We believe a house of prayer is one of myriad expressions within the body of Christ and is neither superior to, nor a replacement for any of them. We all have our place, purpose and unique role in making the whole body work together as one in Christ. (1 Cor. 12: 12-31) “House of Prayer” is a biblical term, mentioned four times in the scriptures (Isa. 56:7, Matt. 21:13, Mark 11:17, Luke 19:46) explicitly revealing God’s views about the function and purpose of His house.
With respect to the body of Christ (Romans 12: 1-8, 1 Cor. 12: 12-31) we believe the organ best describing the ministry and role of a house of prayer is the heart. Why? Because walking out the first commandment to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart…” (Deut. 6:5, 7:9, 10:12) holds utmost significance in a house of prayer. It is of such importance that Jesus, when questioned by the experts of His day responded as follows:
“But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees with His reply, they met together and thought up a fresh question of their own. Then one of them, a religious scholar- an expert in the law- tested Him saying, ‘Teacher, which is the most important commandment?’
Jesus replied, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and most important commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets stem from these two laws and are fulfilled if you obey them. Keep only these and you will find that you are obeying all the others.”
Matthew 22:34-40 (NLV, TLB, MSG, NIV, NKJV versions were combined above for maximum clarity.)
One of the most tangible manifestations of Jesus’ instructions is demonstrated thorough prayer and worship in “spirit and in truth” (John 4:23.) Going well beyond participation at weekly meetings, it is a deliberate, intentional lifestyle where exalting God is first and foremost. Revisiting the heart comparison, this illustration ties it all together:
As the natural heart functions in the human body to pump life giving oxygenated blood through the body to all the other vital organs and cells; prayer and worship function in the same manner- supplying everything necessary to our soul and spirit.
Deprived of oxygen, whether by poor circulation (blood flow) or deficiency in the atmosphere, the human body cannot operate properly. And the following symptoms become evident: shortness of breath, elevated heart rate (the heart must work harder), impaired brain function (distraction, short attention span, confusion, disorientation, irritability, poor judgement, etc.) impaired motor function, fatigue, headaches, sleepiness, skin color turns blue, and more. Left untreated, one will eventually experience heart failure, go into a coma and potentially suffer permanent damage or death.
Now, apply this to the soul and spirit’s condition when deprived of time spent “loving the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Certainly not a pretty picture and absolutely not God’s plan for us.
A lifestyle of prayer and worship, modeled by Jesus himself, helps and empowers the body of Christ (believers) to accomplish the “greater things” (John 14:12) and do the works of ministry (Eph. 4:12) unto fulfilling the great commission (Matt. 28:16-20) and God’s purpose in our own generation (Acts 13:36.)
Prayer and worship is the central operating platform of The Altar IHOP, Tokyo and source from which every other ministry activity flows. Because of this, we function differently from the more familiar and traditional church setting while remaining entirely faithful to scripture.
We are a non-denominational ministry who believes in the gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12: 1-11) and operates in them. We believe the gifts of the Spirit are for today, are good and worthy of pursuit. We also believe these gifts should be used and operated in with reverence, wisdom, knowledge and understanding. We believe they are indeed a “gift” from the Holy Spirit to the bride (also known as “the body”) of Christ. We believe their purpose is to aid us in developing our relationship with the Father and are not things to be acquired or obtained for the purpose of self exaltation.
Our Statement of Faith (Simplified)
We believe in God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit. That these three are one. (Matt. 28:19, 1 Cor. 8:6, John 1:1 & 14, Gen. 1:26, 1 John 5:7-8)
We believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose again on the third day that we might be saved from our sins and that no one can come to the Father except through Jesus. (John 3:16, John 14:6)
We believe the Bible is the inspired word of God (2 Timothy 3:16.) Useful for teaching and is the plumb-line by which we measure all things.
End of the Age
We believe in the 2nd coming of Jesus and that He is indeed coming soon but that no man, knows the exact day or hour of His coming. We believe we are closer now than at any other time in history to “the end of the age” and that God has great things in store for those whose hearts are truly His. (John 14:2-4, Matt. 24, Luke 21, Mark 13)
For the full and expanded version, please see the following link: IHOP-KC statement of faith