Apologetics Index

International House of Prayer (IHOP, or IHOP-KC)

The International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City. Inset: founder and leader Mike Bickle
The International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City. Inset: founder and leader Mike Bickle. [IHOP photo by SunDawn. License: CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED. Mike Bickle inset: supplied by IHOP Press Service.]

Trigger Warning: Spiritual Abuse

Information on this page may trigger those who have experienced spiritual abuse. [This link includes many resources on the topic, including two online books: Churches That Abuse, and Recovering From Churches That Abuse]


Mike Bickle Accused of Sexual Abuse – Updates

Video: Blaise and Christina Forêt with an IHOPKC Crisis Update: Lou Engle, Michael Sullivant, Dr. Malachi, The Report, and More…

This is a good YouTube channel to follow if you want to stay informed about the crisis at IHOPKC. Blaise spent 4½ years leading and working there.

If you are on X (formerly Twitter), follow Blaise and Christina Forêt there as well.

Blaise describes himself as an IHOPKC Cult Survivor. Blaise and Christina’s channel is one of the best ways to keep up with the investigation into Mike Bickle’s behavior (and the IHOPKC cult itself).

IHOPKC: “Prophets” and “Apostles” Did Not See This Coming

No surprise here, but among the YouTubers commenting on the Mike Bickle/IHOP controversy are several who consider themselves to be “prophets” and/or “apostles.” Note that none of them prophesied that this scandal was brewing.

This might be a good time to read up on the many problems surrounding the so-called New Apostolic Reformation.

We are not discounting legitimate spiritual gifts. Rather, we take issue with what we have come to refer to as “fantasy Christianity” — in which people merely pretend to be prophets or apostles. That’s like a ‘Christian’ version of the legendary Dungeons and Dragons fantasy role-playing game.

Mike Bickle / IHOP-KC News Updates


Lawyer comments on the IHOP (International House of Prayer) Final Report regarding allegations against Mike Bickle
A lawyer on X (formerly known as Twitter) quotes from – and comments on – the Final Report by the Executive Leadership on IHOP (International House of Prayer) regarding allegations against its founder and lead pastor, Mike Bickle

Boz Tchividjian – posting under the name BozLaw P.A. – comments on the “Final Report” by the ELT (Executive Leadership Team) of the International House of Prayer (IHOP) regarding allegations against its founder and lead pastor, Mike Bickle.

BozLaw P.A. quotes from the report:

– Article continues after this advertisement –
IHOPKC has heard the demands to bring in a third party to investigate the organization in general, but this step is premature until IHOPKC can establish the credibility of the allegations and genuine intent of the Complaint Group.

BozLaw P.A. then comments:

It’s not the role of IHOPKC to establish the “credibility of the allegations” That’s exactly why institutions engage third-party investigations. Without a legitimate independent investigation, these issues will continue to overshadow IHOPKC for the next 20 years.
BozLaw P.A. quotes from and comments on the “Final Report” by the Executive Leadership Team of the International House of Prayer (IHOP) regarding allegations against Mike Bickle.

Boz Tchividjian is a former child abuse chief prosecutor and is the founder and former executive director of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment). 

He is the owner of BozLaw PA (Representing Survivors of Sexual Abuse Throughout the United States). [Bio]

Read his article, “Are abuse survivors best served when institutions investigate themselves?


Mike Bickle preaches on ‘Accusations.’ Uses the Black Horse Metaphor

On October 20, 2023 – a week before accusations against Mike Bickle became public – Bickle preached a sermon in which he used the metaphor of a “black horse” to describe an attack that would come against him.

The video of this sermon was removed from the IHOPKC website. However, The Roys Report obtained notes of the sermon.

The sermon is titled, An Urgent Prophetic Call to Engage in a 3-Fold Preemptive Strike. Yes, that’s the typical kind of fantasy-Christianity nonsense Bickle is known for. The sermon deals with persecution, accusations, betrayal, and being blameless.

