The term’ upper room’ in Hebrew is ʿălîyâ which, when translated, means roof chamber, loft, attic, or an upstairs room in a house.
The upper room was used as a spacious room used to host guests (1 Kings 17:19-23; 2 Kings 4:10, Luke 22:7-23) and a prayer room in the Temple (1 Chronicles 28:11)
The symbolism behind the upper room is significant because it represents:
i. A place of refuge & rest
When the brook dried up and the famine in the land persisted, the widow of Zarephath put up Prophet Elijah, providing him with food and a place to stay (1 Kings 17:17-24).
The Shunamite woman, who was hospitable to Prophet Elisha whenever he was in Shunem, prepared a small upper room where he could turn in (2 Kings 4: 8-10).
In both instances, the upper room was an appointed place of refuge & rest, i.e., hiding, safety, and supernatural provision during economic hardship (famine).
ii. A setting where you will interact with your divine helpers and the uncommon
The wealthy Shunamite woman’s treatment of Prophet Elisha demonstrates how honoring a prophet causes one to receive a reward.
Initially, when Prophet Elisha asked if he could help her - by putting in a good word for her to the king or commander of the army- she declined because she was well taken care of (2 Kings 4:12-13).
Having discerned her deepest, unspoken desire later on, Gehazi made it known to Prophet Elisha that she didn’t have a son. Elijah called her back and prophesied to her that she would hold a son in her arms the following year, which word came to pass (2 Kings 4:14-17).
Gehazi was a positioned, sent helper who midwifed the Shunamite woman into her ordained season of uncommon and unusual miracles.
iii. A place you encounter God’s mercy and glory
Both the widow of Zarephath’s and the Shunamite woman’s sons were both sick and died. Their mothers were deeply troubled by their deaths.
When Prophets Elijah and Elisha were called upon to intercede, they both prayed, stretched themselves over the deceased’s bodies, and life returned to them (1 Kings 17: & 17-22 & 2 Kings 4:32-35).
God heard them and intervened through His mercy and glory, turning around tragedy.
iv. A birthing place
The new covenant- which is the foundation of our salvation- was birthed in the upper room.
During the Last Supper, Jesus took bread and broke it into pieces saying, “This is My body given for you. Do this to remember me”.
He took a cup of wine and said that it was symbolic of the new covenant between God and His people, an agreement confirmed with His blood, which was poured out as a sacrifice for us. (Luke 22:19-20).
The events of the Last Supper signaled that it was the season of birthing and delivery of God’s promise to redeem mankind (Isaiah 53: 3-10)
v. A place of restoration
In Luke 22: 28- 29, Jesus, speaking to His disciples, said to them, “You have stayed with Me in My time of trial. And just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I now grant you the right to eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel”.
It is through the new covenant that Jesus restored to man the dominion and authority he lost due to the fall of Adam.
In studying the concept of the upper room, I realized that it illustrates various instances where kingdom principles were employed.
The upper room is an important place to be for your own prayer life. It is a realm in the spirit that gives you access to tap into the signs, wonders, and miracles present there. Entreat the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, and our Counsellor for further revelation.