House of Prayer is a biblical term found in Isaiah, Matthew and Mark, but it is never defined in these passages. Instead, we have to look backward in the Old Testament to see that the precedent for the HOP is found in 3 examples of the same expression: Moses and the Tent of Meeting, David and his Tabernacle, and Solomon and the Temple.
Before we can give a definition to the House of Prayer (HOP), we need to understand a few terms.
- House/Tabernacle/Tent/Temple all refer to a building. This building is a place dedicated for a specific set of purposes.
- Prayer is simply dialogue with God, though there is clearly a distinction between intercession, devotional prayer, and lamentation.
- Worship is exalting and glorifying God (who He is, what He has done).
A House of What?
Anybody can have a prayer meeting from time to time but that doesn’t make them a House of Prayer, nor does it mean their efforts are invaluable. A House of X has to be mostly dedicated to the X. The International House of Pancakes is best know for pancakes, not coffee or anything else. A House of Prayer is one that is defined by prayer; it is the primary thing that occurs there, it happens regularly or constantly, but not once or twice a week. Prayer is still valuable no matter how infrequently it occurs, even if only happens on Easter, but we must not confuse what the term House of Prayer means.
Our Expression: The Reflection Center House of Prayer
In December 2016, God started speaking to my wife and I about planting a House of Prayer in Galveston, TX. Coming off of a 1.5 year mission trip to Germany, this was kind of perplexing. But, we had already planned to attend a 3 month internship at The Prayer Room DFW as God had made clear to us. Within 2 months, it was clear to both of us that God was using this season to equip us to plant the Reflection Center House of Prayer in Galveston!
We are so excited because we can see that this is what God is strategically doing across the Earth! Houses of Prayer have been popping up across the nations at an exponential rate since 1999 (you can read the history below or here).
We will plant the Reflection Center HOP in September 2017. God has given us a plan to practice this over the summer while calling together a team to partner with us. God has called us all to steward our finances into His Kingdom. We wholeheartedly believe in tithing to your local church first. This, however, is just the beginning! God has called His body of believers in the marketplace to partner with those that are set apart to full-time ministry so that they can be completely devoted to the ministry God has called them to.
Do you have finances that can be used for building God’s Kingdom by partnering with us? If not, do you know someone who could? The most helpful thing you can do is pray for us and sign up to partner with us on a monthly basis at any amount! We have seen God’s faithfulness month after month as our partners faithfully and sacrificially support our family. You can read more about financially partnering with us on our donation page.
The rest of this post is aimed at stirring your heart for what God is doing right now and in history with the House of Prayer!
Brief History of the HOP
- The HOP Before Jesus
- Moses’ Tent:
Before the corporate tabernacle was built Moses had a small tent where he used to meet with the Lord.
“Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” Anyone inquiring of the LORD would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. And whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent. As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the LORD spoke with Moses. Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to his tent. The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent (Ex. 33:7-11).”
- The Corporate Tabernacle:
God instructed Moses to build a structure for all the Israelites to come and partake in worship.
In approximately 1050 B.C. (1Ch. 15-16) David pioneered the work with divine insight as to how things ought to look and function. He had a heavenly order in mind and took great pains to see it put into place with extravagance.
In approximately 1010 B.C. (2Ch. 5-7, 8:14-15) Solomon instructed that worship in the Temple should be in accordance with the Davidic Order and thus transferred the worship order into the new Temple.
From 913-910 B.C. (2Ch. 13:10-15, 14:1-3) Abijah ruled as king of Judah and it was said that the priests were in place observing the requirements of the Lord (2Ch. 13:11 reference 2Ch. 29:25-26).
In 910 B.C. (2Ch. 14:6; 15:19) Asa became king (son of Abijah) and continued on the practices of his father and so enjoyed peace. He subsequently instituted many other righteous reforms (2Ch. 15:1-19).
In 896 B.C. (2Ch. 20:20-22 & 28) Jehoshaphat defeats Moab and Ammon by setting singers up in accordance with Davidic Order: singers at the front of the army singing the Great Hallel. Jehoshaphat then reinstituted Davidic Worship in the Temple.
In approximately 835 B.C. (2Ch. 23-24) Joash again resurrected the order of worship according to the commands of his father David.
In 726 B.C. (2Ch. 29-30) Hezekiah cleansed, re-consecrated and reinstituted the Davidic Order of worship in the Temple.
In 622 B.C. (2Ki. 22-23, 2Ch. 35) Josiah reinstituted Davidic worship.
In 536 B.C. (Er. 3:10-13) Ezra the priest came from Babylon to put into place the Davidic Worship in the community of the returning exiles.
In 446 B.C. (Ne. 12: 28-47) Nehemiah returned from Babylon and reinstituted Davidic Worship.
