Prophetic Foundations of a Global Prayer Movement
The Great Experiment Begins
Testing, Triumph & Preparation
Founded by Mike Bickle, the International House of Prayer of Kansas City began on May 7, 1999, with a humble, hungry group of young people crying out to God for thirteen hours each and every day. Four months later, on September 19, these “intercessory missionaries” extended their schedule to 24/7. A movement of unceasing worship with prayer had begun, which, in the grace of God, shall continue till Jesus returns.
While spending a night in prayer in a hotel room in Cairo, Egypt, Mike Bickle (who was a young pastor at the time) heard powerfully the voice of the Lord say, “I will change the understanding and expression of Christianity in one generation.” Mike continued to pray and keep the word close to his heart in the ensuing years.
March 7, 1983
When the two first met, Bob Jones told Mike Bickle that the Lord would use him to pastor a young adult movement of singers and musicians who would pray for Israel and have strong ties to Asia. Mike initially didn’t believe Bob, but two weeks later it was confirmed to him that Bob, in fact, had heard from the Lord. Bob, who passed away in 2014, played a pivotal role in encouraging Mike during the early years of the movement and was a great friend to IHOPKC.
After receiving specific direction from the Lord, Mike called churches in Kansas City to a 21-day solemn assembly of prayer and fasting. During that time, the Lord gave a prophetic word to do “24/7 prayer in the spirit of the tabernacle of David.” This birthed 16 years of prayer meetings held three times per day at the church Mike was pastoring. He now says the word was the continuation of what he had first heard in the hotel in Cairo eight months earlier, that the two words are linked.
May 7, 1997
In Assisi, Italy, Mike heard the Lord say that He would raise up “friends of the Bridegroom forerunner messengers” to prepare the Bride for Christ’s return. John the Baptist called himself a “friend of the Bridegroom” because he prepared the way for Jesus’ first coming. We are believing the Lord to raise up many such messengers in advance of Jesus’ second coming.
Forerunner School of Prayer, which would later become International House of Prayer University, was founded in 1999, equipping people to intercede and lead a lifestyle of prayer. IHOPU would later expand to include the Forerunner Music Academy (which trains singers and musicians in the harp and bowl model of combining prayer and worship) and later on the Forerunner Media Institute (which trains up messengers to tell God’s story through media).
Find out more by visiting ihopu.org.
May 7, 1999
On May 7, 1999, the International House of Prayer began in the “old trailers” on Grandview Road, with 13 hours of prayer and worship each day. Mike Bickle and a small group of intercessors and worship leaders staffed the prayer room. Our hearts overflow with thanks to the Lord for His grace and faithfulness to us over the years.
September 19, 1999
Thanks to the faithful musicians and intercessors who signed up for the NightWatch, the prayer room schedule expanded to 24/7 on September 19, 1999—and has been going without end ever since. Several intercessors of that original team are still on the NightWatch today. It is our prayer that before the Lord returns the fire on the altar “shall never go out” (Lev. 6:13).
The first internship began with five young adults, including Misty Edwards, Alisha Powell, and Aaron Walsh. Since then we have expanded to five different internships and have had the privilege to be part of equipping thousands of interns who have gone on to staff prayer rooms across the US and abroad (as well as our own prayer room).
Find out more by visiting ihopkc.org/internships.
Our record label, Forerunner Music, was founded in 2001 by Nick Syrett, with the studio opening on the Shiloh property in spring 2001. IHOPKC worship leaders, singers, and musicians from the prayer room, including Jon Thurlow, Misty Edwards, Jaye Thomas, and Laura Hackett Park, have been featured on around 150 albums from Forerunner Music.
See the latest from Forerunner Music by visiting unceasingworship.com.
February 26, 2001
We bought the strip mall on Red Bridge Road in Kansas City on February 26, 2001. Over the next two years, we gradually moved our center of operations from the trailers in Grandview to the new location at Red Bridge Center equipped with much-needed office space and meeting rooms. We also expanded our facilities during that time by providing a kitchen for the internships and starting work on a coffee shop.
September 18, 2001
Lenny and Tracey La Guardia moved to Kansas City to join the International House of Prayer and establish the Children’s Equipping Center (CEC). The families of IHOPKC so appreciate Lenny and Tracey who continue to lead a dedicated team that serves thousands of children (ages 1–12) through camps, conferences, and trainings—whether in our own community, around the nation, or abroad.
Find out more by visiting ihopkc.org/cec.
December 11, 2001
Higher Grounds, led by Beth Stone, opened its doors late in 2001. In 2002, Dennis and Paula Bowers moved to Kansas City, and Dennis took up the position of leading the café— which offers coffee, tea, smoothies, and a variety of baked goods and food. Located next door to the prayer room, Higher Grounds is frequented for coffee-connects and fellowship by staff and visitors alike.
We hosted the first Onething conference in January 2002 at the Kansas City Convention Center with several thousand worshipers. For the next 16 years, we were blessed to host an average of 20,000 young people who gathered in person and online to encounter God through extended times of worship, teaching of the Word, and ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Lenny and Tracy La Guardia led the first Children’s Equipping Center camp just outside Kansas City. They’ve since grown to hosting multiple camps each summer and have seen camps established across the US and internationally in places like Poland. A few of the children who attended that first camp in 2002 are part of our staff today as worship leaders, singers, and musicians.
