We are continuing with our series, the need to pray in our lives. Prayers are very important because they are one of the ways we communicate to God to seek Him, to honor Him, and bring Him our requests to obtain mercy and grace from His Holy Presence.
In fact, in the book of Matthew chapter 21 verses 12 and 13, it is recorded that “And Jesus entered the temple [grounds] and drove out [with force] all who were buying and selling [birds and animals for sacrifice] in the temple area, and He turned over the tables of the moneychangers [who made a profit exchanging foreign money for temple coinage] and the chairs of those who were selling doves [for sacrifice]. Jesus said to them, “It is written [in Scripture], ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers’ den.”
You know, whenever there are large amount of people gathering in one place, business people and marketers see the opportunity and know, there is a potential to find customers there and make business transactions. People of all kinds if they get a chance, would want to sell you or do business with you. I mean, I have met a couple of people for instance, my fellow Church members; one tried to sell me make up, one personal hygiene product, but it was after the Church service. At least they understood that they couldn’t sell during the Church service what they wanted to sell. It was through our conversation outside that they got to pitch me their products. That’s why you have got to be careful; some people will just come to Church to build networks for their businesses that have nothing to do with the propelling the Gospel forward. It makes the Church to look like a marketplace, instead of God’s place where His people could come and worship Him, find hope and be refreshed.
Some people come to Church to meet people, and treat it as a social gathering, and not really a place to seek God. If their friends are not there, they abandon the Church. The Church looks more interesting to them when their friends are there. I’m talking real; serious things that are going on in the Church.
It is God’s desires for the Church, His Temple, Zion, or the Body of Christ, to be the house of prayer. The Bible says the Church is the place where God choses to dwell when His People come to pray, praise, and worship Him.
In the book of Psalm chapter 132 verses 13 to 16, it records “For the Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His dwelling place: “This is My resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provision; I will satisfy her poor with bread. I will also clothe her priests with salvation, and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.”
That’s why it’s important to go to Church; you can be sure God will be there during the Church service even when you cannot see Him with your natural eyes. If you are seeking God to intervene in your life, then the best place to begin to encounter His presence is the Church. Find a Biblical Church nearby you, and start going there regularly.
If you go there to seek God with all your heart and worship Him, whether your friends are there or not, GOD will reveal Himself to you. He has different ways to reveal Himself to you and meet you at the points of your needs. And once you have an encounter with God’s presence, your life will never be the same again. In the book of 2 Corinthians chapter 3 verse 17, it says “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” From that first encounter, things will begin to change, and if you will yield to God’s directions and continue to fellowship with Him, it will be a life-long process of transformation. In Philippians chapter 1 verse 6, it says “Being confident of this, that He Who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
The Bible also says, together, we make up God’s temple. But also individually, each of us, we are God’s temples because when we accepted Jesus as the Lord and our Savior, His Holy Spirit came to live in us, and we became the Holy Spirit of God’s temple. In the book of 1 Corinthians chapter 6 verses 19 and 20, Apostle Paul said “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, Who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” And he also said in 1 Corinthians chapter 3 verses 16 and 17 that “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.”
So we are God’s temple, as His temples therefore, we are supposed to pray for the Lord said; His house shall be a house of prayer. Where God dwells shall be a house of prayer. We shall be praying people. Individually, and together as the Body of Christ, as Church, we shall be praying people.
From today, see prayers as phone calls to our Heavenly Father. Each time we pray, we basically make a phone call to our Heavenly Daddy, and tell Him that we adore Him, we honor Him, we miss Him, we need Him, we want Him to be part of our lives, and et cetera.
There is this story in the Bible about king Hezekiah. It tells that Hezekiah became deathly ill, he had unexplainable sickness, a boil (Isaiah 38:21) and the Lord knew about it, in fact, He sent prophet Isaiah to tell king Hezekiah to set his affairs in order, for he was going to die. He won’t recover from the illness.
To be honest, I’m really not sure whether or not the reason of Hezekiah affliction was connected with sin perhaps he has committed as part of temporal punishment. Because not all the time affliction is sent for the punishment of sin. We learn about this through Job in the Bible. Sometimes God can sent affliction to prune us, purify and strengthen our faith and help us build godly character in us. Even when we have already knew Him in a certain level, God can use affliction to try our faith in a different level, and lead us to new experience of His grace.
So the Bible records in Isaiah chapter 38 from verse 1 to 8 that “About that time Hezekiah became deathly ill, and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to visit him. He gave the king this message: “This is what the Lord says: ‘Set your affairs in order, for you are going to die. You will not recover from this illness.’” When Hezekiah heard this, he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, O Lord, how I have always been faithful to you and have served you single-mindedly, always doing what pleases you.” Then he broke down and wept bitterly. Then this message came to Isaiah from the Lord: “Go back to Hezekiah and tell him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your ancestor David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. Yes, I will defend this city. “‘And this is the sign from the Lord to prove that He will do as he promised: I will cause the sun’s shadow to move ten steps backward on the sundial of Ahaz!’” So the shadow on the sundial moved backward ten steps.”
So the Bible says Hezekiah didn’t know how to defend himself, all he prayed was “Lord, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart.” It then says, Hezekiah broke down and wept bitterly. Whether king Hezekiah was praying in a spirit of self-righteousness or not, I mean, imagine if it was you, I’m sure you would have done the same. You know, bad things happen to godly people too. Hezekiah didn’t know what to do, all he remembered was that there was time he was faithful to God. And he reminded God, and wept bitterly. And the Lord heard his prayer and seen his tears, and decided to add fifteen years to his life. On top of that, He promised him to rescue him and the city from the king of Assyria.
In Hebrews chapter 12 from verses 6 to 11, it says “For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
Sometimes, all you have to tell God, “It’s me; I’m that same person who used to be faithful to You. Here I am, align me again to Your Will for my life.”
In Isaiah chapter 38 it records Hezekiah king of Judah, when had recovered from his sickness wrote a poem which says in verse 20 “The Lord was ready to save me; therefore we will sing my songs with stringed instruments all the days of our life, in the house of the Lord.” King Hezekiah knew how to praise God. But he also longed and desired to be in the house of the Lord for in verse 21 and 22, it says “Now Isaiah had said, “Let them take a lump of figs, and apply it as a poultice on the boil, and he shall recover.” And Hezekiah had said, “What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the Lord?” He wanted to know when he shall go up to the house of the Lord.
The Lord Jesus said in John chapter 4 verses 23 and 24 that “But a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father is seeking such as these to worship Him. God is Spirit, and His worshipers must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”
Yes, you don’t have to wait until you go to Church to worship God. You can be where you are and still be able to worship God in spirit and truth. But it’s also important to go to Church for God promised to be there too. People who go to Church regularly they know, the Church is where they go and get refreshments for their souls; where they can be taught the Word of God to help them to be planted in the Lord. When people go to Church, they find hope, healing, answers, deliverance, and so on. The Church is the place where God’s people come and worship Him together. It’s a place where God’s people can fellowship and grow together. It’s a place like no other place.
Helen Majaga is a founder of Helen Majaga International, Live to Your Full Potential Podcast & YouCount Magazine, specializing in the training and development of individuals and businesses to achieve personal and professional goals.
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