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Kansas City Prophet Calls for 21-Day Fast and Prayer for ‘Salvation of Israel’

By Yonat Shimron
Holy sites in Jerusalem’s Old City, including the Western Wall and Dome of the Rock, on March 13, 2019. All three Abrahamic faiths make claims to parts of Jerusalem. (RNS photo by Emily McFarlan Miller)

An independent charismatic ministry has launched a 21-day prayer and fast for Israel, which its leaders believe will hasten Jesus’ return as part of the Second Coming.

The Isaiah 62 Global 21-Days of Prayer and Fasting, organized by the International House of Prayer Kansas City and its leader, Mike Bickle, is being billed as a historic gathering that will bring together as many as 1 million “intercessors” who will take turns praying an hour a day for what they call “the salvation of Israel.”

The prayer and fast, which began Sunday, will conclude on May 28, which is Pentecost. The Christian holy day commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles following Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.

Bickle said the fast is part of a network of thousands of evangelical ministries across the world who are mobilizing their followers to join for the three weeks of prayer and fasting.

It did not appear that anyone was traveling to Israel in person.

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The event is named for a passage from the Book of Isaiah that says, “I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night.”

The purpose of the fast is to awaken Jews to the God of Israel and to Jesus. Once they do, Bickle says, Jesus will return.

bickle IHOP
Mike Bickle. (Photo courtesy of IHOPKC)

“When Israel wakes up spiritually, Jesus says, I will come down from heaven,” Bickle said in a YouTube segment with evangelical singer and activist Sean Feucht. “The Second Coming is actually connected to the Jews saying yes to Jesus. And the Jews saying yes to Jesus is related to the gentiles standing for God’s purpose for Israel.”

Since 1999, Bickle, a self-proclaimed prophet, has led a prayer room in Kansas City devoted to nonstop 24/7 prayer. The prayer room is staffed intermittently by some 600 worship leaders, called missionaries, who lead musical prayers around the clock. Anyone can tune in online.

Bickle did not respond to requests for interviews.

The 67-year-old evangelist was originally a megachurch pastor in the Vineyard Fellowship movement. He then became part of a group called The Kansas City Prophets. Among them is Lou Engle, also of Kansas City, who has a prayer group called TheCall Ministries.

“In most charismatic and a lot of American evangelical circles there’s a really big focus on Israel being key to Jesus coming back,” said Brad Christerson, a sociologist at Biola University who co-wrote with Richard Flory a 2017 book, “The Rise of Network Christianity,” that features Bickle’s ministry. “They pray for the salvation of the Jews, for protection over the city and nation and for End-Times prophecy regarding Israel to be fulfilled.”

Bickle, who has 79,000 Instagram followers and 69,000 Twitter followers, is not opposed to Jews. He rejects Replacement Theology, which teaches that the church is the new or true Israel that has permanently replaced or superseded God’s covenant with the Jewish people. He believes Jew and gentile will all be united in the end.

His ministry has a 24/7 prayer room in Jerusalem overlooking the Mount of Olives called Succat Halell, or the Tabernacle of Praise.

prayer fast israel
A livestream of the International House of Prayer Kansas City 24/7 prayer room on Monday, May 8, 2023. (Video screen grab via IHOPKC)

Jews have long resisted efforts at conversion, and some who learned about the fast were not enthusiastic about it.

“To pray for us to abandon a tradition that is beloved by so many is tone deaf,” said Rabbi Joshua Stanton, an interfaith leader who works with the evangelical community.

American and Israeli Jews have mostly developed warm relations with evangelicals, many of whom, driven by their End Times beliefs, visit Israel frequently and contribute millions of dollars in aid. 

But Bickle has a mixed record among Jews. In a 2011 sermon, Bickle said God would give Jews a chance to convert to Christianity and “raise up the hunters” against those who refuse,” the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported. Bickle also called Hitler “the most famous hunter in recent history.”

The Anti-Defamation League called the 2011 sermon “abhorrent, intolerant and unacceptable.”

Bickle, however, has not strayed from his mission.

