My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. – Isaiah 56:7
Jesus said, “The hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him.” – John 4:23
After a round of golf many years ago, I was enjoying a cold drink with a member of the country club where we played. He asked of someone else, “Is he a MOT?” MOT stands for member of the tribe, and for him it was important to know that. In his mind if you were not a MOT you weren’t as important or worthy as one who was.
Not so with God. He desires that all people come to him. He opens his heart to all who would seek him in spirit and truth. He wants his house to be a house of prayer for all peoples, nations, people groups, tribes, and ethnicities.
The cornerstone of St. John has the Isaiah passage engraved on it: “My house shall be a house of prayer for all peoples.” We desire that people will find our church to be a prayerful church, living and breathing with the grace and truth of God in Jesus Christ, and offering people the opportunity to call on God in prayer, seeking his mercy, help, and guidance.
That means we give attention to prayer not just as a formal activity during the worship service, but as a living reality that shapes our meetings, fellowship, ministry efforts and mission activities. We spend time praying at the beginning of the elders meetings, and will regularly offer to pray for those who express a concern our reveal a trouble in their life.
We do so because we believe that prayer honors God, is the essence of worship, and a treasure of the church for which we thank God. I am struck by the desire of God for all people to come to him and find their life and salvation in him. I am delighted that he is seeking me out and desires that I worship him. I pray that more and more people will discover with us the blessings of God’s goodness, and join us in his house of prayer called St. John Lutheran Church.