The Prayer House

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“My house shall be a house of prayer (Luke 19:26). 

Far too often we think this verse pertains to showing up to church on Sundays and making sure that someone voices a request to God. 

But in fact, the meaning is much closer to home. 

Look at the Greek meaning of the word “house” that Jesus used here. Although it can mean the building itself, the primary meaning depicts a house that is inhabited. God’s house was built for the purpose of being lived in. And that indwelling is always by God Himself (2 Chronicles 7:1-3). 

* This house of prayer is always inhabited.

“My house shall be called a house of prayer.”

When we go to the Old Testament to see Jesus’ quote, we find that the Hebrew word for “house” is bayith (Isaiah 56:7). Used extensively in the Old Testament (2046 times), bayith is usually a noun. (Now, hang with me here. This is amazing.)

Bayith (remember we are thinking ‘house’) is first mentioned in the Noah story of Genesis 6:14. “Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch.”

Where is our noun for the word house? 

Bayith is actually used here as an adjective — translated in English as “inside”. 

This house of prayer is not just a place of mortar and stone, but a hidden, inner place where God Himself has taken up residence. True prayer doesn't involve a particular place, but a peculiar people. “True worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers” (John 3:23).

*This house of prayer sources deep within.

You are the temple, the house of the Living God. Father, Son and Holy Spirit live within you (1 Corinthians 6:19; Colossians 1:27). 

When He created You anew, He furnished You with a new Spirit and a new heart (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ezekiel 36:26), There is nothing existing from your old frame (Romans 6:6; 7:4). He leveled the old in order to build you into a brand new dwelling place — a place where prayer is being offered up at all times. Within you, in the very depth of your spirit, everything within you is crying out “Glory!” (Psalm 29:9).

* This house of prayer in you. 

Want praise and prayer to erupt from within you? You must make a choice — a willful decision to deny your own emotions and thoughts so that you can “continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His Name” (Hebrews 13:15). 

Our thought house within can be built upon the rock of Truth or the sand of popular media opinion. And either way, storms are inevitable (Matthew 7:24-27). 

But as we fix our eyes upon Truth, the Spirit will release into our minds the very prayers that the Father and Son are discussing (Hebrews 12:2; Romans 8:34). This, my friend, is how to have peace in a troubled world. 

In fact, God promises that prayer is our key to joy despite our situations. “I will…make them joyful in My house of prayer” (Isaiah 56:7). No wonder my joy is so temporary.

Are you praying? 

If you feel like a beginner, remember the advice of twentieth-century Abbot John Chapman, “Pray as you can, not as you can’t.” He would later add, “The more you pray, the better it goes.” 

Prayer is a struggle because praise is a sacrifice. But when we pray, we can hear Him say:

“Now My eyes shall be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered this place (your inner house of prayer). For now I have chosen and consecrated this house (you, who are the temple of God) that My Name may be there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually” (2 Chronicles 7:15-16). 

peculiar people
Photo above taken by Sara Jeng Grewar. Follow her on Instagram!