Archive for December, 2006
There are few greater joys in my life than date night - especially with my not-so-little Riley Joy.
I like to say that while our little Lauren has always been 5 going on “5″, Riley has been the one who is like 5 going on “15″. It’s interesting to note the differences between the two precious girls of mine, both unique. Right now I’m just fighting to enjoy my oldest little one while she is still a little one.
We saw “Night at the Museum” together (and then went to Barnes & Noble afterwards) - she was on cloud nine all night. Is there anything more special than getting a whole bag of Skittles that you’re not forced to share with the other siblings?
Side note - I never recommend movies. Still, Riley and I enjoyed this one together. We held hands and laughed and loved being together.
All in all, a great “pre-Onething”, pre-busy evening with my special girl.
December 27th, 2006
Yes, I am first called to be a husband and a father. My covenant with my wife and my commitment to my children is far more critical than my commitment to build a prayer room and advance the prayer movement.
Beyond those central responsibilities that I delight in honoring, I want to lay out my ministry calling.
The “tagline” of this blog summarizes the two main components of my calling before the Lord:
1. I’m an intercessory missionary.
It is clear to me at this phase of my life that ministry titles and functions will come and go. The primary calling of my life, however, that “trumps” all other functions is the one I feel is the highest calling I will ever have. To be an intercessory missionary is to be divinely “set” by God on a wall of intercession (Isa. 62:6-7) as one who would give Him no rest until the passion of His heart is fully established on the earth. The great prayer of Jesus was that the kingdom and the will of God would be fully realized on the earth. Jesus longed for the earth to be a reflection of heaven itself (Matt. 6:10) - and the means by which He will bring this to pass is through prayer. In John 18:36, Jesus told Pilate that His kingdom would not be birthed on the earth by human means; rather, the desire of Jesus is to bring as a righteous Judge swift justice to those who cry out night and day (Luke 18:7-8).
I won’t graduate from this calling, nor will I be promoted out of it. Prayer is not a means to an end for me - it is the end itself. God chose the weakest means to bring about His grand plans: weak people saying His words back to Him, skipping meals along the way. It is our glory and His delight for us to grow in agreement and unity with Him through prayer.
2. It’s the end of the age:
In one of the most significant encounters in my life, the Lord apprehended me in the place of prayer to commission me to proclaim the message of the end of the age. The title of my website and my web journal reflect the words He spoke to me that night: “Tell them I am coming! Tell them my hand is on the door…!”
Since that evening almost five years ago my life has taken a strange turn. It’s one that I could not have orchestrated or planned out. I am now preaching, teaching, and writing about the end-times. The funny part is, I never asked any of the leadership here to do any of those things. None of them know about that encounter, and those who do don’t know the details. I have been asked and approached to speak at conferences, teach Bible School classes, and write a book about the return of Jesus.
Like everyone else, I’m not always happy doing what I am called to do - there are many other things at times that I would rather preach and teach about. Yet I will joyfully play my part on the team, and I will join the many, many messengers the Lord is calling in this hour to proclaim the reality of His return and the necessity of our preparation for it. I am more convinced than ever that it is closer than we think. The urgency of the hour demands that we pursue the oil of intimacy with Jesus in the place of prayer (Matt. 25:1-13).
I have decided to give my life to Jesus to be fully spent in the place of prayer, building and promoting prayer as a lifestyle, establishing a prayer room that we might give Him no rest, and stirring the prayers of the church unto the great intercessory cry in Rev. 22:17 - “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’”
December 27th, 2006
I answered a question on the Onething Forums (www.ihop.org) that I thought captured the essence of what I signed up for. The original post asked what the phrase “buy gold refined in the fire” from Revelation 3:18 meant. Here was my answer:
My vote is that it means:
1. “Buy” - to pay the price by rending your heart (Joel 2:13) in a place of the recognition of true spiritual poverty (need for supernatural resource - Matt. 5:3).
For a believer there must come a day in which they recognize that their gifting, strength, ability, and natural resource can not deliever them from their crisis nor bring them into a true expression of the kingdom. They must then begin the process of tearing themselves away from the places of strength or comfort that they lean on or depend on when they are under pressure. This is a painful process - it truly rends the heart to tear yourself away from the natural things you draw strength from or confidence in.
The Laodicean church in Revelation had grown confident in its own strength and resource - thus could not see their own lack of internal fire from God. Jesus was kindly exhorting them to begin a painful journey that would cost them everything - to turn even from the permissable things, or the “weights” that were hindering the deeper life in the Holy Spirit. They had to realize their spiritual bankruptcy and seek to obtain eternal things - or true gold.
