Saturday, September 23, 2006

House of Prayer

This is a Hebrew Biblical passage.
When the Pharisees began to conduct business at the Temple, Jesus quoted this passage to justify his cleansing of the temple.

"For My House Shall Be Called a House of Prayer." (Isaiah 56:7). The Hebrew letters above the south entrance of Temple Israel's Riverbend synagogue spell out this message for all to see (

Wikipedia notes: "According to
halakha Jews should—and men must—pray three times a day; ideally with a minyan. Although prayers can be recited anywhere (except in nonhygienic or immodest environments), the synagogue's primary purpose is to facilitate this communal prayer." (

Jesus disciples received the Holy Ghost in the upper room where, "they all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication" (Acts 2:14). The early church regularly gathered, and "continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers" (Acts 2:42).

Paul wrote 1 Timothy as a handbook on how we ought to "conduct [ourselves] in the house of god" (3:15), that is the church. In chapter 2 he writes, "I desire that men (plural) in every locality pray lifting up holy hands" (I Ti. 2:8). We are to make "supplications, prayers, intercession and giving of thanks" for all men (2:1).

I can't think of the last time I heard of a well attended prayer meeting of a local church anywhere. I wonder why this is so radically missing in our evangelical scene? I wonder if it is a sign of our spiritual depth (or lack thereof)?

I have become more and more convicted of the need to have a more regular and effective prayer life personally. As I have begun to put this principle into practice I have felt closer to God, sinned less and worshipped more. I wonder what would happen if our churches did this together in greater numbers?

1 comment:

wagboy said...

good point. noted. Super Conference next week...super!