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House of Prayer
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Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .
 
House  of  Prayer
 
Like the patriarchs of old, those who profess to love God should erect an altar to the Lord wherever they pitch their tent. If ever there was a time when every house should be a house of prayer, it is now. Fathers and mothers should often lift up their hearts to God in humble supplication for themselves and their children. Let the father, as priest of the household, lay upon the altar of God the morning and evening sacrifice, while the wife and children unite in prayer and praise. In such a household Jesus will love to tarry.  Patriarchs and Prophets, page 144.1
 
 
None should feel at liberty to spend sanctified time in an unprofitable manner. It is displeasing to God for Sabbath-keepers to sleep during much of the Sabbath. They dishonor their Creator in so doing, and, by their example, say that the six days are too precious for them to spend in resting. They must make money, although it be by robbing themselves of needed sleep, which they make up by sleeping away holy time. They then excuse themselves by saying, "The Sabbath was given for a day of rest. I will not deprive myself of rest to attend meeting; for I need rest." Such make a wrong use of the sanctified day. They should, upon that day especially, interest their families in its observance, and assemble at the house of prayer with the few or with the many, as the case may be. They should devote their time and energies to spiritual exercises, that the divine influence resting upon the Sabbath may attend them through the week. Of all the days in the week, none are so favorable for devotional thoughts and feelings as the Sabbath.  {GW92 208.4}  {2T 704.2}
 
 
If ever there was a time when every house should be a house of prayer, it is now. Infidelity and skepticism prevail. Iniquity abounds. Corruption flows in the vital currents of the soul, and rebellion against God breaks out in the life. Enslaved by sin, the moral powers are under the tyranny of Satan. The soul is made the sport of his temptations; and unless some mighty arm is stretched out to rescue him, man goes where the archrebel leads the way.  {CG 517.2}
 
If ever there was a time when every house should be a house of prayer, it is now. Infidelity and skepticism are prevailing. Iniquity abounds, and in consequence, the love of many waxes cold. Corruption flows in the vital currents of the soul, and rebellion against our heavenly Father breaks out in the life. Depravity spreads its loathsome canker over the entire heart. The moral powers, enslaved by sin, are under the tyranny of unholy appetites and passions. The soul is made the sport of Satan's temptations; and unless some mighty arm is stretched out to rescue him, man goes where the arch-rebel leads the way.  {ST, August 7, 1884 par. 1}
 
If ever there was a time when every house should be a house of prayer, it is now. Infidelity and skepticism are prevailing. Iniquity abounds, and in consequence the love of many waxes cold. . . .  {HP 90.2}
 
The people claiming to believe the truth will not be condemned because they had not the light, but because they had great light and did not bring their hearts to the test of God's great moral standard of righteousness. The people who claim to believe the truth must be elevated by living it out. Real Bible religion must leaven the life, refine and ennoble the character, making it more and more like the divine model. Then will the home be vocal with prayer, with thanksgiving and praise to God. Angels will minister in the home and accompany the worshiper to the house of prayer. {2SM 377.3}
 
If Israel had remained faithful and true to God, this glorious building would have stood forever, as a perpetual sign of God's especial favor to his chosen people. "The sons of the stranger," God declared, "that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called a house of prayer for all people." And the Saviour himself, in referring to this scripture, declared that the temple was to have been known as "a house of prayer for all nations."  {RH, November 30, 1905 par. 9}
 
"Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ." Earnest work for the Master will bring trials; but will the true disciple be moved from his purpose? Will he faint at any tribulation? Will he snatch himself away from Christ, refusing to wear his yoke because outward troubles come upon him? Will he become disheartened? When Satan stirs up his human agents to oppose and discourage him, will he withdraw himself from the assembly of the saints, when he has the assurance that at the house of prayer he will meet with Him whom he loves? Will he go back to the world, and by his actions declare to men that the business of the world is of higher character and more worthy of his strength of body and mind than the service of God? Will he give to the worship of God a poor, sickly, tired-out service, and expect God to receive it at his hand? Hear the words that the inspired apostle has received from heaven for our instruction. He says, "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."  {RH, June 16, 1896 par. 8}
 
 
This  house  will  be  a  house  of  prayer
 
It requires moral courage to take a position to keep the commandments of the Lord. An opposer of the truth once said that it was only weak-minded people, foolish, ignorant persons, who would turn away from the churches to keep the seventh day as the Sabbath; but a minister who had embraced the truth, replied, "If you think it takes weak-minded persons, just try it." It takes moral courage, firmness, decision, perseverance, and very much prayer to step out on the unpopular side. We are thankful that we can come to Christ as the poor suffering ones came to Christ in the temple. We hope that this house will be a house of prayer, and that those who enter here will realize that they are coming to meet with God. Christ has said, "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." We do not expect to be able to furnish you with a minister always; but you must have root in yourselves. You must learn to draw for yourselves from the fountain of life. You have not dared to trample under foot the commandments of God, and have stepped out on unpopular truth, let the result be what it may. Will the Saviour ever turn away to leave you to struggle alone?-- No, never. But he never told his disciples that they should have no trials, no self-denial to endure, no sacrifices to make. The Master was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. "Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty, might be rich." We thank God that in your poverty, you can call God your Father. Poverty is coming upon this world, and there will be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation. There will be wars and rumors of wars, and the faces of men will gather paleness. You may have to suffer distress, you may go hungry sometimes; but God will not forsake you in your suffering. He will test your faith. We are not to live to please ourselves. We are here to manifest Christ to the world, to represent him and his power to mankind.  {RH, September 3, 1895 par. 2}
 
