Turn the Tables (Mar 3)

From Open Up Your Heart by Jeff Syverson

March 3

Turn the Tables

Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 34:11-22 | Leviticus 27:14 – Numbers 1:54 | Mark 11:1-26 | Proverbs 10:23

Today’s Scripture Focus:  Mark 11:1-26

And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers’” (Mark 11:17 TNIV).

Jesus passion and zeal was expressed as he sought to reclaim the temple as a house of prayer for all nations. He was upset with the misuse of the temple. He was angry that the nations were left out of the house of prayer as the court of the gentiles had become a place of merchandising.

Is your place of worship a house of prayer? Are God’s people devoted to prayer? Are you? Devotion to prayer was the hallmark of the early church. The church was birthed in a prayer meeting (Pentecost) and went forth in power as they continued to meet together to pray. Yet the commitment to prayer seems to be falling to the wayside in many churches today. I wonder if Jesus would do some house cleaning in our churches and teach us once again to become a people of prayer.

Is your house of prayer a place for all people? What about those that are from different nations and cultures? The Temple had lost its missional focus: the court of the gentiles had become a place of convenience for the Jewish worshipers—a place where they could buy the things they needed for the sacrifices. Are we reaching out to the nations? The nations are coming to us in America, what are we doing to reach out to them? Does your church see the potential of being involved in missions here—as well as there?

Don’t allow your church to become a place that exists for the convenience of the insiders. Turn the tables to bring new people in. Stir things up to remind them of their mission. Be a prayerful, missional person who is a part of Jesus revolution to call his people back to prayer and mission. Then perhaps we will find the promise of Isaiah to be fulfilled in our churches: “They will find joy in the house of prayer.”

Heavenly Father, help me to grow in my personal prayer life and fill my heart with the desire to pray with others. Make my church a powerful, joyful house of prayer. May it also be a place that welcomes all the nations to worship and pray. Give us a prayerful heart for the peoples of this world. Amen.

About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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