“And as he taught them, he said, ‘Is it not written: “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations?” But you have made it a den of robbers’” (Mark 11:17).
In three of the four gospels, Jesus quotes His Father from Isaiah 56:7. Such repetition makes this something of great importance to us, as it deals with the nature of the people of God. God’s original house, the great temple in Jerusalem, is gone. But He still has a house. The Bible tells us that we have become the dwelling place of God, the temple of the Holy Spirit. That’s true of us as individual believers, but also true of God’s people as a whole, according to Paul.
Ownership clearly implies the right to name a house. God could have named us a house of Bible study…or a house of evangelism…or a house of fellowship. All are worthy names, but not what God has chosen to name us. God says we are to be called a House of Prayer for all nations.
Are you living up to your name? For an individual, being a house of prayer means more than having devotions in the morning. Prayer becomes an integral part of who you are. For a church, it doesn’t mean tacking on a prayer meeting to an already busy schedule. It means prayer permeates every aspect of congregational life as prayer becomes the heart of who we are as the people of God.
Lord God, I am humbled that You have called me, my family and my church to be a house of prayer. In Your plans, that means we are a place and a people of Your power being poured out to bring lasting change. Please show me how to move consistently forward in my understanding and practice of prayer. Forgive me for my past prayerlessness. I turn to You, longing to experience a richer intimacy in prayer, and from that, have a greater understanding of how You would have me pray Your will. I look forward to the day when all of Your people humbly seek Your face. Help me Lord, to learn how to become a house of prayer for all nations!
–Adapted from Revolution on Our Knees: 30 Days of Prayer for Neighbors and Nations by David and Kim Butts. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise God for confiding in those who love him (Ps. 25:14). Give thanks for this developing relationship God has established with you. Confess those times when you have refused to share intimately with God. Commit yourself to seeking his companionship daily. Ask God to create within you a desire for intimacy, total honesty, acceptance, and joy in his presence.
Ask God to give you the opportunity and courage to befriend a person seeking a meaningful friendship. Ask that Jesus will be the center of your relationship.
“It is not possible to explain the power and effectiveness of the New Testament church without reference to prayer.” —Anonymous
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.