2. “…gold” - Thus that which Jesus was counseling them to pursue radically was the “gold” of authentic internal life in God. Really, all of the beatitudes of Matt. 5:3-10 could be considered the true “gold” of the kingdom as the believer cultivates true maturity regarding their inward pursuit and desires.
God Himself wants to give us “gold” - a true inward transformation by grace in which we pursue and desire only Him rather than the external things that weigh us down and seduce us into thinking that we have arrived at something (i.e. recognition or success). The seeming “success” or outward prosperity of the Laodicean church had tricked them into thinking that God approved of them and that they were doing great.
3. “…refined in the fire” - speaks of the processes in the leadership of God to produce the pure gold of a heart fully loyal and devoted to Him in voluntary weakness and dependancy. The one whose boast is truly in the Lord Himself as Provider, Friend, Leader, and King is the one who has submitted to the necessary processes of trial, tribulations, and shaking - and did not quit along the way because of the power of the love of Christ working within them. As we are refined in the fire we are purified in our motives and desires so that we can come into full voluntary agreement with Jesus our King.
In other words, I signed up for the real gold - I have set my heart to see the authentic kingdom of God come into my life and my community. I won’t be satisfied by anything less, and can’t be consoled by anything else. Or at least, I don’t want to be.
I am sitting in this prayer room today, restless and hungry but with grace from a kind God to transform what I hunger for. It’s what I signed up for.
December 27th, 2006
Literally, for IHOP-KC, there is only one thing happening this week. The prayer room is here at FSM for the day (as they are building the new stage at the actual prayer room) and many, many of our staff are downtown preparing for the torrent of 15,000 bodies that are preparing to lay seige to the Municipal Auditorium.
I’m speaking at two sessions (on the Book of Revelation and the Second Coming, naturally…), leading the prayer room on site, and helping facilitate our Solemn Assembly on Sunday - an all-day prayer meeting with 10,000 plus. After helping out this morning a little, it’s back to my little hideaway to consolidate my thoughts for the sessions.
I’m tired already, but this is what we do.
December 27th, 2006
I’m “on the clock” for a few hours this morning (8 - 10 AM, every Monday - including today). So here I am, in the prayer room, praying that all of you would have a joyous Christmas.
If you’re wondering, we opened some gifts last night (after our annual Bo Ling’s Chinese Restaurant / drive around and look at amazing Christmas lights tradition); we did the “run downstairs and see what’s out” (a bike, two robopets, and full stockings) thing before I left; then it’s breakfast and the rest of our gifts at around 10 AM.
So, for now, it’s two glorious hours of me, Shelly Hundley (leading worship), and Jesus. And about 35 other folks, also either “on the clock” or loving the novelty of the prayer room on Christmas morning. And Mike in his little cubicle thingy, hereafter known in this space as his “LCT”). Mostly though, it’s me, Shelly’s voice, a little bit of keyboard, and Jesus.
Merry Christmas from the Sliker Family!
December 25th, 2006
In looking back at the past year, I am amazed at how much can happen here at the International House of Prayer over a 365-day span.
For example, in looking over a year’s worth of Sunday sermons from Forerunner Christian Fellowship…
(FCF is our church that serves: Kansas City – people looking for a good church, the IHOP community – people who moved here because they love the message and community of believers that have gathered here, and the Missions Base – people who thought it would be a good idea to call themselves an “Intercessory Missionary”, raise support, and lead the Prayer Room)
…I found that it was fascinating to just look at the messages that were imparted to our community.
2005 seemed to be the year in which we as an IHOP-KC family were connected dynamically to the Sermon on the Mount in general and to the value of meekness in particular – especially related to the reward that Jesus longs to give those who are willing to contend in love for unity with His heart.
2006 seemed to be, in the general sense, a reconnection of our spiritual family to our core values (or “heart standards”), which can be summed up in the acronym “I.H.O.P.”; or –
1. Intercession – night and day prayer in the spirit of the Tabernacle of David. I realize that this one would seem to be tragically obvious to the outsider looking in, as in, “Really Sliker? You mean the International House of Prayer is called to…prayer?” It is, however, unbelievably hard to cultivate a heart of true compassion by which one would sacrificially pray for other people (many of whom they have never met) night and day. Most of the time when I pray, I’m praying that God would make me less of a mess. It takes work to fill my day with 30-second prayers that flow from a heart of genuine concern for my fellow man, the vast majority of whom could care less if I ceased to exist. To be successful at “#1”, you have to actually encounter God on a regular basis. And you can’t fake it – not for five to ten years, at least.
