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What is the house of prayer?

Submitted: 3/26/2009
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Question: Please explain Isaiah 56:7.

Answer: Isaiah 56:7 says, 'Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.' This is a prophecy of God's plan to extend His grace beyond Israel and make salvation available to 'all nations.' Jesus said that He would not return until 'this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come' (Matthew 24:14).

Jesus quoted the last part of this verse when He cleansed the temple in Jerusalem. Mark 11:15-17 says, 'So they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple. Then He taught, saying to them, 'Is it not written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations'? But you have made it a 'den of thieves.'' Today the church is the temple of God, but this passage shows us that Jesus is jealous for the purity of His people and wants them to be engaged in spiritual business (prayer) rather than being corrupted by turning spiritual activities into a money-making business.