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Devotionals    H3'ed 4/2/24

Why The Unbiblical IHOP 24-7 Prayer Model Has to Go

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Pray without ceasing - 1Thessalonians 5:17 (ESV)

For over 25 years now, the International House of Prayer in Kansas City (IHOPKC) has been held up as a model of everything right in Charismania. Its founder and leader Mike Bickle was widely regarded as unassailable in character. A humble, Christ devoted man was the portrayal. Just last year Charismatic preacher Sam Storms declared that he knew Bickle down to the depths of his soul, while harshly rebuking the mere thought that he might be false in any way. Now with the benefit of hindsight of the past six months of Bicklegate, we know that Mike Bickle was false in every single way. Let us not gloss over this point because so many in Charismania are desperately trying to salvage something in Kansas City because the truth lays waste to a decades old narrative regarding the IHOP model and the 24-7 prayer paradigm. Even though we see God laying waste right now to the entire sham of IHOP, most in Charismatic leadership just keep fighting against God, the truth, and the realities of the falseness of IHOP and the prayer model. Amidst the scandalous Bickle allegations multiplying daily, we lose sight of the fact that the entire thing has to go, not just the predator Bickle. People have been reluctant to speak against the 24-7 model for fear of sounding as if they are against prayer itself but that is a poor red herring argument. So let us see why it is time to recognize how this model is not only unbiblical but downright demonic.

We start with the foundation. Now we have heard the tired argument that IHOPKC is not actually the first historical foray into continuous prayer, but it is the one we are talking about. What might have happened in other countries, centuries ago, is of little concern today. For this day, we only had IHOPKC, started by Mike Bickle in 1999. We now know that prior to this, Mike Bickle was a serial sexual abuser of at least three women, two of which were 14 and 15 years old respectively, while he was an adult. Two of these long-term sexual relationships were carried on for years while married. The Charismaniacal powers that be, want to desperately paint this as a minister who had no resource to turn to with the darkness in his spirit, but the cold hard reality is we are dealing with a predator. We are dealing with a wolf. A man who used his ministerial career as a front for luring young women into sexual relationships. He used the notion of God and prophecy to lie them into bed. When discussing the "prophetic history of IHOP", Bickle always referred to two men as instrumental in confirming his own false prophecies from God. Bob Jones and Paul Cain. We now know that both of these men were false prophets and sexual abusers themselves. I want to make sure we are getting this. Mike Bickle has never heard from God. He lied that he had. He lied, Bob Jones lied, Paul Cain lied. Their collective lies established IHOP and grew it into what it is today. The prophetic history was very important in the identity of IHOPKC. It was leaned on to provide street cred for them within Charismania. It was bragged about repeatedly. It was required teaching for all IHOPKC students! They would have to sit and listen to hours of Mike Bickle's teachings on the prophetic history so as to convince them of the uniqueness of the IHOP model and the 24-7 prayer paradigm. Except we can now know with certainty that the entire foundation was based on lies. God did not ordain IHOPKC or the 24-7 prayer model. At the exact time Bickle was planning IHOP he was abusing Jane Doe number one. The daughter of a family friend, he would tell her that God told him his wife would die so that they might be together. This was of course untrue and designed solely to lure the 19-year-old into the 42-year-old Bickle's bed. This abuse went on for four years before the woman escaped. IHOPKC was built on her shattered life and quite possibly many, many others.

