A House of Prayer
“’It is written,’ he said to them, 'My house shall be a house of prayer…’” (Luke 19:46a, NIV)
In this verse Jesus is referencing Isaiah 56:6-7 (NIV), where God promises to give joy in His house of prayer; a house of prayer for all nations. This inclusive promise was given to all peoples who love the name of the Lord, keep His covenant, worship, and serve Him.
Prayer is a comprehensive term, with devotion to God as its central idea. Why did Jesus call the Old Testament temple His house of prayer and not the house of sacrifice, praise, or teaching? I believe it is because reverent awe of God in adoration is the priority to Jesus in prayer (Matthew 6:33). This priority would then extend to us when coming into His Presence, waiting, listening for His Voice and then following His will.
For us, God's house of prayer may be found anywhere and everywhere. Bible Illustrator Commentator, W. Braden, wrote about this:
“Wherever the human heart reaches out with holy longing towards our Divine Father and craves the blessing of his presence; wherever he unveils the glory of his truth and the beauty of his love, responding to the eager desires of his pleading children, there, is his house of prayer.”
Our houses of prayer may be grand or simple in form, or there may be no material structure at all. Yet these places will be consecrated for worship by our prayers lifted to God. One of my good friends and I frequently find ourselves praying in her minivan, which we fondly refer to as “the Prayer-mobile.” For us, her car has become a “house of prayer.” God promises to fill His house of prayer with joy. Are your houses of prayer joy-filled? Let us pray together…
Holy, Ever-present Father God, search our hearts and wash us clean. Thank You for providing joy in Your house of prayer! We praise, worship, and exalt Your Name in adoration. As Your children, we jump into Your outstretched arms to embrace You. Thank You for Your grace. We lift our eyes to gaze upon Your loving face. Forgive us for our impatience in waiting to hear Your Voice and will. Remind us to intercede for others and to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17, NKJV). To God be the glory, in Jesus’ joyous Name we pray, amen.