We have made prayer the theme for Partners International this year. We also happen to love the word hope and it appears in most of the action items that we engage in – such as the Hope in Action tour and the Hope in Action catalogue.
As I begin to look at hope this year, I am recognizing that the two actually go hand in hand – that is, prayer and hope.
When I hope, I pray – when I am praying, I am hoping.
In our introduction to Jesus, we see the temple and the importance of those serving God there, interacting with the Gospel story. Starting with Zacharias serving at the altar of incense, a duty that he will only perform once in his lifetime. Then we see the praying and hoping covenant believers in Simeon and Anna. Simeon himself was brought by the Spirit to the temple that day just so he could see Jesus as He was brought there for circumcision. The last time we see Jesus in the temple before He engages in ministry, he was twelve years old, sitting in the temple, discussing the things of God.
No wonder as He was nearing His time on earth that He became so aggressive at the money changers in the temple. They were not just money changers, they looked forward to making a deal using the passion and hopes of those who came to seek God. They did not come to serve and be part of the worship, they were there only for the money
Then he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling things there; and he said, “It is written, “My house shall be a house of prayer’; but you have made it a den of robbers.” – Luke 19:45-46