The House of Prayer – part 1: “Introduction”


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“The House of Prayer”

Part 1

August 31, 2014

 

Prayer is often times something very intimate to each of us as we relate to God the Father.

There are many religions around the world that pray as part of their traditions, but as being Christians, like Christ, we must strive to keep the commandments of the Lord and seek to serve the Lord in the ways that He has ordained that we seek and serve Him.

Prayer is ultimately our way of connection and communicating with God. Through prayer, we keep our minds and hearts focused on the Lord and on His people.

We sacrifice time, time given to us by the very one who we pray to, and by making such an important sacrifice we draw closer to our creator.

Throughout this series, we are going to focus on the many facets of prayer, how it applies to our lives as Christians, why we pray, how we pray and ultimately to whom it is we pray.

 

“The temple of God”

 

God’s people are His house, and His house is called a house of prayer.

Mat 21:12  And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
Mat 21:13  And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
Mat 21:14  And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.

Again, in Mark we see:

Mar 11:15  And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;
Mar 11:16  And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.
Mar 11:17  And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.
Mar 11:18  And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.

The reference for God’s “house of prayer” is found in the book of Isaiah.

Isa 56:5  Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.
Isa 56:6  Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;
Isa 56:7  Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

Given that we have all experienced different formalities on how to execute prayer, have seen many Christians in our past experiences do this or do that when praying, and have many varied examples of how we have prayed ourselves, let us now focus on what the New Testament examples are on prayer and how it is that “we are the house of prayer.”

1Co 3:16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

1Co 6:19  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

We are the temple of God where God dwells.

As with all things in scripture there are negative and positive applications to scripture, natural and spiritual things to consider and the sum of the Word to weigh those things against.

For example, “our body” is the temple of God individually, but so too is the body of Christ, “our and His body” the temple of God.

This first part of the series is going to cover this aspect of the house of prayer.

Contrary to what most Christians have been taught or think on their own, God does NOT hear all prayers and petitions made to Him.

Jer 11:14  Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble.

Eze 8:18  Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.

Mic 3:4  Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings.

Additionally, just because you may see the word “prayer” mentioned in English it is not always apparent that prayer is being what is talked about in any given verse.

So, it takes us being Bereans and digging into scripture to find what has been hidden there for us to be shown.

I hope you have your shovels ready :]

“Pray, prayer, praying, prayed”

According to e-Sword, there are 306 verses in the Old and New Testaments that the English word “pray” is mentioned in scripture.

There are 107 verses for the word “prayer”, 20 verses for “praying” and 65 for “prayed”.

I think you’ll agree that is a lot of times that pray, prayer, praying and prayed are mentioned (498 times).

In contrast, the English word “heaven” is mentioned in 551 verses. As you can tell, “prayer” is a very important topic and subject which scripture addresses a lot.

As for addressing all of these scriptures on praying in this series, it simply is not going to be exhausted within this series. There are going to be many thoughts come about from whatever the Lord inspires us all to collectively “hear” and “see” regarding this topic.

For me, I will share with you all what I have been given to share on this topic.

On the surface of it, what then is “prayer”? Well, that is a multi-faceted answer which I hope we can address in this series, but I think there is a group of scriptures that bear out this multi-faceted answer as well as any others.

They are not all that can be said on this of course but it is as good a place to start as any.

Jas 5:10  Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
Jas 5:11  Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
Jas 5:12  But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
Jas 5:13  Is any among you afflicted? let him pray (G4336). Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
Jas 5:14  Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray (G4336) over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
Jas 5:15  And the prayer (G2171) of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
Jas 5:16  Confess your faults one to another, and pray (G2172) one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer (G1172) of a righteous man availeth much.
Jas 5:17  Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed (G4336 G4335) earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
Jas 5:18  And he prayed (G4336) again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
Jas 5:19  Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
Jas 5:20  Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

Starting with these verses, we are going to set the foundation for the rest of this series. We have a plethora of witnesses to other examples of what it is “prayer” means to us as Christians today.

We know that all of these English words have a foundation in Greek. However, we are going to only look at the Greek for as much as it is necessary to determine the Spirit behind what we just read, and we are going to try to keep it in context of “prayer” in the house of prayer.

We start of in these verses with the mentioning of the prophets who have spoken in the name of the Lord, and we are to take them as an example of suffering affliction and having patience.

