Succat Hallel founders, Rick and Patricia Ridings, share experience, wisdom in new book
What started as a humble gathering for daily prayer in their Jerusalem living room some 20 years ago, has evolved into an established, internationally recognized house of prayer led by Rick and Patricia Ridings where God is downloading practical solutions to real problems in society.
The Succat Hallel founders recount their journey, experiences and the wisdom they gleaned along the way in their new book, Shifting Nations Through Houses of Prayer. They believe that a faithful house of prayer can impact the broader community and, ultimately, the nations.
Rick said the Lord told them, “‘I want you to establish 24/7 worship and prayer in the spirit of the Tabernacle of David, within walking distance to the original city of David.’”
“We started as a family, praying two hours a day in our home in 1999,” Patricia told Kehila News. Patricia said in the beginning it was just her and her young daughters at times praying until Rick finished his travel engagements and then others joined the team.
On Feb. 7, 2000 they officially started Succat Hallel — one of three 24/7 houses of prayer in Jerusalem — which overlooks the Temple Mount and is modeled after the Tabernacle of David.
They turned to scripture to see how King David built the tabernacle. David inquired of the Lord for every step and “learned to seek the Lord as to how and when to bring up the ark” which brought the “manifest Presence of God into the center of life in Israel’s capital city, Jerusalem,” the Ridings write in Shifting Nations.
“His throne was established through the 24/7 house of prayer,” Rick said.
One of the key mandates at Succat Hallel has always been praying for Israel and its restoration, which is “linked to the restored Tabernacle of David and the end-time harvest,” the Ridings write.
Around the time of its inception, Succat Hallel joined with local leaders to repent for sins committed on Israel’s soil (such as child sacrifice to Molech in the Hinnom Valley and the modern day sin of abortion).
They also began investing in the next generation of indigenous Israeli Jewish, Arab and Palestinian worship leaders, in which the Ridings’ three daughters, Anna, Esther and Tal Bethany, have played a major role.
“God wants houses of prayer that are being an influence at all the levels of society,” Rick said.
The Ridings have helped or commissioned others to start houses of prayer in several countries including Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan. Now they also lead global calls to prayer and are keynote speakers at conferences around the world.
Lately, influential politicians from around the world have come to Succat Hallel to be commissioned from Jerusalem.
“People who are operating at very high levels governmentally have asked to come to Succat Hallel to be anointed with oil because they know that being commissioned in Jerusalem is significant,” Rick said. “They increasingly recognize that there is something special about Jerusalem, that there is a governmental authority from the Kingdom of God that can be imparted to them to be more effective, to find real solutions, to help leaders know what to do.”
Rick and Patricia have also met with presidents and prime ministers who have invited the Ridings to pray for them including the presidents of Uganda and Bolivia.
“It is interesting that after 20 years we realize really what the Lord called us to do — little did we know that our prayers could even have the potential to shift this nation as well as others,” Patricia said.
But the full revelation of their purpose came only after years of faithful and consistent work in Jerusalem.
“We’ve learned through the years that we have to be focused,” Patricia said. “We can’t do a house of prayer and a lot of other things as well.”
Rick said they wrote their book as a guide for others who are in the process of building a house of prayer.
“It would be much easier on our flesh if we could receive blueprints and formulas for starting and building a house of prayer,” they write. “But the Lord is after more than a house of prayer: He is after our hearts, and relationship. He is building our character. And he is preparing us to be a dwelling place for His presence.”
“The prophetic history shows principles, but not formulas,” Rick explained.
Patricia added that prophecy and vision come when you are quiet before the Lord and can hear his voice.
“When people wait on the Lord, He speaks,” she said.
Succat Hallel did not start as a 24/7. The Ridings said they gradually expanded into the 24-hour period, increasing the number of “watches” only after they felt assured the time slots would be consistently filled.
“We waited four years before we felt released to start 24/7 day and night prayer, and we never wanted to turn back once we started,” the Ridings write in Shifting Nations.
This is symbolized by the menorah that is kept lit at Succat Hallel.
“The Lord spoke to us at the beginning to keep a menorah with candles that had to be lit with a human hand — a real true sign that people were there 24/7,” Patricia said. “The fire on the altar should never go out.”
Originally from the United States, the Ridings moved their family to Israel after living in Belgium for 13 years. They started writing this book four years ago, but were delayed as their youngest daughter, Esther Moore — also a worshipper — battled a deadly cancer and went home to be with the Lord.
“It brought a depth into the book that we would not have known had we not gone through this,” Patricia said.
Meanwhile, they adhere to one crucial focus in their ministry: prayer, the effects of which are not contained within Succat Hallel’s four walls.
“We are not a monastery. Houses of prayer are not off separate from society,” Rick explained. “Things are birthed in the house of prayer that affect society. When people pray they engage with things they received from God in prayer, rather than just good ideas.”
“‘On that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, and repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old.”’ – Amos 9:11