He rebuked them, saying, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Father’s house is to be filled with prayer—a house of prayer, not a cave of bandits!’” Luke 19:46 (TPT)
Jesus said of His people that they would be a House of prayer. Let me ask you, does that represent you or your church? Is your life characterized by prayer? Jesus’ followers are called to be a people who pray. That is not an option. It is what believers of Jesus Christ do! But sadly, prayer is not the primary characteristic of most churches, or even most “Christians” today. As Jesus said, many who say “Lord, Lord”, don’t even know Him (Matthew 7:21-23). If you and/or your church is not a house of prayer, where prayer is a predominant characteristic, do you really “know” Jesus? How do you really know someone if you don’t spend time alone sharing the deep things in each other’s hearts?
Jesus went on and said that we’re not to be a den of thieves. Sadly, much of the church today is simply peddling a gospel for profit. Much of the church tries to please men, and make services where people are comfortable and come out feeling happy, instead of gatherings where God’s presence is tangibly there, where He is in control, often making a mess to our clear-cut plans. Church is meant to make disciples who look like Jesus, who are in the world but not of it, who are counter-cultural, not copy cats of the culture! When the church comes together people are supposed to become holier not just happier!
By the way, Jesus was referring to Isaiah 56:7.
“I will welcome you into My holy mountain and make you joyful in My house of prayer. I will accept every sacrifice and offering that you place on My altar, for My house of worship will be known as a house of prayer for all people.” (TPT)
Pretty strong words from the Lord! Not only are we to be a people who are known as a house of prayer, we are to be joyful in it! Joy is a fruit of our intimate and unified prayer! And this house is for all nations, every people, tongue, tribe, color of skin and language! The type of prayer in this house is filled with music. It is not dull. It is not quiet! And it is not ritualistic! It is not simply reading from a prayer book. It is to be vibrant, loud and authentic! It is to be raw, real and passionate! If heaven gives us a picture of the kind of worship that our Lord desires, it is definitely loud and demonstrative.
Please join me in praying that Athens would become a city filled with houses of prayer. Pray that followers of Jesus in our city would invest time in worshipful prayer and that there would come a time, very soon, when every second is filled with intercessory worship coming from multiple sites across our city! Pray that God would take you deeper in prayer. In fact, tell Him right now that you want to be a house of prayer, and will do whatever it takes to shift into that. Ask Him to release a greater joy in your prayer life! Pray for your pastor and church leadership would be so gripped by their need to pray that it would become a primary focus of everything they do. Pray that married couples in your church would begin to pray together daily, not just for a few minutes, but for a significant amount to time. Pray that families in your church would pray together daily and that their homes become houses our prayer. Pray that your church would become a house of prayer for and of all nations! By the way, it is God’s holy, praying people who are called up to and are welcomed on His holy mountain! Enjoy Him as you proceed on your journey up this beautiful holy mountain of the Lord.
“Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place? Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies. They will receive the Lord’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their Savior. Such people may seek You and worship in Your presence, O God of Jacob.” Psalm 24:4-6 (NLT)