William talks in this video about the origins and growth of the House of prayer (July 2019)
William & Karen Porter write as leaders of the Beacon:
Just to share a snapshot of the journey behind this vision… We moved to Stoke on Trent in 2003 to serve a local Methodist church. At the start of 2006 we stepped out of that to seek God for a future direction in ministry. It felt as if we were standing on the edge of a new field with God saying ‘you can’t see a way but I will make a way.’ Over a period of six months we prayed and talked with friends about developing a new ministry. One word became crystal clear—’God is calling you to raise up houses of prayer, healing and renewal’.
In June 06 we shared this vision with some friends who were walking our journey with us, and we formed a core of what soon became known as the ‘Beacon’. We simply gathered to worship, pray, minister to each other, listen to God and flesh out this vision. Informal community worship began occasionally in the summer and a weekly Sunday worship gathering started at the end of September at a local community centre.
Over 2007 we developed the prayer vision, without a building but using our homes, creating regular times of 24 hours of prayer, worship and prayer gatherings and exploring creative prayer spaces in worship. We made a significant visit to International House of Prayer in Kansas City, and contacts with other prayer ministries began to develop.
A search for a building as a base for a house of prayer led us to the north of the city. We took a lease on a small office premises during the summer of 2007. As the vision has developed, so too has the space we occupy. Garages and a neighbouring building have been integrated into the original space, creating a larger meeting room and extended rooms for creative prayer and small groups.
There has been a significant citywide prayer movement since 2001 which we have been grateful to be a part of. In the midst of that, the clear prophetic call from God to us is: 'I want you to build me a house of radical worship, teaching and prayer, where the lost will be saved, the sick healed, the downtrodden raised up and my glory revealed. It shall be a holy house, a light on a hill, marked by my presence which you will carry to the nations.'
We have continued to grow into the vision over the last few years. God has stretched us in prayer, both inside the house and prayer walking. A small group prayer walked every street in the city in 2010 and, in the following year, walked out of the city down to Winchester, praying over ancient paths and into the nation's destiny.
The Beacon has become a prayer resource to the wider church in the city and region. Prayer gatherings and hours of offered worship to the Lord continue to increase. There is a core community, but many different churches and individuals have also connected with the house, especially during 2012, when we had a year of unbroken 24/7 prayer. We continue to press into the vision believing as we do, that God will increasingly bring transformation to people and communities in our city, nation and the nations.
The word ‘Beacon’ sums up a lot of the vision—may it be a light of God’s presence, a fire of night & day prayer and a signal of burning hot Christian spirituality as people live out Jesus’ love.