“Then He began to teach them: ‘Is it not written, My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations? But you have made it a den of thieves!’” Mark 11:17 HCSB
Referring to Isaiah 56:7, Jesus said that His house would be known as a house of prayer for all nations! Even before we define what the word “nations” actually means, Jesus clearly has an idea of what His house should look like! In other words, Jesus has quite a clear descriptor of what the Church is meant to reflect! But let me ask, is that what your church looks like? Does prayer have more than a token presence in your church? Is prayer the defining quality of your church? Would your church be considered a house of prayer?
Jesus could have referred to His house as a house of worship, or a house of evangelism, or even as a house of love, which of course it is all of those. But Jesus links the key quality of His house being prayer for the nations! Maybe there is a correlation between this and the great commission of discipling nations??? Yes, there is! Jesus commanded His disciples and all who would come after them, to go and make disciples of nations (Matthews 28:18-20).
The Father told the Son, “ask and I will give You the nations” (Psalm 2:8). The nations are His inheritance, and He will receive what the Father has promised! There is a day coming when nations will be separated by whether they are a sheep or goat, that is, did they follow Jesus or not (Matthew 25). Here we are talking nations, not just individual people!!!
In Revelation 2 we see Jesus operating with authority to rule and reign over nations. Btw, the word “nations” does not mean geopolitical areas limited by boundaries. It actually means “ethnos” which refers to people groups.
Invite the Holy Spirit to build the house that Jesus desires in our city. Starting with yourself, ask Him to make you into a house of prayer. That prayer would become the defining characteristic in your life, that you would be known as a “praying person!” Ask Him to turn over any necessary tables at your church in order for it to truly become a house of prayer for all nations. Where prayer has taken a token back seat, repent on behalf of your church. If prayer isn’t the defining characteristic in your church, repent and ask God to do whatever He needs to do to make that a reality. Ask God to stir your pastor and leadership with a greater passion for seeking His presence and praying for our city and for the nations. May your church become known as a “praying church!”