A HOUSE OF PRAYER
“And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.” Luke 19:45, 46
What does God want His house to be? Quoting from Isaiah, Jesus said, “My house is the house of prayer.” As He visited the temple in Jerusalem, our Lord was displeased with what He found. It was not “the house of prayer” that He intended for it to be. God’s house should be a place of spiritual activity, a place to meet with and converse with God, a place free from worldly and carnal distractions. After all, it was God’s house. It was the place where He chose to dwell and manifest His presence. It was where He would meet with His people.
God dwells today in the heart of every one of His born-again children. The Bible says, “his Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Romans 8:11). What a wonderful truth! The heart of the Christian is God’s dwelling place. His Spirit lives within us.
The Word of God also teaches that God calls His churches His house. I Timothy 3:15 declares, “the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” He dwells in the assembly of His churches, and calls it His house. Could we not assume that God still desires that His house be a “house of prayer”? All churches will not be the same, but one thing should be true of every congregation and its services. It should be a place of genuine spiritual activity. The services of the church should be distinctly Christian and sacred as opposed to secular.
A great transition has been occurring in recent years, and it is quite troubling. In the name of “church growth” and with the aim of making sinners more comfortable, churches are changing. Deliberate attempts are made to entertain those who attend the services of the church. Other activities are taking the place of preaching and teaching. The music of worship is becoming worldlier. Dress is more informal. The time allotted for the services is abbreviated.
The question that needs to be asked is this, “Whose house is it?” The Biblical answer is, “It is God’s house.” He never intended that it be a house of entertainment, but a “house of prayer.” When God visits His house, may He find us being and doing what pleases Him, rather than what pleases the carnal person.