 
We hope that this house will be a house of prayer, and that those who enter here will realize that they are coming to meet with God. Christ has said, "Where two or three are met together in My name, there am I in the midst." We do not expect to be able to furnish you with a minister always; but you must have root in yourselves. You must learn to draw for yourselves from the fountain of life. You have not dared to trample under foot the commandments of God, and have stepped out on unpopular truth, let the result be what it may. Will the Saviour ever turn away to leave you to struggle alone?--No, never. But He never told His disciples that they should have no trials, no self-denial to endure, no sacrifices to make. The Master was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. "Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, how that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty, might be rich." We thank God that in your poverty, you can call God your Father. Poverty is coming upon this world, and there will be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation. There will be wars and rumours of wars, and the faces of men will gather paleness. You may have to suffer; but God will not forsake you in your need. He will test your faith. We are not to live to please ourselves. We are here to manifest Christ to the world, to represent Him and His power to mankind.  {BEcho, October 8, 1894 par. 3}
 
Phrase in scriptures quoted by Ellen White
 
The work of Sabbath reform to be accomplished in the last days is foretold in the prophecy of Isaiah: "Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for My salvation is near to come, and My righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil." "The sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants, everyone that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of My covenant; even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer." Isaiah 56:1, 2, 6, 7.  Great Controversy, page 451.1
 
 
Christ rebuked the Pharisees and doctors of the law because of the dishonest practices which they had brought into the temple courts. These men influenced the buyers and sellers to purchase cattle at the lowest prices, and then to sell them for a high price to those coming from a distance, who could not bring their offerings with them and were therefore compelled to buy them in Jerusalem. As these men sat at the table, counting the money they had gained by robbery and extortion, Christ stood before them. His eye flashed with indignation as He saw the fraudulent transactions which were carried on. Picking up a scourge of small cords which had been used to drive cattle to the temple, He drove out those who sold and bought, and overthrew the tables of the money changers and the seats of them that sold doves, saying, "It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves."  {MM 122.3}
 
 
In the call of Abraham the Lord had said, "I will bless thee; . . . and thou shalt be a blessing: . . . and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." Gen. 12:2, 3. The same teaching was repeated through the prophets. Even after Israel had been wasted by war and captivity, the promise was theirs, "The remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men." Micah 5:7. Concerning the temple at Jerusalem, the Lord declared through Isaiah, "Mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all peoples." Isa. 56:7, R. V.  {DA 27.3}
 
"The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath," Jesus said. The institutions that God has established are for the benefit of mankind. "All things are for your sakes." "Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's." 2 Cor. 4:15; 1 Cor. 3:22, 23. The law of Ten Commandments, of which the Sabbath forms a part, God gave to His people as a blessing. "The Lord commanded us," said Moses, "to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive." Deut. 6:24. And through the psalmist the message was given to Israel, "Serve the Lord with gladness: come before His presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise." Ps. 100:2-4. And of all who keep "the Sabbath from polluting it," the Lord declares, "Even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer." Isa. 56:6, 7.  {DA 288.1} 
 
Had Israel remained true to God, this glorious building would have stood forever, a perpetual sign of God's especial favor to His chosen people. "The sons of the stranger," God declared, "that join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants, everyone that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of My covenant; even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon Mine altar; for Mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people." Isaiah 56:6, 7.  {PK 46.1}
 
A great mistake has been made by some who profess present truth, by introducing merchandise in the course of a series of meetings and by their traffic diverting minds from the object of the meetings. If Christ were now upon earth, He would drive out these peddlers and traffickers, whether they be ministers or people, with a scourge of small cords, as when He entered the temple anciently "and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of them that sold doves, and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves." These traffickers might have pleaded as an excuse that the articles they held for sale were for sacrificial offerings. But their object was to get gain, to obtain means, to accumulate.  {1T 471.2}
 
The Review and Herald office has been defiled as the temple was defiled, only the result has been tenfold more disastrous. Overturning the tables of the money-changers, Christ drove the sheep and cattle from the precincts of the temple, saying: "It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves." Matthew 21:13. Worse even than the defilement of the temple has been the defilement of the publishing house by the printing of matter which should never have been placed in the hands of the workers in God's institution.  {8T 92.3}
 
 
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