God’s Zeal for His House – Introduction

 *** This article is part of a blog series by a Guest AuthorNic Thackwray. It is a journey into understanding better God’s Zeal for His House. You can read the Introduction to get a good perspective of where this journey will go. ***

…and the smoke of the incense,
with the prayers of the saints,
rose before God
from the hand of the angel.
Revelation 8:4

Often we see prayer as being our thing, our duty, our responsibility. In some ways it is; but in the narrative and teachings of Scripture, it is portrayed primarily as God’s mission, God’s passion, God’s doing. In fact I would go as far as to say that we are living vessels that God uses to establish prayer for Himself. We get to participate, but we are the fabric that He is using to establish sincere and heart-felt prayer, to His glory and pleasure.

…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 accepted on my altar;
for my house shall be called
a house of prayer for all peoples.
Isaiah 56:7

Prayer is not only God’s doing in that He moves us to pray and gives us the Holy Spirit to intercede on our behalf; it is His doing in that He is building a magnificent, everlasting and never-before-seen-or-heard-of house and it is made from His praying church with Jesus as the foundation! It is in this house that He will dwell with pride and joy for the rest of eternity: “A House of Prayer for all Peoples”.

In God’s house there will be His family. There will be no pain, no tears, no insecurities, no regrets, no fears. There will be joy and laughter, holiness and love, reverence and freedom – everything good. But although in His house there will be all these things, it will be called “A House of Prayer for All Peoples”.

Why did He name it that? Why didn’t He choose “A House of Glory” or “A House of Righteousness” or even “A House of the Father’s Love” (although all of these names do describe it)? If you have ever named your house or your boat, then you would have given it a name that reflects something close to your heart, an event or person that you want to commemorate, a reminder of a happy memory or a dream that you hope for. Therefore by thinking about what God has named His house, we gain insight into His heart. What is strongly on God’s heart is…prayer.

Father, thank You for Your heart’s desires. We want to know these desires and we want to make it our mission and greatest joy to make Your desires come true in our lives.

13 thoughts on “God’s Zeal for His House – Introduction

  1. Hey Nic,
    I am almost quite certain that the thing that God’s church (certainly the church not persecuted) have got less than anything else is PRAYER. I include myself in this group who have not got it yet, even though I am growing in my love of prayer.

    To the degree that we grow in knowledge of God and knowledge of our need for Him corporately and individually (in all things), we will grow in prayer corporately and individually.

    Let’s pray for the church (corporately and individually) to grow in the Spirit of Revelation (and prayer).

    Keep going.

    Wayne

    1. Howzit Wayne!

      I love what you said: “To the degree that we grow in knowledge of God and knowledge of our need for Him corporately and individually (in all things), we will grow in prayer corporately and individually.”

      If prayer is not completely linked to knowing and relying on God then it becomes an empty religious ritual of no value at all to anyone. It is through prayer that we grow to know God and it is through knowing God that we grow in prayer. Prayer is knowing God!
      I think that because we sometimes isolate prayer as a “spiritual discipline” or necessary part of Christian life and don’t do it in order to know God better, we are weak in prayer. If our desire in praying was for God, then we would be strong in prayer!

      Lord, give our churches a greater desire to know You!

      Thanks for your comment bro! Nic

  2. Cool stuff Nic.

    I love the way you emphasise God’s sovereignty even in using our prayers for his purpose. Look forward to the rest and being inspired to grow in my (our) view of prayer and view of God.

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