Becoming Jesus’ House of Prayer: Keys from Kirk Bennett

Kirk & Dee Bennett 500x500

Includes insights from the 2015 Delight Tour by Kirk & Dee Bennett & IHOP/7 Thunders Team, Kansas City and some next steps… 

Lord, open our ears, eyes and hearts -and teach us how to be your House of Prayer.

Three Forms of Prayer for All of Us

These develop sequentially – following the pattern laid down in the Tabernacle.

1. Petitioning Prayer – outer court of Gentiles. This is entry level prayer for everyone and includes prayer points and lists of what we are asking God for. It includes the prayer by faith for our needs and issues that are on our heart. The attraction and focus of supplication is answered prayer.  We are encouraged to seek prayer partners, 2 or 3 others, who will pray in agreement with us. (Matthew 18:20) God has always invited all to come before him to pray. (Isaiah 56:7-8)

2. Intercessory Prayer /Prophetic Intercession –  a priestly function between the porch and altar.  Let the priests, who minister before the Lordweep between the portico and the altar. Let them say, “Spare your people, Lord.” Joel 2:17  Under the new covenant we are all priests. (1 Peter 2:5,9 Revelation 1:6, 5:10)

At a simple level intercession is prayer for or on behalf of others. Intercession is not a gift or function for a few. We are all called to intercede. We carry burdens to Jesus and the Holy Spirit who intercede for us. (Hebrews 7:25, Romans 8:26-27)

In prophetic intercession, God shows us what to pray for – so we are telling God what he tells us to tell him. We have confidence in this form of prayer being fruitful because it is initiated by God and we are praying God’s prayer request!  We seek God’s leading on a matter and deal with anything in us or in the circumstance that does not agree or align with God’s will. When we know and agree and align with God’s will in any matter, we see his will done on earth. See: http://partnersinprayer.org.au/the-power-of-prayer-in-the-courts-of-heaven/

Prophetic Intercession isn’t practised by all because it involves being able to discern what our Father is saying and doing – shifting in our identity from slaves or servants to being His ‘sons’ and ‘friends’. (John 15:15) We need to equip the Body of Christ to discern the ways God is speaking to them – to have eyes to see and ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches. (Matthew 13:9-16,  Revelation Chapters 2 & 3) We can tune ourselves to hear what our Father is saying by praying in the Spirit; speaking in tongues; meditating on Scripture and by asking God questions. See: http://partnersinprayer.org.au/know-my-voice/ 

Public prophetic intercession can confuse people who are not yet discerning what God is doing. Some people come to public prayer meetings wanting others to pray with them for a personal matter. We need to equip them to pray privately and in prayer partnerships as well as providing private and public times/places for people to come for healing prayer.

Blessing is another priestly function. Through blessing we are all to speak the will of the Father into the identity and destiny of people, families, people groups, the land and spiritual atmosphere of a region or nation. (Deuteronomy 10:8, Numbers 6:22-27) Our Father set up patterns for His grace anointing and power to be released by His priests (and parents) each week of His people’s lives. See: Blessing: Establishing Local Houses of Prayer

3. Adorational Prayer  – in the Most Holy Place. Our prayer focus here is God – beholding our Lord Jesus Christ in wonder. Our prayer focus is not what God can do for us – but who He is and our adorational worship of him. (Luke 2:36-38) This is the place of fervent, sustained prayer and worship – and is the form of prayer that is characteristic of a House of Prayer. One with heaven, we articulate his characteristics in wonder, “Holy, Holy, Holy.” Jesus is worthy of our constant focus and adoration; of our lives set apart to him! Jesus is preparing His Bride to enter into a deeper level of intimacy – a foretaste of our eternal worship.

In joy and rest (Isaiah 56:7) we worship God’s manifest presence amongst us – and experience His habitation of us. Jesus has given us access in this life to the heavenly throne room. We encounter the living God and have transformational revelation experiences of God and heaven – establishing in us our identity in God and our authority in Christ to agree and decree our Father’s will and Jesus’ rule on earth. We see glimpses of God’s perspective of time and space and see shifts in the heavenlies and on earth according to His intervention.

Jesus is Building His House.

We hunger for nonstop continuous accessible night and day prayer. (Revelation 3 & 4:8) But our goal is not 24/7 prayer. Our goal is Jesus. If we let Jesus build his house, we will not focus on the religious trophy of ’24/7 prayer’ and turn joy in the House of Prayer into the burdensome busy work of finding people to fill time slots in prayer rooms.

