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                   An Overview of Praying in the Lord's Temple

Patterns are very important to God and they should be to us.  He gives us patterns in scripture so we can apply them to our lives and learn how he wants things done.  God provides patterns for how we should live life. 

One of the most pervasive patterns throughout Scripture is the pattern of how to approach God -- how to experience His presence in our midst.   This is known as the Temple pattern. 

The Temple pattern is derived by studying the pattern God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai.  This was the only pattern God would allow for worshipping Him.  He would dwell in the Holy of Holies in the heart of the Tabernacle only if everything was done exactly according to His pattern.  This included how the Tabernacle was made and set up, what sacrifices were required, how and when to perform those sacrifices.  It included how the priests were to approach Him and every aspect of their service to Him.  In exchange for following His pattern of worship, He would dwell with His people.  He would take care of them.  He would fight their battles. He would provide food and water.  He would be their God and they would be His people.

We begin our priestly prayer ministry to the Lord here as we leave the outside world and approach Him. Sin is very costly.  Here we reflect on the cost and the benefits of the blood that saves us. Most Christians don't realize the freedom that comes through daily repentance.  The law no longer condems us.  Rather, repentance is the only way to clear your conscience. Here we declare out loud how great God is. And we sing sounds and songs to the King of Kings. Our daily goal is honoring God by doing things His way.  The temple process is ordained by God and is guaranteed to bring you into His presence. You need the Holy Spirit to turn the Logos Word into the Rehma Word for you today. With a clear conscience you can invite Holy Spirit to magnify the Father in you. There are 6 articles of furniture in the Tabernacle. Each represent a key aspect of our relationship to God.

Jesus Christ is our pattern.   When he describes what a proper relationship to God looks like we pay attention.  Then we look at how he spent His time and how he responded to the situations he faced.   From these we learn how to respond.   We see the pattern of Israel always coming to a place where they doubted and disobeyed God.  We see the consequences for their pattern of disobedience.  We learn from that. 

Paul – The Joiner of Old & New

The Apostle Paul, while a converted follower of Jesus Christ, still embraced the Temple and its pattern in his own devotional life.   We see this in the book of Acts at least twice:

  1. Early in his Christian life, in Acts 22:17-18:

Well, it happened just as Ananias said. After I was back in Jerusalem and praying one day in the Temple, lost in the presence of God,  I saw him, God's Righteous Innocent, and heard him say to me, 'Hurry up! Get out of here as quickly as you can. None of the Jews here in Jerusalem are going to accept what you say about me.'   MSG

  1. Later, in Acts 24:17-18: 

Now after several years I came up [to Jerusalem] to bring to my people contributions of charity and offerings.  While I was engaged in presenting these, they found me [occupied in the rites of purification] in the temple, without any crowd or uproar. AMP

This is significant because it shows that Paul, arguably one of the most ardent followers of Christ who ever lived, saw value in temple principles and even incorporated the old purification principles into his own devotional pattern.  

Paul, we know, was not given to add anything to his faith in Jesus Christ.  Yet there is also no doubt he saw the truth that Christ fulfilled every aspect of the Old Testament priestly worship pattern.   The Lord led him to connect the old and the new.   Paul had trained his whole life as a Pharisee priest and was intimately familiar with how to worship God according to the Temple pattern.  Yet Christ was now the object of all his prayer and worship.  This was the Old Testament pattern with its perfect fulfillment in Jesus Christ.

The Temple pattern is found throughout Scripture.   We find it with David and with Solomon.   When Jesus Christ came, He became the human pattern of the divine temple.  “Tear down this temple and I’ll rebuild it in three days”,  he said.  He was speaking of His body the new temple of God.   The Apostle Paul taught followers of Christ that they were God’s temple, bought with a price.  God resides in His temple and  God was now in His people fully.

We see the real temple in heaven mentioned in the book of Revelation.  For Christians today the same pattern holds.   Moses’ temple was a type and shadow, a copy of the heavenly tabernacle.   Our bodies are as well.   As such, the Temple pattern of worship as fulfilled by Jesus Christ is still our best personal pattern to approach God in prayer.  As you explore the Temple pattern, and how Christ fulfills each aspect of it, you see how all things point to, and indeed are fulfilled in, Jesus Christ.

This being the case, we nevertheless face the daily challenge of maintaining and growing our relationship with God.  We know that the words “temple,” “tabernacle,” and “house of God” all basically mean the same thing: a sanctuary dedicated, consecrated, and sacred to, the presence of the Lord.

Praying through the Temple pattern, appreciating and honoring God’s step-by-step process to approach Him, offers special blessing to the practitioner.    We are ministering as priests when we do this.   We are fulfilling our role as members of the royal priesthood.  It is a marvelous act of worship.

The Temple pattern is straightforward.  It embraces the core of the whole Bible and its teachings on approaching, worshipping, and being reconciled to, God.   The important idea is this: the tabernacle is a physical representation of God’s presence.  Its dimensions and patterns illustrate divine reality.

