And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”
There are 4 things happening in this text, all of which should be essential to the House of Prayer: Firstly, Jesus entered His Temple. Secondly, Jesus cleansed the Temple. Thirdly, Jesus healed the sick. Fourthly, there was praise. The functioning house of prayer denotes a shift from nonfunction to function; a shift from a Church that prays to a praying Church. However, what this looks like in each congregation will be different. The leadership of each congregation has the responsibility to discern the Lord’s blueprint for their functioning House of Prayer.
In my previous congregation, where I pastored for 22 years, we were a House of Prayer, but it didn’t happen overnight. It took years to get there. It began with imbedding prayer throughout the Sunday morning service, developing dynamic prayer meetings and the leaders praying together every week. We were devoted to becoming a praying people.
And this is what unfolded:
- We had daily communion and prayer services Monday to Friday – three times a day.
- The leaders met every week (On Saturdays) for listening and discerning prayer.
- Sunday morning worship was highlighted by Spirit led intercession that flowed out of the sermons.
- There were monthly teaching sessions on prayer with workshops and seminars.
- In each season of the Christian Year we had a congregation wide 12-hour prayer vigil (Advent, Lent, Easter and Pentecost).
- Annually we had 5 days of prayer with speakers focused on revival, healing and renewal.
This was our functional blueprint and we saw many healed, transformed, delivered, and saved.
Bernie McGale is the Discipleship Pastor at Rice Road Community Church in Welland, ON, and a member of the National Prayer Team.