Mike Bickle—founder of the International House of Prayer (IHOPKC) in Kansas City, Missouri—prayed that God would bolster Kanye West’s young faith and thanked God for his salvation. Bickle’s prayer was part of a YouTube video posted Friday by IHOPKC in which Bickle reacted to news of West’s radical conversion.
“I think of a man that’s on a platform with millions of people—and therefore millions of opinions—and already I feel empathy,” Bickle says. “Anybody on that kind of platform making a stand for Jesus—some will say you’re a fake, others think you’re utter perfection [and] ready for sainthood, you know, whatever that might mean. And I think our approach should be different from either one of those polarized views. I think we look at him and say, here’s a person who’s making confession: ‘Jesus is King. He’s King of my life.’ It’s a recent confession, and we need to take it at face value that it’s sincere unless he gives us strong evidence in his character in the days to come that it’s false. … But even then, we don’t need to have a big opinion on it because we’re not taking our doctrine from him. We’re not taking our model of Christianity from him. He’s, by his confession, a brand-new believer.”
Bickle encourages fellow believers to give West time and space to grow and mature in his faith, and not to prematurely judge him for inevitable mistakes he will make in the next couple of years.
On the song “Hands On,” West muses that Christians will be the “first ones to judge me” and speculates he will get little love from his fellow believers because of his prior lifestyle.
“I say we give him time,” Bickle says. “As a born-again believer in the family of God, we need to be in a spirit of encouragement to him. He might find some stumbling and some tripping, like all of us in our early days in the Lord. He isn’t going to come out of the ‘spiritual womb’ [with] perfect doctrine and perfect maturity and perfect humility and perfect—no one does. We give each other tons of grace, and I look at this man and I think, ‘You know, I’m so grateful for your confession.’ It says we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony, and he’s giving a bold testimony.”
At the end of the video, Bickle concludes by praying for West.
“Lord, thank You for Your testimony,” he says. “Thank You that many are checking out the testimony of the gospel of the Lord Jesus in a new way. And Lord, I ask that You’d put Your hand on this young man’s life—Kanye West—and God, I ask You that You would touch him, protect him, visit him, strengthen him. Put godly men and women around him who love Jesus and the Word, and that are not after his platform—they’re not after his money, they’re not after his notoriety—but they’re standing in faith for his soul and for his growth in the love of God and in the grace of God.”