August 14, 2018
Mark 11:17… And He was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations? But you have made it a den of robbers.’”
“A house of prayer for all nations.” Does that mean we should pray for all nations or that all nations should pray? A den of robbers will be of no value to the nations of the world. A house of prayer will be a light in the midst of darkness. Do you pray for the nations of the world? Why, or why not?
We have some friends, from our previous life in Oregon, a young couple with 4 kids, who intend to go to a foreign country to shine light in that country. When they pray for that country, it is passionate; they have skin in the game. Often our prayers are vain repetitions of the last time we prayed.
Matthew 6:7… And when you pray do not heap up empty phrases, as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.
I have always thought that this was instruction about a prayer, and it may be, but this morning, I am wondering if it is not about a life of prayer. We say the same thing over and over in hopes that we will finally get an answer or that God will be pleased with the words that we put together. This reminds me of my mom. She sat at her kitchen table and prayed for us kids every day. How can a person pray for someone every day and not get into vain repetitions? That can happen only if the pray-er is compassionate toward, and hopeful about, the person for which they are praying.
I know some people who pray for a foreign country because their child just moved there, or their military friend was just stationed there. Prayers are more real when people are involved. Find opportunity in those times. God knows people in every country and is totally concerned about their welfare. When you pray, that is how you relate to God’s heart; have skin in the game. I am appalled at the state of current events in our country. Our current president is being maligned by the media and certain people. I am not saying anything about our president’s actions; some may not be very good; who knows? But, we can, and should, pray for him.