Thirteen years is a long time to have a prayer meeting, especially given so many modern-day distractions. But sustaining it literally 24 hours a day, seven days a week without stopping is daunting to imagine, much less execute.
Since September of 1999, the International House of Prayer of Kansas City (IHOP–KC), an evangelical missions organization in Missouri, has continued in 24/7 unending prayer with worship.
Among the most compelling aspects of IHOP–KC is that just as the prayer never stops, neither does the music. Fourteen full-time worship teams maintain the 24/7 prayer room, each including drums, bass, guitar, keys, singers, and a variety of other instruments. Each ten-member team leads six two-hour worship sets a week.
A significant part of each worship set is improvised, with singers and musicians spontaneously creating lyrics, melodies, and choruses, as they lead the prayer room in a unified cry of intercession. This produces an abundance of original, live worship music, which is often recorded and released via the ministry’s record label, Forerunner Music. With more than 80 music releases to date, the Forerunner Music label has seen many of its music projects top the iTunes Christian & Gospel chart.
The latest Forerunner Music offering originates from IHOP–KC’s yearly “onething” conference. One of many conferences the ministry hosts annually, “onething” is its premier event, drawing 25,000 young people, eager to grow in the knowledge and love of God. One worship leader reflects, “For me, the worship at ‘onething’ is a glimpse of what I imagine it is like around the throne room in heaven.”
onething LIVE: Magnificent Obsession was recorded at last year’s conference in December and highlights some of its most memorable worship songs. Matt Gilman, one of 11 worship leaders featured on the record, shares: “I Iove the focused nature of this album and that it represents so well why we do what we do here at the house of prayer—because Jesus is worthy of unceasing adoration.”
Although the 12-song project reflects the musical leanings of multiple worship leaders, its theme is decidedly singular: Jesus is a worthy obsession. David Brymer’s opening track “Worthy of It All,” one of the conference’s most requested songs, is a moving anthem depicting the heavenly scene described in Revelation 4. Similarly, “All Is for Your Glory,” led by Cory Asbury, is a beautifully sincere declaration of the Lord's preeminence in all things, coupled with a joyful heart-cry to embrace humility.
On “Wounded One,” Davy Flowers encourages worshipers to reflect on Jesus’ suffering, with echoing choruses that make great use of the vast conference venue halls. Flowers explains the song’s origins: “At that time, Jesus as the Man of sorrows, the suffering Servant, the slain Lamb was a theme I was constantly thinking about.”
Other stand-out tracks include “Measure of a Man,” performed by Misty Edwards, IHOP–KC's most well-known worship leader, and “New Jerusalem,” which showcases Gilman’s passionate lyric and vocal. The latter song was inspired by a dream Gilman had during a season of meditation on Revelation 21.
onething LIVE: Magnificent Obsession captures the essence of worship from the 2011 “onething” conference. It is an outpouring of the hearts of worshipers who have set their gaze unapologetically on Jesus, providing us all with an album that extends an invitation to embrace Him as our magnificent obsession.