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A House of Prayerby Duane Mabee on December 29, 2022
According to Jesus, God wants prayer to be such a high priority that His church will be known as a house of prayer. Prayer was so important to Jesus that He got irate when God’s people spurned it in favor of religious practices and profit. You might not like the term “irate” applied to Jesus, but what other word could describe the level of passion that enabled one man to disrupt and disperse an entire flea market?
If prayer is that important to God and Jesus (and the Holy Spirit, too), it should be that important to us. Our church should be known as a place where people value prayer so much it becomes part of our identity. Our church should be known as the place you go if you need prayer or want to participate in prayer. We should be people who are dependent on prayer. Prayer should be our first thought, not an afterthought. It should be a key component of our times together, not an addendum.
For the church to become a house of prayer, the people of the church must first become a people of prayer. If prayer is not permeating the people of the church, it will never become a priority of the church.
Since our involvement in prayer is such a high priority for God, there really isn’t any better way to begin the new year than by focusing our attention on prayer. We need to know what it is, why God gave it to us, and why it is so important to Him. We need to ask God to help us value prayer as much as He does, because so few of God’s people value prayer and rely on prayer the way He wants us to.
That’s one reason we are going to begin 2023 with a season of 40 days of prayer. I encourage you to enter in and participate to the best of your ability. Take advantage of the resources the C&MA is making available. Check into other resources. There are books by the old masters of prayer like E. M. Bounds, R. A. Torrey, Andrew Murray, and Wesley Duewel. There are more contemporary books by authors such as Jim Cymbala, Tim Keller, Richard Foster, J. I. Packer, Alistair Begg, Priscilla Shirer and many more. You might also try one of the old prayer books.
Another excellent way to deepen your prayer life is to pray with people who know how to pray – really know how to pray. When you find someone like that, it’s fully appropriate to ask them – just like the disciples asked Jesus – to teach you how to pray. I encourage you to seriously seek God, asking Him to make you a person of prayer, so that we can be a house of prayer that pleases God.