Temple Baptist Church - 9-12-2010
A. If the Lord were to come to the churches of America today, would he commend them or cleanse them? He would probably spend more time cleansing than anything else.
B. Things had greatly changed in the Temple since the days of Solomon when the first Temple was built! When Jesus came into the Temple, He cast out those who perverted the Temple’s real purposes. He taught them, “Is it not written, my house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer?” This comes from Isaiah 56:7, which reads, “Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices [shall be] accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.”
C. Not a house of prayer, but THE HOUSE OF PRAYER! They even had special times just to go to the Temple and pray. Acts 3:1 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, [being] the ninth [hour]. The ninth hour was three o’clock in the afternoon, one of the three times that it was customary with the Jews to pray. At 9:00 AM, 12:00 Noon, and 3:00 PM.
Daniel 6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
Psalms 55:17 Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. (EVIDENTLY PRAYER HAD BECOME BOTH INFREQUENT AND ALSO A FORMALITY!)
D. We, here at Temple Baptist Church, pray often. We have prayer meeting each Saturday night at 6:00 PM. We pray in men and ladies’ prayer rooms before the service. We pray at the altar to begin the service. We pray several times in the process of the service and dismiss in prayer. Do we pray for the power of God and His blessings upon us or do we pray out of ritual? That is where we find the Jews at the Temple in the days of Christ. Pray should never be a formality but communion with our heavenly Father!
E. It would do us well at this point to go to the first mention of prayer in the Temple to better understand what the Lord meant when He called it the House of Prayer. In these verses, we will see both the direction and quality of the praying. In 2 Chronicles 6:12-42, we find the Dedicatory Prayer that Solomon made upon completion of the Temple. In 2 Chronicles 7:1, we find the acceptance of Solomon’s prayer and the consuming presence of God. Let’s turn there:
F. The presence and power of God should be our ultimate desire when we meet at the church house. We are not going to read the entire prayer for the sake of time but I want us to get the “gist” of it. Look at verse 6:12 and then 7:1.
1. It Was A Prayer Of Humility – vs. 12-13
a. Humbled In The Sight Of Man – vs. 12 – “in the presence of all the congregation and spread forth his hands” (Not caring what man thinks.)
b. Humbled In The Presence Of God – vs. 13 – “kneeled down on his knees…spread forth his hands toward heaven” (Caring what God thinks!)
2. It Was A Prayer Of Remembrance – vs. 14-18
a. Remembrance Of God’s Person – vs. 14 – “there is not God like thee”
b. Remembrance Of God’s Presence – vs. 14 – “nor in the earth”
c. Remembrance Of God’s Power – vs. 15 – “fulfilled it with thine hand”
d. Remembrance Of God’s Promises – vs. 16 – “keep…hast promised”
3. It Was A Prayer Of Intercession – vs. 19-31
a. For Forgiveness – vs. 21 – “when thou hearest, forgive”
b. For Restoration – vs. 27 – “send rain upon thy land”
4. It Was A Prayer Of Missions – vs. 32-33
a. Foreign Missions – vs. 33a – “that all the people of the earth may know thy name, and fear thee”
b. Home Missions – vs. 33b – “thy people Israel…may know this house”
5. It Was A Prayer Of Deliverance – vs. 34-39
a. From Enemies – vs. 34 – “go to war…enemies by the way”
b. From Defeat – vs. 35, 39 – “maintain their cause”
6. It Was A Prayer Of Enthronement – vs. 40-42
a. God In His Rightful Place In The Temple – vs. 41a – “arise, O Lord God, into thy resting place”
b. God In His Rightful Place In The People – vs. 41b – “let thy saints rejoice in thy goodness”