Together at IHOP

When you think of IHOP, you probably think of pancakes. But the first IHOP, an International House of Prayer, was introduced 2,700 years ago in the Old Testament. Centuries later, Jesus, recalling Isaiah 56:7, declared, “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” I know what a pancake house is like, but I wondered what does a house of prayer look like? As I wondered, I wandered through the random ideas below.

The Temple in Jerusalem, the “house” of which Jesus was speaking, was the place where Jews gathered to worship, learn and pray. It was a place where prayer was a defined purpose for gathering. Similarly, a Christian IHOP is a corporate endeavor where earnest commitment to prayer is an important and an obvious activity in that place.

“Lord, teach us to pray,” said one of the disciples when Jesus had finished a prayer with His followers in another corporate setting (Luke 11:1). Here is an important clue for IHOP: the prayers of its leaders are a model and a means of teaching others how to pray biblically and thoughtfully.

The early church recognized the essential link between prayer and preaching by appointing deacons to free the apostles from other responsibilities in order to pray (Acts 6:1-4). Linking of prayer and preaching appears essential for IHOP. Elder David Holmes, who leads the Wednesday prayer meeting, recently mentioned the Boiler Room at Metropolitan Tabernacle in London. This was a room in the basement where people met before and throughout Sunday services to pray for their pastor, Charles Spurgeon, and for the work of the Holy Spirit while he was preaching. In many American churches, at one time it was customary for parishioners to pray quietly for the service and message as soon as they were seated.

IHOP is truly international, a place for “strangers who bind themselves to the Lord to serve Him, to love His name …” (Isaiah 56:6). It welcomes strangers. It is informed about and engaged with the church worldwide. (I like to think every IHOP would have a FOCUS initiative and would be exchanging prayer requests with a church overseas.)

Grace Point’s “21 Days of Prayer” is both a personal and corporate endeavor. As we come to God may we share His joy in His house of prayer together.

Lord, help us to see Christ as we offer our sacrifice of praise. Guide our thoughts so that in the next 21 days we pray as we ought for what we ought. Make this a fruitful time in the life of Grace Point.

By Greg Scott

One thought on “Together at IHOP

  1. Dave Wolf

    Amen! May Grace Point be a true IHOP in the coming 21 days and beyond! Thank you Greg for this Biblical call to prayer.

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