Here are the six core ideas:

  1. All people are sinners (OT: outside the Tabernacle).  They can only be reconciled to God through a blood sacrifice in the Tabernacle’s outer court (OT: the Brazen Altar).  Jesus is the last blood sacrifice ever required by God; this work is finished.  Through His blood  sacrifice we obtain forgiveness, deliverance, Sonship, righteousness and complete healing (as well as other things).
  2. All people still sin every day.  Our pride rises up so quickly.  To approach God we can only come in humility with a contrite and repentant heart (OT: the Laver).  The Laver represents an opportunity for us to wash ourselves by reflecting on God’s standards and repenting of our sins.  Our goal is to do this daily, developing a lifestyle of repentance.  The 10 Commandments (OT: law) no longer condemn us but instead, though reflection at the Laver, lead us to repentance.
  3. Now that we are “under the blood” and our conscience is clean, we can come closer to the Lord (OT: the Holy Place).   Here, we first focus on the Spirit of Christ.   The Holy Spirit (OT: the Candlestick) illuminates our walk with Christ by being our ever-present helper, counselor and intercessor, sent when Jesus went to be with the Father.
  4. With the Spirit in us, we can understand the Word of God (OT: Table of Showbread).   Each day, we ask for our daily bread -- our Rehma from God -- so we have the strength, love, courage, and direction to follow Him.
  5. Now we are under the blood with a clear conscience, full of the Spirit and nourished by the Word.   With all this, we stand with holy hands lifted up and offer up praise and thanksgiving to the Creator of Heaven and Earth (OT: Altar of Incense).  We use the voice and language God gives us to declare his praises.
  6. Now comes the greatest privilege of all: entering into the very presence of God (OT: the Holy of Holies).  The veil separating us was torn down when Jesus died on the Cross.  So now, all adopted sons and daughters of God (NT: Believers in Christ) may boldly enter the throne room to come before Abba and spend time with Him each day.  Communing with God is our sole goal and purpose here as He answers our personal petitions, enjoys our worship, and gives us clarity on what He wants us to do with our day.


Praying according to the Temple (Tabernacle) pattern is based on the oldest ordained pattern of public worship originally given to Moses on Mt. Sinai.  This pattern continued through David and Solomon, culminated in Jesus Christ, and today we are the Lord's Temple.  

Below is a devotional review of the reality of the Temple pattern in Scripture.  To begin understanding this pattern of priestly prayer, simply pray the following out loud:

I thank you Lord that you live in the real and original temple in Heaven, that you gave your people the Tabernacle worship pattern through Moses, and you dwelt among the Israelites in that Tabernacle.  And thank you, Lord, that you remind us of the importance of your ordained pattern of worship throughout scripture.

You commanded Israel through Moses, “Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. And you shall make it according to all that I show you, the pattern of the tabernacle of dwelling and the pattern of all the furniture of it.”

Exodus 25:8-9; Hebrews 8:1-2 & 10:1

You spoke through David, “let us bring again the ark of our God to us, for we did not seek it during the days of Saul.”

1 Chronicles 13:3

You built a magnificent temple through Solomon.

“Behold, I am about to build a house for the Name of the Lord my God, dedicated to Him for the burning of incense of sweet spices before Him, for the continual showbread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, New Moons, and on the solemn feasts of the Lord our God, as ordained forever for Israel.” 

2 Chronicles 2:4

Later, Jesus Christ literally was God who tabernacled in the flesh among us.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us; and we saw His glory, such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace and truth.”

John 1:14;  Isaiah 40:5.

Jesus literally was the first Temple in human form.
“Jesus answered them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up again.”  (speaking of himself as the temple of God)

John 2:19

Paul told us we are Your Temple.  
“Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, you were bought with a price.  So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.”  

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 

He taught us to keep Your Temple clean, 
“What agreement can there be between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God, even as God said, I will dwell in and with and among them and will walk in and with and among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”

2 Corinthians 6:16; Exodus 25:8, 29:45; Leviticus 26:12; Jeremiah 31:1; Ezekiel 37:27.

and he taught us that all Christians as the Church are the Lord's Temple.  
 “Do you not discern and understand that you are God's temple,” (His sanctuary), “and that God's Spirit has His permanent dwelling in you?”  If anyone does hurt to God's temple or corrupts it,” (with false doctrines), “or destroys it, God will do hurt to him and bring him to the corruption of death and destroy him. For the temple of God is holy and that [temple] you are.”
1 Cor 3:16-17  (You: the believing church and the individual believers)

Jesus spoke of living in us as Temples.   
“Jesus answered, If a person really loves Me, he will keep My word,” (obey My teaching), “and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” (Home: abode or special dwelling place, tabernacle)

John 14:23

Why? Because the Temple pattern exists permanently in Heaven. 
For Christ” (the Messiah), “has not entered into a sanctuary made with [human] hands, but a copy and pattern and type of the true one.  He has entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the [very] presence of God on our behalf.” 

Heb 9:24 

Help me to understand how to worship you in your temple, my body.  I do not want spend my whole life stuck in the outer court, missing much of your ordained pattern, and suffer for it as David's people did.  
“For because you bore it not [as God directed] at the first, the Lord our God broke forth upon us – because we did not seek Him in the way He ordained.”

1Ch 15:13; Num. 1:50; I Chron. 13:7-10


Go to the Resources page for documents that will guide you through the actual Tabernacle Prayer.

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