Aimee Herd : Oct 2, 2012 : Worship Musician! magazine

“Singing the Scripture; I was really connecting with God for the first time in my life. Six hours a day, eight hours a day, ten hours a day—connecting with Him. Then small things started to look small, big things started to look big; I started to see the way to impact society, and that you can’t do it without prayer or without the Presence of God. My whole ministry view changed, my world view and my music changed. There were times where there was literally no one [besides the worship team] in the room for hours.” -Misty Edwards, IHOP

Below are excerpts, reprinted with permission from an article that is featured in Worship Musician! magazine’s September/October issue. To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

IHOP KCOn the outskirts of Kansas City, the acronym IHOP likely conjures up a different image in the mind than pancakes—one of passionate worshipers of Jesus deep in prayer, led by skilled musicians and singers, pouring their hearts out to God. That’s an accurate description of the main prayer room at the International House of Prayer, where music-based intercession has been lifted up, non-stop, for 13 years now. I spoke with three of the many worship leaders in the 24/7 prayer room about what it’s like to be a part of something that resembles the Tabernacle of King David, and about how that’s being shared with the rest of the world through their latest CD: “One Thing Live-Magnificent Obsession.” (Photo courtesy: IHOPKC/Worship Musician! magazine)

Aimee Herd: Misty, you’ve been at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City pretty much from the beginning of the 24-hour prayer and worship, right?

Misty Edwards: Right. It started in 1999 and I was one of the first of five interns.

AH: What was the spark that started that idea? And did you expect it to continue and grow like it has?

ME: It was prophesied in the early 1980s that there would be a house of prayer, 24 hours, 7 days a week, led by singers and musicians. The church that Mike Bickle led, had that promise hanging on the prayer room wall. They had a prayer room there for 16 years before our house [of prayer] started.

It was something that we knew was coming but I don’t think anyone knew what it would look like, or what it even meant to go 24 hours a day, 7 days a week [in prayer and worship]. I don’t know if anybody knew what we were really getting into in 1999 when it started. But it was the fruit of a prophetic promise. Then, over those 16 years [before it started], Mike started searching the Bible, finding the Scriptural basis for it, and spent a lot of time in prayer, so it was a natural progression for him.

I moved here in 1998, so I hadn’t been that familiar with the history of it. But when it started, just the idea of encountering God and being in a place where I could sing to Him, day and night, knowing it’s never going to stop, was just very invigorating. I was just a teenager and it totally captured my imagination.

AH: Was that IHOP style of worship and intercession all new to you, or were you familiar with the concept?

ME: Oh, it was a whole new concept for me. I was a Christian, and I had followed some of the Charismatic worship, like Vineyard—that was very impacting to me. . . .And worship leaders like Kevin Prosch and Dave Ruis, and also prophetic singers like JoAnn McFatter and Julie Meyer—I’d been aware of that style of worship, but the idea of going 24 hours a day, 7 days a week was a bizaare and exciting concept.

AH: Misty, we know there’s no “formula” for coming into God’s Presence, but as you’ve led worship in the prayer room, what are some things you could point to, that you’ve noticed—things that really seemed to stir hearts for the Presence of the Lord?

ME: Well, like you said, I don’t know if there’s any exact science, but for me; singing the Scripture. Because we’re singing a lot, and probably 50 percent of what we’re doing is spontaneous. One of the ways that we stay fresh is through worshiping spontaneously. So, we’re always discovering new melodies and new lyrics, new chord progressions. It keeps a freshness to it, that’s one thing.

But, in that spontaneity, actually singing the Scriptures. Not just word for word, or chanting the Scriptures, but developing them. We’re actually having a “singing Bible study.”

Misty Edwards We’ll take a Scripture like a psalm or something, and we’ll spend 2 hours breaking it down—line upon line—through spontaneous song. That’s what keeps it fresh. As far as bringing the Presence of the Lord. . . I don’t know who said it, but I’ve heard it said, “The chariot the Holy Spirit rides best in is the Word of God.” So, singing the Word of God is probably where I’ve encountered the Presence of God the most. (Photo courtesy: IHOPKC/Worship Musician! magazine)

AH: How would you describe the kind of worship you do?”

ME: We have what we call the “harp and bowl” model. I could go into great detail, but basically, in a 2 hour set, we’ll do about 20-30 minutes of worship, then someone will introduce a passage [on the mic] like a psalm, just a chunk of Scripture—2 or 3 verses, not a whole chapter. Then the prayer leader who is speaking–we always try to interact between the speaking and the singing—will pray one or two sentences at the most (relating to that Scripture), he’s kind of directing us. And then we’ll sing around that Scripture.

AH: Misty, how have you personally been impacted and changed by these last 13 years serving in the prayer room at IHOP?

ME: Oh goodness, I don’t even know where to start with that. I was so young when I began. . . even in the first three years, everything changed. I know that sounds extravagant (Laughs), but my world view changed. It was because I was singing the Scripture. And back then it was so small. It wasn’t about leading 25,000 people or having 3,000 people at our university—we were so tiny [at the start]. So, it was about singing before the audience of One. Singing the Scripture; I was really connecting with God for the first time in my life. Six hours a day, eight hours a day, ten hours a day—connecting with Him. Then small things started to look small, big things started to look big; I started to see the way to impact society, and that you can’t do it without prayer or without the Presence of God. My whole ministry view changed, my world view and my music changed. There were times where there was literally no one [besides the worship team] in the room for hours.

Read the rest of this interview, including responses from worship leaders Jon Thurlow and Davy Flowers, in the September/October issue of Worship Musician! Magazine. Follow the link provided.


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