Find out more by visiting ihopkc.org/signsandwonders.
March 21, 2002
On March 21, 2002, we acquired Hernnhut Apartments next door to the prayer room on Red Bridge Road. This tremendous resource has housed many staff members, interns, and visitors from around the world and continues to serve as a great asset to our ministry.
March 7, 2003
The prayer room was moved from the trailer on Grandview Road into the remodeled Red Bridge Center, bringing a much-needed addition of space and amenities. The new prayer room was dedicated on March 7, 2003, and continues today as the Global Prayer Room (GPR).
The prayer room webstream began with only one camera in 2003, exposing worship with prayer to a global audience. Over the years we’ve received many reports of believers from all over the world (including Christians in persecuted lands) who are encouraged by watching the prayer room. The webstream also blesses many houses of prayer across the globe by providing live worship with prayer.
We expanded our setup to seven cameras and our schedule to full-time streaming. This means that at any time (night or day) since 2007 believers globally can watch the worship with prayer in Kansas City, hearing the Word sung and prayed and joining in our intercession for revival, harvest, and a great move of God at the end of the age. The webstream is available online and through apps for tablets and smartphones.
Find out more by visiting ihopkc.org/prayerroom.
Mike Bickle’s online teaching library launched in 2009, offering its resources to anyone for free. Equipped with audio and video teachings, study notes, and other resources, the library spans over 30 years of Mike’s ministry. The diverse topics featured include intimacy with Jesus, prayer, the Sermon on the Mount, and the return of Christ.
Find out more by visiting mikebickle.org.
September 19, 2009
At our tenth anniversary, on September 19, 2009, our staff members renewed their commitment to serve the Lord in 24/7 prayer with worship and made an additional commitment to serve the Lord and people with 24/7 works of justice. These labors involve mercy ministry (e.g., food, shelter), justice issues (e.g., sanctity of life), missions, and evangelism.
Our newly renovated university campus opened its doors to returning and incoming students, offering much-needed additional space from its previous building. For the first time at IHOPU, students from all three schools—Forerunner School of Ministry, Forerunner Music Academy, and Forerunner Media Institute—were united on the same campus that year. The facility has also hosted various IHOPKC meetings, departments, and activities.
IHOPU obtained permission to accept international students, and the first students from outside the US arrived for the fall semester of 2010. Today, students come from countries as diverse as China, Tajikistan, Egypt, England, Korea, Canada, and Brazil to encounter Jesus in His Word and in prayer with worship.
June 10, 2013
A few years after the prayer room opened in 1999, prayer meetings began in Spanish, Korean, and Chinese. As different ethnic groups continued to grow in our community, more languages were added to prayer meetings. On June 10, 2013, we dedicated the All Nations Prayer Room to the Lord where prayer with worship was led 85 hours per week in nine languages—Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Farsi, Portuguese, French, and German.
Find out more by visiting ihopkc.org/anpr.
With one camera only, we began to webstream the All Nations Prayer Room in the nine languages—Chinese, Korean, Arabic, Farsi, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, German, and French—ministering to the Lord and serving the nations. The ANPR is located on the IHOPU campus, and its existence is part of the fulfillment of what Bob Jones spoke in March 1983, that the nations would watch “singers and musicians in Grandview.”
April 9, 2016
Mike Bickle and IHOPKC representatives joined the Azusa Now rally in Los Angeles to mark the 110th anniversary of the Azusa Street Revival and to ask for a fresh outpouring of the Spirit in our land.
June 18, 2016
We announced our partnership with Every Home for Christ (EHC), one of the largest and most effective missions organizations in the world. We continue to pray for EHC’s missions efforts around the globe.
Find out more by visiting ehc.org.
September 11, 2016
We joined Youth With a Mission (YWAM) in a commitment to help raise up one million intercessors for global missions, furthering the partnership between IHOPKC and YWAM and the joining of missions and prayer.
Find out more by visiting ywam.org.
August 25, 2017
We launched the Center for Biblical End-Time Studies (CBETS), a three-year program of study through the 150 Bible chapters that are primarily about the end times. Forerunner Study Groups launched both in Kansas City and online.
Find out more by visiting ihopkc.org/cbets.
September 19–22, 2018
During our 19th anniversary, about 1,000 Chinese church leaders from across the globe joined us in Kansas City. This four-day gathering called Convergence was greatly used by the Lord to shift our IHOPKC community into a reset with a renewed commitment to prioritize growing as a family.
December 28–31, 2018
We held the last (for the foreseeable future) Onething conference—an annual tradition since 2002 which has attracted tens of thousands of believers to Kansas City. The last Onething built on themes of the reset, with a more spontaneous and family feel that included times of corporate confession, intercession, and repentance.
September 19, 2019
We celebrate twenty years of 24/7 prayer with worship, grateful to the Lord for His grace and leadership. We are also thankful for all those who have served on staff, from the first worship song in the old trailers on September 19, 1999, to today.