“…It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves” (Matthew 21:13).
There is one clear and commanding vision for every local church-become, be, and build a house of prayer. The idea that local churches have options other than to be, become and build a house of prayer is foreign to the Gospels. Jesus declared at the temple that God’s word establishes and He confirms that the high purpose of every local house of worship is to be a house of prayer.
The temple Jesus attended was the temple of Herod. The original temple was the Temple of Solomon. The Temple of Solomon was the original “house of prayer” (II Chronicles 7:1-14). The first permanent structure God commissioned to be built for His glory was a “house of prayer”. Prayer is the most important and therefore permanent ministry of the church.
Your church is distinguished by what it does best or by what it does most. What does your church do best? What does your church do most? What is your church known for? Jesus only gives us two branding options; either be a house of prayer or be a “den of thieves”. Churches brand themselves according to doctrines, experiences and specializations. Few churches host a prayer passion that would identify them as a “house of prayer” . The corporate identity of every church should be built upon the reputation of its prayer ministry.
Why does the Father want His house associated with prayer? Why such a priority for prayer to be the focal ministry of the local church? Prayer is the only way mankind can come into covenant with God. The first thing we must do in order to be saved is call upon the name of the LORD (Romans 10:13). Prayer brings us into the presence of God. Prayer draws us close to God. Prayer initiates intimacy with God. Prayer establishes relationship with God.
The church is to be a place where people can come into contact with God, His presence and His power. A house of prayer offers people the hope of an encounter with the God who answers prayer. Prayer attracts God and people to the congregation that prioritizes prayer.
Most people will accept our prayers even when they don’t accept our message. If we pray for people in the name of Jesus we will be able to preach to them in the name of Jesus. Prayer makes your church a soul winning ministry.
Isn’t soul winning the point of our purpose?