When these prophets suffered, they spoke in the name of the Lord, and they spoke about things which must be fulfilled?

Luk 24:44  And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

The next verse in James gives us an example and that is of Job and it references Job as “counting them happy which endure”. Job is happy because he has, “seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

We know from scripture that the Lord works all things after the counsel of His own will, so when we see the end of the Lord, we see that He has willed that we see His pity and his tender mercy.

We need to couple that with a warning, a commandment on how to view prayer which comes in the following verses in James, which starts in verse 12.

Jas 5:12  But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.

In other words, the Lord is sovereign and in control so it is not our place to swear or give an oath, but what context are these things being told to us in?
“Use the example of suffering affliction and patience …. count them happy who endure …. and do not make an oath or swear anything.”

Jas 5:13  Is any among you afflicted? let him pray (G4336). Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

The answer to being afflicted is to “pray”?

G4336

proseuchomai

pros-yoo’-khom-ahee

From G4314 and G2172; to pray to God, that is, supplicate, worship: – pray (X earnestly, for), make prayer.

The Greek word used here in English as “pray” is “pros-yoo’-khom-ahee” and it has a root in G4314 and G2172.

G4314

pros

pros

A strengthened form of G4253; a preposition of direction; forward to, that is, toward (with the genitive case the side of, that is, pertaining to; with the dative case by the side of, that is, near to; usually with the accusative case the place, time, occasion, or respect, which is the destination of the relation, that is, whither or for which it is predicated): – about, according to, against, among, at, because of, before, between, ([where-]) by, for, X at thy house, in, for intent, nigh unto, of, which pertain to, that, to (the end that), + together, to ([you]) -ward, unto, with (-in). In compounds it denotes essentially the same applications, namely, motion towards, accession to, or nearness at.
A strengthened for of G4253:

G4253

pro

pro

A primary preposition; “fore”, that is, in front of, prior (figuratively superior) to. In compounds it retains the same significations: – above, ago, before, or ever. In compounds it retains the same significations.
So one of the roots of “pros-yoo’-khom-ahee” is to be in front of, prior to, and before, but in front of, prior to or before what?

We will answer that in a moment, but we’ll first look into the second root of G4336, “yoo’-khom-ahee”.

G2172

euchomai

yoo’-khom-ahee

Middle voice of a primary verb; to wish; by implication to pray to God: – pray, will, wish.

Here are the uses of this word in scripture in context.

G2172

euchomai

Total KJV Occurrences: 7

wish, 3

Rom_9:3, 2Co_13:9, 3Jo_1:2

pray, 2

2Co_13:7, Jam_5:16

wished, 1

Act_27:29

would, 1

Act_26:29 (2)
G2172

euchomai

Thayer Definition:

1) to pray to God

2) to wish, to pray, to pray for

Part of Speech: verb

A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: middle voice of a primary verb

Citing in TDNT: 2:775, 279

A few examples of wish are:

Rom 9:3  For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:

2Co 13:8  For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.
2Co 13:9  For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection.

3Jn 1:1  The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.
3Jn 1:2  Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

And the same word translated as “pray” is:

2Co 13:6  But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.
2Co 13:7  Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.
2Co 13:8  For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.

Jas 5:16  Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

With the root of these words being established, we can see a clear scriptural example of what G4336 means.

Jas 5:13  Is any among you afflicted? let him pray (G4336). Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

So, the answer to affliction is to pray/wish (they mean the same thing) PRIOR TO, BEFORE the will of the Lord is made manifest in a matter.

Examples of this would be affliction that is sent to us in the form of a trial such as financial problems, health issues, emotional or spiritual struggles so on and so forth.

Before we know how these things will end up for us, we are to pray before the will of the Lord is made manifest for whatever the situation the Lord has us in.

Moving along as another example of this we see this in the next verse:

Jas 5:14  Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray (G4336) over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

“Let them pray over him anointing him with OIL/SPIRIT in the name of the Lord.”

There are articles posted on Is, Was and Will Be that deal with oil and what it means, but oil relates to the anointing of the Holy Spirit and the power of God.

For a review of oil, please visit:

http://www.iswasandwillbe.com/the-wise-took-oil/

The same Greek word as mentioned here as “pray” is G4336. So, let’s move on to the next example.