Bickle refers to a “visionary experience” on August 8, 1984, in which he “was addressed by “stood in a heavenly room” where he was addressed by the “Lord” and “Michael the archangel.”

In her initial report on the accusations against Mike Bickle, Julie Roys writes about a “tense staff meeting Friday night at Forerunner Church in which IHOPKC leaders announced there were allegations against Bickle but declined to comment on the nature of the allegations.” She writes that IHOPKC staff members were urged not to refer to the “black horse” in this situation:

Stuart Greaves, executive director of IHOPKC, said at the meeting, “Our leaders have taken this situation very seriously.” Greaves referred to an Oct. 20, 2023, sermon by Bickle where Bickle used the metaphor of a “black horse” to describe an attack that would come against him. (Video of the sermon has been removed from the IHOPKC website, but The Roys Report (TRR) has obtained notes of the sermon.) Greaves urged staff not to “refer to the ‘black horse’ in this situation as a way to minimize the pain of those affected” and expressed concern for those “experiencing pain and trauma.”

HushHush – YouTube Channel with Criticism of Mike Bickle, IHOP

HushHush is a YouTube video channel that came online on November 4, 2023. It is a growing collection of short statements regarding Mike Bickle, IHOPKC, and the Kansas City Fellowship.

Examples:

Audio story of a young woman’s escape from spiritual abuse at IHOP-KC. “Here are my top ten most vivid memories of my time at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City founded by Mike Bickle…”
“I was at IHOP-KC when Bethany was found dead…” (Read more about the death of Bethany Deaton)

International House of Prayer, Mike Bickle

The International House of Prayer (IHOP) identifies itself as a charismatic Christian organization based in Kansas City, Missouri.

After a dispute with the International House of Pancakes (the real IHOP), the International House of Prayer started to use IHOP-KC (for Kansas City) instead.

It was founded on May 7, 1999 by Mike Bickle — who was also involved in the controversial Kansas City Fellowship (later renamed Metro Christian Fellowship) where he pastored the so-called Kansas City Prophets.

“Prophetic History”

Mike Bickle has cobbled together a narrative that he presents as the prophetic history of the International House of Prayer. Most of these prophecies came from the controversial, discredited “Kansas City Prophets” — Paul Cain, John Paul Jackson, and Bob Jones.

Bickle claims to be visited by angels and to hear God’s voice audibly. While he does not claim to be an ‘apostle,’ he does not discourage others from referring to him as such. He believes that people when people stand before the Judgment seat of Christ they will be held accountable for how they responded to the prophetic encounters and prophecies he and others leaders had about IHOP and its prayer movement.

International House of Prayer – a Fantasy Form of Christianity

Although many Americans know the IHOP acronym represents the ‘International House of Pancakes,’ Paul Cain — a heretical minister who considers himself to be a prophet used the initials as an acrostic for the vision of the ministry, which was Intercession, Holiness, Offerings and Prophecy.

IHOP engages in what we consider to be a fantasy form of Christianity. It uses and misuses Biblical concepts to cobble together a theology that has little or nothing to do with orthopraxis.

The International House of Prayer is a 24-hours a day, citywide, worship and warfare, inter-denominational prayer ministry serving the body of Christ. This ministry is modeled after the tabernacle of David with singers and musicians being released to lead corporate intercession and worship 24-hours a day. This is an effective method for the churches in the county to come together and DWELL in unity so that God can unlock His commanded blessing. …The Word of God Declares “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations” Mark 11:17. … This House of Prayer for All Nations ministry includes continuous praise and prayer dethroning the principalities and power over a region declaring Gods sovereignty. This is in the spirit of Revelation 4-5 “Harp & Bowl” worship and warfare prayer gatherings, the harp representing praise and the bowl representing the prayers of the saints which is at the heart of David’s Tabernacle.
– Source: Restoring David’s Tabernacle, Revival Times

IHOP – “a Place of Perpetual Worship”

The International House of Prayer holds prayer meetings around the clock, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A short from the 48 Hours broadcast, A Fall From Grace, in which CBS correspondent Troy Roberts reports on the unusual scene of Bethany Deaton’s death, and why investigators struggled to determine if it was suicide or murder.

