My house will be called a house of prayer.


When Jesus entered Jerusalem, his first trip was to the temple. There he drove out everyone who was going about their hustle and bustle there. They probably didn’t understand why Jesus was so upset, since in their understanding they were making the church service/sacrificial service possible and thought they were doing God a favor. But they were an abomination to Jesus. They did things there that God had never asked, and so our Lord Jesus comes to the accusation: “Is it not written: “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations”? But you have made it a den of thieves.” ( Mark 11:17 )

When I think about this, it occurs to me that the apostle Paul said in his first letter to the church in Corinth ( 1 Corinthians 3:17 ): “ You are the temple of God .” But what about me then? Does Jesus feel at home with me, or does he have a lot of things to “throw out” with me too? A lot of busyness (even pious ones) often spreads among us and we think that we are doing God a favor. Humility, bowing and worship before the living God are suppressed. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, pious fulfillment of duty has replaced time spent in prayer with God. You have to make a sacrifice to God! This needs my attention, I don’t have the time or peace to pray. Besides, there’s a lot of other things to do too. Our hectic, fast-moving times are also contributing to this. There is often not much time to think.

Is our temple (body) a “house of prayer” or a “den of thieves”? Do we discuss this with our Lord or do we decide for ourselves? Could we be spared a lot of stress if we prayed more? I recognize myself well in how Jesus found it there. How often do we do something without first discussing the matter with God? Afterwards we ask ourselves why the blessing did not come. We are so busy with our “pious” business that we don’t have any time left. The “connection” to our Lord was missing.
Prayer is teamwork. This is not an insignificant thing that we could easily do without. It is, so to speak, the team meeting with our Lord. Here our work is coordinated, we discuss our actions with our Lord and receive strength, guidance for our lives, encouragement, admonition or even correction; Here we experience fellowship with the entire team (our Lord Jesus Christ and the community of brothers and sisters in faith, even worldwide). At the same time, prayer is characterized by the trusting cooperation between our heavenly Father and us, who, through the blood of Jesus Christ, are allowed to call ourselves children of God and are so ( 1 John 3:1 ).

But prayer is also an essential part of the battle we face. So Paul writes in his letter to the Colossians ( Colossians 4:2-4 ):

Be persistent in prayer and watch in it with thanksgiving! At the same time, pray for us too, so that God may open a door for us to receive the Word and we may speak about the mystery of Christ, for whose sake I am also in chains, so that I may make it manifest as I should.

He knows how dependent he is on Jesus and therefore asks the church in Colosse for support so that he knows where God is opening a door for him that he can use to spread the gospel and how he should then do it. He cannot and does not want to decide for himself. From this he receives the strength for his actions, so that even his bonds (imprisonment) are no obstacle for him. Our Lord Jesus Christ knows that He has given His followers a task that they can never complete on their own. This is what he says to them and to us:

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. ( John 15:5 ) .

Without HIM we can’t do anything? That would mean that everything we do without him has no meaning in the kingdom of God. Did we ask HIM what we should do, what HE expected of us, or did we just do it? Prayer is the most important thing! Without prayer, it is as if we work in a company but never ask what the boss expects of us, what assignment we should fulfill. We just do as we see fit. What would the boss say about that?

Paul also makes it clear: Prayer is a hard, spiritual battle and requires endurance and constancy: ( Romans 15:30 )

 Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me;

Anyone who follows Jesus is entering enemy territory. Our persecuted brothers and sisters in faith feel this very clearly, and here too, if we take Jesus’ commission to make disciples seriously, we will feel it. That’s why daily, serious prayer “in the quiet little room” and also prayer in community with other Christians are so important. We support the brothers and sisters in prayer, especially those who are on the front lines. If you ask Christians who are suffering persecution how you can best help them, you will hear the following sentence again and again: “The most important thing is prayer. – Through your prayers we receive the strength to persevere!”

I increasingly have the impression that our prosperity is a much greater obstacle to faith and prayer than active persecution. Because of it, faith becomes more and more shallow because we take little or no time to find peace before God, to pray and to read and research in his word, the Bible, or to be there for our neighbors. We are driven by time pressure and no longer find peace to think about ourselves. Who am I, where am I, where do I come from and where am I going? We rarely ask ourselves these questions anymore. We are constantly bombarded with information from all directions and television, radio, workman or cell phone are our constant companions who never remain silent. Exhaustion, burnout and depression are often the consequences. And are we supposed to find time for God??

Martin Luther once said: “ When I have a lot to do, I have to pray all the more. What he meant was that with prayer he could do his work much better and faster than without it. For him prayer was of central importance. Philipp Melanchthon, Luther’s closest colleague and friend, said at Luther’s funeral: “ He taught and lived the right prayer. “Praying is the pulse of faith, without prayer faith is dead, just as a person without a pulse is dead. This is expressed not only in the faith life of each individual, but also in the life of the community! A church that doesn’t pray will die sooner or later! For this reason, God’s adversary, the devil, is keen to hinder or make impossible our prayer. Unfortunately, I know this experience all too well from my own experience.

What can we do to make our prayer come alive again?

Luther recommends learning and reciting the words of Jesus by heart.

“When I feel that my everyday business or other people’s thoughts have made me  cold and have no desire to pray  , as the devil always wants to ward off and hinder prayer, I take my Bible, run into the closet, and so on When I have time, I read some of the sayings of Christ, Paul or the Psalms and say them out loud to myself, just like children do.”

Luther once wrote this in a letter to his hairdresser (Der Friseur, der das Beten lernen wollte).
Luther’s own experience: Jesus’ words spoken loudly can drive away the unwillingness to pray.

Because prayer is so important, the apostle Paul tells us: “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17 ). So does that mean we should just pray all day? No, but prayer alone or in community with other Christians has a central importance and should not only have a place in our daily routine every now and then. Fixed prayer times are important and helpful. But prayer is not limited to just that. We can also pray while we’re working, talking to other people, while driving… We don’t have to close our eyes and fold our hands, but having the radio/television or something similar on is a big hindrance. God has repeatedly promised to answer prayer. We should not miss the blessing promised by this.


Prayer is the most effective service in the kingdom of God. Without prayer, all work in the kingdom of God is in vain. A church that stands together in prayer and allows nothing to stop it will inherit the blessings of God and experience miracles. A church that does not gather in prayer will not experience blessing and will perish.