Their jobs, though tedious at times, required diligence, self-motivation, and humility. They were the background servants, the nuts and bolts of keeping the house of God. Their work permitted others to worship-- as of a morning, it was the gatekeepers who opened the house of the Lord for the people to come in contact with the holy. Their service provided a safe place for the priests to minister, for the people to commune with God, and for the treasures of the nation to be securely stored.
Gatekeepers were hardly recognized in Scripture, and certainly no poetic songs heralded their bravery, but their calling was crucial to the survival of the sacred. They were the watchmen, protecting the house of God, the things of God, the ministry of God, and the treasury of His people. Vigilant and attentive to detail, they were mindful of the people and alert to potential enemies and would-be thieves coming through the portals they guarded. They enforced acceptable worship—culling out unsatisfactory offerings and blessing suitable ones. They were the welcoming committee, inviting others to worship in the sanctuary they had prepared for honoring God.
Prayer is our gatekeeper. Like the like the Levitical ones, our gatekeeper offers 360*, 24-hr vigilance. Prayer looks outward, ever on guard, and keeps the enemy at bay. Prayer looks inward, making us mindful of what is and is not pleasing to the One we worship. Prayer shines the light on our service to God, scrutinizes our offerings, and awakens us to those minute adjustments we need to make in our choices, attitudes, and lifestyles so that our hearts stand in readiness to fulfill God’s mission and remain equipped for communion with Him. Prayer prepares our hearts for worship, like carefully laid-out instruments. It prods conviction. It flings aside hindrances that separate us from the holy, and like an early morning invitation to the open temple, summons us to enjoy God’s presence—even as it provides spiritual access to others, encouraging them to enjoy the holy with us. It guards the treasures of God, preserving spiritual gifts and talents and protecting the things that God values in a life set apart for Him.
Prayer requires humble diligence, a courageous fortitude and full-time commitment, though it’s often done in the shadows. When the spotlight is on the glamorous, prayer is busy behind the scenes, undertaking the unseen and unnoticed—yet accomplishing the oh, so powerful.
To neglect prayer is to remove the gatekeeper of our lives, leaving our most sacred inner man exposed to enemy plunder and the ones we value vulnerable to his wiles. Through prayer, however, we have a fortress that the enemy cannot penetrate, that compromise cannot water down, and that isolation cannot weaken. Maintaining prayer means we have a gatekeeper on guard, working in the background to achieve mighty things for the Kingdom of God.
Tip/Tidbit: Make steps today to strengthen your prayer life. Schedule it. Get more creative with it. Use God’s Word in it… Just do it.