"And He said to them, "It is written, My house will be called a house of prayer" but you have made it a den of thieves". Matthew 21:13
Prayer; it's communication together with God. It's spending time with Him in His presence at His feet in worship reading the Bible and getting to know who He is. Jesus so valued His house and the purpose for which it was built that "He overturned the tables and benches of the money changers who were buying and selling there.” These things had become a distraction and were preventing the people from prayer and worship-- from seeking Him.
In another gospel (John 2) He made a whip out of cords and drove those buying and selling out of the temple, His house. Both of these actions were physical and to be blunt, quite violent. By doing this in full view of the people I believe these were a demonstration of how much He values prayer (see above definition). His actions demonstrate to me how determined He was and is, not only for us to spend time with Him, but also how tenacious He is and how much He desires to spend time with us, His kids.
There are times we simply need to become "violent" (Matthew 11:12) with the things we allow into our lives that prevent us from prayer and spending time at His feet. What does this look like? It's purposefully shutting off the computer, cell phone and tv. It's purposefully taking a break at work away from the busyness. It's getting up a little bit earlier in the morning. These are the "tables and benches" that I need to overturn in my life in order to spend time with Him. These are the "thieves" in my life. How about you?
"Father, help me to become 'violent' about the things that prevent me from spending time with You and become just as 'violent' about those things which bless You."
Pastor Tom Rajchel, Missions Team Leader
North Braddock Campus