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Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning.  LK 12:35
Vol. 8.  Issue 5
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From The Director:  

Celebrating the nobility of the Saints: 

It has been a great pleasure to transition into our new community of Longview, Wa. as new directors of TRiHOP. I have been so impressed with the way the local family of God has carried themselves in this transition.  Many have expressed kindness, hope, excitement, and a sober-minded expectation of change. 



I would like to say to those reading from outside our local community there is a beautiful people in this region who have been contending for the things of God with a noble heart.   And to those in the Kelso-Longview area I would say THANK YOU for the way you have received us, even as you have continued the noble labor of prayer for these 9 years in the Great Commission.   I feel like David when he said "The lines have fallen to us in pleasant places"! (Ps.16:6).  

       TRiHOP Vision Meeting        
NOV 21st. TRiHOP 10a-1p

This is a come all to get to know the director, hear about vision and values, and get a sense of direction as a community of prayer.  
Worship and Light lunch will be provided. 

Where do we go from here?

A few changes and announcements for our future.  

1) The Newsletter:  We are hoping to accomplish several things with the newsletter.  First, obviously we want to let you know what is transpiring at TRiHOP. That includes events, new media, scheduling, personal notes, and even some teaching from leaders of TRiHOP.  The newsletter will also include voices from the prayer movement from across the globe and our local movement.  It's designed to give hope, courage, and inspiration that your involvement with TRiHOP is part of a global symphony of prayer. The prayer movement is a "We" not a "Them".  

2) The Website:  A redesigned website has been created for TRiHOP.  Right now it is basic and needs growth, but it includes all the elements that we hope to develop.  In a rudimentary way it tells our story, gives resources for inspiration and education, and helps connect you with other houses of prayer with whom we are in relationship.   There are big media ideas that we hope to roll out through our website and you will be sure to hear about them.  Trihop.org or click the top banner to go there if you like.  

3) Community development: We are going to start offering vision meetings for corporate direction, clinics for prayer, public meetings for teaching and ministry, and build relationship with our local congregations to serve them and pray together.   

 

Voices from the movement

 
Today we call it a global prayer movement. For centuries it was referred to as monasticism. Today we call them Houses of Prayer, or HOPs. For centuries they have been called monasteries. We call ourselves intercessory missionaries. For centuries our types were known as monks. At every point and place where Christianity came into crisis or compromise, God raised up a prayer movement, a new monasticism or faithful praying remnant to ensure that discipleship, grace and the Gospel were kept pure.
 
Most notably, in the third century when Christianity became easy, grace cheap and the path wide, holy men and women went out into the dry places and deserts to die to self, stay pure, to encounter God, to learn to love him and obey, radically obey. Following the collapse of the Roman Empire into the Medieval Period it was the monks of Ireland who literally saved civilization (Good read: How the Irish Saved Civilization, Thomas Cahill).
 
Hung by his neck in a German concentration camp, pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s vision of “a new monasticism” also suffered an early martyrdom of sorts. Six years earlier Bonhoeffer was leading an underground seminary in a chilly remote place called Finkenwalde. There he taught what we know today as his Cost of Discipleship, much of which is a commentary on the Sermon on the Mount. There he and his students lived in community the daily rhythms of life and prayer, which is spelled out for us in his short book Life Together.
 
In an earlier letter to his brother Karl-Friedrick, he made a very prophetic and important statement that many of us have adopted today as our guiding charge:
 
"The renewal of the church will come from a new type of monasticism which only has in common with the old an uncompromising allegiance to the Sermon on the Mount. It is high time people banded together to do this". [14th of January, 1935]
 
For Bonhoeffer, the Finkenwalde rule included life together in authentic Christian community, or in his words, banding together. In a 1936 letter to the Finkenwalde community, Bonhoeffer noted that it also included “assembling together every day in the old way to pray, to read the Bible, and to praise our God...” This illegal seminary at Finkenwalde was both a school of prayer and a singing seminary; the daily prayer rhythms and worship life of ancient monastic orders he revived in fresh form. The foundation of the curriculum was “The Discipleship of Christ” as given in the Sermon on the Mount:
 
"The next generation of pastors, these days, ought to be trained entirely in church-monastic schools where pure doctrine, the Sermon on the Mount, and worship are taken seriously– none of which are at the university and cannot be under the present circumstances". [DBWE 13, 1/147, p.217)
 
Bonhoeffer became captivated by and fascinated with Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount as the expectation Christ had of His followers. Bonhoeffer saw “these words of mine” in Matthew 5-7 as foundational for the Christian life and putting them into practice to be the key to successfully weathering the storms to come. The Sermon on the Mount ethic of enemy love was to Bonhoeffer the summit of the mount and his seminary at Finkenwalde was a training outpost for Christ-like passive resistors. He trained his students to use spiritual weapons and not take up the world’s weapons of war.
 
The crucible of political hostility and societal animosity toward Christians is definitely on the rise in the world and it tends to produce a more pure discipleship. And even though it only existed for two years before being shut down by the Gestapo, Bonhoeffer’s illegal seminary at Finkenwalde was a snapshot of Bonhoeffer’s prophetic vision of the essence of discipleship training within the context of a new monasticism resulting in the renewal of the Church.
 
In our day when church leaders more resemble CEOs and celebrities than self-denying devotees of Jesus, and in our day when religious liberties are increasingly in peril again, Bonhoeffer’s model at Finkenwalde is truly a call back to the fundamentals of Christian discipleship: Christian community, a daily rhythm of prayer, Sermon on the Mount lifestyles and ethics.
 
A book I’ve been recommending to those in our house of prayer is the book, Punkmonk, by Andy Freeman and Pete Greig. The title conveys how today’s monks in 24/7 prayer/furnace rooms in the major cities of the world look more like a pierced and tattooed generation of youth. The monks of the earlier centuries looked different too. It’s no different than what our friend Lou Engle is calling to us with the Nazarite vow. It is my intention here to open our eyes to the breadth of what the prayer movement looks like in the world today. It spans all the traditions.
 
"To keep the discipline and perseverance required to pray continually means that you begin to experience different styles and types of pray: New models, ancient disciplines, silence, liturgy, open prayer, prophetic prayer. Our prayer flows in rhythms". (Punkmonk, p. 127)
 
I want to reawaken the contemplative you if the contemplative you isn’t already awake. There are daily rhythms of prayer and communion and encounter with God that we must never step out of. Far back into Judaism, and far back into Christian history, the faithful had set times for prayer and set prayers for those times - and there was a unison chorus.
 
Spirituality is very varied and there is a time and place for all kinds of praying and expression. Many reading this are no doubt fluent in things like authoritative and warfare prayer, healing prayer, intercession, declarations, binding and loosing and so on.  But the ancient spiritual disciplines need to be reawakened too; Meditation, Fasting, Study, Simplicity, Silence, Solitude, Submission, Service, Confession, Worship. 
 
Our spirituality needs to wider and deeper.  It will take a deep root in God to withstand the days to come!  My friend Kelsey Bohlender recently tweeted: “1.5 billion people bow down five times a day and ask Allah to restore a global Islamic state. We need a corresponding prayer movement to ask God to send his son to rule in Jerusalem.”
____________________
 
A native of Kansas City, Steve Hickey is pastor emeritus of Church at the Gate in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and a former South Dakota Legislator. He and Kristen live in Scotland where he is doing post-graduate work at the University of Aberdeen on Bonhoeffer, the Forerunner at Finkenwalde. He’s written several books including Obtainable Expectations: Timely Exposition of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and The Fall Away Factor.
Copyright © 2015 Three Rivers House of Prayer, All rights reserved.


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