“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily'” Luke 9:23.
Or to put it another way, C.S Lewis wrote
“Christ says, ‘Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work. I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it….I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself, my own will shall become yours.”
This quote reflects the journey I find myself on at the International House of Prayer University. Jesus is after everything! Everything of us, everything that we have, all our relationships, all that we own, all of our heart, mind, body, soul, spirit and time. The very air we breathe is his and we can call nothing ‘mine’. In dying to ourselves we find Him and it is worth it but it is a journey that takes time…maybe a lifetime.
So just to give you a backdrop of what studying at IHOPU entails, my week looks something like a four hour worship set three times a week which mixes singing the bible for two hours, called worship with the word, and a two hour intercession set where prayers are brought and we sing them. This is with a corresponding sister team so that we support each other. I also have three music theory classes, three vocal classes a week and two theology classes, this term we are looking at the book of Psalms, which I am treasuring and the next quarter is on Daniel. Then on Friday evenings we have a class, Knowing the Signs of the Times, which anyone can attend, this is with Mike Bickle who heads up IHOP. There is homework for all the above, 5 hours of vocal practice a week and 3 hours of music theory although We are also required to do 8 hours in the prayer room. I find myself constantly stretched as a mature student amongst very gifted younger ones, but slowly my confidence is increasing, I have found new brothers and sisters in Christ for whom I am so grateful, and for the lessons I am learning about how to walk out relationships in a healthy way. They set a standard in their pursuit of Christ, which provokes me to be intentional about seeking to have an unoffended heart, watching what I say, weighing whether my words are edifying, and trying not to complain when I am weary and challenged. Like Paul says, I have not already attained but am pressing in and have determined to set my will in this direction with God’s help.
A couple of weeks ago I was seeing myself like a timer held upside down and I wondered when I would ever feel the right way up again but then realized that the Lord was showing me that time is running out and that we have to live often in a way that doesn’t make sense to anyone and goes against the tide. Jesus really is going to come back and the end of history as we know it is really not that far away. If that comes as a bit of a surprise to you, it did to me but being here has brought this truth right into focus when that reality had somehow disappeared to the back of my mind, Jesus constantly tells us to watch for his return and to live as though it is imminent.
Lou Engle from the Call has felt commissioned by the Lord to cry out for revival, this will take place in Los Angeles on 9th April 2016, inspired that it will be 110 years since the Azusa revival of 1906. You can read more about this on the web link below. It will be a very significant event which is why I include a comment about this here to encourage you to go and check out the website: http://www.thecall.com/azusa
Also in April we have ministry trips and the students are being sent out into five cities, New York, Pasadena, Houston, Atlanta and Kansas City. I feel the Lord inviting me to go to Pasadena, California, which will entail a 2-3 day road trip each way, and once there we will serve in a prayer room in the morning, do evangelism in the afternoon and minister to youth in the evening. I would love you to partner with me in prayer to see God move…to heal, to save, to prophesy all with the intention of moving people into a place of intimacy and encounter with the Lord.
Please pray for my heart that it will stay strong in love whatever the environment or situation. I realize that this too will be stretching but I pray that it will bring me into a new level of trust with the One who is totally trustworthy. Hopefully I can share more with you again soon. If you would consider partnering with me in this work please contact Sidley Baptist Church or Rob Thomas for direction about how you can do this. If you are in the US and would like to post a check, please make this out to IHOPKC without my name anywhere on it and post to the address below or visit the accounting office at Red Bridge by the prayer room to have a payment credited directly to my account. My ministry trip cost is $600 and it would be a wonderful way that you could join me in doing the Lord’s work if you would like to contribute to this trip. If I can raise another $400 then I would also be able to attend the Azusa Call as well and it seems that there may also be the possibility for me to go to Bethel in between which would be a fantastic opportunity to spend time with the Lord before being poured out in love on those in Pasadena who need Jesus. Thank you so much for all your love and prayers I appreciate you all very much.
Love Sharon x
Address: 3618 Bridge Manor Drive, Kansas City MO, 64137