2. Holiness – specifically holiness of heart, or a wholehearted, joyful obedience to God in every area of our lives. One of our worship leaders, Luke Wood, sang this phrase at last night’s 8 PM prayer meeting: “give them a revelation that holiness is wholehearted love.” To be fully set apart for His purposes is my desire, though at the moment there is much mixture in the way that I think, feel, and act. I want a fully renewed mind that processes rightly, approves what is excellent (Phil. 1:9-11), and loves righteousness. This is an ongoing process by which we must contend for obedience in every area even before He transforms our desires.
3. Offerings - or extravagant giving to the Lord, specifically to the poor of the earth. It is a form of fasting to give extravagantly. This speaks not just about our tithing and giving, but also more to a lifestyle of generosity and offerings to God that make a sweet-smelling aroma to God. To be free handed and open-hearted with our finances as the people of God is what the whole Body of Christ is called to – to fully trust the leadership of the Head, Jesus, with our provision and our need with no worries and no ownership or spirit of “entitlement” or covetousness. So much of our lives are spent in self-preservation, fighting to gain and struggling not to lose what we have struggled for. The Apostle James pierced to the heart of our human nature in James 4:1-6. Humility is more than a self-effacing, self-deprecating kind of teachability. It is a commitment to be fully God’s and to be fully led by God in trust and confidence in His ways.
4. Prophetic – contending for the fullness of God. What does this mean? To me it means that if we want Christianity as it expressed the way it was meant to be on the earth (with supernatural power, or signs and wonders, glorifying the Son to the peoples of the earth that they might rejoice with trembling – Ps. 2:11 – and repent and be saved) than we must be who we were meant to be as Christians. We need grace and help to become authentic ambassadors of the Kingdom of God, representatives that demonstrate what His kingdom is like in the fullest we have the grace to walk out during this age. How far can we go? How much of the life of God can we have? What does it mean to be “filled with the fullness of God?” (Eph. 3:19) I want to find out.
The essence of the IHOP-KC message is Romans 14:17: “…for the kingdom of God is not eating or drinking (material possessions and cares of this life), but righteousness (the Sermon on the Mount lifestyle prescribed by Jesus in Matt. 5-7) and peace (stability and confident trust in the leadership of the Lord through end-time judgments – 2 Pet. 3:14) and joy (intimacy with Jesus, who enjoys us in the journey as we grow into a tender heart of love) in the Holy Spirit (the walking out of these areas with the Holy Spirit in power and grace alive in the inner man and expressed amongst one another within the whole Body of Christ).
The IHOP-KC family began to become awakened to our need for more understanding of these components as 2005 came to a close. Then the year started at the end of January with a reminder of the need to contend for the fullness of life in the Spirit. Not long after this, we revisited the “Fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit” messages regarding a life in prayer that cultivates an internal place to commune with the Holy Spirit. The critical components being, of course, feeding our spirit on God’s Word and pursuing a life of holiness and obedience that does not grieve the Spirit we are trying to engage in relationship (fellowship) with.
The highlight of the year, of course (which I am sure will go down in our history as a monumental turning point) was the seven-year anniversary celebration. For three days, a prayer and fasting community feasted – we laughed, played, remembered, and celebrated the goodness of God. We cried together as we saw old friends, in person or on video. I got a little teary-eyed when I saw my dear friends at the Zadok House of Prayer, Isaac and Morgan Bennett. The Sunday morning service just felt…well, big. It felt momentous. From the folks that addressed the family in the video presentation to the sweet memories of the early days (brilliant job, Jono Hall and family…) to what Mike shared: “A Worldwide Youth Movement: Prophetic and Intercession”. That Sunday you just felt like something had shifted. Of course, we would find out a couple of months later that something had indeed, in fact, shifted. A corner was turned at the seven-year mark, and things will never be the same at our little house of prayer.
Yes, something else monumental (and orchestrated by the Lord) was coming to IHOP-KC in the month of November – television ministry. For more on the ramifications, and a little of the story of what’s been happening here over the past few months, you’ll have to wait until after the New Year. It’s that time of the year for us, in which we look to weather many of our staff visiting family around the nation over Christmas, most of whom will return on the 26th / 27th to prepare for our next major undertaking: our annual Onething young adult conference, and 13 – 15,000 people descending on Kansas City for four days of worship and messages geared to call them to prayer, fasting, and preparation for the end of the age. Every hotel is booked and all in our little family are preparing to receive the many who will come hungry and thirsty to encounter the God-Man. This Man is surely anticipating their arrival even more than they could ever know. Many will be different afterwards, forever.
This New Year’s Eve, I’ll be at a prayer meeting with 10,000+ young adults. I’ll be thinking of you, as we wait in anticipation together to see what Jesus has in store for all of us in 2007.
