Over 30K People Gather in Kansas City for Prayer Conference

crowd shot of Onething conference
More than 30,000 people from 100 countries met in Kansas City for the International House of Prayer conference. (K.M. Photography)

More than 30,000 people from 100 countries gathered in Kansas City for the Onething Conference hosted by the International House of Prayer (IHOPKC) in late December. The conference was also the launch of what is to be an annual summit of the major leaders in the missions, prayer and Bible translation movements and a partnership with the Seed Company of Wycliffe Bible Translators. 

"We want to see the gospel preached and 24/7 worship and prayer in every tribe and tongue," said Mike Bickle, founder of IHOPKC, in the opening session. 

Bickle added, "We're believing for 10,000 prayer chains or prayer ministries across the earth. We're hosting the first meeting, bringing together the movements in church planting, missions, prayer and Bible translation. There's one movement in God's heart, and some people think a call to prayer and fasting is a call to isolation and [to] disengage. The missions movement needs the prayer movement, and the local church needs to be filled with the glory of God."

More than 500 leaders from around the world met for the first Onething Leadership Summit.

"We sent letters to 200 leaders, inviting them to this summit six weeks ago," says Daniel Lim, CEO of IHOPKC. "Over 80 percent of the leaders we invited said yes. This is such a unique meeting because we have a common urgency that we need to pray."

Mark Anderson, a leader with Youth With a Mission, calls the summit historic.

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"We are in a time right now where we are launching a new expression of missions and prayer," he says.

Johannes Hartl, a theologian and house of prayer leader in Europe, is hosting a conference in Europe on Friday that will attract up to 4,000 people and bring together 50 houses of prayer in Europe.

"Today's meeting was mind-blowing and overwhelming," he says. "I saw great unity and humility with all of the leaders. I'm also surprised at how far the prayer movement has come."

The house of prayer conference in Europe will be broadcast on BibleTV.

IHOPKC leaders also unveiled the results of a survey that revealed houses of prayer are in 18 nations on six continents reflecting representatives at the summit. The main proponents of prayer are millennials, with more than 60 percent of participants under the age of 35. More than 30 percent of houses of prayer host 40 hours a week of corporate prayer.

"We actually know of houses of prayer in 60 nations," says Brian Kim, director of the Luke18 project at IHOPKC. Leaders at the summit also pledged to pray for the more than 300 languages that still need to be translated by Wycliffe's Seed Company.

"Something historic that has never happened before is happening before our very eyes with the prayer movement joining hands with the Bible translation movement," says Roy Peterson, CEO of the Seed Company.

"There are over 6,000 Wycliffe Bible translators who go to places no one wants to," Bickle says. "They are hated by locals and unsung heroes of the body of Christ. They work eight to 10 hours a day writing and translating the Bible."

Kim says 1 billion people have no Bible. "This is the ultimate injustice," he added.

Bickle sees the house of prayer movement as a catalyst for missions, evangelism and Bible translation.

"We're just hosting the dialogue and providing the platform for new relationships, new ideas and new plans every year in Kansas City," he says. "The house of prayer movement is the banner for all of these over movements."

The house of prayer movement has dramatically expanded in a city famous for its Prayer Mountain: Seoul, Korea.

"We've been in Seoul for four years," says Hojong Boaz Park, leader of the house of prayer in Korea. "We have over 100 churches involved with 112 full-time and part-time staff. I came here in 2011 with my whole family—including my mother-in-law—from Seoul to receive training. Today's meeting [with summit leaders] was very strategic, and I'm expecting some great things to come."

Leilani Haywood is editor of SpiritLed Woman and a frequent contributor to Charisma. She is a Kansas City, Mo.-based award-winning writer and columnist. She has been published in the Kansas City Star, Metro Voice and other publications. Follow her on Twitter @leilanihaywood.

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