Genesis 28:17: “This is none other but the house of God.”
If there is no prayer, or little prayer, is it God’s house? Jesus said in Mark 11:17: “Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.” We then read the reaction to Jesus’ words in verse 18: “And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him.”
I am sure that most Christians would regard their church as a “house of God.” Why then, is so little attention given to prayer in most of our church gatherings? It seems to me that the last thing Christians want to do when we gather together is to pray! Usually the only praying is when the pastor opens and closes with prayer.
Jesus proclaimed that the most defining feature of God’s house is prayer. When we do not pray and give prayer its due diligence we declare before God, and the world, that we really do not need God’s divine assistance in all that we do.
Not only when we gather together should we pray, but prayer should be first in everything. Paul challenges us in 1 Timothy 2:1-4: “I exhort therefore, that, FIRST OF ALL, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”
Prayer should also be the foremost force in our own individual lives and our family lives. Is prayer a dominant part of your family life each day? Jesus said to Peter: “What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
To be honest, we have no scriptural right to call ourselves, or our gatherings, a “house of God” if we do not exercise ourselves in real, genuine prayer.
We wonder why our Christianity is not counting for much, why we don’t see many miraculous healings, and why God is not scattering our enemies. I think the answer is obvious.
When we leave serious prayer out, we leave God out!
God’s true house (Bethel) is a house of prayer.