What is a small House of Prayer (small- HOP)?

A fresh start for Southampton House of Prayer

Over the summer of 2020 we felt the Holy Spirit speaking to us about a “fresh start” – something new and glorious. We felt that God was calling us into small things, and bringing an emphasis on households of prayer – little lights.  As Jesus said – ‘where two or three gather in my name, there I am among them’.

During September it became clear that the fresh start is to distribute our praying community from one central group into several small houses of prayer.

As we prayed about it one of our team saw a pot of paint on a map of Southampton. The Lord was painting dabs of paint around the city – dip in the pot, dab on the map; dip in the pot, dab on the map. Then He took the bristles of the brush and flicked them to spray fine drops of paint all over the city. This is an imperfect re-enactment!

The common vision and commitment

You can read the overall vision for houses of prayer here.

The key scripture that is shaping our small-HOPs is from Jesus’ letters to churches in the book of Revelation:
Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what He is saying to the churches. 

A small-HOP is a group of maximum 6 people from more than one church who are committed to the SoHOP vision, as follows:


The SoHOP community is those people from across the Southampton churches who have made a commitment to pray together in these ways:

  • To pursue a life of prayer, in daily devotion to God. We cultivate rhythms of stillness, thankfulness, asking and yielding to God, using our own creativity and preferences.
  • To pray for the love of God to be experienced by the people of Southampton
  • To recognise the whole Body of Christ in Southampton and pray that we will grow in the knowledge of God as we pursue prayer, mission and justice.
  • To serve the church and the people of Southampton in various prayer initiatives
  • To pursue these goals by meeting together as a small-HOP regularly

How do small-HOPs work?

Each small-HOP will decide how often to meet face to face, when to use online meetings or phone calls to pray. They may choose special prayers and patterns of praying. 

As per the SoHOP commitment above, they will pray for Southampton, for the followers of Jesus here, and also for the neighbourhood in which they are based.

Each small-HOP will have a leader who connects in with us centrally to share what the Holy Spirit is saying and keep the vision clear.

We also hope to bring everyone from all the small-HOPs together from time to time in a covid-safe venue.

Called to prayer?

If you want to join or start a small-HOP, please see our contact page.