Awakening Sweeps over Int'l House of Prayer

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Over the last decade the International House of Prayer, or IHOP as it's usually called, has become a destination where worshippers lift non-stop praise and prayer up to God 24-hours a day. Now, there's a new level of worship taking place at the ministry.

A series of miracle-filled meetings has been going on at the IHOP almost nightly since early November. As CBN News arrived to check out this move of the Holy Spirit, two young men were testifying about healings they had just experienced.

Jay Fridenmaker plays bass guitar in one of IHOP's worship teams. He was so nearsighted that from the stage where he plays and these meetings take place, he'd never been able to see the big green digital clock on the other side of the auditorium.

"I've been asking the Lord for the last few days to heal my eyes," Jay said. "A couple of people came over and prayed for me and my eyes...and now I can read things that are far away." And he said the clock is now crystal clear.

Steve Moduno works with one of the other worship teams. Suffering with asthma since he was born, Steve has never been able to take deep breaths.

But he'd just been prayed for when CBN News showed up.

"Immediately I could breathe deeply." We asked him to take a deep breath. He sucked in huge gulps of air. We said, "You were never able to do that before?" "No," he replied, with a big, happy grin.

The 'I Got Healed' Gal

Rachel Beauchamp's knee was so torn up she couldn't run or dance for seven years. The Kansas City, Mo. resident confessed, "I've probably got prayed for - my knee - literally I'd say 900 times."

At a recent renewal meeting, she wasn't even praying for healing when it suddenly came for her damaged knee. She ran up on the stage, charging back and forth yelling, "I got healed! I got healed!" It was such a joyous, memorable moment, it earned Rachel a new title among people at IHOP: the 'I got healed' gal.

This move of the Lord in Kansas City began November 11 when Wes Hall's 9 a.m. class at IHOP's Bible school began to fill with a palpable presence of the Spirit.

15-Hour Holy Ghost Encounter

All other classes quickly moved in with Hall's. Hundreds of Christians from across Kansas City - alerted by e-mails, texts and cell calls - started showing up for a Holy Ghost encounter that lasted 15 hours.

IHOP immediately began nightly six-hour renewal meetings and was soon sending it all out on a free, live webcast reaching 180 nations. Allen Hood, president of IHOP-University, described what God's doing to His people in these meetings: "We're getting healed. We're experiencing His joy. We're finding out He not only loves us, He likes us. He wants to use us. He wants to partner with us."

For every physical healing, there appear to be dozens of spiritual ones - often leading to a total renewal of the recipient's faith. It's especially happening among the young people. "This generation is so broken," said Hall, not just an IHOP-U instructor, but provost as well. "And the Lord is setting this young adult generation free of all kinds of brokenness and shame and addiction."

'Religion' Knocked Right Out of Them

What's interesting is how many long-time Christians here have had God knock the religion right out of them, but then replace it with a loving, intimate relationship with Him.

Anna Tullis, an IHOP student and almost lifelong Christian, felt tied up in knots over her religious spirit of perfectionism and performance: "I've grown up in a Christian home so I really knew how to perform and do what leadership wanted you to do...just knowing the system. And it had been so much bondage."

She received prayer and deliverance at the renewal. "Afterwards I felt so light and so free. And like the freedom to be who the Lord called me to be instead of what everyone else was expecting of me. And it's awesome!" Tullis exclaimed. "I'm just free from religion and like, my concept of God, which was totally messed up."

IHOP-U president Hood explained, "A lot of our kids have grown up in religious contexts. They know what it means to look religious. But they're finding out that God loves them, accepts them and is delivering them from performance."

Twenty-seven-year-old Brent Steeno is another IHOP-U teacher. He was praying for students during the first day the renewal began, when he realized he himself had issues blocking his relationship with God.

Steeno asked for prayer and had a heavenly encounter: "I felt like Jesus was standing next to me and He just began to do surgery on my heart and removed self-hatred and insecurities and listening to the lies of the enemy."

Igniter for the Nation?

Many local Christians who have been paying attention for years to prophetic words spoken over Kansas City are excited for what this move might mean not just for their area, but the nation.

Pastor Alan Koch of Christ Triumphant Church in nearby Lee's Summit, Mo., recalled one prophecy he'd heard: "There would be an outpouring of God on the coasts, but it would come to the center. And when it would come to the center, it would ignite. And we're hoping that this is that ignition."

IHOP invited leaders of two longtime streams of revival to come to Kansas City to wed their efforts and also examine what this move of God might mean.

John and Carol Arnott have watched over a powerful renewal at the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship for 15 years now. They like what they saw at the IHOP renewal.

Carol said, "They're healing the sick and they're preaching the gospel. And I believe as people start to come, it will be so contagious."

John added, "This is going to go all over the world. And the earth is going to be a different place because of what God does here."

Bill Johnson's Bethel Church in Redding, Calif. has been seeing its own miracle-filled renewal for years. He advised IHOP to drink it up: "What these pools of refreshing are is they're wave after wave of God's goodness that we get to taste."

Healings Every Night

IHOP founder Mike Bickle described what he's seeing happen night after night: "The Lord is releasing His Spirit, mostly on young people, although it's for all ages. And a lot of people are getting healed physically, just sovereignly. Healings every night."

IHOP staffer Rachel Wagner received one of those healings recently. For about a year she and her doctor had been worried about a suspicious lump in her breast, but she couldn't afford the tests that could tell if it was cancerous.

Wagner told CBN News, "I'd been praying 'Lord, if you want to heal this, announce it from the platform,' because it's not something that you would normally hear on a microphone. And then Wes Hall said 'God is removing a lump from someone's breast, someone who's been worrying about a lump in their breast, He's dissolving it right now.' And I was like 'That's me!' So I ran to the bathroom and I checked and it was gone completely."

The same day Wagner talked to CBN News, her doctor confirmed the lump has totally disappeared.

A Whole New Set of Teeth

The anointing for healing isn't just happening here at these IHOP meetings. As they go out over the live webcast, individuals and groups elsewhere are watching, joining in and reporting their own wave of healings.

Pastor Dane Joneshill was visiting IHOP while others in his Searcy, Ark. church, including his co-pastor Taylor, were watching the webcast. One began to feel a strange sensation under her dentures - a whole new set of teeth growing in.

"She could just tangibly feel them with her fingers under her gums," Pastor Joneshill said. "So she had Taylor put his finger in her mouth and feel all these bumps under the gums where these teeth were beginning to grow and push through the skin."

Back at IHOP, the miracles just keep coming on. Kansas City resident Stephanie London fell seven stories five years ago.

"I broke my pelvis and ever since then, my right hip has been lower than my left," Stephanie said. "During a prayer time I felt some really intense pain and some popping, and went and checked and my hips were even."

The next week her chiropractor confirmed her total healing: "He said 'I can tell you right now your hips are even, you have equal flexion in both sides, you're balanced and I have never seen you like this.'"

Now those in Kansas City experiencing this rich move of God pray that it will spread from here in the core of the country out to the campuses and the coasts and everywhere people call upon Christ, wanting more of Him.

*Originally published December 18, 2009

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/PaulStrandCBN.