BY DORAL PULLEY, Today’s Church Tampa Bay
“And said unto them, it is written, my house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves (Matthew 21:13).”
People join spiritual communities and attend religious services for various reasons. Many people do so out of the sincerity of their hearts and hunger for holistic growth and development. Some people do it out of duty, fear, or obligation. Others do it because it has become a ritual, or it is a common practice of their families and friends.
Jesus, our Wayshower, was angry when the moneychangers used sacred space as an opportunity to sell defective sacrifices and overcharge people for the items that they needed (Matthew 21:12-17). He clarified the real purpose of gathering in God’s house: prayer.
You may call it a mosque, temple, church, edifice, or sanctuary, but the scriptures refer to it as a house of prayer for all people (Isaiah 56:7). Seeing God’s house as a house of prayer puts everything that you do there in the context of prayer, the two-way communication between you and God. Churches use many of the prayer tools in worship services:
Reading, Studying and Researching the Scriptures, Quoting Scriptures, Denials and Affirmations, the Thanksgiving, Praise and Worship, Fasting, Stillness and Movement, Silence and Sound, the Giving and Stewardship (time, talents and treasure) and Fellowship with the Saints and Positive People are various forms of prayer.
When is the last time that you went to the House of Prayer physically or virtually? Do you see yourself as a House of Prayer for all People?
Rev. Doral Pulley is the senior pastor of Today’s Church Tampa Bay, 940 5th Ave. S, St. Petersburg (Staybridge Suites) and 5107 North Central Ave., Tampa.