Summary: Jesus said that His church will be a house of prayer.
My house shall be called a house of prayer
I want you to know if you are a guest with us this morning, it is not by accident.
I do not think it is a coincidence that I am speaking this morning on prayer.
For the last several weeks- God has been stirring in a new and fresh way.
Last week like never before. If you left here last week without touching God, it was not that God was not reaching out to you.
I pray this morning is no different. I do not understand all that the Lord is doing, but I know that I want to be a part of it. I’m glad I don’t understand all because we will not be able to take any of the glory of it away from the Lord.
I feel like a prophet yelling to the people that there is a God sighting. Giving warning to draw close to the Lord as He passes by this morning.
We are going to look at several Scriptures but if you would turn to our text in Matthew 21:12-13. It is Jesus at the Temple.
John 2:15- John adds the detail that Jesus made a whip of cords, drove all from the Temple, overturned tables and told them “Get out of here, how dare you turn my Fathers house into a market place of merchandise.”
Pastor Jim Cymbala says we can picture gentle Jesus with the wayward lamb across His shoulders, but that it is hard to picture Jesus cleansing the temple by over-turning tables and being angry. In fact if someone showed that kind of anger, we would say that they were in the flesh. They could not be in the Spirit.
•Jesus was very much sending a message that God’s house is not a marketplace, that it is a house of prayer.
•You have to understand something here- those selling the doves and those selling the animals to be sacrificed were suppose to be there. People needed those animals to sacrifice to God.
•What Jesus was overturning was that they were grouching the people of God in the price. The money-changers as people came from far away exchanging their money for Roman coin were charging gangster fees.
“My Temple has become a den of robbers”
•This same church that Jesus said later “The gates of Hell will not bring down, is the same church that God is purging of it’s wickedness.
Man’s spirit will not control God’s house. The Holy Spirit of God will control the secrete place of God and the dwelling place of God’s people.
Prayer is so familiar it at times can be overlooked. We take advantage and get lazy to the things of God.
You need good preaching, but it is not a house of preaching.
We need good music, but it is not a house of music.
God, the Father says that it is to be a house of prayer.
“Will you steal and murder. Commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house , which bears my name, and say, we are safe, safe to do all these detestable things. Has this house, which bears my name become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching declared the Lord.”
The church universal has gotten into the merchandise business and gotten away from God’s house being a house of prayer. 92 % of Americans profess to have a relationship with God. Under 40 % attend church on a regular basis. Those numbers do not compute to me. I am not sure out of that number how many come for the right reasons.
You don’t come to the house of God primarily to see people, you come to be with the Lord.
Not on our time. Not on our terms. Not three minute prayers, but desiring to see God move in a fresh and new way in our lives.
Holy Spirit fell on the people of God when they were praying. When they were waiting and anticipating God to move.
\We talked on Wednesday night from Hebrews ch 2 of people drifting away from God.
Loss of focus
Loss of priorities
Loss of passion.
Loss of commitment.
If we are not intentional, a loss of our relationship to God.
•Like a ship floating in a big ocean, hoping, not praying that it does not crash against the rocks of the shoreline.
In the news this week, pastors professing to be atheist. Pastors admitting they don’t believe the whole truth of God’s word. God help us- God help them- that the house of God would return to being a house of prayer. Where communication and relationship with God is priority.