What does house of prayer mean?
What does it mean to be a house of prayer? Before we can dive in to what house of prayer means, first, we have to establish this truth: you are good at prayer! You were created to talk with God. You were created to commune with him. Because God created you, you are good at talking with him.
Now, the best way to dive in to what house of prayer means is to read what the Bible says about being a house of prayer.
What does the Bible say about the house of prayer?
Mark 11:15-19 says, “And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching. And when evening came they went out of the city.”
What’s happening here? This is a shocking turn of events!
The temple was the central place of worship for God’s people.
During this time of year, pilgrims from all over the Ancient Near East would come to Jerusalem for the Passover Feast. In order to worship God in accordance with Jewish law, they needed kosher animals to sacrifice to God. Because they were traveling long distances, it wasn’t feasible for people to bring the animals with them to sacrifice, so they would buy them upon arrival (hence, the pigeon salesman). Additionally, they would need to exchange their money into the temple currency to pay the temple tax and purchase the animals (hence, the money changers).
Their service being provided was fine. However, it was the exorbitant prices, location of the sales and central focus it had taken that was problematic.
Evil had crept into the temple, and Jesus was angry about it.
Jesus’ anger was motivated by his love for these people. His desire was for people to know his heart and his love for them. Nowadays, we have such a bad connotation with anger, and thinking about Jesus being angry can be confusing for us. However, anger can be a powerful and useful emotion that can help us fight off the evil things that seek to destroy us. There is a righteous and loving anger that Jesus demonstrates for us here in Mark 11. Although we don’t know what it looked like when he flipped the tables, we know that Jesus didn’t sin in his anger and he was motivated by love.
So, what’s making Jesus angry in his temple in 2021? What table would Jesus flip in the temple this year? And, where even is the temple? 1 Corinthians 6 says that we (you and me) are temples of the Holy Spirit. We are the temple of God!
So, where in your heart is evil trying to creep in? Being motivated by his love for you, what does Jesus want to flip over in your heart?
Pause to Pray
Lord, search me and know my heart! I cry out to you like David did in Psalm 139; come and search my heart, Oh Lord! Reveal to me the areas of my heart where I have allowed evil to take root. Lord, forgive me for this. I repent, and I receive your grace again today, and I give you my heart to restore. Lead me, Holy Spirit, on paths of righteousness for Your Name’s sake. Amen.
1 Peter 2 says that we are living stones in the household of God. We are his temple, people and bride collectively. What about the Church? What makes Jesus want to turn the tables and chairs in the temple of his Church?
Pause to Pray
I bless your Bride, Jesus. Reveal to us the sin, darkness and evil that we are living calloused to and are living in agreement with. Forgive us for the ways we have not cared for and protected your Church. Purify your Bride, Jesus. We anoint your Church with the brightness and purity of Revelation 19: 7 – 9. Amen.
How to become a house of prayer
But, what is Jesus after? He’s after his house being a house of prayer for all the nations!
What is a house of prayer? It’s a house where Jesus is the center; where we are communing with and talking with God as the center. All other compartments in this house are centered on our communion with Jesus.
We do not desire to be a house of prayer because God is after some kind of religious submission, but instead because He knows it’s the very best way to live.
There’s so many things he wants to tell you and wants to hear from you.
So how can we become the house of prayer that has Jesus in the center? We believe we need to be:
Humble – Praying with humility and praying humble prayers; we will all be at odds without it
Obedient – Seeks to minimize hypocrisy; it’s not about saying something and then living the other way; Jesus cares about your heart and obedience follows. We grow in obedience for the rest of our life.
United – The Bible speaks about praying in one accord in ways that will blow your mind. God responds to his unified people in amazing ways!
Spirit-Led – Jesus invites to pray with the Spirit of God dwelling in you. You’re invited to pray with God. It’s not about how good you can accomplish prayer; it’s about being connected and tuned in with what God’s already praying (Romans 8:26-27).
Extraordinary – Prayers of faith and prayers of faithfulness; presuming that God is listening (James 5:16).
Activate the house of prayer in church-wide prayer hours
You’re invited to activate these keys to being a house of prayer at the weekly prayer hours happening at Mosaic. These prayer hours are an opportunity for us to seek Jesus as the center and grow in prayer.