Some may wonder, “Why does an intercessory missionary saturate all they do in so much worship and prayer?” Others still may ask, “Why don’t all believers make prayer and worship a greater priority?”
Firstly, it is because Jesus is worthy. He is worthy of the giving of our hearts in worship and in relationship with Him. We were made for relationship with Him, with its main communication method being devotional prayer and our value shown Him through worship. All else is secondary to relationship, whether intercessory prayer, good deeds or His Kingdom’s expansion.
It could be said that everyone should give prayer an increased emphasis as we walk out the mission of expanding God’s Kingdom, whether at home or in the nations of the world.
Unless we hear God’s voice daily, we cannot obey Him to the fullest. Likewise, unless we live a lifestyle of worship, thanks and praise, we cannot rightly represent Christ as ambassadors of reconciliation who display His freedom, love and joy to the world (2 Corinthians 5:18-21).
The Will of God for Us
The call of God’s Word is to rejoice always, pray unceasingly and give thanks; Paul even goes so far as to say that this is the will of God for us in Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
The garment of praise is given to us for the spirit of heaviness (Isaiah 61:3). Living a lifestyle of giving God praise, coupled with joy instead of mourning and beauty for ashes, are given to us as gifts of redemption. These gifts are for our healing and freedom, and also that we may be known as belonging to the Lord’s that He may be glorified.
“…To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
Isaiah 61:3 (NKJV)
Why Worship and Intercession
In worship we declare the worth of Jesus with all our hearts. When people see us making much of His worth, they will want to know why. The Word says that when Jesus is lifted up, all will be drawn to Him. As we display God’s perfect love, people will see His true heart for them and experience freedom from fear and bondage.
In intercession we pray in agreement with God’s heart. Our desire is that His will–not ours–would be done on earth and in the lives of all just as it is in Heaven.
Jesus wants His Father’s house to be a house of prayer (Matthew 21:13). There are many other Kingdom things–miracles, teaching, etc., yet the Father chose to call His house a house of prayer for all nations (Isaiah 56:7).
Prayer, intimacy with God and intercession for others, must be first place; all other ministry flows out of our relationship with God.
The History of 24/7 Worship and Prayer
King David established a tabernacle in Jerusalem at around 1000 BC, setting the standard for night and day worship before the Lord. Out of desire for a place for the Lord, David brought the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem, had it placed in a tent. Inspired by the worship of Heaven, he set 288 singers along with 4,000 musicians before the Lord to give thanks and praise to the Lord as their full-time occupation day and night (1 Chronicles 23:5; 25:7).
This 24/7 worship continued at various times in Israel’s pre-Messianic history and was always followed by a time of revival, breakthrough and victory for Israel.
The Moravians of the 18th Century
In 1727, Count Zinzendorf and the Moravians of Herrnhut Germany began a movement of unceasing prayer. For 100 years, 1-2 people prayed every hour increasing to even more, as they desired together that “the fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously” and not go out (Leviticus 6:13).
This 24/7 prayer movement sparked a missions movement that spanned the entire globe. Some, so committed in the cause of the Gospel, sold themselves as slaves in order to reach people for Christ. By 1776, some 226 missionaries had gone out from Herrnhut. John Wesley himself was one of those who came to salvation through the Moravian missionaries.
In Seoul, South Korea, Pastor David Yonggi Cho established “Prayer Mountain” where night and day prayer brought more than a million visitors each year. His commitment to unceasing prayer, faith and discipleship contributed greatly to his church becoming the largest congregation across the globe, numbering over 780,000.
In the United States, the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri began a 24/7 worship and prayer meeting starting on September 19, 1999. This unceasing prayer and worship continues still to this day. Since this time, worship and prayer have gone up to the Lord without ceasing.
Today ministries and houses of prayer have increased across the globe as God stirs the hearts of believers with the vision for 24/7 worship and prayer. Learn more about the multi-faceted history of 24/7 prayer.