A House of Prayer Renovation -Part 2

How many times is our deep heart prayer buried, hidden under the noise of superficial exchanges with others and with God?

We come week to week in God’s house, carrying burdens, and we leave here carrying the same burdens. Nothing changes. God says here that he wants so much more for us. The Lord says,

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

We can read it for ourselves in Isaiah 56, verse 7. God is speaking again here.

“These I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar, for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”

Who are the these God is talking about here in the text? If you look farther up, He’s talking about the eunuch and the foreigner. These people had nothing going for them. They were shunned by that culture. The eunuch complained, “I am a dry tree” in verse 3. That’s somebody who has nothing to offer, who is broken and without hope. The foreigner didn’t fit anywhere. The foreigner expects that he will be rejected by God also, but instead God has a great promise for them.

He says those who trust him, those who cry out to him, will not be rejected. In verse 7, God embraces them in his house of prayer. God accepts their offerings and their sacrifices. That means God accepts their prayers. When God talks about prayer here…

Our regular definition of prayer is to plead and to ask. Another definition in our language of prayer is this communication with God, this conversation with God. Well, the Bible in its language goes a bit further.

The Hebrew word for prayer in Isaiah, especially here, is tphillah  1 What it means is to look critically at one’s self. This kind of prayer requires us to be laid bare and to be broken. It’s a revelation of who we are truly to ourselves and to God in order to be transformed.

Out of that brokenness comes this heart prayer:  “I need you, God. I need you.”

What happens when the house of God becomes a house of prayer? The house of God then becomes a place where the deep heart prayer of people is finally heard and where we meet because God gathers all us to Himself.

A Prayer from Psalm 139:23-24-

 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.

(To be continued…Part 3)

Strategies for Midweek Prayer Meetings

Wondering how to help transform your midweek congregational prayer meeting? Check out Sabine’s article in  Ministry Magazine:

Strategies to help transform your midweek prayer service.

Any strategies stand out for you? What has worked in your church or home group meetings?