John 2: 12 – 19 & Matthew 21:13
In my last post From John 2 we have Jesus chasing the money changers and merchants out of the temple. When he did this he told them that the temple was not to be a house of merchandise but rather a house of prayer.
In Matthew 21: 13 Jesus said that the temple was to be a house of prayer. This is a quote from Isa 56: 7. Here God says that those who joined the Jewish faith would have their sacrifices accepted and would be glad in the house of prayer. The definition that I like for prayer is that it is communication with God. It is how we talk to God and he talks to us. Prayer has many forms and expressions. It can be for the needs of others , our needs, for thanksgiving or praises. Individuals come to pray on their own or with a priest. The priest would also pray for the people. This is leading up to what may have been their worship service.
Each levite was given a task to do in the temple. For the worship service there were some who lead the singing, prayers, teaching and reading of God’s word, and performed the sacrifices. If any aspect of the service was left out the worship to God would be diminished.
Because Jesus would have been the one to instruct the Levites on how to perform the worship service, he would include each aspect as a means to communicate (pray) with God the father. The house of prayer was the starting point. Singing, reading God’s word, preaching, and the sharing of concerns only enhances our prayers and our closeness to God.
As we imitate Christ, we should come into the church in an attitude of prayer. (we are not to stop praying) Jesus tells us that we are to bring our tithe into the church. Our sacrifice will be to present ourselves as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God. Finally, as we continue to worship we will hear God’s word and sing praises to him. Our time of worship will encourage us for the coming week. We may also receive some instructions from God or be given something that will help those we come into contact with.
God bless you as you imitate Christ in you worship time.