The Lord recently said to me, “I build my House and you dwell in it.” It reminded me of Psalm 127:1. Kirk said, “God is disinterested in what we build. God don’t appreciate what God don’t initiate.Be patient with God’s process. God dwells in the places where we come into agreement with His will – with what He is doing.
Psalm 127:1 Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.
Matthew 16:18  I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
Kirk told us that in the Egyptian riots of 13 September 2013, 72 churches were burned down on one Sunday. Now 60 Houses of Prayer stand in their place – people meet in them to pray day and night  – not just once a week.

Jesus’ House is a Place to Encounter the Living God.

Kirk said if it is not a place of encounter, it is not Jesus’ House.
My life message is, “There is an encounter with the living God available to you.”
I say this to people I meet publicly as well as to the church but I hadn’t realised this directly links to drawing people to encounter Jesus in the House of Prayer!

Kirk listed fundamental components of the Davidic tent – the House of Prayer that are based on clear bible passages, biblical meditation and observation of the prophetic history of over 300 different places throughout the nations.

1) Joyful- Is 56:7
2) Day and Night- Rev 4:8
3) Meditative Scriptural Language- Joshua 1:8
4) Worship and Prayer Encounters- 1 Chron 16
5) Lifestyles of Encounter- Royal priesthood 1 Pet 2, 2 Co 3
6) Person, Character and Nature of the Father Son and Spirit- Col 1:15, John 15:9
7) The Flame – Where God’s passion and Man’s passion meet- Lev 6:13.”

We are invited to dwell, rest, abide, remain in the house where God dwells!

Psalm 23:6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Psalm 26:8 Lord, I love the house where you live, the place where your glory dwells.
Psalm 27:4 One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
Psalm 84:4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.
Psalm 84:10 Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

We are invited to meditate on the Word of God
Kirk taught us a simple method for Scriptural Meditation. Following our 40 Days of Delight, I am using this to read through The Passion Translation of Hebrews.

Take a phrase from a text and mediate on it 5 ways: RWSSP.
Read the phrase over and over. Write it; Say it; Sing it and Pray it.
Write down the thoughts that come to you during your mediation.
On your note page prepare a right hand column where you can list distracting ‘Tasks.’
Prepare a horizontal section at the bottom of the page where you can list ‘Pursuits’ – texts etc to follow up on later so these don’t distract you.
Meditate on the phrase for 30 mins or longer – as useful.

The House of Prayer is a Place of Joy for All!

“I will give them joy in the House of Prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” (Isaiah 56:7)

Kirk shared that the place of encounter is a place of Joy. Joy is God’s primary emotion for the HoP. Jesus is the joy in the HoP! Psalm 45:7 Jesus – messianic anointing – oil of gladness. Isaiah 60 Glory joy deepens in darkest hour. You are the joy set before Him!

When Solomon prayed for God’s dedication of the Temple, he established the Court of Gentiles – a place for foreigners to pray. (2 Chronicles 6:32) When Jesus declared, “My house will be called a house of prayer” – he reopened the Court of Gentiles as a place of prayer for all. (Matthew 21:12-16) Jesus preached in Solomon’s Porch, where the Gentiles could hear him. Jesus drove out all who were buying and selling in the temple courts to make room for the people of all nations to enter His House of Prayer.  Jesus’ consuming zeal for the house (John 2:17) was passionate love on fire. But, Kirk said, it’s unlikely he flipped the tables angrily because the very next verse (Matthew 21:15) says the blind and lame came to him at the temple and he healed them and children were joyfully praising Him in the temple area, shouting, ‘ Hosanna to the Son of David.’  The chief priests and the teachers of the laws saw the wonderful things that Jesus did. Kirk said, the Jews believed only the Messiah could heal blindness. (Matthew 20:29-34, 21:12-16, 30:29)

Temple solomons-porch

Kirk suggested it is likely that Solomon’s Porch was the place where disciples tarried in the city after the ascension (Luke 24:49) and where the Holy Spirit was poured on the disciples at Pentecost – in the midst of the gathered foreigners – fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah 56 and birthing in absolute joy the House of Prayer for All Nations (Acts 2). Our sanctuaries  need to be kept open for all who want to come into Jesus’ House of Prayer.[Picture: A reconstruction of the Temple Courts. Solomon’s Porch is the tiered section on the rear left just across from the Temple on the right.]

A River of Life Flows From the House of Prayer!

