It was Passover week—a time of anticipation and celebration in the Jewish world—and Jerusalem was the center of activity. Think Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The inns were full, the streets were crowded, the city was alive as at no other time in the year.
And Jesus steps into this milieu of noise and bustle, steps into the temple and finds … not peace and prayer and worship, but the cacophony of commerce, the bustle of banking … the bleating of sheep and cooing of doves. It looked and felt and smelled more like the Mother Lode Fair than the House of God.
And Jesus breaks onto the scene, turns off the stereo, interrupts the party … and cries out: “Wait! Hold it! This is my Father’s House, and it is to be called a house of prayer for all nations!”
And 2000 years later we find our own celebrations interrupted, our anticipation turned to anxiety, our churches emptied. And this year, perhaps more than any other in our experience, we need to hear the words of Jesus reminding us that we are to be known not only by our love, but by prayer.
You are the temple of God: you, individually; and you, collectively, are God’s temple. You are to be called a house of prayer for all nations.
And so this week, in this new normal, would you join me in prayer … for our community, our state, our nation; for Europe and Africa, for Asia and Australia, for North and South America. Join me in praying for the church of Jesus Christ around the world, to be a light to all nations. Join me in praying for healing—not just physical healing, but more importantly, for spiritual healing. Pray that this week—this holiest of weeks in the church’s calendar—millions of people would be drawn to the healing good news of Jesus Christ.