…for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations. Isaiah 56:7When Jesus enters the temple after riding into Jerusalem on a donkey (the scripture we often use on Palm Sunday), he sets to chasing out the money changers and the vendors who were preying upon the faithful poor. He quotes Isaiah saying ‘My house will be called a house of prayer’, but you are making it a den of robbers (Matthew 21:13).
We often think of this scripture when discussing or discouraging events in the church. But, that interpretation misses a critical New Testament focus. Jesus doesn’t call worship buildings “God’s house.” None of the other New Testament writers do either.
God’s house, after the coming of the Holy Spirit, is in the heart of the believer. God dwells within us. Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? (1 Corinthians 3:16)
Is your heart a house of prayer? How deep is your communion with God? Do your prayers extend to all nations? Do you need to do some knee work?
Perfect communion with God is about humility, persistence, practice and an outward focus. It is learning obedience to God’s will instead of expecting all our wishes to be granted. It embraces care and concern for all God’s world and people. It includes making time to listen for the quiet still voice instead of being the one always talking.
If words won’t come sit in silence. The spirit intercedes when we open ourselves to it. If your prayer life needs words and you can’t find them, use what Jesus taught – Matthew 6:9-13. But take the time and make the effort.
We are God’s house.
Let us pray.