Red-Eye Shift at a 24-7 Prayer Room

Our family took the red-eye shift at the local 24-7 Prayer room on Saturday night. We tagged teamed all night until 6 in the morning. Our kids slept in their sleeping bags until they were tagged. They did well. And they loved it. A lot more colorful and interactive than the boring prayer meetings I used to attend. Not complaining . . those were good times too.

Funny how 24-7 Prayer rooms around the world all look the same. There is always a Bible, a map, coffee or tea, cd player, either paints or pencils, blank paper on the wall with doodlings from previous pray-ers.

It was nine years ago when Pete Grieg started the first one in Chichester. A few months later, Pete was showing me around the prayer room which by then was absolutely stuffed full of art and sculpture and grafitti. The English tend to be messy pray-ers, compared with the other countries who are often hesitant to throw paint on a wall. I took some video of that original prayer room because I thought it was an historic moment. And it was. 24-7 Prayer Rooms have popped up about 63 countries.

Its a great movement and I always appreciate when I get invited to speak to the 24-7 Prayer leaders, esp. that wicked cool time in Spain. I might go up to England next Feb for their Ten Year Birthday bash called IAM10.

Now don’t be confused! There are at least two movements with similar names: 24-7 Prayer and 24/7 Prayer. Here’s the difference:


24-7 Prayer is a movement that started out of England with my scruffy mate Pete Grieg and a bunch of other misfits and lovely peole. I have been a HUGE cheerleader for 24-7 Prayer ever since the beginning, as well as their Boiler Rooms. We have partnered with them on a number of projects.

The 24/7 Prayer movement started in Kansas City and is led by Mike Bickle. International House of Prayer [sounds like Pancakes – which my kids, upon hearing it for the first time last week said it was “clever for about 5 minutes”] is an American based movement that is probably more top-down and traditional in its approach but also has impacted thousands of young people. I really don’t know much about IHOP except for a few friends who have been a part of the IHOP movement.

Mike Bickle entered my radar recently when he was critical of the “emerging church”, although its not clear how much he knows about it, and judging from his recommendation of relative EC books, he might have been misinformed. I would say more but my wife suggested strongly I dont. So I wont. IHOP have a meeting next month called One Thing where, according to an open letter last week, they hope to give “an answer to the confusion and deception that is coming from some of those associated with the Emerging Church”. Well, I look forward to hearing what that answer might be.

There are other movements with the 24-7 Prayer tag, like the Salvation Army 24-7 prayer, which was influenced by the English 24-7, but I wont confuse you anymore.

Great to see so much prayer. We need to pray more often and more intelligently but shouldn’t get stuck in first gear – lets also send the next generation out of the prayer rooms and into the world out to start fresh expressions of the Kingdom. Like 24-7 have done with their Boiler Rooms. All good. Nuff said.

Related: Check out my night of absolute terror as I get stuck in a 24-7 meeting in London and end up taking a vow!

Andrew

Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name “Precious” :-)

8 Comments

  • I love your last comment and wholeheartedly agree with it. I have done kids work for around 20 years and I really believe the best thing to do with them is to let them go, we cosset and entertain so much instead of actually letting them get out into the big wide world and make a difference. The rest of the article was not bad either :o)

  • Hey, there is a renewal thing breaking out at IHOP as we speak. It is being streamed on their website till Nov.21, 2009. It started Nov.11
    I watched last night and was very blessed. Not sure about all the other stuff mentioned. There is a lot of confusion still surrounding this the EC in Canada and the states. Pray for grace for these guys.

  • I would agree with the above comment. There is a lot of confusion and fringe speakers within the Emergent church. Tony Jones, for instance, has been very vocal of his pro-homosexual stances, that would be considered deception by the IHOP crowd.
    If you are able to bring more clarity to some of the fringe elements or even contact IHOP itself and speak to Mike Bickle, I am sure it could be arranged. I know that Dr. Andrew Jackson was able to speak to Mike Bickle for his Christian Research Journal article; it appeared to be a fruitful conversation.
    Just some thoughts for ya.

  • Thanks ben. I should have stopped off to say hello on our last visit to Kansas city. Heck – my wife was born in that city. But I figure people in his own ministry will inform him eventually. But I may do as u say. Thanks.

  • Hey AJ; we need to discuss IHOP sometime. I recently published an article in the Christian Research Journal titled “Mike Bickle’s End-Time Teaching & the International House of Prayer.” I can send it to you if I haven’t already (send email). Also, I would like to discuss more about IHOP’s demonization of the EC and social justice bent.

  • I know this is a little old, but i was wondering if you could explain to me a little bit more of the difference between a top down leadership style and something that is not.
    i guess my real question is, how does something that is not a top down leadership structure work? especially over time and with difficult situations, etc…
    definitely interested in something like this, as top-down stuff frustrates me. but i haven’t experienced another style of leadership that seems to work over the long term

  • Hi andrew;
    Maybe you can make something out of this, I don’t know what to think about it..
    I was wondering where I had heard the name of Bickle before in the recent past (I know people who are into the whole IHOP stuff but I haven’t seen them in lonngtime) when I was reading this blogpost: http://ceruleansanctum.com/2010/01/not-to-us.html and before that another on the same blog from today that was tweeted by Brother Maynard… And the I reminded his anti-EC move you’ve talked about in this post…
    I do think this guy may be too extreme with his linking of Kundalini with Bentley, Toronto, Joyner, that John Crowder guy, Peter Wagner, etc… , but I’m very suspicious about the Bentley guy and some others in this hypercharismatic stuff…
    I hope all goes well in Africa with you, your family and the people you’re meeting…
    praying for you
    Bram

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