Below is a letter posted June 2010 from a teenager who was sucked into the IHOP movement at the age of seventeen and has struggled to get free. Mike Bickle preys on the youth because they are easily sucked in and easily manipulated.
Hi, I just want to say that I’m a teenage believer and around this time last summer i happened to be introduced to IHOP. I don’t know how it happened really. One day I was watching a youtube video on Jesus Culture and you know the links posted on the side of youtube videos, well I clicked on a Misty Edwards video from the Call. I liked it so I started listening to her, it was fine at first. Then I started listening to her preach and it was sound so I listened. I listened to Lou Engle on the ‘nazarite calling’ and I was hooked. I mean, the spiritual deadness was and still is ever present around me so I jumped at the chance to engage and listen to believers who were on fire for God with 24 hr prayer/worship. Then I don’t know what happened but I got deceived, like this demon angel of light popped in my life. I believed it was an angel. They told me it was an angel. Then I was led by this angel for the remainder of the summer and I was getting realy messed up and obsessed with it all. My mom was praying for me and then I felt like God stepped in and corrected me. He told me to stop following IHOP. I was uncomfortable with some of Misty’s songs, God being in love with me and all that, it was weird. So I stopped. And the angel left. But then this Angel came back and it started with this fantasy dreaming of me being some super christian missionary and it just spun out of control in my life. The angel of light came back again and convinced me that it was Jesus. I asked some people at IHOP what they thought and they told me it was Jesus visiting me. I know I doubted it for sooo long. It wasn’t Biblical and I prayed and prayed to God to remove these dreams and this angel. These dreams, its hard to explain, they were daydreams/nightmares, and an escape from the boring life I lived, the spiritual deadness. So, about 2 months ago I was on Itunes getting some Christian music and I saw Misty Edwards new cd and heard the song ‘arms wide open’ before on youtube the previous summer and I loved it. So I struggled within me. One of my friends at school once told me that it was okay to listen to the music as long as you have the right heart behind it. She was wrong. I never should have listened to her. I mean when God stopped me from following IHOP the previous summer, I did all the research on it with Ernie Gruens report and then I stopped. My friend did no research, she had no idea what I was talking about. But I listened to her anyways. I purchased two songs. ‘Arms wide open’ by Misty Edwards and ‘I put on Christ’ by Laura Hackett. It was late at night, I listened to the worship and I couldn’t sleep, I was in AWE! I felt re-awakened , I went back to IHOP where people were like me. I was crying& I was so thankful and I felt so close to God. I loved it. Then as time passed I got more worship music from Misty and Laura and one day I crossed the prayer room. WOW! It took hold of me terribly. I loved it! 24 hr prayer/worship! So I worshipped because I love worshipping God, I write songs, I worship Him, the prayer room pleased me. And I prayed. I would watch the prayer room on my computer in the morning before school, and after school later on. I loved it. I would only watch Laura, Misty and Cory….I KNEW it was a cult. Can u believe it? But I thought these 3 alone were sound. My life was awesome, the worship was great! I was reading the word more, praying more=SPIRITUAL GROWTH !But then after a while I felt like I wasn’t doing enough. Wasn’t praying enough, wasnt worshipping enough. I enjoy reading but once I got deep in the prayer room I stopped because I felt like I had to always pray and worship-nothing else. It was horrible. And the romance with Jesus…I never felt comfortable with it. I would avoid singing those lines in Misty’s songs. But I loved the worship. I neglected all my favourite Hillsong worship etc and had only IHOP. I felt like it was an Us vs Them mentality. That me and IHOP were the best and every other Christian around the world wasn’t doing enough. I thought everyone else was sleeping, but I was awake with my people at IHOP. Fasting, I really felt like I was a failure because I couldn’t really fast. Like fast as in eating one meal a day or a 6am to 6pm fast, I did it a lot in the summer but recently i just couldn’t and IHOP emphasizes fasting so much. I felt like I couldn’t measure up. Its only been over a week since God has broken these chains. No more demon by His grace, and no more dreaming. But its a struggle. In this moment I long to listen to Mistys worship , I can hear it now. “Take me to the place where you satisfy, take me to the river. I’ll do anything God there is no price, take me to the river. Deep is calling unto deep is calling unto deep. Deep is calling unto deep is calling unto deep Deep is calling unto deep is calling unto deep. Yesterdays depth is feeling really shallow and I gotta go deeper deeper deeper still and all Your waves, and all Your billows are crashing over me calling me deep deep DEEPER. From glory from glory from strength to strength, from depth to depth. I want to fellowship with You.” Thats from Misty’s song ‘Soul Cry”. The music is very repetitive and I never in a millions yrs would believe someone if they told me before that I would ever like this sort of worship but I do and it’s hard to let go. I just feel such a burden for those who are linked to IHOP. I’m 17 and I feel like I’ve wasted a year of my life. I guess I’m really impatient on waiting upon God which lead me into all of this but…IHOPS music alone messed up my life. I was so heartless and sad because I knew I couldn’t go back to the prayer room after casting out the demon from my life in Christ’s Name just last week with my mother. As I told her my testimony I was laughing in shame and embarrassment. I couldn’t believe all of this happened to me because I was too zealous for God. Just too much. I just want to say please don’t listen to the music. You can get addicted for sure, I did. The 24 hr prayer and worship movement sounds cool on the outside but when you let this deception come into your life you’re asking for destruction. God Bless you all♥.
If you’re considering joining IHOP, I urge you to run the other way. This is one of hundreds and hundreds of posts, emails and letters from people whose lives and hearts have been destroyed by this movement.