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"7 Characteristics of the Praying Church"

Mike Bickle
Jun 14, 2019

From the Desk of Steve Shultz:

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Mike Bickle is the director of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City (IHOPKC).

IHOPKC has had incredible influence across the world.

In this article by Mike Bickle, he shares an important word for us: "7 Characteristics of the Praying Church."

I encourage all intercessors across the globe to read through this and pray into it. YOU can make a huge impact right where God has you planted as your prayers go forth! (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)

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1. The Praying Church Will Be God-Centered

The worship order of Heaven is decidedly God-centered. Night and day, day and night, those nearest God's throne proclaim the truth about who God is and what He does. He desires that His creation would encounter His majesty, love and goodness and that, in turn, they would offer up their praise and adoration for all He is, all He has done and all He will do. Treasuring God and adoring Him endlessly is the priority of the prayer movement. It is the necessary and fitting response to His matchless beauty and immeasurable worth.

Worship is a witness on Earth to the indescribable value of Jesus. The truth of His greatness must be declared in song and in proclamations because it is the ultimate truth on which the created universe exists. This truth of the greatness of God is powerful. God loves the truth, including the truth about Himself. (See Revelation 4:8; 5:11-14; Isaiah 24:14-16.)

2. It Will Be Continual

In Revelation 4-5, the Apostle John describes the heavenly worship order around the throne. In His vision of God's throne room he witnessed celestial beings who " not rest day or night, saying: 'Holy, holy, holy...'" (Revelation 4:8). As already mentioned, God desires to be worshiped on this earth just as He is in Heaven – continually and unceasingly.

Moreover, the prophet Isaiah saw a prayer movement on Earth that would not rest night and day until God's purposes were fully established (see Isaiah 62:6-7). In these last days God is raising up a prayer movement that will continually worship Him and cry out to Him for His plans to be executed and His justice to be released (see Luke 18:7-8).

The call to 24/7 worship and prayer is not an invitation to organize it all under one roof. Continual prayer usually is expressed by the Body of Christ together as prayer is offered up from many different buildings across a city or region. The call of 24/7 prayer is to build a prayer culture among God's people across cities and regions so that Jesus receives continual, corporate worship from many different ministries and locations. Each does its own small part, but together all offer night-and-day prayer. (Photo via Unsplash)

3. It Will Be Global

The Scriptures are clear that the end-time worship and prayer movement will extend all across the earth, even to the most remote and difficult-to-reach places. Isaiah prophesied that even in the remote islands of the earth God's people would sing to the Lord in worship and intercession (see Isaiah 42:10). He witnessed worship going forth in the wilderness, or desert places – even in Islamic villages such as Kedar in Saudi Arabia and Sela in Jordan – and that God's people would worship from one end of the earth to the other until Jesus returns (see Isaiah 42:11, 13-15).

Simply put, the end-time worship and prayer movement will be in every place, even the hardest and darkest places (see Malachi 1:11). That means it will be international. King David had a continual, musical worship movement in Jerusalem. About 300 years after him, Isaiah said, in effect: "The worship moment will go far beyond what David did. David was limited to one location. The end-time movement will be global."

4. It Will Be Musical

Some who lead prayer ministries struggle with the idea of prayer meetings being led by music, but the idea is Biblical. One aspect of the Kingdom coming on Earth as it is in Heaven involves music in our prayer meetings. This is seen in Revelation 5:8-9.

Can't You Talk Louder, God?

When I first began having daily prayer meetings, we did not include music led by a worship team. We spent more time shouting at the devil than we did talking to God. It seemed like the mark of a good prayer meeting was exhausted and hoarse intercessors. Eventually I introduced music, and our prayer meetings became not just bearable but enjoyable!

The end-time prayer movement is musical. The human spirit is deeply musical because we were created in the image of God, who is very musical. Few things touch the human spirit in the way that anointed music does. (See Isaiah 24:14-16; 26:1; 27:2; 30:29; 32; 35:2, 10; 42:10-12; 54:1.)

5. It Will Be Missional

The end-time worship and prayer movement will be instrumental in ushering in the greatest harvest of souls in history (see Matthew 24:14; Revelation 7:9, 14). Jesus said in Luke 10:2 that we must pray for the Lord to release laborers for the harvest. Throughout the Scriptures we see a pattern in which communities, such as the one in Jerusalem in Acts 2 and the Antioch community in Acts 13, gather together in worship and prayer. From those prayer meetings, missionaries are sent out and evangelism movements are unleashed that result in a significant harvest of souls.

Jesus connected night-and-day prayer to the release of justice on the earth (see Luke 18:7-8). He spoke of this in the context of the end times, with specific reference to His second coming (see Luke 17:24-37; 18:8). John spoke of the end-time prayer movement as being deeply connected to the release of God's judgment to remove oppression from the earth (see Revelation 6:9-11; 8:3-6).

6. It Will Be Youth-Oriented

The end-time prayer movement will consist primarily of young people. We know historically that most people who turn to Jesus do so before they are 25 years old. Most great revivals of history were focused primarily on youth. This will be the pattern again because the majority of the world's population is under age 25. (See Malachi 4:5-6.) (Photo via Unsplash)

7. It Will Be Unified

In His high-priestly prayer, Jesus prayed and prophesied that He would pour out His glory, enabling His people to walk in unity and greatly enhance the effectiveness of the Gospel (see John 17:21-23). The end-time worship and prayer movement will function in gracious cooperation because God has entrusted different aspects of His purposes and plans to separate parts of His Body. Out of necessity, but borne of love, the prayer movement will be profoundly unified as the Church experiences the fullness of God's purpose by honoring and serving one another in relationship. This will be achieved by a supernatural grace that God will pour upon His Body, enabling it to walk in love and a spirit of unity. For unity is the place where God commands His blessing in the greatest measure (see Psalm 133:1-3; Ephesians 3:18).

The Holy Spirit is calling the Church to rise up in unity in the end-time prayer movement to offer fervent, continual intercession and worship that flows from prophetic music and intimacy with God. From this position of strength we will work together to fulfill the Great Commission and bring in the greatest harvest of souls in history. And Jesus will respond to the voice of His Bride calling out, as one with His Spirit, for Him to come in power, vanquish His enemies and fill the earth with the knowledge of the Lord. (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)

Mike Bickle
IHOP Kansas City


Mike Bickle is the director of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City (IHOPKC). IHOPKC is a 24-hour-a-day ministry of "worship with intercession" that has continued non-stop since September 19, 1999, and is led by 25 different worship teams comprised primarily of young adults. Approximately 1,500 people (staff members, students, interns, musicians, intercessors and worship leaders) serve full – and part-time – investing 25 to 50 hour/weeks in the prayer room, classroom and ministry outreaches. Mike is also the founder of International House of Prayer University, which has a full-time Bible school and a full-time music school. He is the author of Passion for Jesus, Growing in the Prophetic, The Pleasures of Loving God and After God's Own Heart. Mike's teaching emphasizes growing in passion for Jesus through intimacy with God.

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