than anything selfishness has ever done in this present order. They will make this earth not only a literal paradise but also a spiritual one, filled with the fruitage of God’s spirit: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness and self-control. With your life interests at heart our prayer is “that your love may abound yet more and more with accurate knowledge and full discernment; that you may make sure of the more important things, so that you may be flawless and not be stumbling others up to the day of Christ, and may be filled with righteous fruit, which is through Jesus Christ, to God’s glory and praise.”—Phil. 1:9-11.
Help All Nations to Come to Jehovah’s House of Prayer
WHAT a precious privilege prayer is! What could we, as Jehovah’s dedicated Christian ministers, do without it? Even as we depend upon Jehovah’s spirit, his organization and his Word, we also depend upon prayer. Jesus had great need of prayer—twenty of his are recorded for us; and if he had to lean so heavily on prayer, certainly we imperfect creatures need to do so still more!—Heb. 5:7.
In prayer we pour out our hearts to Jehovah, uttering words of praise to him and expressing our appreciation for all he has done for us as the Giver of every good gift and every perfect present, spiritual and material. Because we are imperfect and weak, we also need to pray continually for forgiveness and wisdom and strength to do God’s will. We also want to pray for his blessing upon all the activities of his servants.
Mature Christian ministers can testify to the value of prayer in ever so many instances: as when seeking for the truth, at mealtimes, when spiritually or when physically sick—although not praying for divine healing—when needing encouragement and when having weighty decisions to make.
What many people overlook in prayer, however, is that Jehovah God has certain conditions that must be met if he is to answer our prayers. We must come to the one true God, the great “Hearer of prayer,” and in Jesus’ name. (Ps. 65:2; John 14:6, 14) Moreover, we must come in sincerity, integrity and humility, for God does not hear the prayers of the wicked, the proud and the hypocritical. And then, of course, to be heard by God, we must act in harmony with our prayers.—Prov. 15:8, 29.
There is still another important condition to be met if we are to have our prayers answered. What is that? We must recognize God’s temple arrangement for his worship. Thus Solomon’s temple was a house of prayer for the Israelites and the foreigner who would pray toward that house. Yes, Jehovah’s house was to be, just as he foretold: “A house of prayer for all the peoples.”—Isa. 56:7.*
Today Jehovah’s house of prayer for all peoples is a spiritual house that replaced the literal temple at Jerusalem. As Peter shows, in writing to sanctified Christians: “You yourselves also as living stones are being built up a spiritual house for the purpose of a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices.”—1 Pet. 2:4, 5.
This spiritual temple is represented on earth today by a remnant of Kingdom heirs. It follows, therefore, that, just as in the days of King Solomon the foreigner or non-Israelite had to recognize God’s temple or house of prayer at Jerusalem, the “foreigners” or nonspiritual Israelites, the “great crowd” of “other sheep” today, must actively associate with Jehovah’s temple arrangement for all their prayers to be heard by Jehovah. Until then their prayers will go up as a memorial, as did those of Cornelius, and in due time God will see to it that they are reached by representatives of God’s house of prayer.—Acts 10:4.
Are you now worshiping at this house? If so, a great responsibility rests upon you to do all you can to help all the nations come to Jehovah’s house for prayer also.
In particular should all worshiping at Jehovah’s house of prayer make a special effort to help others to do so during the month of April. Be “Memorial-conscious” by inviting as many as possible to attend its celebration Friday, April 16, after 6 p.m., Standard Time. Let them see how pure worship is being carried on at Jehovah’s house of prayer.