It’s about the supreme worth of a God who gave everything to restore relationship, so He could talk to us, and we could listen and even talk back.

Responding to the Divine Whisper

by Dean Briggs
1 month ago 20th Anniversary

There is something magical that happens when people respond to a divine invitation. Part of the reason for that is because “God whispers” are so easy to miss. Society has inundated us with countless enticing distractions. Is it any wonder that prayer is perhaps the hardest of all spiritual disciplines? Is it any wonder the stark absence of prayer in our churches? Yes, disciples could study Scripture more, and should, but we do study. We could follow the Holy Spirit more, and should, but we do follow. It’s different with prayer. We talk and preach about prayer, we know that it is important, yet we rarely pray. It’s hard to value and quantify prayer. Prayer is a muscle. It’s a leap of faith. It’s a conversation with someone real, but you can’t see them. We easily justify giving our time to so many other godly, biblical pursuits, but prayer is hard.

Yet for 20 years, something strange has happened here in Kansas City, right in the heartland of America. Without stopping, not for a single moment—when a storm comes and the power dies; or on Thanksgiving and Christmas, when others are feasting with their families—in a little prayer room on Red Bridge Road, several hundred folks from across the nation and around the world have heard that quiet God-whisper, beckoning them to fill that empty place, to stand in the yawning gap of our modern church / discipleship experience. And those people said yes. It hasn’t been through feats of personal strength or force of personality. Quite the opposite, our yes is much more about weakness, even neediness. Our yes is about hunger, far more than fullness. It’s about longing and restlessness, far more than contentment.

More importantly, though, it’s not about us at all. It’s about the supreme worth of a God who gave everything to restore relationship, so He could talk to us, and we could listen and even talk back. That’s friendship. It’s about God’s desire to partner with humans through the agency of prayer and worship so we could maybe, just maybe, nudge the staggering reality of a King on His throne just a little bit closer to earth. Jesus taught us to pray with that very hope in mind. So we do.

24/7. We do.

Is it any wonder that God-whispered prayer movements are a fact of history? What we are doing in Kansas City may have once been rare in the earth, but the centrality of prayer with worship is rapidly reshaping the understanding and expression of Christianity across entire continents. Tens of thousands of houses of prayer have sprung up among the nations. We take courage from the pioneering work of so many prayer movements scattered throughout history: from the church in Jerusalem in the first century AD to the Desert Fathers in the second and third century AD; to Alexander Akimetes and “the sleepless ones” at Gormon, on the mouth of the Black Sea, in the fourth century AD; to Agaunum, Switzerland, AD 515; to Comgall and Bangor, Ireland, roughly AD 500–800; to Cluny, France, in the ninth century AD; then into the 1700s with Count Zinzendorf and the famous Moravians; the Methodist prayer movement; right into modern times with Prayer Mountain in South Korea. Then, all at once, in September 1999—in the same month, right at the start of the new millennia—an explosion of global prayer efforts launched simultaneously in South Africa, in the United Kingdom, in Pasadena, California, and Kansas City, Missouri.

Clearly, history bears witness to the constancy of God’s desire to raise up a spirit of intercession among His people. Even so, there has never been a greater, more coordinated, more expansive prayer movement in all of human history than what we are witnessing right now. Corporately, the staff and leadership at IHOPKC wish to express our gratitude to the Lord. As we celebrate twenty years of 24/7 prayer with worship, we are so humbled and thankful to play a small part in what the Holy Spirit is bringing forth in this critical hour of human existence.

What is God stirring in your heart regarding prayer? 

Since 1999, night-and-day prayer has been ascending before God’s throne from a little room in Kansas City, Missouri. Journey through IHOPKC’s prophetic history, celebrating many significant people and moments, with our retrospective video series at ihopkc.org/prophetichistory.

Dean Briggs

position

    Dean is happily married to Jeanie, and the proud father of eight grown children. His books include Ekklesia RisingConsumed, the visionary, two-part Partakers of the Divine, and the YA fantasy series, Legends of Karac Tor. He also co-authored The Jesus Fast with Lou Engle, now available in multiple languages. A former pastor and church planter, Dean is a consultant, dreamer, and Bible teacher. As part of the senior leadership of IHOPKC, he travels and speaks around the world. The Briggs live in the midwest.

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