With the foundation out of the way, we turn to how IHOP has grown and been maintained since the false founding. Simply put, many in Charismaniacal leadership continue to offer the notion that even if Mike Bickle was the personification of evil itself, IHOPKC was still somehow blessed by God and therefore redeemable. This is utter nonsense. The first poor argument is what I call the Joel Osteen defense because people like using carnal metrics to try and explain spiritual success. There is a reason why millions of people follow Joel Osteen and sure is not because he preaches the gospel. There is a reason why IHOPKC was popular, and it had nothing to do with God. In order for IHOP success to be of God, then God would have somehow been unconcerned about the multiple children and young women Mike Bickle was preying on and using IHOP to do so. I do not doubt that many people throughout the years have experienced fantastic emotional responses to the vast manipulations of IHOP leadership. That is not spiritual, however. It was revealed this week that an undercover investigation was conducted in 2012 that exposed the way they manufactured prophecy in the 24-7 prayer room. IHOPKC students were forced to constantly journal, including invasive journaling about sexual sins and thoughts. Their leaders then mined these journals for nuggets of information they fed to the worship teams in the prayer rooms so they could "prophetically" pray with the students but not tell them where they got the information. This was proven when the imbedded undercover reporters purposefully included information in their journals that was later regurgitated to them verbatim by the prayer room leaders as if God was showing them the information. Absolutely despicable.

We must remember that what Bickle created in Kansas City was cult. Students were told that they were chosen as a special seed to usher in the kingdom of God and that all dissenting voices, even their parents, were to be ignored. They were not allowed contact with the outside world, except on weekends when they were allowed to call their parents as long as they behaved well during the week. We can look back now on all of the criticisms from those who escaped and realize they were right. They were telling the truth. We can look back on the murder of Bethany Deaton and realize that it was the IHOP model that led to her death. The foundation of IHOP was clearly rotten and not of God but so was any growth during its decades long run. The prayer room was used as punishment by the leadership! Just think about the spiritual ramifications of that revelation! If a student fell out of line, they were forced into longer prayer room intervals. We now know that disgraced false prophet Bob Hartley was recently banned from the prayer room as well. We know about the forced meditation, Eastern Mysticism practices and Kundalini. IHOPKC was a cesspool of false teaching, and the prayer room was the engine that fueled the deception.

That brings us to today. What is left of IHOPKC is trying to hang on to justify the years sitting under a false prophet and teacher. Leadership is concerned about their jobs and livelihoods. The community relied on IHOPKC and the students. Once the Bicklegate revelations involved minors, his goose was cooked. Suddenly everyone who was trying to save the wolf instead shifted to protecting the brand. They will insist that there was nothing wrong with the 24-7 model, except now we know there sure was. It was founded on lies and thrived through manipulation, lies, and tricks to falsify prophecies against its very students. It sounds pious to earnestly pray 24-7 but that is never asked from us in scripture. God knows we have lives. We have responsibilities. We need to sleep. The only scripture they can point to is the key verse from Thessalonians. Pray without ceasing however does not mean set up a 24-7 prayer room where you can fake prophecy and mangle worship. It means developing a God mindset. That there is nothing in our lives that we should not be willing to submit to God. A God consciousness thanks the Lord for even the most mundane occurrences in our daily lives, but it does not require us to sit a room and collect school credit for journaling our deepest sexual thoughts to be then weaponized against us. There is absolutely nothing of IHOPKC that was of God. Not the foundation. Not the carnal success. Nothing. Do not fall for the pleas to the individual people and their sincerity. As my pastor is fond of saying, we can be sincere and sincerely wrong. Of course, any sincere prayer offered in the prayer room was heard by God but that is in spite of the prayer room, not because of it. That speaks to who God is, not what the prayer room was.

It has been quite breathtaking to watch the Lord utterly destroy IHOPKC over the past few months. Every time the IHOP leadership lied or Dr. Brown tried to move the goal posts, God exposed it. Once a truly independent investigation reports the full scope of all abuses, not just Mike Bickle's, then IHOPKC needs to be shuttered and marked as a blight upon the history of Christendom. The 24-7 prayer model needs to be abandoned as an ungodly abuse of scripture and of people. The bible says when we pray to not make it obvious. Not make a public showing of false piety. The 24-7 prayer room was the opposite. It was live-streamed! Beloved, as Bicklegate continue to unravel, beware the leadership voices now chucking Mike Bickle under the bus in order to save his unholy creation. The 24-7 prayer model bastardized prayer. Forcing kids to sit in the prayer room for credit or punishment is not of God. None of this was. Don't fall for the schemers now trying to save it.

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
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