My house shall be a house of prayer ...
And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.”
And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him, but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words.
It is no coincidence that this righteous scourging of religious robbers in the temple court would, by weeks end, result in the scourging of God incarnate. The profit of religious leaders at the expense of the poor is anathema to the Almighty. It has always been and will always be. We who name the name of Jesus are called to bless the poor and not steal from them. Unfortunately, religion can become an ungodly profitable profession for some. And sadly, God is far from them.
What image comes to mind when you hear the words "house of prayer"? Perhaps your mind goes to the altar rail at church or maybe your house of worship has kneelers affixed to each pew? How much formal praying do you actually do in this place that you envision as a "house of prayer"? I wonder if the message in these words could be translated "house of seeking God together"? I like that because it communicates the idea of drawing near to 'our' Father together.
Fill us with yourself O mighty God that we might overflow together with prayer and worship.