Jas 5:15  And the prayer (G2171) of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
Jas 5:16  Confess your faults one to another, and pray (G2172) one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer (G1162) of a righteous man availeth much.

The Greek word G2171 actually means “vow”.  The word used here in the Greek G2171 comes from G2172, meaning wish/pray, as we have already covered.

G2171

euchē

Total KJV Occurrences: 3

vow, 2

Act_18:18, Act_21:23

prayer, 1

Jam_5:15

G2171

euchē

yoo-khay’

From G2172; properly a wish, expressed as a petition to God, or in votive obligation: – prayer, vow.

“A votive obligation” is the focus of verse 5:15, but that bar is raised from a “vow” which shows an immature understanding of the sovereignty of God versus a mature understanding of the sovereignty of God.

G2171 is from G2172

G2172

euchomai

yoo’-khom-ahee

Middle voice of a primary verb; to wish; by implication to pray to God: – pray, will, wish

“Middle voice” means to act upon itself or for its own benefit. An example of this is “Steven bought himself a car”.

So, the implication of this thought or idea is that when we pray for another we are praying for OURSELVES. We are praying for our OWN BODY.

If I petition the Lord to heal me of my arm being broken or for my strep throat to be healed, I am praying for my OWN BODY to be healed.

Likewise, when I pray for “another to be healed” I am praying FOR MY OWN BODY to be HEALED!

Here are the two commandments of the Lord:

Mat 22:37  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38  This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

But that isn’t the sum of what we are being told in this chapter.

Jas 5:16  Confess your faults one to another, and pray (G2172) one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer (G1162) of a righteous man availeth much.

“The effectual fervent (ENERGY) BEGGING of a righteous man availeth much”

Why do I say begging instead of prayer? The Greek word used here is G1162 which has a root of G1189.

G1162

deēsis

deh’-ay-sis

From G1189; a petition: – prayer, request, supplication.

G1189

deomai

deh’-om-ahee

Middle voice of G1210; to beg (as binding oneself), that is, petition: – beseech, pray (to), make request. Compare G4441.

G1189

deomai

Thayer Definition:

1) to want, lack

2) to desire, long for

3) to ask, beg

3a) the thing asked for

3b) to pray, make supplications

Part of Speech: verb

A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: middle voice of G1210

Citing in TDNT: 2:40, 144

When we BEG for our own deliverance, we do so with a very intentional purpose. When we BEG for and petition the Lord on behalf of the Lord, we are fulfilling the commandment of the Lord to LOVE our neighbor as ourselves.

This can only be done with the maturity the Lord brings our way as we go from immature Christians asking for the basics to mature Christians asking for EVERYTHING knowing the Lord works it all.

James 5:15 and 5:16 show us a contrast in making a vow versus ferventing begging the Lord, i.e. I will make a vow of faith to you Lord if only you do x,y, and z VERSUS I BEG you Lord to listen to my petition (of which you have placed in my heart and mind to pray).

If this is doubtful in your mind, the next versus re-emphasize this point.

Jas 5:17  Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed (G4336 G4335) earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
Jas 5:18  And he prayed (G4336) again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
Jas 5:19  Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
Jas 5:20  Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

Did you recognize the voice of the True Shepherd in those last two verses?

“If one errors from the Truth, and is CONVERTED from the ERROR of “HIS WAY”, he shall be SAVED FORM DEATH, and a multitude of SINS shall be HID.”

“Whatsoever is not of Faith is SIN…and the WAGES of Sin is DEATH”.

 

“Conclusion of Part 1 of ‘The House of Prayer’”

 

The conclusion of this study is the emphasis on converting our brother or sister through FERVENT / BEGGING prayer.

We can pray for the things that we need on a daily basis like Elias did for rain, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that according to scripture, but the prayer we are after is a prayer that brings ONLY Truth about from the prayer.

In other words, we want Jesus Christ to be the only one that matters in all situations and there are very particular instructions on how to know that we are following this path of righteousness versus our own righteousness.

When we pray, we are to pray a certain way, and that will be the focus of our next study in this series.

Again, there are many, MANY facets to prayer and praying and we have only began to scratch the surface.

Next study, we will continue to “hear” and “see” the voice of the True Shepherd as it relates to us petitioning our heavenly Father in prayer, Lord willing.

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