May 9 / Proverbs 9 / Mark 11

praying-in-church

Proverbs 9

The way of life and the way of death call out to us everyday.They will call to you today. The less knowledge you have of the holy One, the more difficult it will be to distinguish between these two voices. Conversely, the deeper you know YHWH, the closer you are to Him, the clearer His voice becomes.

“My sheep know My voice.”

Mark 11:17

Then he taught the people, saying, “It is written in the Scripture, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for people from all nations.’ But you are changing God’s house into a ‘hideout for robbers.'”

In the places we gather to pray, how much prayer actually takes place there? How much do we communicate with YHWH in our churches? Or is the bulk of the time spent there talking to each other? Is that OK? Does it matter?

Jesus replaced the Temple. He replaced the Torah. He is the Temple. We are all “portable sanctuaries” as Richard Foster calls us. So this seems to apply to us wherever we gather in the name of Jesus. Are we actually praying when gathered? Many people tell me that their small group experience consists of a couple of minutes of closing prayer after discussion of whatever. Sometimes not.

Is that OK?

Does it matter?

What if we prayed together? I mean really prayed together.

I have a friend in the hospital in a coma right now. More than once I have been involved in praying with other people there. I mean really praying. Holy heaven, did we pray. And we sang. We cried.

I’ll give you three guesses as to which was better for my soul: that crying out to God with His people, or listening to a well crafted sermon and dressed up people singing?

I’m just sayin’….

Here’s something to chew on from a very thoughtful friend of mine following our discussion of not just asking “What Would Jesus do?” but “What did Jesus do in order to do the things He did?” or “How did He train?”:

In my understanding, that training did not involve sitting in church spouting stale traditions described as “teachings”.  Actually it is probably likely that he had quite the traditional Jewish exposure, experience and training that was common in the time and struggled with it.  I went to see the movie “Son of God” a couple of weeks ago.  In one scene he tells the high priest (close paraphrase) “I will tear this temple down”.  Obviously not literally, but figuratively.  Torn down in the sense that the path does not pass though and require the approval of the “keepers of the law”.  This hierarchy and dogma as developed over centuries is the temple to be torn down.  All I know is that if I were to damn everything about this world I didn’t understand, I would be leading the parade to hell….

 

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