#813. PRAY FOR A HOUSE OF PRAYER (12/5/23)
“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.’ He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: ‘ “Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.” (Luke 11:1-4)
Summary: Ask the Lord to build us into a house of prayer.
To watch this devotional go to:
How can we build God’s ‘house of prayer’? I guess that we might think of numberous strategies that we could employ to build a culture of prayer in the church. However, a vital tool is prayer itself; we must ask God to build His house. We can ask the greatest church builder there is to build our local church and other churches that we know of into a house of prayer.
In his book, A Praying Church - Becoming a People of Hope in a Discouraging World, Paul Miller writes:
‘In a recent pastors’ cohort, I asked everyone to draw up a plan for creating a praying church. The resulting plans had multiple good ideas (e.g., start an elders’ prayer meeting, be more thoughtful about the pastoral prayer), but something was missing. I told the pastors: “Guys, none of you put down the strategy of praying for your plan. No one was asking God any questions.” One of the pastors said, “How incredible that all eight of us would try to build a praying church without thinking that prayer might be part of the strategy!”
When the disciples asked Jesus them to teach them to pray, He taught them. He gave them The Lord’s Prayer as a framework. He also, immediately, went on to teach them to persevere:
“Then Jesus said to them, ‘Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, “Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.” And suppose the one inside answers, “Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.” I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need. ‘So I say to you: ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Luke 11:5-10)
If we want to see the church become the house of prayer that she is called to be, we must pray and pray perseveringly. Ultimately, it is only God who can build the church. It is only God who can build us into a house of prayer and so we must pray. Psalm 127 teaches us this principle:
“Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.” (Psalms 127:1)
God wants to build His house of prayer. Only He can do it. So let’s ask Him to do it. Let’s ask Him to teach us to pray.
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
What has God been speaking to you about from His Word this week and how has this helped you / affected your life?
3. STUDY AND PRAY TOGETHER
Please read Mark 11:15-17
What have you been most inspired or challenged about during this Praying Together series?
What would it look like for a local church to be a house of prayer for all nations?
How can we each play our part in building a church community that has prayer at the heart of all that we do?
SIV - Pray together as we seek to be witnesses in the communities that God has put us into.
Pray together - Spend some time in prayer together. Ask the Spirit to guide you and pray and you feel led.