“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians6:19-20).
The temple was the physical place Isaiah referred to when he said that God’s house would be called a house of prayer for all nations. And, though it had been destroyed and rebuilt, this was the place Jesus referred to as well. The house Isaiah and Jesus referred to was this special, physical place where God’s manifest presence was very evident. This was the place where people from all nations who had a heart to be with this living and loving God would be able to come and enjoy deeper relationship with Him through prayer.
But God not only dwelt in the tabernacle and the temple, He also dwelt in people. Even in the Old Testament, God said, “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Isa. 57:15). People have always been God’s most desired dwelling place.
In fact, in the New Testament believers are referred to as being the temple of God, the place where His Spirit lives today. Paul, understanding the significant role of the tabernacle and the temple, said that we, individually (1 Cor. 6:19-20) and collectively (1 Cor. 3:16-17), are the dwelling place of God today. A shift has taken place. God’s primary dwelling place (His primary house) was once a building, now it is people.
So now, when we think of the comments of both Isaiah and Jesus about God’s house being a house of prayer for all nations, we no longer need to look for a special place, nor are we to point people to a special place. As His people, whether we are gathered or scattered, we are to be that place. We are to be His house. We are to be a place where relationship with God flows very naturally through prayer.
–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 43, The Meaning of “A House of Prayer” by Dennis Fuqua). Click on the title for more information about this resource.
Father, You have created me to be Your dwelling place. May I be worthy of such an awesome calling! Create a spirit of humility and holiness within my heart so that every action, every thought and every word from my mouth reflects Your Son. Thank You for choosing to dwell within me and help me to be continually mindful of Your Presence. My deepest desire is to keep company with You forever!
Praise Jesus Christ for his incomprehensible humility. Thank him for humbling himself to die on the cross that you might be set free. Confess any pride, egotism, or boastfulness you find in yourself. Commit yourself to doing nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility considering others better than yourself (Phil. 2:3). Pray that you may have the mind of Christ in all matters such as priorities, goals, time management, vocational choices, relationships, and recreation.
Pray for the church throughout the world that its divisions may be healed, its leaders endowed with the Spirit’s power, its people filled with zeal for the cause of Christ, so that the church may increase daily and the kingdom be advanced.
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend (Click on title for more information about this resource).