IHOP-KC’s Mike Bickle: Powerful evangelist for contemplative prayer

John Lanagan of My Word Like Fire offers many reasons Bible believing Christians should not practice contemplative prayer or have any involvement in Christian mysticism which has its roots in Roman Catholicism, as you will see.


Mike Bickle and Francis Chan, Onething 2014

Mike Bickle and Francis Chan praying at Onething 2014

According to International House of Prayer founder Mike Bickle, “God is calling everyone. Everyone in the Body of Christ is called to live in the contemplative lifestyle—everyone.’” [1]

Is Bickle’s promotion of contemplative prayer a problem? Very much so.

Ray Yungen, author of A Time of Departing, warns, “Contemplative prayer is presenting a way to God identical with all the world’s mystical traditions. Christians are haplessly lulled into it by the emphasis on seeking the Kingdom of God and greater piety, yet the apostle Paul described the church’s end-times apostasy in the context of a mystical seduction. If this practice doesn’t fit that description, I don’t know what does.” [2]

Contemplative prayer is essentially the same thing as New Age or Eastern meditation, but is dressed up with Christian language and terminology. Rather than chanting a mantra like “Ommm,” the Christian contemplative may repeat a Christian word like “Jesus,” or a verse from the Bible. Yet, as Yungen and others have warned, the result is the same, meaning contemplatives also end up in the silence (as it is called), where much deception can take place.

It is likely that centuries ago Catholic monks borrowed these meditative techniques from the East, and simply adapted them to Catholicism.

One of the potential consequences of practicing contemplative prayer, fittingly enough, seems to be an inability to distinguish the vast difference between Catholic understanding of salvation and the truth of the Bible. This may well be what has happened to contemplatives Rick Warren, Beth Moore, and yes, Mike Bickle.

A book being offered for sale through IHOP-KC’s Forerunner Bookstore is Fire Within, written by a Catholic priest, Father Thomas Dubay. IHOP-KC founder Mike Bickle states, “I want this book to be the manual for IHOP-KC.” [3] (bold mine)

That is high praise indeed. The full title of the book is Fire Within: St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and the Gospel–On Prayer. Bickle’s “manual” is about Catholic, contemplative mystics!

Catholic author Ralph Martin’s contemplative book, The Fulfillment of all Desire, received glowing recommendations from five different Catholic priests. Martin received a sixth recommendation as well–from Mike Bickle.

According to Bickle, “Ralph Martin has written an excellent book that gathers together the wisdom of Bernard of Clairvaux, Teresa of Avila and others as well who have left us with a great store of wisdom about how we can cooperate with the transforming work of the Spirit. Without watering down the depth of these writers Ralph has made their teachings understandable and accessible and given us a true ‘guidebook’ for the journey to God. Men and women in all parts of the Body of Christ will find this book both inspiring and practically useful. A great help for our life of prayer.” [3]

Teresa of Avila is idolized by contemplatives. But as Carolyn Greene, author of Castles in the Sand, noted in an interview, Teresa’s contemplative experiences “were obviously demonic in nature.” [4]

Regrettably, Francis Chan and Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd are scheduled to speak at IHOP-KC’s Onething convention in December 2015. This will be a huge public relations and recruitment victory for Mike Bickle.

Let’s close with this thought: The IHOP-KC organization is on track to serve as one of the primary fusion points between Catholic, contemplative, and New Apostolic Reformation spirituality.

But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, (1 Timothy 4:1)

Source Notes:

Excerpted from: Mike Bickle, Passionate Pursuit Conference, Session 1 Contemplative Prayer: Journey into Fullness, Transcript: 07/19/01 Page 11 (Full transcript at DiscernIt, click here)
Ray Yungen, A Time of Departing, p. 140 (Link to book)
Ralph Martin, The Fulfillment of all Desire: A Guidebook for the Journey to God based on the Wisdom of the Saints, Endorsements (Scroll down)
Castles in the Sand author interviewed about contemplative mystic, Teresa of Avila


Reprinted with permission


IHOP-KC’s Mike Bickle on “fake” and genuine Holy Spirit manifestations By John Lanagan

Southern Baptist Convention president to speak at IHOP-KC;s “Onething” gathering By John Lanagan

Reformed pastor, Francis Chan, to speak at IHOP cult — again! By Marsha West


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6 years ago

Is it possible that the apparent similarities between this type of contemplative prayer and new age or eastern meditation are simply that this is the way the mind works in mulling over (meditating) on anything…truth or error? To meditate on scripture is hugely different than meditating on new age philosophy, but both will involve the mind’s process of focusing, imagining, listening, etc. Similarly, but more simply, a computer goes through the same functions whether storing wholesome and true words and images or degrading and false words and images. Our minds were created with the ability to meditate (think, consider, imagine, listen). It all depends on the content of our meditation.