Isaiah 56:7 NKJV
“Even them I will bring to My holy mountain,
And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices
Will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
The early believers were trained in the discipline of prayer. The early church viewed corporate prayers as an essential part of the spiritual growth of the church.
Acts 2:42 NKJV
“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayers.”
Prayer is the act of speaking to God (not about Him, but to Him) in worship, entering into spiritual communication with God, the act of offering worship (ascribing worth to) to God, and making earnest requests (petitions) to God. Prayer is very important to the spiritual well-being of a person and a church. It was the desire of Jesus that His house (both the individual Christian and the church) be a house of prayer.
Luke 19:45-46 NKJV
“Then He went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in it, saying to them, ‘It is written, My house is a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of thieves.’ ”
Prayer is not, and should not be made into, a dry or boring ritual. It is a wonderful time of intimate communication between you and God Almighty, the very Creator of the universe. We cannot separate prayer and worship. They go hand in hand. When we pray we are speaking to God personally. We are spiritually communicating with Him. When we worship God we are ascribing worth to Him. We are speaking directly to Him, not about Him, through our words (sometimes spoken and sometimes sung). We must keep in mind that there is a difference between praise and worship. When we praise a person we tell others about how wonderful they are (brag about them to someone), but when we worship a person we personally tell the person (face to face) how wonderful they are.
Since the people in the early church were baptized in the Holy Spirit they often prayed in the Spirit. When we pray in the Spirit we yield (completely surrender) our tongues, minds, and hearts to the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to pray through us. The Holy Spirit knows exactly what we should pray, and as we yield control to Him, He is able to pray the perfect prayer. The Holy Spirit inspires us to pray both in tongues (in the Spirit) and in our own understanding.
Thank-you that You will bring to Your holy mountain, and make us joyful in Your house of prayer. Thank-you that You will accept our offerings of worship. By the power of the Holy Spirit, train us in the discipline of prayer. May we see prayer, corporate and private, as an essential part of the spiritual growth of Your body. Cause us to continue steadfastly in Your doctrine, fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayers. May we never view talking to You a dry or boring ritual. Forgive us of allowing the enemy to steal the time that You desire to spend with us in prayer. May our body be a house of prayer and not a den of thieves. May we truly realize that You, the very Creator of the universe, desires to fellowship with us. And may we completely surrender our tongues, minds, and hearts to Your Holy Spirit, allowing Him to pray through us.
In Jesus’ name, Amen