Mark 11:15-18 (NRSV)
Then they came to Jerusalem. And Jesus entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves; and he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. He was teaching and saying, “Is it not written, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” And when the chief priests and the scribes heard it, they kept looking for a way to kill him; for they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was spellbound by his teaching.
We are called to pray not because we feel like praying or because it gives us good insights, but simply because we want to be obedient, to listen to the voice that calls us the beloved.
– Henri Nouwen, A Spirituality of Living
The feature that is supposed to distinguish Christian churches, Christian people, and Christian gatherings is the aroma of prayer. It doesn’t matter what your tradition or my tradition is. The house is not ours anyway; it is the Father’s.
– Jim Cymbala, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire
Only a recovery of the greatness, supremacy, sovereignty, brilliance, and “allness” of Christ will lead us to restoration and even revival. The wonder of Jesus as “all in all” is the only hope for igniting the flame of a new reformation and resuscitating a church that’s presently on life support. – Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola, Jesus Manifesto
Revival is a matter of arrival, the arrival of God in a greater measure. Services that are soaked in prayer—whether traditional or contemporary—are alive with God’s presence. And it is his presence that changes lives, heals brokenness, and brings people to the saving knowledge of Jesus. If anything the worship in a church needs to be “user friendly” to welcoming “The Presence.” In worship, we should be more concerned about pleasing him, and not them. Meeting early to pray, anointing the chairs, and praying behind the scenes are all components of vital worship.
– Terry Teykl, Prayer and Presence
The sad truth is, in the city where I live – as in Chicago and Philadelphia and Houston and right across to L.A. – more people are turning to crack than to Christ. More people are dipping into drugs than are getting baptized in water. What is going to reverse this tide? Preaching alone will not do it; classes aren’t going to do it; more money for more programs won’t do it. Only turning God’s house into a house of fervent prayer will reverse the power of evil so evident in the world today.
– Jim Cymbala, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire
God Builds a House
based on 1 Peter 2:4-5, Ephesians 2:11-22
Meter 88.88 (LM)
Suggested tunes: DUKE STREET (UMH #101) or TRURO (UMH #213)
God builds a house with living stone, with mortar made of sweat and prayer.
Its beams of faith are nailed to Love and sealed with blood that will not wear.
Come bless the building of Your house around Your hearth of living bread;
through sacred meal and Word proclaimed so hearts and souls and minds are fed.
Come gift the building of Your house with healing ways for life and land;
through water bath and oil outpoured for prayer and laying on of hands
Come free the building of Your house from all that binds Your holy work.
Lay waste our walls that now divide so all may live their sacred worth
All praise the Master Carpenter. Creation’s God now glorify,
Who makes a house from old, dry bones; from us once dead, but now alive!
God Builds a House © 01/2000 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. Please, leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form. Lisa is especially interested in collaborating with someone to set this text to original music.