90 Days of Prayer – Day Fifty -Six
Be an Altar Builder
“The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him. From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD.”
The altar symbolizes prayer and devotion to God. Abram (later had his named changed to Abraham), was indeed an altar builder. He believed God and followed Him regardless of where he was led. He kept moving following God, dwelling in tents as his temporary homes “looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10 ).
The Altar Builder
The Lord appeared to Abram and promised to give the land he was in to his descendants. In response to his encounter with God, Abram builds an altar there to the Lord. We see this pattern of building altars and calling on the name of the Lord being repeated by those who were committed to following God. We see early on that Abram was indeed an altar builder.
Moving on from the place where God had spoken to him, Abram arrives east of Bethel and pitches his tent. Abraham is now between Bethel (which means “God’s House”), and Ai (which means “the ruin”). This is a great picture of the Church; who, having been given the promise of the nations by God, is called to go out into the world, bridging the gap between what has been ruined by sin (Ai) and the House of God (Bethel), where the promise of hope abounds.
Following in the footsteps of those who (after the fall of Adam and Eve) first called on the name of the Lord (Genesis 4:26), Abram continued to demonstrate his faith in God, and his desire for a better world by building altars to the Lord wherever he pitched his tent. Just as Abram’s dwelling was always accompanied by an altar, we too should follow; demonstrating our faith in God and the blessed hope to come, by continually calling on the name of the Lord, turning our dwellings into houses of prayer.
The Rich Heritage of Faith
Abraham walked by faith following God, and living under the blessings of supernatural guidance, favor and provisions his whole life. We are reminded in the Scriptures of our calling and rich heritage of living by faith and calling on the name of the Lord. Read the list of those who went before us in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. That chapter closes by saying; “these were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect” (Hebrews 11:39-40). Genuine faith spans many generations.
The genuine biblical Church today is a supernatural Church for sure, with supernaturally transformed people, who still dwell between the House of God (Bethel) reaching out to a world ruined by sin (Ai); calling on the name of the Lord saying: “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10 ).
Imitate The Faith of Abraham
Let’s imitate the faith of Abraham and follow the example of all those who lived by faith before us, remembering that “faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for” (Hebrews 11:1-2). We are in good company if we surrender our hearts and lives to Christ to follow Him explicitly according to God’s written Word. Faith granted the ancients many descendants who walk with God. Faith and calling on the name of the Lord will do the same for us.
I encourage you to stand on the promises God has made to you and your children after you, like Abraham did when God promised him many descendants. Hold unswervingly to God’s written Word, walk in His Presence and Power wherever He leads, Make your house a house of Prayer. Be an altar builder, Call on the name of the Lord, Believe God for your family, your children, and your city, and Be Encouraged! -JSP