A growing trend we see in the Church today is the House of Prayer movement. From Kansas City, to Seattle, to Atlanta, Washington DC, Boston, and even to small towns we see places springing up dedicated to 24-7 worship and prayer. This has not been without controversy, with some heresy hunters heaping coals of condemnation upon that which they do not seem to understand. Is the House of Prayer movement without error? Heck no, I will be the first to admit that there will be (and no doubt is) excess, distortion and error. After all has that not been true of every move of God? Read your church history if you do not think so, you can start with the First Century church and trace it through history. For that matter what we call “church” today was unknown until the third, yes I said third, century when Constantine became a Christian. Until then they met from house to house. So then can we conclude that we evolved as we moved on down through history. Of course not, as you look at church history, you can only see a pattern of truth after truth being lost, and then, starting with the early roots of what was to become the Moravian church, as well as Luther’s Reformation being restored. We will also see a pattern of those accepting the fresh revelation being persecuted by those who held to the last revelation. Could this be happening now? I hope not!
Some have condemned the House of Prayer movement as an attempt to return to an OT practice. Consider this, Jesus was Jewish, Peter, John, Paul, Mark, all of those whose writings have become compiled into what we call the New Testament, with the notable exception of Luke, were Jewish. The books they wrote were, for the most part, written to Jewish believers. Do you not think that perhaps their worship might have had a distinct OT flavor? Of course it did! I have been in traditional churches, I have been (and am) a part of the house church movement. I have participated in Harp and Bowl worship and know it well. They all have their faults, and in fact the same ones can creep in anywhere you go. Things like a controlling spirit, backbiting, deception, envy, apostasy, false doctrine, even oldie but goodies like Gnosticism, you name it, it can, and will try to creep into the Body at any opportunity. You can find such error in every move, and in every denomination, it’s not hard. Face it until we stand with our Lord before His throne we will have to deal with this stuff.
I actually see little if any desire to return to OT worship in the House of Prayer movement. Nor do I see any danger of it happening. First of all, we couldn’t if we wanted to, there is no temple. (The Hebrew people face this dilemma to this day.) Secondly, at least the Houses of Prayer I have been to, are too well founded in the Word. True, they may not spend as much time preaching in the traditional sense, but I have found that in general, the membership spends far more time in the Word than most of the church today. I have also found them to be much closer to the NT admonition to: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Col 3:16 NKJV) Perhaps that is not true everywhere, but it is true in the circles where I roam.
I could go on and on, but I will not. I could make similar arguments with other moves we see today, but I will only say this: Lets all be careful who and what we condemn and seek to properly discern the entire body of Christ in ALL of its expression. Is there error? Yes. Will there be error in the future? Until Jesus comes again, yes, undoubtedly there will be. If confronted by something new, search out the Word, Be a good Berean, and search the Scripture to see if this thing be true. As the Holy Spirit to lead you and guide you into all truth, He will you know …
“Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” (Eph 1:15-22 NKJV)