If you’ve heard of International House of Prayer (IHOP), you know their mission is to keep the fires of intercessory prayer burning 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And if you know anything about Youth With a Mission (YWAM), you know they are committed to crossing the globe until everyone has heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. So what would it look like if one of the most widely-known prayer ministries covered one of the most widely-known missions organizations in prayer? The answer is this very well could have Great-Commission-fulfilling ramifications.
Although the two ministries have crossed paths in the past, September 11, 2016, marks the launch of this more focused initiative on IHOP’s part to hold YWAM up in intercessory prayer. Loren Cunningham, who founded YWAM with his wife, Darlene, challenged Mike Bickle, the leader of IHOP, to raise up 1 million intercessors to pray on behalf of YWAM. Leaders and staff of IHOP and YWAM had been gathered for the week-long Together conference in Kansas City September 5-10, 2016, when the challenge came.
Bickle didn’t miss a beat, taking pleasure in accepting the challenge. Bickle told Jennifer LeClaire of Charisma News, “We love what the Lord has done through Loren and Darlene Cunningham and the whole YWAM family for over 50 years, and we are committing to cover them in intercession for the great cause of advancing the kingdom in the nations and to call other prayer ministries throughout the world to join us.”
The focus of the Together conference was on fulfilling the Great Commission. Among the topics discussed were “ending Bible poverty (providing Scripture in every language) and a commitment to seeing every sphere of society impacted with the gospel,” according to Charisma News. The call to intercession is one that is very near to the Cunningham’s hearts. Darlene Cunningham says, “The practice of intercession—hearing from God and praying His prayers—is part of the core DNA of YWAM from the beginning… We need it, and I am so thankful that IHOP is joining us in the great endeavor.”
If anyone could handle such a commission, it’s IHOP. As John Dawson, president emeritus of YWAM, said, “The 17-year commitment to 24/7 prayer maintained faithfully by IHOP Kansas City is no small thing in our eyes. Out at the ends of the Earth, our missionaries can feel the power of this loving shield; in the hard places, in the dangerous places, we know we are not alone because intercessors are travailing, even through the night watches.”
With more than 1,100 ministry locations in over 180 countries, YWAM has a lot going on on any given day. And the fact that they train over 25,000 short-term missions volunteers each year (this doesn’t even include their full-time staff or long-term missionaries) translates to a lot of prayer requests.
Let’s pray this unique alliance between the two ministries produces good fruit for God’s kingdom.