Last night I dreamed a dream (of course I dreamed a dream, what else would I dream, a pound of bacon? I wish.). In this dream, I was at the Prayer Room at IHOPKC where I work currently. I was talking with a friend in the lobby, and she told me that for Christmas, we were going to have people sitting at the front of the room with eggnog and Santa hats. I don’t remember what I said, but I said something about how I disapproved of it. I then went into the Prayer Room, and noticed that it was packed. Then I noticed that in front of each side room was a welcome mat with a different NFL team logo on it. Somehow I knew that it was because it’s football season and they (whoever they were) decided to decorate the Prayer Room accordingly. I went to my seat which was at the front on an angle. I remember seeing that the room was packed with college-aged popular types, who were worshiping , but it felt shallow. Jon Thurlow’s team was on, and they were rocking it (naturally) when the power suddenly cut out. That’s when I noticed that the stage was encased in glass because you couldn’t hear anything. Someone in the crowd quickly got out a keyboard and started playing (because in dreams, everyone carries around battery powered keyboards) as the team assembled on the front of the stage outside of the glass. And that’s basically it.
So as I mulled this dream, I thought about the attitude I sometimes have that looks to the skilled singers and musicians to keep my interest. I thought about how sometimes I don’t take the prayer part seriously. I don’t think that it’s sinful to appreciate skill, or to have fun and laugh in the Prayer Room, but if that’s the main reason you’re there you’ve missed the point of the Prayer Room. When I notice someone in the Prayer Room who doesn’t seem to be taking it seriously, my immediate thought is that they’re being irreverent. Of course, I cannot read hearts, and I usually remind myself that they most likely aren’t irreligious and rebellious.
I don’t want to advocate treating the Prayer Room as if any little thing will somehow defile it. The Prayer Room at IHOPKC is not a basilica with monks and holy water where it feels like you’re being disruptive if you breathe loudly, but it’s also not your personal prayer closet or living room where you can do what you want, it’s a public place set aside for prayer and worship.
Another thing I got from the dream was that it really is about the heart, not where you are exactly. Yes, God may have led you to a certain church or ministry, but if that ministry or church sells out and/or becomes shallow, that does not mean that you are called to become shallow. Here at IHOPKC, I’ve learned to pray for long hours everyday, but if the Prayer Room would close tomorrow, would I still pray as much? Honestly, not at all. I’ve been terrible at developing a prayer life outside of the Prayer Room, and I currently fear the day that I don’t have a Prayer Room to go to. It’s time to make some changes.
There also something about marketing the prayer movement, but that’s another subject for another time.