April 19: “We Need to Pray!”

7 Minute Read

Today’s Bible Reading:

Joshua 19:1–20:9
Luke 19:28-48
Psalm 88:1-18
Proverbs 13:12-14

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Luke 19:45-46 (NLT): “He went into the temple and began to throw out those who were selling, and he said, ‘It is written, my house will be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves!’”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Life is lived at breakneck speed in our generation. All of the technology that was intended to make life easier has only increased the pace. A former pastor of mine used to say that far too many people have become roadkill on the information superhighway.

With our minds almost constantly pulled in so many different directions, the call to prayer is probably a little more complicated than it has been in previous generations. When we are praying, we are thinking about many other things that we need to be doing.

In our reading this morning, we came across Luke 19:45-46, where Jesus entered the temple a few days before He was crucified. He saw all of the chaos taking place in the Temple. The scene made such a distraction that an attitude of prayer was virtually impossible.

So, He cleaned house! He went ballistic! As He turned over tables and ran non-worshipers out of the temple, He said:

“… ‘It is written, my house will be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves!’” (Luke 19:46)

There were thieves in the Temple! The merchants were probably taking advantage of the Jews who showed up to purchase a sacrificial animal. They believed that the convenience they were providing the buyer would justify jacking up the prices for sacrificial animals. They were stealing from worshipers!

But, they were also stealing from God! The Lord had called for the temple to be a place where He met with His people. They called out to Him in prayer, and He blessed them there. The chaos was robbing God of those prayers.

So, Jesus cleaned house!

Do you know where the temple is now? First Corinthians 6:19 tells us that our bodies are now the temple, the place where God’s Holy Spirit resides.

Do you know what that means? Our bodies are now the place of prayer! Whatever else happens in our bodies, it should be a place where communion with God is the norm.

However, if you are like me, you realize that far too often, there are distractions. The craziness of our lives creates chaos in our minds and hearts. Those things would rob God of the prayers that He desires to hear from us.

So, let me end this post by giving a few ideas for cleaning house:

  • Get up early to pray. (I get up around 5AM so that I am not distracted by phone calls, family members, or anything else.)
  • Put away your technology. (It will probably have plenty of notifications pop up on your screen, screaming for your attention. So, put it away.)
  • Have a paper and pen close by. (If something comes to mind that you need to do, just write it down and then get back to praying.)
  • Have a prayer list or prayer cards. (Having a list before you of the things you will pray for can help you stay focused.)
  • Play some quiet music in the background. (I sometimes listen to soft, reflective music (with no words) or listen to http://www.solopianoradio.com when I am reading God’s Word and praying. It quiets my mind.)

Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Pedro Dias on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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