In Your Bible Read This
Mark 11, 12-17; Isaiah. chapter 56
Here Is Your Memory Verse
My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations, but you have made it a den of robbers. Mark 11.17.
Afterwards Talk About This
Discuss for a while all the things that would ever stop you from making regular intercession on behalf of the nations? Are there any robbers attacking your prayer life? Who are they and what can you do about them?
Something To Do Before Next Time
Make a list of nations and peoples whom you will commit yourself to pray for one at a time, at a regular time each day. See any map of unreached peoples. What can you discover about these places? A school geography book may help, or the newspaper or the TV news.
Draw or copy by hand a world map. Write or underline the names of major countries and as many small ones as you can.
Meditate On This Passage
Spend a Minute to Change the World
Pray For Israel – 6,000,000 Jews and Arabs. God's ancient people. Fulfilled prophecy by returning home. In crisis but still expecting their Messiah. Christianity heavily frowned upon.
Be sure to teach this lesson to others. Always pray and prepare well adding your own verses and stories to bring it to life.
Did you know that one day Jesus was provoked to righteous anger? It happened when he found God's house being used as a market place rather than as a centre of blessing for the nations.
A Welcoming Home For All Nations
Back in Old Testament days, God wanted his house, the temple in Jerusalem, to be a place where people from all nations could come and pray to him with joy. His people, the Jews, as well as the foreigner and even the socially excluded were to be welcome.
When Isaiah said 'all nations' it would have been quite a shock for the Jews as they jealously kept everyone else out of the Temple. But God's heart was bigger than theirs, as big as the whole world! See Isaiah 56.6-8
The Church today exists in every country on the earth. Worship from earth is becoming like the worship in heaven where people from every nation, tribe and language already sing to Jesus before the throne of God. Revelation 7, 9-10.
From All Nations To All Nations
Jesus said that God's house was to be a house of prayer for, that is on behalf of, all nations. So people from all nations can still enter with joy and pray for people of all nations to be blessed. Mark 11.17
Ethnos Is The Key Word
In the language of the Bible the word for nations is 'ethnos' which means not political nations but groups of people who have a common bond like language or culture. This focuses our prayers on even the smallest tribe. In most nations you will find many ethnos. For example a Burkina Faso passport may actually cover a Mossi, or a Lobi, or a Gurunsi, a Fulani, all 'ethnos,' within the one geographical and political nation which was artificially formed by colonial powers over a century ago.
My God, And God Of All The Earth
God is personal to me and to you but don't forget that he so loved the world. Consider too that God sent his son to save the world of people. John 3.16,17. Christ came in to the world. John 1.9. The field is the world. Matthew 13.38.
Are Nations In The Bible?
Yes, around 580 times, so we understand that God often considers the nations. See Genesis 12.3, Romans 4,17-18, Gal. 3.8.
Nations are a spiritual battleground. Ephesians 6.12.
Our job is to go and make disciples in all the nations and that job will be finished. Matthew 28.19, Revelation 5.9; 7, 9-10.
World evangelism is the key to the date of Christ's return, and he will then bring justice to the nations. Mat. 24.14,12.18.
Nations will always retain their identity, and ultimately there is much needed healing for the nations. Rev. 22.2, 21.24.
Where Is The Temple Today?
We no longer have to go to Jerusalem because Paul reveals that today God's temple is found in our lives. 1 Cor. 6.19. so is our life a house of prayer for all nations or a den of robbers?
What Is A Den Of Robbers?
It is whatever, or whoever, robs you of God's passion for a world of people. In Jeremiah 7.1-11 the robbers were religion and ritual, injustice, idolatry, indifference to the foreigner and to the poor. Jesus noticed that the love of making money was another robber.
Finding Faith To Pray For The Nations
Can we believe that prayer will make any difference to God's plans for the nations? Let us see some examples ~
The Lord is about destroy two wicked cities but Abraham finds out and intercedes several times to save the people in them. He finds the Lord very willing to respond. Genesis 18, 17-33.
When Amos saw that God was calling for judgement upon Israel, Amos cried out, praying, "Sovereign Lord, forgive! How can Jacob survive? He is so small! So the Lord relented." Amos 7, 2-6.
Daniel knew in his heart that it was time to pray for the nation, so he did. God gave him a very swift answer. 9.2-23.
And In Modern Times Too
Jesus also expects us to know the signs and the times. Matthew 16.3. The allied victory in World War Two, and the fall of communism have both been linked to years of dedicated, and carefully recorded, continual prayer warfare by Rees Howells, Samuel Howells and intercessors at Swansea Bible College in Wales, among others worldwide of course.
Prayer Shapes The End Times
In Revelation 5.8 and 8,1-5, the Bible reveals that the conclusion of human history is in the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ. We discover that the events of the end times and the prayers of God's people are linked together. There is silence in heaven to offer the prayers of God's people and then the final, terrible seventh seal of judgement is opened.
It is said that history belongs to the intercessors. In the name of Jesus we have authority over Satan to thwart his plans, pull down his strongholds and release his captives. Our prayers change our world, open closed doors, make resistant people receptive, and put down and raise up leaders.
To Close Pray for the World's Most Unreached Peoples by Name
Taken from the Joshua Project Unreached Peoples List these people have no church and as yet no cell, church or mission has committed themselves to prayer, adoption or church planting among this people.
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