I’m saying it doesn’t matter [what it looks like]; I just need to be someone who prays. If it has to be, send me in the secret place, in the place of prayer to contend for my country.

Stirred for His City and Nation: An IHOPU Testimony

by Adam Wittenberg
10/5/18 IHOPU

He came for the prayer room and ended up with a heart for his own country.

Originally from Malaysia, Faith K. is a student at International House of Prayer University’s Forerunner School of Ministry. He chose IHOPU (FSM) to encounter Jesus in prayer and be equipped to minister wherever God would send him—he just didn’t think it would be his home nation.

It took a spring ministry trip with other IHOPU students for him to encounter God’s heart for prayer and worship to arise in Malaysia, one of the “uttermost parts of the earth” (Acts 1:8 KJ21).

“At IHOPU, we have a culture that’s focused around one thing: to behold Jesus’ beauty,” Faith says. “In the prayer room, the Scriptures are being spoken and sung. We sing about who He is and how He is perfect. That really opens up the heart—to be able to sit and behold His beauty like David and Mary of Bethany did—it’s perfect for falling in love with Jesus.”

Missions Across the US
Each spring, teams of IHOPU students travel across the country to build and strengthen prayer houses, minister with local churches, and preach the gospel in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Faith’s team traveled across Missouri to St. Louis, a city with a rich prophetic history which impacted Faith’s heart.

“The Lord has plans for this city. He’s really doing something there,” he says. “We postured our heart to say, ‘How can we serve what the Lord is doing there?’ We wanted to go and raise up the hands of the leaders in prayer and in our acts of service.” Faith drew strength from Exodus 17:11–13, when Aaron and Hur held up Moses’ hands so that the Israelites prevailed in battle, partnering with God’s supernatural power.

What started with a desire to lift up church leaders ended up profoundly impacting Faith’s heart. The serving went well—the team took a special interest in God’s heart for racial reconciliation, especially in the aftermath of the Ferguson shooting and riots in 2014, learning to see beyond the headlines and witnessing the impact of prayer as well as God’s heart to bring justice through His Son, Jesus.

“We were able to see what the Lord did in that time,” Faith says. “J. T. Thomas was speaking the word of the Lord and seeing crazy things happen. People were falling out, repenting, and being driven to the prayer room. Those kinds of things happened when people said yes to singing the name of Jesus, His kingship, His lordship over that area; and the Lord really broke in with His heart. It changed from people looking for their own sense of justice to proclaiming there’s not going to be any justice without Jesus ruling.”

Local leaders now want to see Ferguson transformed from a place of loss to a sending ground for people to proclaim to the nations how God unified believers in that city through love for one another.

Contending for Your City
“The Lord’s not just after healing,” Faith says. “He says, ‘I want to heal you and make you whole because you have a destiny for a person, a community, a city to contend for through prayer, community, and loving others well.’”

One minister in St. Louis particularly impacted Faith with this truth. The man had grown up there but had gone overseas to minister. As he was crying out for his hometown, God began to give him a burden to go back there, even though it would be “the hardest and darkest” place for him to minister. Now he’s part of a committed group of people who are crying out for their city in prayer and unity.

This simple act of returning home to minister locally “really shifted something in my head,” says Faith. It also caused him to question, “What about my city? What about back in Malaysia, where the Church isn’t all that focused on prayer, in the secret place, on their knees—where the floor of the house isn’t so acquainted with them?”

“I left St. Louis being more broken for my own city,” he says. “I’m saying it doesn’t matter [what it looks like]; I just need to be someone who prays. If it has to be, send me in the secret place, in the place of prayer to contend for my country.” While the trip “looked so different from my expectations of doing a ministry trip, what was most beautiful was encountering the Father’s heart for my country.”

Equipped to Lead
Now, as he continues his studies, Faith’s being equipped in prayer and the Word to be able to contend for his nation.

“The beauty of having a school based in night-and-day prayer is that the ministry teams pray together and have community around prayer. This is massively beneficial to me, personally,” Faith says. “More than leading other people or getting people to do things as a requirement, I get to be weak before the Lord and say, ‘I don’t know how to do this.’ It’s inviting the Holy Spirit to speak, saying, ‘What is Your heart for where this team is going? What do You want to do?’”

“We have such a value for seeing things the way the Lord does,” he adds, “and that’s basically humility and not exalting my opinion above the Lord’s opinion. Growing in humility through my time at IHOPU has allowed me to grow in my leadership. Looking at the example of Christ and the way that He led, not exalting ourselves but treating others with respect, honor, and dignity, gives so much freedom to lead and say, ‘Hey, let’s do this together.’”

“It’s more than saying, ‘Here’s a problem, let’s fix it. What are the ten solutions?’ But really taking a step back and saying ‘What are You speaking through this? What do You want to do through this team in this season?’”

How can training in prayer and ministry help you to serve the Lord in your city?

IHOPU offers training in ministry, media, and music, all based in an atmosphere of night-and-day prayer. Spring semester starts in January, and new students are welcome. See how IHOPU can position you for greater impact at ihopu.org.

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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