Where do the broken and hurting get the H.O.P.E. (healing, opportunity, purpose and emergence) they need to flourish in Christ? In four short words: The House of Prayer. The House of Prayer is not inactive, but active… not passive, but bold… not observant, but involved. The House of Prayer is where the people who need healing, opportunity, purpose and emergence come to receive freely from the Lord through His people.
Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a ‘den of robbers.'” The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. (Matthew 21:12-14 NIV)
Who receives? The blind and lame.
Who is excluded? No one.
When is this House of Prayer open? 24/7.
What if they never attend your church? Who cares!
Jesus never hid in a cave waiting for people to come to Him. He was common, not lofty and arrogant… yet He was filled with grace and mercy, power and healing, love and forgiveness; and He went out to the people to tell them good news and demonstrate it in His power. That’s how people find H.O.P.E. and that was Jesus’ life and message.
Now run your life and the life of your church through this filter:
How are the least, lost, broken and hurting finding healing through you and/or your church?
How are the oppressed being given opportunity through you and/or your church?
How are the self-defeated finding their true purpose in Christ through yo9u and/or your church?
How are people emerging from the lie-image they are into the truth-image of Christ through you and/or your church?
A congregation is not a true House of Prayer if they are not fulfilling the purpose of a True House of Prayer. Imagine going to a restaurant and finding that there is a chef’s convention going on in the kitchen where all the food is being prepared for themselves. They are refining their techniques and creating new, masterpieces of culinary art, then eat them all themselves. The restaurant is full of customers who are hungry and waiting, but the chefs are the only ones getting fed. There are far too many churches full of well-fed chefs while the masses go hungry. You would never call that type of restaurant a true “restaurant” because it doesn’t feed people. A church can only be called a House of Prayer if it accomplishes the purpose and bears the fruit of a House of Prayer as defined by Jesus.
If we do not accomplish that purpose we risk becoming the “Den of Robbers.” The “den” is the place where the criminals hang out. The “den” is where the well-fed chefs never feed the people but keep everything for themselves.
May Jesus empower us all to be sharing His life with anyone and everyone who needs healing, opportunity, purpose and emergence. Showing them the way to God, the way out of the bondage of sin, the way into life everlasting, the way out of poverty and brokenness, the way to life… life to the fullest.