- Moses’ Tent:
- The HOP Since Jesus
- The Essenes
- 33 A.D. – The Church in the Book of Acts
- 250 A.D. – Cyprian (Africa)
- 300-350 A.D. – The Desert Fathers
- 400 A.D. – Alexander the Sleepless and the Traveling Tribes
- 522 A.D. – Maurice de Valois
- 530 A.D. – The Order of Saint Benedict
- 558 – 810 A.D. – St. Patrick & Vallis Angelorum Ireland
- 558 A.D. – Comgall & Bangor Ireland
- 559-615 A.D. – Saint Columbanus (Franciscan Kingdom/Italy)
- 910 A.D. – Cluny
- 1120 A.D. – Clair Vaux, France
- 1722 A.D. – Count Zinzendorf & the Moravians
- 1703-1791 A.D. – England & John Wesley
- 1703-1758 A.D. – Massachusetts & Jonathan Edwards
- 1865 A.D. – London & the Salvation Army
- 1878 A.D. – Wisconsin & the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration
- 1903-1906 A.D. – Los Angeles & Azusa Street
- 1950 – Brother Roger’s Taize Community in France
- 1980s – Pastor David Yonggi Cho’s South Korea Prayer Mountains
- 1990s – Pastor Terry Tackle’s Prayer Rooms in Churches
- 1998 – US/DC Prayer Watch
- 1999 – IHOP KC
- 1999 – Succat Hallel Jerusalem
- 1999 – Jerusalem HOP for All Nations
- 1999 – 24-7 in Europe
- 2000 – Lou Engle’s The Call
- 2000 – Prayer Towers in Indonesia
- 2003 – Poland 24
- 2004 – Global Day of Prayer
- 2004 – The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Burning Bush HOP
The Purpose of the House of Prayer
Priesthood in the OT
Of the 12 tribes of Israel, 1 tribe (the Levites) was set apart specifically by God to fulfill a special occupation. From the time of Moses until the time of Jesus’ sacrificial death, the Levites served in the Sanctuary of God (Tent of Meeting, Tabernacle of David, Solomon’s Temple and the Second Temple). Though the other 11 tribes were still set apart as the nation of God and called to seek and serve God, the Levites were specially anointed by God to be priests, gatekeepers, musicians, janitors, repairers, laborers, administrators, etc. for God’s dwelling place.
The Levitical priests, all the tribe of Levi, shall have no portion or inheritance with Israel. They shall eat the Lord’s food offerings as their inheritance. 2 They shall have no inheritance among their brothers; the Lord is their inheritance, as he promised them. 3 And this shall be the priests’ due from the people, from those offering a sacrifice, whether an ox or a sheep: they shall give to the priest the shoulder and the two cheeks and the stomach. 4 The firstfruits of your grain, of your wine and of your oil, and the first fleece of your sheep, you shall give him. 5 For the Lord your God has chosen him out of all your tribes to stand and minister in the name of the Lord, him and his sons for all time. – Deuteronomy 18:1–5
28 According to the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, there were 8,600, keeping guard over the sanctuary. 29 The clans of the sons of Kohath were to camp on the south side of the tabernacle, 30 with Elizaphan the son of Uzziel as chief of the fathers’ house of the clans of the Kohathites. 31 And their guard duty involved the ark, the table, the lampstand, the altars, the vessels of the sanctuary with which the priests minister, and the screen; all the service connected with these. 32 And Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest was to be chief over the chiefs of the Levites, and to have oversight of those who kept guard over the sanctuary. – Numbers 3:28–32
Priesthood in the NT
In the New Testament, Jesus lived a sinless life and offered Himself as the ultimate sacrifice. He then became our great high priest, a position that only a select few Levites had fulfilled since the time of Moses. By becoming our priest, He offers us holiness and cleanness through Him. This allows us to enter into the true priesthood where we can minister before God like the Levitical priests did.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father – Revelation 1:6
As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ…But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. – 1Peter 2:5, 9
Moving God’s Heart
The Lord loves it when humans see who He truly is and glorify Him in extravagant ways. The HOP (Tent of Meeting with Moses, Tabernacle with David, Temple with Solomon and some following kings) is a gathering place for those who desire to extravagantly worship God. Moses and Joshua would spend hours in the Tent of Meeting. Several chapters of the Bible specify what the Tent of Meeting should look like. King David, the man after God’s own heart, wanted nothing more than to build God His earthly house. When God said that Solomon would do it instead, David built a tent instead and employed 4000+ Levites as musicians, singers, gatekeepers, etc.
“This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the LORD (Hg. 1:7-8).”
Prophecies About the HOP Being Restored in the Last Generation
6 “And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant— 7 these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” – Isaiah 56:6–7
12 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 13 He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.” – Matthew 21:12–13
11 “In that day I will raise up the booth of David that is fallen and repair its breaches, and raise up its ruins and rebuild it as in the days of old, 12 that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who are called by my name,” declares the Lord who does this. – Amos 9:11–12
James replied, “Brothers, listen to me. 14 Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written, 16 “ ‘After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it, 17 that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who makes these things 18 known from of old.’ – Acts 15:13–18
For the day of the Lord is great and very awesome; who can endure it? Return to the Lord 12 “Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; 13 and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster. 14 Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the Lord your God? 15 Blow the trumpet in Zion; consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly; 16 gather the people. Consecrate the congregation; assemble the elders; gather the children, even nursing infants. Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her chamber. 17 Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep and say, “Spare your people, O Lord, and make not your heritage a reproach, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’ – Joel 2:11–17
Prophetic word to Mike Bickle
“I will establish 24-hour prayer in the spirit of the tabernacle of David” and “I will change the expression of Christianity in a generation.”
Will You Join?
Is your heart stirred?! God is up to something and we are so excited to be a part of it! You can join us too! There are House of Prayer all across the nations! Visit one. Check them out online and see what the DNA of a HOP is. You’ll be amazed at the consistent DNA!
Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you feel God leading you to partner with us, please visit our webpage and learn more about us!
Also published on Medium.