The Essence of Prayer XXVIII – Luke 19:46 The Church, A House of Prayer

This report of the Lord driving out the money changers from the temple is in all the gospels.  In Luke 19:46 the Lord Jesus is referring to Isaiah 56:7.  He understood the temple to be a place where people were gathered to pray, not sell.  It was where the godly went as being ordained a place of prayer, as it was for Simeon and Anna at His birth, Luke 2:25-38.  Solomon’s temple had been dedicated as the place where God would meet with His people and hear their prayer, I Kings 8:22ff.

There is now a transition from a physical place to pray to a gathering of God’s people as the temple of God, wherever that gathering may be, I Peter 2:5.  The temple has been superseded by the gathering of God’s people as the place of prayer.  But the function is the same – prayer, the praise of our lips.  As shown for a pattern in Acts 2:42, God’s people are to continue steadfastly in prayer.  There needs to be a continuing of good order and steadfastness of faith when the church gathers, Colossians 2:5.  This is the “must be” that the Lord declares His house shall be called.

John Calvin stated that the believer has two duties: believe and pray.  Our tendency in life is to be anxious.  Our duty is to be in prayer in everything, Philippians 4:6.  In the daily spiritual battle that we call the Christian life, prayer is central.  Otherwise we tend to withdraw on the most particular matters if we aren’t engaged in constant prayer.  And as the believer engages in private prayer, the church must reach out in prayer for one another.