Scripture: “It is written,”he said to them, “My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of robbers.” Matthew 21:13
Relevant Scripture: House: a building for any purpose, the building in which a legislative or official deliberative body meets
Devotion: Early during my career, while attending a workshop, the facilitator asked the question, “Where is your favorite place?” Participants spewed out some of the most wonderful locations, and then it was my turn. My answer was simple, home. In a condescending way, the room silently shouted, “really”. I boldly repsoned, “Home is where I relax, and am most comfortable. Everything is just perfect for me and no matter where I’ve been, at the end of my journey, home is where I want to be.” Looks of understanding flooded the air as they room pondered my response.
Jesus said the same thing. When he entered the temple in Jerusalem he arrived to utter disbelief. Instead of worshiping and praying they had turned the temple into a marketplace. They were trading money and selling doves. This passage of scripture is the one place where Jesus appeared to be outraged. Upon entry, he immediately turned over the tables and removed those who brought dishonor to a holy place. He follows with the statement, “My house will be called the House of Prayer.”
This alone is a powerful statement. If you look more closely into the situation you can see an exchange of power, and a shifting of the atmosphere and authority. I would imagine that was not the first time they were hosting a flea market in the temple. The difference was this time they were caught. Jesus’ discards the plans of man and through his declaration establishes that his house would be one of prayer. It is here he established a true characteristic of those who belong to him.
When I look at the word house, I see two dynamics. I see individual christians as a house, and the local body of believers as one. This passage makes it clear. How will you know the person or group of believers are a part of God’s house? Prayer is a key indicator. We will be people that believe in prayer, respect prayer and always pray. It is in the place of prayer we will find comfort and rest. We will find home.
Reflection: Do you consider yourself a house of prayer? Has your prayer life waned and does your fire need stoking? One of the forefront characteristics of believers is they not only believe in prayer but it is an active part of their lives. It does not say what type of prayers, how you pray or for how long, but simply that you pray.
Prayer: This week may you find yourself praying more than ever. May your silent thoughts turn into prayer. May you car rides and quiet times turn into prayer, and may the Lord God stoke a prayer revival in you. May we be known as a House of Prayer!
Written by Petrina Milan