Matthew 21:13—“My house will be called a house of prayer.”
Jesus is quoting the prophet Isaiah as a reminder to the chief priests and teachers of the law about their God-given responsibility to the spiritual life of the people. For generations the priests had become terribly sidetracked and negligent in their spiritual duties. (See Ezekiel 34:10; Hosea 4:6-7, 9; Mark 12:14, 38.).
The result of this diminishing attention to the people’s spiritual life was a lack of dependence on God’s Spirit. The people were spiritually stagnant, which was crippling the priests’ spiritual life as well.
How does that work? When the people receive poor instruction in Scripture from the leaders, their spiritual lives shrivel. They become weak and frail and ignore the prodding of God’s Spirit. Faith wavers and soon prayers cease. All prayers for the leaders stop because with a scarcity of faith, people turn their prayers on themselves to try and overcome the sense of hopelessness they feel. Without prayer support, leaders are ineffective.
Strong teachers produce strong students of faith with great knowledge of Scripture and dynamic prayer lives. Through them the church becomes revitalized and energized by the Holy Spirit.
If today your faith is strong and your prayer life flourishing in the Spirit, pray for strong teachers so the Church will become “a house of prayer.”
Denise Larson Cooper has a passion for Christ and sharing His Word. A wife and mother of two daughters, Denise currently works as a gymnastic coach.
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