people is that we would encounter His heart in a deep and personal way. We worship the Father, with confidence that He relates to us with tender mercy. We come before Jesus in worship and intercession, knowing that as our Bridegroom God He is filled with fiery desire for us.
Thus, with our worship grounded in intimacy with God, we bring our petitions to Him in an expression of intercession. Our 24/7 sanctuary of worship with prayer is both a place of personal encounter and a gathering of corporate intercession where we boldly approach the throne, lifting our voices as one. We ask the Lord to pour out His Spirit across Kansas City and our nation, and throughout the earth. At IHOP-KC, we are committed to prayer for the harvest, with music and from intimacy with God.
IHOP-KC does not have a network of ministries. We do not allow other ministries to join us organizationally; rather, we send our trained students and interns out to various sites, encouraging them to build prayer ministries in the context of their local churches, with no connection to IHOP-KC. We recommend that they help to establish a prayer culture in the church family in which God has placed them, rather than seeking to establish a 24/7 prayer ministry in one building.
IHOP-KC: By the Numbers
25,000 attendees at IHOP-KC’s onething young adult conference last year
100,000 out-of-town visitors to IHOP-KC each year
1,000,000 hours of video streamed each month on ihop.org
3 programs IHOPU offers (ministry, music and media)
250 acres of land IHOP-KC campuses cover in Kansas City
7,000 testimonies of physical healing