House of Prayer or Den of Robbers?

By Twila Belk

 He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers” (Matthew 21:13 ESV).

As I studied for a class on prayer, I came across Matthew 21:13—a verse I’d read many times before. Jesus had entered the temple courts and saw people buying and selling there. This made Him so angry that He overturned the moneychangers’ tables and the benches of those selling doves. Then He said, “My house is a house of prayer, but you’ve made it a den of robbers.”

I knew the story, but this time when I read Jesus’ statement, the words took on a new meaning for me.

The Bible tells us that if we are believers in Jesus, God dwells in us through His Holy Spirit. If God dwells in us, we are His house. If we are His house, shouldn’t we then be regarded as a “house of prayer?”

Jesus also declared that His house of prayer had been made into a “den of robbers.”

I thought about how often prayer is neglected. We might not feel the need to pray or don’t consider it important. I wondered about the spiritual blessings, fullness of life, and intimacy with God we rob from ourselves by not communicating with Him on a regular basis.

It made me stop and ask myself, “Am I a house of prayer or am I a den of robbers?”

Which are you?

Lord, help me to be a house of prayer rather than a den of robbers. I want to experience all you have for me.

Twila Belk, aka The Gotta Tell Somebody Gal, is a writer and speaker who loves braggin’ on God. Her latest book, a one-year devotional, is Raindrops from Heaven: Gentle Reminders of God’s Power, Presence, and Purpose.