Seven, yes...but no luck involved.

On this day, seven years ago, Mike Bickle and others opened the doors of the International House of Prayer as a place of worship, intercession and fasting. Having built a successful, large church, Mike stepped away from that to build something that even he could not articuate well (at that time) yet resonated in the hearts of many - night and day prayer.

This fall, we'll celebrate the 7th anniversary of actually going night and day, but in many ways, today's celebration carries more punch. It's never been about 'achieving' 24/7. It's always been about declaring who we are.

It's amazing how natural it feels for me to say 'we'. Our family was not hear seven years ago. In fact, seven years ago, all I knew about Mike Bickle was what I'd read in a misguided magazine article back in 1985. Kansas City was the furthest thing from my mind...although in a sense, it was exactly on my mind.

We were church planting - driving a stake in the ground - and discovering which hills we were willing to die on. We poured over the book of Acts. We challenged one another on what we believed. I was finding that little I had valued for so long - being biggest, best, or first - was really important to me.

We were more driven to be reality than appearances. Our heart's cry was for more of what God wanted, whatever the cost. We found ourselves talking less about church marketing and more about fasting. Having done the best we could, we were hungrier for the best He could.

A few years later, when we met Mike over coffee and he laid out the vision of this place, it was looking at someone interpret your own dream with greater detail than you were able to distinguish through the fog. I remember talking with Kelsey and saying "If He's right...then we've been right, at least at some things...".

Even though we weren't here seven years ago, we were certainly getting here back then...so I felt a real part of today's celebration.

Seven years is a great start, and we have been given marvelous comrades for the journey. Kelsey and I both spoke today about how grateful we are to be here.


Brian Creary said...

Heartfelt congratulations and many blessings to you and the IHOP family. You know what...I felt like we were part of the last seven years as well and I have never lived there. Your influence and the encouragement it brings is wide sweeping. Sanctuary House of Prayer exists mostly because of IHOP and a bunch of faithful people who felt it more than they could articulate it. Keep going!!

gregb said...


Joel Spencer said...

God is moving. Forge ahead and continue to take ground for Him!