IHOP “is planning a $150 million-plus world headquarters a few miles south in Grandview that would include a 5,000-seat conference center, a Bible college (IHOP University) and administration offices.” 1

So IHOP is a place of perpetual worship, with continuous two-hour sets of rock band praise music and prayer, which the Web site calls “heroically keeping the fire upon the altar.”

“Get 24/7 access to the prayer room for as little as $10 a month,” offers the Web site.

It also is a Bible school – IHOPU – at which students pay $1,500 a semester to earn two- and four-year certificates.

The Forerunner Ministry curriculum focuses on the End Times. The school is not accredited; meaning credits are not transferable to regular colleges.
[…]

IHOPU also has a music academy and a media school at which students use the latest equipment to learn lighting, video production, graphics, scoring and audio effects.
[…]

IHOP has outgrown the old Terrace Lake Shopping Center in the 3500 block of Red Bridge Road. At the west end is Glad Heart Realty, which works closely with people moving here to attend IHOP. The broker/owner is Bickle’s wife, Diane. According to the agency’s Web site, all profits go to the IHOP ministry.

The group also occupies another strip center on Grandview Road as well as the former Kernodle Lake community, which now is called Shiloh Retreat and used for IHOP conferences. The 94-acre Shiloh site is blocked from public access. The music academy is in what once were Grandview School District administrative offices.

Most recently, IHOP has contracted to purchase the Grandview Plaza shopping center, which is just south of the site of the planned 125-acre development across U.S. 71 from Truman Corners.

Erin Bardon of BNB Design, a Lenexa-based architecture firm, said occupancy of the new Truman Prayer Center is scheduled for summer 2013. Later phases call for dorms, a hotel and office towers, said Bardon, who is not an IHOP member.

An extensive campaign is under way to raise money for the Grandview project just east of U.S. 71, Hall said. Large donors are expected to show up.
[…]

Page 11 of the IHOPU catalog contains these words: “We are looking for a generation of radical young people who are willing to prepare their own hearts and lives that they may soon prepare others for the return of Jesus.”
– Source: Entreaties never stop at the International House of Prayer, Donald Bradley, The Kansas City Star, July 26, 2009

IHOP, a Cult of Christianity

At Apologetics Index we consider the International House of Prayer to be, theologically, a cult of Christianity.

We also believe this movement’s theology leaves the door wide open for various forms of spiritual manipulation and abuse.

Video: The Deception of the International House of Prayer

The Deception of the International House of Prayer (IHOP)

Video: Exposing Mike Bickle

In this video, Dan Long and his wife Robin discuss IHOPKC’s Mike Bickle, his numerous supernatural encounters, and his doctrine

Micke Bickle – MAGA Preacher

Mike Bickle is a staunch supporter of hatemonger Donald Trump — and of false prophet Paula White. In January 2020, Bickle told Charisma blogger Steve Strang:

“We needed God to intervene because the conversation in the culture was leaning more and more to the left, and more and more the radical left, and becoming hostile to things that are important in the Word of God,” he says. “And that trend was getting stronger and stronger. And we said, ‘Lord, we have need of a mid-course correction. Please raise somebody up and put them in place to get this thing in a different direction.’”

And God has been doing exactly that. Not only did He raise up Trump as a defender of Christian values and religious freedom, but He also used Paula White Cain to influence Trump for the good. Now, Cain is head of the Trump administration’s Faith and Opportunity Initiative.

Mike Bickle’s unqualified support of Donald Trump and false prophet Paula White is just one more indication that he lacks spiritual discernment.

International House of Prayer — Research Resources

Documentation of the Aberrant Practices and Teachings of Kansas City Fellowship (Grace Ministries), Pastor Ernest Gruen and members of his staff.

This lengthy document (132 pages) is of primary importance when trying to understand the background of Mike Bickle, his ministry, his theology, and his vision first for Kansas City Fellowship, and then for the International House of Prayer (IHOP-KC).

