It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.Matthew 21.13
The house of the Lord, should be a house of prayer. In fact, there are some churches that are even called 'House of Prayer.' It is a way to designate that the church is devoted to the worship of God and establishing and building relationships with Jesus. That should be the goal of every church- every 'house of prayer.'
But Jesus is concerned because in the passage here, the Temple was definitely not a house of prayer. It had become a marketplace for religious articles. It had become a banking center for the city of Jerusalem. Too often our churches have become places of social interaction. We join the church like we join the Lions Club, or the Moose Lodge. We count our participation in the church as equal to our time in 'service organizations.' This should not be.
The church, the modern equivalent of the house of prayer, needs to be a place that creates an atmosphere which welcomes and even encourages prayer. The church must be a place where we receive those who need prayer and pray for them and with them. For this season, we need to be sure that our church is a "House of Prayer." We must take care that we do not emphasize the wrong things, but focus on the Lord and his work.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner. I have neglected your word, your will and your work. And maybe worst of all, I have neglected the work of prayer. Forgive me my failings. Encourage me as I seek to reclaim the true purpose of your house. Amen.