Have a great Christmas – and as you do, think about this: at 10 PM tomorrow night, singers, musicians, and intercessors will be in the prayer room here; together, they will be crying out for revival in America. At 6 AM the next morning, another worship team will file onto the platform, taking the “baton” from the Nightwatch. For many (like my family), Christmas morning will have to be scheduled around a Sacred Trust, as we take our place on a wall of intercession that we have committed to uphold before the Lord until He returns. At no time is our 24-hour prayer and worship reality more stunning to me than Christmas. While the rest of the world (except for Chinese restaurants) grinds to a halt, here the fire on the altar of prayer will not go out (Lev. 6:13).
December 23rd, 2006
First up, Daniel. Since I’m biased, I won’t even comment.
So am I the 3,005,456th person to post cute kid pictures on a blog? Should I be sent to the blog penalty box? Is this too cliche?
I’m sure most of you won’t mind.
December 23rd, 2006
Don’t do it.
Someday I’ll list some semi-comprehesive reasons as to why one should only start a 24 hour house of prayer at gunpoint. Not the easiest thing to pull off.
But if you must, and just in case you were interested…and near the Atlanta area, you may want to be at this conference.
Any chance I get to hang out with the Humphrey family I tend to jump on - they are among the best of the best people around. If you love prayer and are within a few hours of the IHOP-ATL, you really need to connect with Billy. If you love prayer and are anywhere near the Charlotte area, you really need to connect with Kirk. There is no one like him - he is truly one of my favorite people and one of the most focused, dedicated leaders I have ever known. I love the Zadok House of Prayer!
As I said earlier, “Year in Review” is coming tomorrow…
December 23rd, 2006
It’s Friday night, and typically most of the earth isn’t doing what I’m doing at the moment – which is sitting in a mostly empty prayer room listening to gentle melodies and easy, lilting phrases waft through the room accompanied by a simple keyboard progression and slight guitar accents picking away in the background. To fully grasp the glory of what I am describing, you really should either: a.) Be here or b.) Subscribe to the webcast. The info is elsewhere on this website, but for $10 a month you can stream the prayer room live into your home 24 hours a day. You could leave it on all the time and let night and day prayer transform the atmosphere of your home, your dream life, and actually participate in some of the prayer meetings. Pretty wild, eh? I’ve set it up for some of my friends around the nation, and they are hooked. On a side note you can pretty much always catch me leading the Tuesday 4 PM (to 6 PM, CST) prayer meeting. It’s one of our all-staff prayer meetings, and we generally focus on praying for the salvation of Israel. After that last statement, some of you have two options: read Romans 9-11 or download my notes from the “Meditations from the Prayer Room” part of the website. Whatever is easier for you, though “both” may be helpful to those who are particularly troubled…
Side note about the webcast: in about four months, for that same $10 a month, you will be able to watch a TV-quality webcast, each and every day. I won’t tell the whole story (it’s long, involved, and simply crazy), but we will be changing the look and feel of the prayer room (upgrading the stage, lighting, sound, and cameras) to make it more inviting to those who watch us on our webcast. God TV will be partnering with us significantly in this endeavor – it’s pretty exciting. If you have Direct TV, you can watch us on the God TV network, as they will be doing much programming involving IHOP-KC in the days to come – starting with much of the Onething young adult conference at the end of this month. It’s both great and terrible all at the same time. It’s great for you, mostly terrible for us. I’ll let you read between the lines on that one for now…
Since I’m here in a prayer room on a Friday night with much caffeine coursing through my veins, I thought it would be fun to look back at this past year and do a “Year in Review” for my life and IHOP-KC in general. Then I started going on and on about the webcast. Blogs are weird.
OK – I’ll wrap up this stunning masterpiece of literary genius and get diligently to work on my “Year in Review” post.
December 22nd, 2006
As of this past Sunday (Dec. 17th) this website has been officially “up and running”. Whew! There will be much more to come (thanks, Josh Hawkins!) as I will be adding teaching notes, info about Tracey and I, photos, links, etc. The biggest additions will be info about Tracey, what she is doing, etc. The site is way too “me!” for my taste right now. It’s a great start though. We’ll also be adding a way to order some of my other materials for those who are interested, like my End-times syllabus (from my Biblical Foundations of Eschatology class at FSM) and some CD sets.
Having just finished our winter 2006-2007 update and emailed it to many of you, hopefully some of you are finding your way here (which was the purpose of the update). Of course, the “undeliverable” emails being kicked back to me by the dreaded “System Administrator” were to be expected - some of my contact info is out of date. So send the update to anyone you know who knows the Sliker family (ones that you know know us and ones who know you know that they know we know, in other words).
I look forward to hearing from many of you - some of whom I haven’t been able to touch base with for quite some time.
December 22nd, 2006