“These I will bring to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be excepted on my altar. For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”
– Isaiah 56:7
Our lives, as followers of Christ and as churches, should be marked by prayer.
This is God through Isaiah talking specifically about the temple and God calling the temple where His glory dwells, a house of prayer.
Now the implications of this as we think about our lives centuries after God said this through Isaiah are huge. So there are pictures we see in the New Testament of both our bodies as a temple of the Holy Spirit and the church is described as a temple. When you hear church don’t just think building, like physical building of a temple in the Old Testament. Think the people of God, like a local church as the temple, as the place where His glory dwells. That people who gather together.
Isaiah 56:7 Encourages Us to be a People of Prayer
And so just staying there for a moment, this is something that should mark us as the church. When we gather together for worship to behold and declare the glory of God Sunday after Sunday, when once a week we set aside this time together. There is a real sense in which that time should be saturated with prayer. Like we’re a people of prayer. When we get together we pray and so, I think about the church I’m a part of and I want us to be a house of prayer and we’ve got so much room to grow in that area.
We want to grow in that area. And we’re working to grow in that area. And I just encourage us all when we think about the church, the gather of God’s people, let’s be a people of prayer. Prayer doesn’t need to be just supplemental to us. Like, a transition between songs or something we kind of do here or there for a little bit. Just so little of our time is spent in prayer. We need to spend a lot of time in prayer pleading before God, praising God, confessing sin to God, prayer should saturate us as it’s people.
Isaiah 56:7 Notes that Our Bodies are Temples of Prayer
We are in that sense a house of prayer. And individually, our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit so surely this picture applies to us. That our bodies are to be houses of prayer. That we’re to be individuals. Men, women, students, of prayer who are communing with God constantly. That’s the beauty right? We don’t have to go to a certain place like they would go in the Old Testament in order to behold and declare and worship the glory of God like the temple. Jesus has made a way for us to have direct access to God right now. Right where you are. At your workplace. At your home. In your car. Running along the side of the road. Whatever you’re doing, wherever you are, you have the opportunity to commune with God.
So we pray then, right now, oh God, we come into your presence. Wherever we are through prayer, through the blood of Jesus Christ, whose made this privileged possible. We pray to You and we ask You, God make our lives houses of prayer. May we be a prayerful people. God help us from the moment we rise in the morning to prioritize time with You. In concentrated ways, whether it’s morning or the evening or some other time and then continual ways, God help us to pray continually, to walk with You all day long in prayer.
Help us to constantly commune with You and then, oh God, when we gather together as the church in our local churches, help our local churches to be houses of prayer. These gatherings of your people, may they be saturated with prayerful crying out to You, desperation for You, worship of You, oh God, make us people of prayer. In Jesus name. Amen.