What further joy! A river of life flows from the Sanctuary – the Temple – the House of Prayer with healing and inheritance for the nations. (Ezekial 47, Revelation 22)
Kirk said God has merged prayer & mission as one movement.
6-10 million Iranians have come to Christ in the last 10 years in a silent revival.
10-20%of Muslims become Christian through an encounter with Jesus Christ.
The manifest glory of Christ in us – His temple – is manifesting his presence and the reign of Jesus’ kingdom in our neighbourhoods and nations.

Will you enter in? This is for all of us in this generation.

This generation is searching for something to die for. There are more martyrs on earth now than ever before. They find Jesus worthy! They go saying, ‘If I die, I die!’ and so are pure vessels to preaching the gospel. Think about it – God, who had his son put to death, is in charge of your life right now!

You can set up places where people have encounters with the living God. If you create a place where young people encounter the living God – the other ages groups will come. 80% become Christians between the ages of 4-14. 50% of people are under 17! Make them your target group.

Be the mum and dad you never had – someone they can follow. Enter into God’s presence – yourself – radical abandonment of your life – following Jesus as his disciple. If you hesitate in the doorway to talk or make excuses or hold onto offence over previous opportunities that were missed, you are blocking others from entering. Enter in yourselves so others can follow; so they see the back of our heads as you focus on God. Kirk says, Get the young people in front of God and get out the way.

  1. To enter in we need to let go of all our offense at people and at God. Jesus offends us. (Mark 6:3, John 6:61) Jesus is hard to follow. He doesn’t do what makes sense to us and He will not be controlled by us. He will challenge our thinking and resist our plans – just as he challenged his cousin John’s disciples to a new way (John 1, 3, Mark 2:18). Jesus sent the message to John reassuring him that Jesus is the Messiah – but also  saying to John and his disciples, “Blessed is the man who does not fall way on account of me.” (Matthew 11:6) Don’t be offended that I am not intervening to save John from martyrdom. (Matthew 11, 14, 17) “In the same way the son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” (Matthew 17:13)
  2. Grace is a holy tool that enables us to endure suffering. We fail to distinguish between mercy and grace.  Jesus offered mercy to the woman caught in adultery when he laid down the stone but he offered her grace when he said, “Go and sin no more.” Grace is not an excuse for continuing to sin. Grace is God’s empowerment to move into holiness – to move forward and to empower others.
  3. Instead of longing for a holiday – we need to abandon our life, our schedules, our plans and enter God’s rest – his presence – so we are continuously refreshed. We keep the other commandments but call Sabbath law. Jesus is the rest we need. (Hebrews 4)

Are You Becoming a House of Prayer?

  1. Press more and more deeply into daily intimacy and communion with Jesus, seeking revelation of Him, asking more and more questions, living in alignment with His manifest presence and rule; abandoning your self to trust him and follow his leading in every aspect of your life.
  2. Start a local prayer group. Pray regularly with others in your neighbourhood, workplace. Pray and intercede but don’t stop there – press into sustained fervent adoration prayer & worship in God’s presence. Recognise God’s leading for you to overflow to those around you.
  3. Be alert to opportunities stirred by God to unite regionally in prayer, worship and mission to see God’s transformation of your sphere of influence, suburb or city or nation. See opportunities:  http://partnersinprayer.org.au/whats-on/

Can we help you become a House of Prayer?

Partners in Prayer & Evangelism (PIPES) simply connect people to God and each other – relationships that carry living water to our communities.

  • We link open prayer groups and prayer rooms (in churches, neighbourhoods, workplaces) and regional collaborations as Jesus’ House of Prayer – anywhere “two or three come together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20) We see these as rooms in the House of Prayer that Jesus in building.
  • We are refining a simple website map – called Prayerhouse – where people can list and locate Houses of Prayer throughout Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.
  • We provide opportunities each month or so for House of Prayer leaders who would like to meet to gather together in Melbourne. You may like to do this in your region too – we are happy to help you start this.
  • We will be starting a monthly teleconference prayer time for House of Prayer leaders  who would like to know each other and be encouraged and share what God is doing.
  • Please send us your contact details if you are becoming a House of Prayer and would like others to join you or if you’d like to connect with other Houses of Prayer.

Jesus, be glorified! Be light in us in our regions!

Sue Tinworth sue@partnersinprayer.org.au

Download more teaching and see worship from Kirk Bennett at http://www.7thunders.org/index.php/component/virtuemart/index2.php?category_id=20&page=shop.browse&limit=25&vmcchk=1&start=25&pop=1&tmpl=component

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