Jesus came to the temple. He drove out all those who were buying and selling. He upended the moneychangers’ tables and the dove-sellers’ benches. It is written, “My house will be a house of prayer for all people,” but you have turned this house of prayer into a den of robbers.
The other day I was reading Matthew 21:1-13 in The Voice translation. I have read this passage on many occasions in other versions and have heard it preached from various pulpits. On this particular day, as I was reading, a vision played out in my mind. I saw a room filled with tables that were set up like you would see at a holiday bazaar. The tables were arranged in groups by the merchandise that was displayed on them. As I looked closely I saw some of the tables were labeled DOUBT, DISAPPOINTMENT, DENIAL, FEAR, SELF-PROTECTION, and UNBELIEF. Each table had piles of items on top of them that were not identifiable to me, but appeared like junk. Then I saw a man in a white robe come into the room and begin to overturn the tables. Immediately the following scripture came to my mind from 1 Corinthians 6:19,
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?”
The Holy Spirit began to speak to me about what I had seen. He reminded me that we are the temple where He resides. Unfortunately, there are tables that have been erected in our hearts and the enemy has been selling us lies. Those lies are the items that were displayed on the tables. Some of the lies that we have bought into have come from the hurts and wounds of our past. Some lies have been sold to us in the form of religion. The enemy has capitalized on these things throughout the years with many of us. As a result, junk has accumulated onto the tables labeled “doubt”, “disappointment”, “fear”, “self protection”, etc. We have been unaware that we have made a nice cozy den for the enemy! He has robbed us of our peace, and has kept us from what was intended to be a perpetual house of prayer.
Philippians 4:6-7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”
Prayer can take on many forms. To put it in general terms, prayer is a dialogue with God. Whether it is a petition or request, prayer of intercession, prayer of thanksgiving, prayer of adoration, or a prayer of declaration, we were meant to dialogue with God. If our temple has tables set up with fear, disappointment, self-protection, etc., then our hearts focus on those things, conscious or unconsciously, and we find ourselves anxious without peace. Without realizing it, we are praying from a place of doubt or fear and wonder why we don’t see more of our prayers answered.
Jesus is coming to our personal temple to overturn these tables and to drive out the moneychangers. The enemy will not be able to capitalize on the hurts and wounds of our past any longer! As the moneychangers are chased out we will be able to see an uncluttered path to victory in prayer as we return the lies of the enemy, and exchange them for the truth of God’s Word! What once may have been a comfy sitting room for the enemy will now become a Glory-filled house of prayer! We will begin to see that the effective prayers of a righteous one accomplish much! James 5:16.
Let’s pray: Jesus, I welcome you to come to Your temple and drive out all of what the enemy has been selling me, and what I have bought into. Overturn every table that has been erected in my heart. Overturn fear. Overturn doubt. Overturn disappointment. Overturn self-protection and any other table that I am unaware that exists. Cleanse this house. I no longer want to provide a place for the enemy to set up shop. I no longer want to make Your house of prayer into a den for the robber himself. Restore to this temple a house of prayer and communion with You. Let my temple become a temple of a righteous one whose prayers accomplish much! In Jesus name, Amen!