It was a wake-up call for the community, who had neglected the House of the Lord and focused on their own homes instead. God desired their hearts to turn to Him and a shift in priorities, emphasizing the importance of valuing the House of Prayer above their domestic lives.
"These people say,'The time has not yet come for the LORD's house to be built... Is it a time for you yourselves to believing in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin? ...Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it. You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away... Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house." Haggai 1:2-22
God had a deep longing to be worshipped continuously out of voluntary love on the earth as it is done in heaven, and the House of Prayer was a passionate design from His heart. God assigned the task of building and maintaining the House to specific individuals throughout generations, and their obedience to this calling was crucial, even in the face of difficulties.
"So the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the LORD Almighty, their God (Hg. 1:14)"
God assured them of His grace and promised to oversee the project. Anointed leadership, a clear call, and the prophetic anointing were still necessary in this endeavor. The people needed to rely on God's anointing and put in their best efforts. The House could only be built through God's anointing, which was a precious and guarded aspect of the project (Ps. 127:1). Those who were involved in building the house would face trials and challenges, but these were meant to purify their faith and strengthen their resolve. God desired wholehearted worship that would only emerge through overcoming difficulties. The call to overcome, stand firm, persevere, endure, remain faithful, and exercise patience was an essential teaching of following Christ as well. God desired a Holy Worship Order on Earth, and He would not allow it to be half heartedly built. There was hope in the message that God's grace was with them, empowering them in their task, and that through their dedication and perseverance, they would see the House of Prayer come to fruition.
"So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty. "What are you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of 'God bless it! God bless it!' Then the word of the LORD came to me: "The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple: his hands will also complete it. Then you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you. "Who despises the day of small things? Men will rejoice when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel (Zch. 4:6-10)."
Although it may seem like not much has changed, there is hope for us as we are building night and day prayer. Despite the similarities and challenges we face today, we can overcome the key excuses and issues that have distracted us for centuries, hindering the establishment of houses of prayer.
While our jobs may demand much of our attention, we can always pray (talk to God) within every aspect of our daily lives, allowing a life time of ongoing conversation with the Lord. Though our finances may be stretched and already committed to so many of our own comforts, we can seek a shift in perspective and ask God for His guidance and provision.
I believe it's time to seek the Lord a renewed vision and grace for ministry unto the Lord night and day in our city and the cities across the planet. When we truly grasp the significance of continuous prayer and its ability to connect us with God's presence, we will then be the catalysts for change in our churches and communities.
So let us embrace this invitation from the Lord to prioritize prayer, to invite God into every aspect of our lives, that is the FIRST step to actively participate in the establishment of the house of prayer. The turning of our hearts to say "YES" to the Lord is the beginning our own personal work.
"O LORD, remember David and all the hardships he endured. He swore an oath to the LORD and made a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob: " I will not enter my house or go to my bed--I will allow no sleep to my eyes, no slumber to my eyelids, till I find a place for t h eLORD, a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob (Ps. 132:1-5)."