by: Stefan Miller
As we head into our sixth year as a ministry at the Tauranga House of Prayer, this week kicks off the beginning of our 10th THOP Awaken Internship. The internship is the primary onramp into the House of Prayer. It’s an intensive three month introduction into the foundational values and vision of all that we are about. If there’s one thing that I know after 5 years of observing and leading the Internship program, it’s that the Lord is drawing young adults (and old) into the place of prayer in a unique and unusual way. There is no better word to describe it than unprecedented. The consistent reaction of interns is “this is everything I’ve been searching for and feeling but haven’t been able to put into words.” So what is the internship all about?
It’s about wholehearted devotion. It’s about the pursuit depth in God. It’s about radical consecration. The sad fact is that the state of young adults in western Christianity is growing increasingly dim. They are all but abandoning the church (and God). And anyone who’s watching what’s happening sees the darkening dilemma. There’s a war raging over the 18-25 year olds. But instead of forming caricatures about why things are failing and playing the blame game, the Lord is once again shedding light upon the solution. Once again, companies of young people are congregating around the beauty of Jesus, the substance of His Word and the incomparable worth of fellowship with Him. The notion that He is tiresome and incapable of fulfilling the desires of the human soul is being exposed as fraud. And as the dawn of His glory shines ever brighter, young adults are awaking from their slumber.
Young people are experiencing this reality, internship after internship. THOP interns are served a steady diet focussing on 3 primary areas; intimacy with God, intercession and the urgency of the hour we live in. We cover a variety of massively important subjects; such as: God’s ultimate purpose in creating us, how to pursue Christ-likeness, and what it practically looks like to walk out the first commandment. We discuss the realities surrounding Christ’s return, God’s plan for Israel and the church, and how His people should respond in an hour of global crisis. There are also many other issues of pressing relevance taken up. But at the same time there is an intentional focus on being very practical. This season of consecration is so helpful for those of all ages in the pursuit of spiritual maturity, godly living, and one’s personal relationship with the Lord. And one of the main things that I love about the internship, and a huge reason why such powerful transformation is found through it, is that it provides a daily context for young adults to encounter and commune with Jesus in order to experience for themselves that He alone satisfies.
The words of Isaiah the prophet perfectly capture the offer of the Lord to our generation – why are you spending yourself on that which doesn’t satisfy? Listen diligently to Me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food (my paraphrase of Isa. 55:2). I can’t think of anything which better communicates the heartbeat of the THOP Internship.