Worship and prayer through the night hours keeps the fire of adoration burning to change the spiritual atmosphere over our cities.

The NightWatch at the International House of Prayer (IHOPKC) covers the hours from midnight to 6am. Within a ministry that runs twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, a committed group of people are needed to labor through the night hours.

Because of the lifestyle change the NightWatch schedule requires, a unique dedication exists among this company of intercessors in the IHOPKC family. These intercessors, singers, and musicians have rearranged their lives in order to carry the torch of intercession through the night hours.

A typical day in the life of a NightWatch intercessor begins in the early afternoon and ends after leaving the prayer room at 6am. The NightWatch is a diverse group of IHOPKC staff, interns, and students from all stages of life, from single young adults to families with children.

The NightWatch mandate, with a special blessing, is found in Psalm 134: “Behold, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord, who by night stand in the house of the Lord! Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord. The Lord who made heaven and earth bless you from Zion!” We receive the blessing that the Lord promises those who stand in His house through the night.

NightWatch Mission

Standing by Night in the House of the Lord

The call to the NightWatch is a call to extravagant devotion. It is the Lord’s desire to raise up a people who will love Him in the night. On the night of Jesus’ betrayal, the hour of judgment and salvation, He found no one to stand with Him. But in the final hours of history—the time of escalated judgment and salvation—who will tarry with Him through the night?

The NightWatch as a Lifestyle

The NightWatch is a unique context for prayer which facilitates a lifestyle of voluntary weakness. By its very nature, the NightWatch creates the opportunity to engage with the Lord in a focused way by limiting distractions and extracurricular activity.

The NightWatch calls for a lifestyle change that some see as a type of fast.

The One Thing Needed: Communing with God

“Behold, bless the LORD . . . by night” is a call to a contemplative lifestyle in which we spend our lives before the Lord (Ps. 134:1; Lk. 10:42). By contemplative lifestyle we mean deep communion with God. Just like everything else in the kingdom, our first call in the NightWatch is to love the Lord. He is calling us to the “one thing needed”—the primary thing. Deep communion with God is to be our preoccupation in the night, whether in worship, intercession, or service.

There are three “one thing” passages found in Scripture.

  • Psalm 27:4: “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I 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 inquire in His temple.” Desire defined: The one thing humanity desires is to see beauty, and the only beauty that will satisfy is the beauty of the Lord. We are created with a thirst for the eternal.
  • Luke 10:42: “One thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Desire satisfied: Desire is satisfied as we sit at His feet and let Him kiss us with the kisses of His Word and unfold the pleasure of His divine love to us (Song 1:2).
  • Philippians 3:13–14: “One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” The journey of desire: It calls us to set a marathon pace.

How to Build Prayer Watches in the Night

Having one monthly or weekly meeting is a great way to start. We suggest starting small and allowing it to gain momentum. Try meeting from 10pm–2am, with the intention of eventually continuing until 6am.