Among other things it highlights the enormous role false prophet Bob Jones played in Bickle’s life and ministry.

See also:

Articles

  • The “Harp and Bowl” 24-Hour Prayer Initiative and the ‘Restoration of the Tabernacle of David’ Excellent overview of the thinking, strange theology and history behind the IHOP ministry. By Tricia Tillin.

    Way back in what seems another life, I researched the Kansas City Prophets phenomenon. That was, in its time, as gripping a tale as the Toronto Blessing and contained much the same material – manifestations, false prophecies and dominion doctrine.

    Now some of the central figures involved in that discredited resurgence of the Latter Rain Movement are coming to public notice again for their Harp and Bowl initiative of round-the-clock prayer.

    In order to understand the continuity of belief, we have to refer back to the earlier events.

  • Love and Death In the House of Prayer By Jeff Tietz, Rolling Stone, January 21, 2014.

    Tyler Deaton, a self-appointed apostle in one of the fastest-growing evangelical movements, loved Jesus, Harry Potter and, much to his dismay, other men. When his wife turned up dead, the secrets began to spill out.

  • Return of the Prophets, Deb Hipp, The Pitch “Kansas City’s independent source for news and culture.” October 10, 2002. [Also at Archive.Today and the WayBackMachine]. An informative, secular overview of IHOP’s history.
  • What Rolling Stone didn’t tell you about Tyler Deaton Background information provided by Kendall Beachey, a former IHOP member with knowledge of the people involved.

    The Rolling Stone article captures the influences that IHOP’s theology had on Deaton. Did IHOP and Mike Bickle make Tyler? This is hard to say. Certainly no one wanted what happened to happen, nor would IHOP support the type of control present in Deaton’s group. Yet, the differences, real and very significant, are still not as drastic as some may like. […]

    While intensified, twisted, and warped in Deaton’s group, the key dynamics of ecstatic religious experiences, charismatic giftings, and strong hierarchic authority based on religious devotion, fundamentalism, and asceticism are all values alive and well within the leadership culture of IHOP.

Blogs

  • Beyond Grace: ‘Commentary on the Last Days.’ The link leads to an index of articles and resources on the International House of Prayer (IHOP) and Mike Bickle [WayBackMachine]
  • Herescope. An online journal published by Discernment Ministries, Inc., revealing heresies and false teachings affecting the Church today.
  • SadParent’s Weblog [Also as PDF]
    • https://web.archive.org/web/20100924181909/https://sadparent.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/sadparents-thoughts-about/

      I’ve lost a son (at least for now) to a thing called IHOP — he told me that “older and wiser council” had met with him. It was, therefore, his decision (after meeting with this “older and wiser council’) that he and I should have ZERO communication for “one year..at least”. One year at least… that was over 2 years ago.That’s the beginning of a great novel in the making. It’s also the sad, sad truth behind the last 2 years and 3 months of my life. The International House of “Prayer” (and unaccredited university) has been the catalyst in tearing a once loving relationship between mother and son in half. [WayBackMachine]

See Also

Websites

Footnotes

[1] Entreaties never stop at the International House of Prayer, Donald Bradley, The Kansas City Star, July 26, 2009

Notes:

  1. Entreaties never stop at the International House of Prayer, Donald Bradley, The Kansas City Star, July 26, 2009

Article details

Category: International House of Prayer
Related topic(s): , , , , , , ,

First published (or major update) on Friday, March 8, 2024.
Last updated on March 15, 2024.

Original content is © Copyright Apologetics Index. All Rights Reserved. For usage guidelines see link at the bottom.
- Advertisement -
Apologetics Index: Research resources on religious movements, cults, sects, world religions and related issues
Our website includes some affiliate links. That means we get a small commission — at no additional cost to you — for each purchase you make. For instance, as an Amazon Associate Apologetics Index earns from qualifying purchases. Your support helps us provide this site free of charge. Naturally, as our Editorial Policy states, our content is never influenced by our advertisers or affiliates. Details.