Unless the LORD builds a house, its builders labor over it in vain; unless the LORD watches over a city, the watchman stays alert in vain.” Psalm 127:1 (HCSB)

When Jesus came into the temple and turned over the tables He made quite a strong statement (Luke 19:46). Jesus declared that His house would be a house of prayer. He didn’t say it might be, or that He hopes it will be. No, He strongly proclaimed what would define His house. Btw, He didn’t say that it would be a house of evangelism, or of discipleship, or of teaching, or of healing, or of equipping. Though all those are definitely part of His house. The defining characteristic of His house is meant to be prayer!

Prayer is more than just asking God for things. At the heart of prayer is communion with Him. Though we usually come with a request, the most important part is quite simply our coming to Him. Prayer is all about entering into His presence, of communing with our God. Revelation 3:20 tells us that He is knocking at the door and wants to come in and “sup” with us! What He is saying is, He desires to dine with us (NASB), to share a meal with us (NLT), to eat with Him (ESV). He longs for our presence! And we are told that in His presence, that is, when we are dining together, there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11)!

When Jesus made the declaration about what His house would look like, He was referring to Isaiah 56. The house Isaiah prophesied about included foreigners (v.6) who would bind themselves to Him, serve Him, worship Him and love Him. Isaiah continued by saying His house would be “called” a house of prayer for all nations (v.7). Let me just rephrase it. The House that Jesus called His, will be for foreigners and the focus will be on the nations.

Here are the three contexts of Jesus’ House of Prayer…

It is personal.

We are called living stones being fit together (1 Peter 2:4-5). Though our identity is the body of Christ, each part is to seek the Lord on their own. The body is the sum total of its parts. We are to personally establish a secret history with Jesus in the private place!

It is corporate.

Our coming together is impacted by what is done in the secret place. The depth we go with Jesus when no one else is present will influence the atmosphere of our corporate gatherings of prayer! But these corporate gatherings are necessary as Jesus Himself said where two or more are gathered He there in their midst. Meaning there is synergy when we come together. Our faith is greater in a room where faith is operating in many individuals. We even exhorted in to not stop assembling together (Hebrews 10:25), because in this context we are stirred to even greater deeds!

It is beyond the walls.

We are not to limit our prayer to personal hidden times, nor our corporate gatherings. We are called to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), to pray in the Spirit at all times for all the saints with all kinds of prayer (Ephesians 6:18). These outside the wall prayer expressions include, prayer walking, prophetic acts, and basically, being alert to obey and respond to the Holy Spirit at all times! And by getting outside the walls, you just might find yourself interacting with folks from other nations, and even being called to go somewhere to carry His love, presence and message!

I want to be a house of prayer, to build the house of prayer and take the house of prayer to the nations! Will you join me on this quest to build the house of prayer in Athens? Start by expressing this to the Lord, telling Him that you want to join Him in building His house, starting in your life. Ask for the Holy Spirit to help you go deeper in communion with Jesus. Whether you have been a praying person for decades or just a rookie, ask Him to teach you how to pray and to grow even deeper in your prayer life. Ask Him what part you are to play in the corporate house of prayer in our city. And ask Him to stir your heart for the nations, even a specific one or two that He wants you to adopt as your prayer focus. Get ready, as you pray, you must be willing to be part of the answer you are seeking. But know this, it is on Jesus’ heart to have a house of prayer in our city, and He is looking for the building blocks, the living stones, to fulfill His plans! Tell Him that you desire to be one of the living stones that He uses in our city and beyond! Your labor will not be in vain! And btw, He is building His house in this hour!!!