[The Well is a prophetic prayer ministry of Pihop. I have gone for the last month and received prayer. Each time they record your session and email it to you. This experience has been very impactful for me and I wanted to share them here. I would invite you to listen not just for your own benefit to get an idea of what is going down at Pihop (and other parts of the Body of Christ that you may not be familiar with) but also for my own benefit. While Pihop is remarkably sensible about the whole affair I am incredibly new to being open to receiving prophetic words from other people and discerning what is from God and what is from man. If in listening to these recordings you think something is completely wrong or is confirmation of something you have seen in me please let me know.]
On Saturday nights many people from the greater L.A. area gather around a small venue and line. It looks like we are all waiting to get into a club on the weekend, but in fact we are signing up to receive prophetic prayer at the Well. This is a prayer ministry run by Pihop and every Saturday evening you can sign up at 6:00pm. Trained prophetic prayer teams then start praying for people at 7:00pm. They invite you to wait in the main worship area until your number comes up on a marquee. There is worship going on but if you have a long wait you can always leave and come back later.
In my experience, the worship during this time is incredibly sweet and moving and sometimes I now go just for worship.
When I started attending Pihop I was still very skeptical of this whole Holy Spirit/Pihop/Pentecostal/Charismatic/prophetic prayer thing I was being called to. Even after such powerful experiences in inner healing prayer I barely trusted God enough to show up at Pihop and receive ministry which I felt He was gently leading me to. All of my suspicions aside, I was growing cautiously hopeful.
I have intentionally made myself very scarce at Pihop so people who pray over me have no idea who I am. They do not know my personality, my history, I have not added them of Facebook or passed them a link to this blog. I have also kept the name God gave me in inner healing prayer a secret and asked God that if there is something I really need to hear from someone at Pihop, that He would give them this name.
I have done all this because I want to know what was really happening was prophecy, not just people making educated guesses at what I wanted to hear from them based off of my personality or what I’ve shared with them.
The first time I attended, my number was called and I went over to the smaller building. Both of my prayer teams (you get a double session your first time) were comprised of three people of different genders and races that I had never met before in my life. After I introduced myself they began recording my session.
These are some things to keep in mind while listening…
- I had received a very specific name and purpose from God recently in inner healing prayer.
- I had over the months wondered if the pain in my life was part of my training to be a healer.
- Psalm 144 was one of my favorite Psalms, especially in high school.
- I have experienced the greatest friendships and strongest communities I am in, have come from when I am vulnerable and honest about my past pain and my faults as a person.
- Hypocrisy is abhorrent to me. (Especially considering how hypocritical I have been in my life.)
- As I have come to be more open about my life, this has been pushed back upon by some people, at times for seemingly no reason. A number of people appear to be critical of me and my character for really no discernible reason.
- This last year I have seen that I am passionate about what I am doing. I generally approach life and the task at hand with an “all or nothing” attitude.
To me it appeared that many of the words spoken over me were from true. Some of their words matched up with ideas I had been wrestling with for some time. Additionally, if these people were guessing randomly, whatever their motivations, they could have suggested so many different things about my character. However, they basically named two things I am well-known for.
The next week I went back. Sitting in worship I was still thinking in my head, “Is this for real? Do I honestly believe that God is speaking to me through other people here? Why are we (as in the people waiting for prayer) here? Is this just our (meaning Christian) version of going to a palm reader or psychic? I mean I know they are not charging anything, but is this just people wanting to hear an encouraging word at a dark or transitional time?”
These are some things to keep in mind while listening…
- Previously a Christian gifted in discernment had commented that from just shaking my hand she could tell how powerful I was. (This was spiritual strength, and strength of character, not physical strength. My 5’7″ and 150 lbs. frame is not that imposing.)
- Randomly, after praying for someone else in inner healing prayer, another participant took me aside and said, “When I heard you speak I saw three swords. I feel you have the LORD’s anointing and the demons will run when you preach.” I thanked him but had no real idea what to do with this. People do not talk like this in the Christian traditions I am from.
- I am known for bringing people together and making community. When I was in Modesto I turned the 511 ministry house into a place of welcoming fellowship and I have done much the same with Apartment 3. When I talked to one of my roommates when I was suicidal he encouraged me that he loved me and he had seen how I bring people together and invite people into my life, no matter where I am at.
- Aside from me asking if this (meaning prophetic prayer) was legit, this last season of my life has been marked by me really seeking after God and asking the hard questions of the faith. “I want to know if it’s real” was a phrase that kept repeating in my head during this time.
- I have felt called to work with Native American communities, have done missionary work a Reservation, but never thought of that as a missionary journey or calling.
