There’s no shortcut to loving God. It requires time and intentional implications of our heart, mind, and soul.

Four of the Core Values of IHOPKC

by Adam Wittenberg
3 weeks ago 20th Anniversary

In 1982, the Lord spoke powerfully to Mike Bickle in a Cairo hotel room saying that He, the Lord Himself, would “change the understanding and expression of Christianity in the whole earth in one generation.” The Lord also emphasized four heart standards to Mike during those early years. These heart standards would shape Mike’s decade-old ministry and would become foundational ground for the raising of today’s 24/7 house of prayer in Kansas City. Forming the well-known acronym IHOP (which ties in beautifully into the abbreviation of our ministry’s name: IHOPKC), these four core values stand for: (1) intercession, (2) holiness, (3) offerings to the poor, and (4) the prophetic.

These are not the only core values of IHOPKC. We value many things, such as the authority of God’s Word, evangelism, unity in the Body of Christ, the Great Commission, a culture of honor, humility, relationships, healthy marriages and families, building the community, the first commandment, authenticity, magnifying Jesus, and maintaining a 24/7 prayer sanctuary with worship, and more.

As we mark the fruition of 20 years offered to the Lord in the context of 24/7 prayer with worship here at IHOPKC, we would like to take this moment and highlight four of our core values that have been so important in our carrying our lives and ministry before the Lord all these years.

I. Intercession
From the encounter in Cairo and other confirming words that he received down the road, Mike knew very clearly that night-and-day prayer would mark his ministry. He also understood that night-and-day prayer before God’s almighty throne would be a key component in the expression of the end-time church.

Intercession means prayer or talking to God on behalf of others. As we abide in Him and ask Him for things according to His will, God moves in power. Prayer is a foundational priority in the church unto loving God—it energizes the Lord’s people in walking out various ministry mandates. When the first commandment is in its first place, the other commandments will come into alignment in our lives (Matthew 22:37–39), empowering us to not only “love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18).

There’s no shortcut to loving God. It requires time and intentional implications of our heart, mind, and soul. Although we do not strive to earn His love (God already loves us completely), we do understand that prayer positions us to step into the reality of abiding in God’s love (John 15:9).

After that defining moment in Cairo, Mike sought to build a culture of prayer in the local church he was pastoring. Together with a company of people pursuing the call to intercession, Mike helped raise up what soon became three prayer meetings per day over the span of 16 years that preceded the launch of the 24/7 house of prayer in 1999.

During those pioneering years, laying the groundwork for day-and-night prayer here in Kansas City included the development of the harp and bowl model, which is a practical constituent that aids order and clarity to the functionality of an ongoing prayer room. This format combines worship and devotion as major components of day-and-night intercession, making prayer sustainable, enjoyable, and accessible for a large number of people over an extended period of time.

2. Holiness
Holiness is the second value Mike knew was to mark his ministry. There may not be a better description of holy living than Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7). Sometimes called “the constitution of the kingdom,” its truths continue to challenge new and seasoned believers alike.

The Sermon on the Mount affects our thoughts, attitudes, and actions when we seek to implement its principles into our lifestyles. Holiness is not a popular term, and some may think of it as a list of rigid standards of behavior, but true holiness starts in the heart. By calling people to radical obedience to Jesus’ words, we are affirming God’s ways over the ways of man. What men (sometimes even Christians) say is acceptable is not good for us if it goes against the standards laid out in the Sermon on the Mount.

As the distorted-grace message (the message that remaining in sin is okay because Jesus paid for it) increases its influence in the church at large, we are to stand in the opposite spirit that empowers us to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, [and] run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). As Mike has repeatedly said through the years, “anything that doesn’t empower you to resist sin and grow in love for God is not grace.”

3. Offerings
This prayer movement is to be marked by generosity; a generosity that will lead some to embrace a simple lifestyle in order that they may have more to give. We sometimes call this choice of living simply “the fasted lifestyle,” which touches more than just our finances. We express giving through offerings to the poor, offerings to support missions and the spreading of the gospel, and offerings of our time and energy to serve others.

As we read about the early church in the New Testament, we can see that generosity characterized them, for “there was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold,” (Acts 4:34, ESV). This kind of generosity will also surely be a mark of the end-time church. By living simply yet generously now, we are allowing the Lord to prepare us for the unique dynamics that are to come in the days before Jesus’ return, when the earth will experience great shakings (Habakkuk 2:7).

A couple examples of generous giving that have come out of this praying ministry include $1 million sowed into Bibles for Russia in July 1990 by the local church that Mike was pastoring and more than $1 million that IHOPKC raised and sent to Myanmar in 2008, following a devastating cyclone there.

4. Prophetic
We are to be a people confident in God’s intervention to provide for, protect, and direct His people now and through the end times. We desire to stand boldly in faith for what the Spirit is saying over the Church. The Lord has always spoken to His people and continues to today. “Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).

We believe in both the gift of prophecy that is meant to encourage believers (1 Corinthians 14:3) and in prophetic words and visions given to inform God’s people about what is ahead. It is not always popular to embrace such messages, and controversies seem to always be following the prophetic realm. However, God’s faithfulness to fulfill the very things He chooses to speak, even through prophetic encounters, has had an inspiring place in this movement’s history since its beginning stages in 1983. We have had the privilege to witness time and again the confirmation of various prophetic promises that have given us great hope for a mighty move of the Holy Spirit in our city, nation, and the earth.

Over the last 20 years the sovereign hand of the Lord has used IHOPKC as well as many other ministries to proliferate night-and-day prayer in the earth. It is truly remarkable to see the growth of prayer ministries all over the globe!

As we continue to give ourselves to 24/7 prayer with worship here at IHOPKC, we are excited to do so by the ongoing pursuit of all of our core values, including the four highlighted here, and are delighted to invite every one of you to join us on this journey!

Which of these values has impacted your life the most?

Adam Wittenberg

position

A Detroit native who was raised in Vermont and Connecticut, Adam worked as a newspaper journalist until 2012, when he moved to Kansas City to complete the Intro to IHOPKC internship. Afterwards, he earned a four-year certificate in House of Prayer Leadership from IHOPU and is now on full-time staff in the Marketing department at IHOPKC. Adam is also active in evangelism and has a vision to reach people everywhere with the good news of Jesus Christ.

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