Prayer – one worldwide missionary purpose

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A pointer to the way Jesus thought about the missionary purposes of God comes from Mark 11:17 —

He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations’ (pasin tois ethnesin), but you have turned it into a den of thieves.”

The reason this is important for us is that it shows Jesus reaching back to the OT (just like He does in Luke 24:45-47) to interpret the worldwide purposes of God.  In the verse above He quotes from Isaiah 56:7 which in Hebrew explicitly says, —

I will bring them to my holy mountain of Jerusalem
    and will fill them with joy in my house of prayer.
I will accept their burnt offerings and sacrifices,
    because my Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations (kol ha’ammim).

Isaiah’s point is not that every Gentile person will have a right to dwell in the presence of God, but that there will be converts from “all nations” who will enter the temple to worship.  That Jesus used this OT hope, and that He based His worldwide expectations on references to it, suggests that we should interpret His “Great Commission” along this line.

 

 

Two of the most powerful weapons in our spiritual arsenal are prayer and fasting.

J. Hudson Taylor: God’s Mighty Man of Prayer

Prayer for the Church’s Mission

PRAY

 

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