- I crave real talk regarding our lives and wider issues in the Church and the world. It has saddened me that while my generation often talks about desiring authenticity we fail to get there, and instead settle for more fluff.
So these three women basically spoke directly into issues that I had been wrestling with, even that night. Again, I had never met any of these three women before or spoken directly to them. Additionally, it appears they confirmed other prophetic words that had been given to me previously.
The next week I came back and received prayer from three more people. By this time I was very open to what God had to say. I had began to die to years of cynicism, ignorance and fear. I think if God had called me to life-altering decisions in the previous two session, I probably would have really struggled to obey Him if He did. I think what He was doing was confirming what was going on at Pihop was indeed prophetic and from Him.
Some things to keep in mind after you listen to the third week…
- I have had a bad relationship with my father most of my life and never felt like I was fully loved and celebrated, though now I am working towards a better relationship with my parents.
- I had very recently begun to explore the Holy Spirit’s movement in my life, even coming to believe praying for others will be a large part of my future ministry. I had even showed up at Pihop because of the gentle leading of the Holy Spirit.
- I have received a calling to be a healer, and Peter’s shadow healing others has come up a number of times in regards to this.
To be honest, part of my cynicism came up after this prayer meeting. I imaging you could ask anyone, “Has your father ever told you he is proud of you?” and the response would probably be no and it would be comforting to say, “God’s saying He is proud of you.” I am not suggesting this person made anything up, but I felt it was pretty generic. The people at Pihop are very humble, acknowledge that they get things wrong and pray that whatever is not from God would just fall flat to the floor. Maybe this word was just not for me or maybe it was just confirming what I had already heard in inner healing prayer.
In the middle of the week following this prayer session I went through another inner healing prayer session. In this God communicated to me that my healing was done, and His healing work was completed. I reconnected with myself and God that night in a powerful way. I was inspired to write a sermon and stayed up with Him laughing and smiling till 2:00am, two things that had not happened since I came down to Fuller. That week I entered a season of incredible rest and, well, the turmoil was over.
The next Saturday night I sat and joined in the worship as I waited to be prayed over. And that is when it hit.
I really felt that the love God has for me set in. This prompted the Facebook photo I uploaded, which was just a picture I took from where I was sitting. During this time I experienced an overwhelming sense of love towards God, myself and others. Once in high school a friend had described to me the effects of taking Ecstasy, and that seems to be an apt description of what I was experiencing. (I’ll share more about this later.)
Some things to keep in mind after you listen to the third week…
- I had been learning a lot more about prayer and had very recently begun to pray expecting help from God. Most of my life I have not prayed to God or have not prayed expecting any real help. This all came from the fact that years of praying for healing that had never come true. This had seeded a doubt in me that God did not answer prayers or at least did not answer my prayers.
- My life had turned upside down in the last season. I had obeyed the will of God and in doing so I had pursued a relationship and started attending seminary. In a very short amount of time the woman I was dating broke up with me, and I broke up with the M Div program. Obeying God had cost me a lot and my life was completely flipped upside down from where I thought I was going to be.
- I had been taking a class on spiritual traditions and become to take care of myself more spiritually as I attended Pihop, worshiped, prayed and studied the Bible on the first regular basis in years.
- That previous week I had been feeling finally free of a lot of things I had been struggling with for this last year (and many years before that) and felt like a great weight had been lifted.
- In considering what my future I began to wonder if I would be part of a worshipping community somewhere as a lay person. That worshipping community would be my “home-base” but my ministry would be mostly outside of it, as I traveled, wrote and spoke beyond its walls.
Then this is what I heard… (They had forgotten to start my recording which is why the first part starts out weird. You can hear me say “I love you” which was definitely part of the “hit” of God’s love I was just whacked with.)
What do you make of all this?
A professor once asked our class, “Do you think that God inspired the Bible and then stopped speaking to us?” Clearly for me the answer was no. This question then begged a second one though. If I do not believe God has stopped speaking to His people, what does it look like for Him to speak to us today? How do you know it is Him and not your own thoughts or your thoughts of others?
It is a bold statement to claim that some of the words in these recordings have come to me from God through other Christians. But this something I have become convinced of.
However, as one of my prayers closed with, I am indeed learning a new langauge. I am learning a lot about prayer and listening to the Holy Spirit. Because this is such a new thing for me, I know I need to grow in my ability to discern what is from God and what is from people. I again invite your comments, insight, and discernment to what you have heard was spoken over me and welcome your opinions whatever they are.
I would also like to ask my readers to answer these two questions:
- Do you believe God stopped speaking to His people after inspiring the Bible?
- If you do think He is still speaking, what does this look like and how do you verify it?