*** This article is part of a blog series by a Guest Author: Nic 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.
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.
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.