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Dear All

It seems ludicrous that it was well over 12 months ago since I last blogged – I agree, it is. But I guess that blogging can really come to the fore when you are travelling or have a particularly unusual event to write about….well, I currently have both.

I am travelling around the USA with my bro, Steve, and having a quality time. The main purpose of our visit was to check out the International House of Prayer (IHOP) based in Kansas City, directed by Mike Bickle and over 3000 voluntary missionary staff.

It is fair to say that this place is a phenomenon. Perhaps this is a shame because it would be awesome if there were more Houses of Prayer around the world, led with such excellence and verve.

What is the ‘Prayer Room’ all about, I hear you ask. Well, in 1999 a team of worshippers, prayers and intercessors started a 24/7 prayer and worship gatehring. Nothing unusual about that, granted, except this hasn’t ceased since that date! The ‘Harp and Bowl’ style of prayer and worship includes musicians, singers, intercessors and I guess you could call them ‘readers’ who speak Scripture over the music. Sometimes the music will direct the prayers and sometimes the prayers will direct the music. These guys know how to flow.

I’ve heard a couple of inspiring songs since I’ve been here, some thought-provoking lyrics but quite a lot of the melodies are quite non-descript. This isn’t an entirely bad thing though because it means anyone can pick the song up quickly and enter into the spirit of what is happening. I like that. But i would like to hear some more dynamic melodies that compliment the awesome lyrics a bit better.

Above all, I love the way the musos and BVs flow. I am sure part of this is human genius, but more so I am aware of God’s hand in and amongst it all. The primary goal is to glorify God, to love Him as we should. John Piper says that ‘God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him’ and this Christian hedonism certainly is Biblical. Where this may be theoretically exemplified in Minneapolis it is fleshed out in radical abandon here in Missouri, (I say that having never visited Bethlehem Baptist Church, but I will do one day – to learn from them too).

I must go as I have been on for longer than my permitted 10minutes, but suffice to say the culture here is breath-taking. It inspires me to write more songs and spend longer crafting them. I am challenged to improve as a musician and to be all I can be for God and His beloved. And on that note, the language is rich here. It’s not ‘seeker sensitive’ but it is dynamic and full of prophetic meaning.

I must go, i have had about 11 minutes.

Love

Nick

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