In the early 2000s a group of young charismatic Catholics got in touch with different streams of the prayer movement. Kim Kollin‘s „Burning Bush Initiative“, as well as IHOP Kansas City and „The Call“ served as triggers for their first steps in prayer chains, intercession nights, fasting weeks. In 2005 during a visit at IHOP the vision became clear to Jutta and Dr. Johannes Hartl: a 24-7 house of prayer with the spirituality of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement with a focus on ecumenism. Until then Johannes had been working at the Catholic faculty of systematic theology in Munich. In 2006 he started his full-time ministry establishing a house of prayer. Since then he and his family have been living by faith supported by a circle of friends and donators.
Following prophetic guidance and the historic symbolism of the city the initiative was located in Augsburg in 2007, when daily prayer meetings started in May. Weekly meetings at the local Catholic parish church soon began to draw growing numbers of visitors. In 2008 a first own venue was rented and has been serving since then as the first prayer room. By 2010 around 50 hours per week will be covered by team prayer meetings. 15 full-time and 15 part- time staff members are determined to „keep the fire burning“ and are serving in the growing media section or welcoming guests.
In 2010 our annual conference "MEHR" was visited by 400 people, it were 1000 people in 2011 and 2000 from 16 nations in 2012 - with christian radio stations and our webstream transmitting live to thousands of others.
On September 19th 2011 the coal was reached: night and day prayer was established with 168 hours weekly covered. Right now Gebetshaus Augsburg holds 20 full-time and 70 part-time staff members. In May 2012 the House of Prayer moved to a new, large facility which was purchased from donations only.
Other Houses of Prayer were inspired and founded by friends of the Gebetshaus Augsburg. There is a strong connection to emerging Houses of Prayer or groups intending to start one in Croatia, Romania, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
The next international MEHR-conference will be held in Augsburg Jan 3-6 2015