Passion for Jesus
In 1997 a lady told Marais and Linda about a book, Passion for Jesus by Mike Bickle and said that they have to read that book. It was not until December 1999 that they found the book in a little bookstore in Kwazulu Natal and read it shortly afterwards. This book impacted their lives and prepared their hearts for what God had in mind for them. The Lord later on led them to divide the book into 16 weeks and each week in 7 days and to start with discipleship groups working through the book. The content of this book, namely an intimate relationship with God with the First Commandment at the centre became one of the foundations that Witbank House of Prayer Missions Base are build on.
IHOP and the Airport Prayer
In 2002 Marais and Linda heard about the International House of Prayer in Kansas City and God ignited a fire for day and night prayer in their hearts. At that stage they still lived in Kempton Park where they worked as youth workers at Kempton Park West Dutch Reformed Church, while Marais studied theology at the University of Pretoria. During this time while still living in Kempton Park, they would drive by the O.R Tambo Airport and prayed: “Thank you God that the day will come when someone will drop us off to go to Kansas City”.
The Move to Witbank
Marais finished his studies at the end of 2005 and they started to trust God for where they should go and after nine months of prayer and waiting on God, Marais got a call to Witbank-South Dutch Reformed Church in Witbank and was inaugurated on the October 1st 2007. When they arrived at Witbank-South Dutch Reformed church they discovered a prayer newsletter that was compiled by a little lady who led the prayer meeting with this daily prayer: “Lord make our church a House of Prayer”. With the fire burning in their hearts for night and day prayer, they immediately knew God was at work with their move to Witbank.
The First Trip to Kansas City and the Forerunner Call
In the middle of 2008 they received a visit from a lady who gave them forty thousand rand and said God wants them to go to the USA. God led them to go at the end of 2008 and to attend the OneThing Conference, which is an annual conference for young adults. During that Conference there went out a call for ten thousand forerunners who will commit to go back to their hometowns and countries and be like forerunners, preparing the Bride of Christ for the second coming of Christ.
The Commission to start a House of Prayer
After the Conference Marais and Linda stayed a little longer in Kansas City to spend some time in the Global Prayer Room, where a small group started in September 1999 with night and day prayer and worship and has not stopped since then.
One day, God spoke simultaneously with them, saying that they must start with a House of Prayer in their living room when the get back home.
The Humble Beginnings
Back in Witbank and after many hours of prayer, God led them to invite the youth to go on a forty day Daniel Fast, to pray for God’s direction. Eventually they started the House of Prayer in the living room of the parsonage they lived in on August 4th with one full-time youth worker, Anja Fourie (then Degenaar), and about 30 volunteers. They decided to start with four hours a day for four days per week. During those first years there would be one or two people, sometimes more, in the prayer room starting to keep the fire burning on the altar.
2011 – The Watchmen Conferences and the Next Phase
In 2011 God led them to start with annual Prayer Conferences and they then started with a series of Watchmen Conferences over the course of five years. 2011 was also the year in which God send them back to Ihop Kansas City and said He is going to give them direction for the next phase of the House of Prayer. Again God provided supernaturally thought people who gave them one hundred thousand rand.
On the first day in the Global Prayerroom at Ihop a man walked up to Marais and gave him a book entitled “The Purple Pig and other Miracles”. That book is the life story of Dick Eastman who was led by God to start with a prayerroom in his living room and afterwards with a gap year for young people.
The Joshua Year
God then led them to start with a gap year at the beginning of 2012 which is called a Joshua Year. This is after a prophetic word that they received in 2000 about a Joshua Generation that God wants to raise up, a generation who chooses to live holiness lifestyles because they understand God’s love for them and choose to love God with all of their hearts, soul, mind and strength. The Joshua year started out as a gap year, but evolved to become not just a gap year, but an internship year for those called to become full-time prayer missionaries at Witbank House of Prayer.
The Promise of 300
Before Marais and Linda was led to start with the House of Prayer in their living room, they had a weekly youth prayer meeting at their house and during one of these early morning intercession sessions, God spoke to Marais very clearly, giving him a word with regards to raising up 300 warriors like a Gideon’s army. A while later God confirmed this when Linda read in a book by James Goll, The Power of
Sustained Prayer: “ I believe that everything we have experienced to this point is but a foretaste of what God is bringing to the Church! Up to this point, we have witnessed historic worldwide prayer events that revealed the great power of unity in prayer to God. Yet, what God revealed to our small group of intercessors on the Moravian watchtower in February of 1993 is that He is raising up sustained unity, sustained prayer, and sustained intercession in a simple pattern and style that He raised up years ago at Hernhut. The question is obvious: If 300 people conducting sustained prayer in twos and threes for more than a century turned the world upside down 200 years ago, what can millions of anointed intercessors accomplish through sustained prayer in the presence of God?”
Marais said the following about this: “We were without words and in tears. This was the beginning of the Morawian prayer movement, which prayed for 24 hours a day and continued for more that 100 years and had a worldwide impact. This was the Holy Spirit’s seal on the promise of 300 fulltime worshippers and intercessors.”
Since 2013 God started to call full-time Prayer Missionaries to join the ministry and the team grew to the current 9 full-time Prayer Missionaries.
The New Season
The vision of a building for a House of Prayer in our city Witbank and for the nation, was born and nurtured in the living room prayer room in Marais and Linda’s home for t seven years. During 2015 a man came to Marais and said that God laid it on his heart to give One Million Rand for the building of a House of Prayer. At the end of 2016 and beginning of 2017 God provided the building, willing people and money for Witbank House of Prayer Missions base, to move out of the Living Room and to become an independent ministry for the city and South Africa. The House of Prayer is currently open from Tuesdays to Fridays and on Sundays from 06:00-08:00 when we pray for the Church in the City and also Sunday evenings from 18:00 when we have a fellowship for the House of Prayer Community, where anybody is welcome.