Prayer is at the center of my ministry here at Hope City. Jesus consumed with zeal for his Father’s house said, “My Father’s house will be called a house of prayer.” Hope City is an inner city house of prayer that is open to the public to come and rest. While many in our neighborhood are homeless, addicted to drugs, and poverty stricken, at Hope City they can find a free meal, friendly faces, live prayer and worship all day, and even WiFi. As a musician here I am playing music and interceding for Kansas City in the prayer room at least four hours a day, often six or eight. Intercession is the foundational ministry we see in the Gospels and in Paul’s letters.
Living in community at Hope City has born its difficulties and challenges; however, the blessings of fellowship among my friends here have outweighed any troubles. The community that lives at the prayer room is comprised of a drug and alcohol recovery program, and a group of interns; there are, of course, other staff and volunteers who come to serve on a regular basis. We take care of the food pantry, cleaning the facilities, and spend regular time interceding and worshiping.
Though the community I live in is very poor, we are rich in love and good works. We enjoy the simple pleasures of life while taking our greatest pleasure being in His presence. Some of the difficulties we face are the addictions and social disadvantages in our neighborhood. There are fights, even gun fights, near where I live. There are at least four young girls getting ready to be mothers, many under the age of sixteen, and there are countless young men aimless and angry with few role models.
Lately I’ve been learning that Jesus, who ever lives to intercede for us, wants me to partner with him in praying against these strongholds, and to even partner with him in his suffering for them. After a $100 pair of headphones was stolen from me, I began to understand that what I had was really not my own, that even I am not my own. Loving the kid who stole my studio headphones was harder than I expect, but now I have greater reason and insight into how to pray for him. I belong to Jesus, so my very life must be found in the laying down of all of my rights for His sake.
Hopefully as a religious culture, we can shed the fancy clothes, and pretentious looks, and maybe even our nice suburban homes, and live our lives with those in need amongst us. That we could bear one another’s burdens and cast all of them at His feet. Take joy in our present suffering, for we know that we have a great reward awaiting us after this life.