“Mike Bickle is not distractible,” said Steve Hickey, a seminary professor at Alaska Christian College and a former pastor. “He’s very focused. He’s got a very biblical and responsible approach.”

Yonat ShimronYonat Shimron is a national reporter and senior editor for Religion News Service.



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9 thoughts on “Kansas City Prophet Calls for 21-Day Fast and Prayer for ‘Salvation of Israel’”

  1. Mike Bickle does not refer to himself as a “prophet” and he is not over a prayer room in Israel.

  2. Perhaps someone can connect Dr. Scot McKnight to Rev Mike Bickle so Mike can update his eschatology a bit. The prayers are important of course.

  3. “…its leaders believe will hasten Jesus’ return as part of the Second Coming.”

    It’s quite arrogant for these leaders to think they can speed up Jesus’s timeline.

  4. james buckley

    so according to mike pickle and dispensationalism which was invented in 1830’s england unbelieving Jews will decide when or if jesus returns?? God is dependent upon jews or gentiles as to whether he can return? I pray for the salvation of jews and palastianians who are living in refuge camps under israeli occupation. however, its up to each person to decide whether they will believe in christ. God will not force anyone to believe in him. 90% + of jews in israel have already heard the gospel so who is to blame for them rejecting it?

  5. It was the Jews who were given the message of the gospel first.

    It was the Jews who were commanded by Jesus to go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

    And they did so. Which is why a Gentile like myself has the bible.

    The same bible the Jews gave us says God will deal with his people.

    And God is sovereign.

    A prayer and fast for God to speed up his coming is ignorant of a Christian’s mission.

    If we pray for Jesus to come quicker, then man is saying to God I have run my race, I have fought the good fight, I am ready.

    No. With every breath of our being there is much work to be done to spread the gospel. We are not finished.

  6. “…which its leaders believe will hasten Jesus’ return as part of the Second Coming.”

    Anti-Semitic Zionism is alive and well and living on Planet Earth.
    Just like during my time in-country during the Rapture Ready Dispensation of Hal Lindsay and its corollary, Christians for Nuclear War.

    Why “Anti-Semitic Zionism”?
    Goes like this:

    “The Jews are in The Land. This fulfills End Times Prophecy (and starts the countdown to Armageddon – tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick) and Is GOD’s Will. Therefore Israel Can Do No Wrong, because GOD’s Plan. However-they’re still Christ-Killers who Revenge YESHUA will spew out of his mouth when he returns at Armageddon after destroying the world (except for us, of course). IT’S PROPHESIED! IT’S PROPHESIED!”

    The Jews, the Arabs/Orcs, Israel, Russia/Gog, China/KIngs From The East, America, you, me — only expendable pieces to move around the End Time Prophecy gameboard, nothing more. (tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick)

    THAT’s what I observed during my time in-country.

    The Jewish prophets called it “That Great and TERRIBLE Day”, NOT repeat NOT the Ultimate Spectator Sport for US the Saved. If these Last Days Prophets actually had a REAL vision of “that Great and TERRIBLE Day”, they wouldn’t be giddy with glee. They’d be curled up in a closet blubbering into a bottle of Jack Daniels.

  7. Mike Bickle is the guy who prophesied our understanding of Christianity would change within a generation. This was in the 80s. “I will change the understanding and expression of Christianity in one generation.” He claimed God told him this in an audible voice.

    It never happened.

    He’s the same guy who thought he could start a revival by 21 days or prayer in fasting. He tried this at a church in Kansas City in the 80s.

    It never happened.

    He’s the same guy who tricked thousands of young people into believing if they do 24-hour prayer and worship (IHOP) it’s going to start a revival. They’ve been doing this for years.

    It never happened.

    Why do people still listen to Mike Bickle?

    1. I’ve been to IHOP. Prayer room is wonderful. Pastors need to clean house on some teaching. People tend to idolize worship ministers there. Prophecies are given and I’ve never gotten a false one. People need to focus more on love there and correct doctrine. Too much focus on prophetic has not allowed the church to grow into maturity. Mike Bickle loves the Lord. No doubt. But they do need to teach more on other topics and publicly denounce people like Kat Kerr. Too many at IHOP follow weirdo prophets.

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