Hawkers and Prayer
A Maverick game at the American Airlines Center in downtown Dallas—it was one of my grandson’s birthday presents, and I got the special joy of taking him. As we began to move across AT&T Plaza toward the security at the entrance, it was a bazaar. “Jersey’s for sale!” “Get your Maverick tee shirts!” “Tickets!” Then as we moved inside at sections 100 and 103 there was an entire concourse filled with shops. Of course, this was the NBA. Just the players’ salaries tell you that it’s not just about hoops. It’s about making money—tons of it. But when I take my grandson to a place of worship, what does our Savior say about hawkers and sales? What did He do when His Father’s House of Prayer was turned into a shopping mall?
“When Jesus entered the Temple, He began to throw out those who were buying and selling. He told them, “It stands written, ‘My house will be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.’
Daily He taught in the Temple, and the chief priests, the religious legal experts, and some of the prominent citizens were seeking an opportunity to murder Him, but they were not able to do it. They couldn’t find the right opportunity because the people were all listening, hanging on His every word.” Luke 19:45-48
Remember Jesus’ story about the servants who made wise investments with the silver their master gave them? Jesus doesn’t have a problem with business and making a profit if it is done fairly and profits are shared graciously with those in need. He does, however, have a big problem with those who turn a place where people come to pray into a shopping mall.
LORD, quiet my heart when I gather together with other believers for prayer. Help me to authentically connect with You from the depth of my heart in honesty and truth like the publican who pounded his chest and confessed his sin. Help me not to be surprised when some of my strongest opposition comes from religionists trying to make a buck on vulnerable people seeking to find You.
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