Building a House of Prayer

“Unless the Lord build the house, those who build it labor in vain.” Psalm 127:1

How do we build houses of prayer? Not every house will be the same, they will have the same desire but how they express that will be different. In other words, they may have a different model. There is no one real way to have a house of prayer, you don’t want to reinvent the wheel, but you also don’t want to duplicate what may be working in one area. The idea may be the same but the technique and the way it’s carried out may be designed differently for the community or church you are in.

Brooklyn Tabernacle Church was asked how they began and continued their journey of prayer. The answer was “We asked God to pour out a Spirit of Prayer.” They were adamant in their answer: “We must pray about prayer.”

Zechariah 12:10 says that a spirit of prayer was poured out on a whole city, “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. This is where our prayer begins for our churches and our cities. Pray for pastors of the local churches and your community to become a house of prayer.  Prayer must be included in church growth, shepherding, and spiritual transformation. Today we see less and less of the power that is released through prayer because we are paying the price for the neglect of prayer.

We must take ownership of prayer, we must develop a Biblical understanding that prayer is the foundation a church and a community. We don’t want it to be a trend that comes and goes, but something that is consistent like in the early church. We see this in the book of Acts how the church was in persistent prayer. We can go back in history to one of the longest prayer meetings that was recorded, The Moravian Community of Herrnhut in Saxony, in 1727, began an around the clock “prayer watch” that continued nonstop for over a hundred years. It is written that by 1791, 65 years after the prayer meetings started, the small community of Moravian’s had sent 300 missionaries to the ends of the earth. Could it mean that fervent prayer and intercession was a basic factor in world evangelism? The answer was yes! (“A Prayer Meeting that Lasted 100 Years” by Leslie K Tarr).

Prayer individually and prayer meetings should be a high point in the life of the believers, a time to usher in the presence of the throne room of God, to worship Him, and present our prayers and requests to Him. We must shift from a “need to pray” to a desire to “worship in prayer.” (See the book of Esther)

Philippians 4:6-7 “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (The Living Translation)

There are so many places in scripture that talk about prayer, our need to pray, and the examples of Christ’s prayers. We must see how valuable prayer is for our own lives and for the world around us. Prayer changes things. Prayer is noted over 600 times in the Bible. It is difficult to get an accurate count because many times the prayer itself was written, so the word “prayer” was not used. Prayer is key to living a Christian life and living in a Christ-like manner.

When we can begin to build houses of prayer, not only in churches, but also by going beyond the boundaries of denominations and four walls, we can begin to unite with a community house of prayer, where all believers can meet and pray in unity. When we begin to change the way we approach prayer and the methods we use, it can change communities.

It’s honoring to the Lord when we look to Him first and depend on His power and might to be released through prayer. There is a spiritual force that is unleashed within the Body that cannot happen any other way than through God’s people, in unity, bringing everything to the Lord in Prayer.

We must feel a sense of preparing ourselves spiritually and plan carefully to lead people into the presence of God. Prayer can become the structure we use for our education, evangelism, team ministries, and outreaches in our local congregations and communities. Prayer should not be dependent on any one group of people but beyond the churches, prayer ministry teams within local churches and spread into communities where people build prayer into their personal churches, lives, and locations.

“How truly wonderful and delightful, to see brothers and sisters living together in sweet unity! It’s as precious as the scared scented oil flowing from the head of the High Priests, Aaron, dripping down upon his beard, and running all the way down to the hem of his priestly robes. This heavenly harmony can be compared to the dew dripping from the skies upon Mount Hermon, refreshing the mountain slopes of Israel. For from this realm of sweet harmony, God will release His eternal blessings, the promise of life forever!”  Psalm 133:1-3 (The Passion Translation)

Mary Haynes

Co-Director, Joppa House of Prayer