“To have faith, by definition, is to pray and keep on praying and never lose heart in prayer”
In the prayer room, at the International House of Prayer-Atlanta, the fire is kept burning on the altar 24/7.
Leviticus 6:13: "The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out."
The perpetual fire in Moses’ day represented uninterrupted offering to and appeal to God on behalf of Israel. (Zondervan Study Bible)
For two hour sets, around the clock, the intercessory missionaries keep the fire burning in the form of worship with the word, devotions and intercession. So if you walk into the prayer room at 3am or 3pm you will find people in there, praying and worshiping. During the services, the prayer room moves to the building next door.
During intercession, there is worship and then there are intervals whereby people to come to ask the others in the room to agree with them on prayers that have been placed on their heart. After the person or people pray on the microphone, the worship set sings parts of the prayer and parts of the scripture used in the prayer as a chorus. Many of the scriptures used are prayers that Paul wrote the churches in the New Testament; apostolic prayers. Meanwhile, other people are pacing the room back and forth or sitting in place, it all depends on your style or how you’re being moved at the time.
On Tuesdays at 4pm everyone who is on staff or an intern at IHOP-Atlanta is required to come to the all-staff intercession. This past Tuesday was the second all-staff intercession I attended. I went to one in October too, when I came to visit. They’ve both been live; worship and intercession sets; sometimes you feel like dancing.
At this past all staff intercession, there was a focus on interceding for the churches in Egypt, Muslims, and the word of the Lord to spread rapidly throughout the nations from 2 Thessalonians 3.
The Pastor (director) called the new interns up so that we could be prayed upon and blessed as we begin this season. I don’t recall there ever being a time in my life when so many people came and prayerfully laid hands on me. We also heard from missionaries who have setup a house of prayer in Uganda.
At the end of the intercession sets, the leader will ask people to indicate whether they need a form of healing. Then he will ask for the believers nearby to lay hands on the people who seek healing. So in a sense, if you’re not being prayed for, you’re laying your hands on people to pray for them.
The Parable of the Persistent Widow.
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said:
“In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.' For some time he refused.
But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!'
And the LORD said, “Listen to what the unjust judge said. And will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you He will see that they get justice and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth? Luke 18:1-8.
We have to be like the persistent widow.
“Faith always prays, unbelief stops praying.”