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Posts tagged ‘Hallowing God’s name’

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 2 Prayer and neighbour love

(#Mt 6:5-13) b) Prayer and neighbor love

|| Luke 11:2-4

MT6:5 “And, when you pray, be not as the hypocrites. For they like to pray standing in religious gatherings and in town squares to be viewed by others.[1] I tell you the truth: They have their full reward! MT6:6 But, you, when you pray, enter your private room and shut the door praying to your Father secretly.[2] And, the Father watching secretly will reward you.[3] MT6:7 But, praying, do not babble many words as the Non-Jews. For they think by uttering many words[4] they will be heard. MT6:8 So, you should not be like them. For The God your Father knows[5] what you need[6] before you ask. MT6:9 So, pray:[7]
Our Heavenly Father,[8]
Let your Name be sanctified.[9]
MT6:10 Let your Kingdom come.[10]
Let your Will take place,[11] as in heaven, also on earth.
MT6:11 Give to us our bread today.[12]
MT6:12 Forgive our debts[13] as we forgive those in debt to us.[14]
MT6:13 Bring us not into temptation[15] but rescue us from evil.[16]

[1] To be viewed by others: Compare Matthew 6:16: appearances. Various renderings: BAS: like the false-hearted men; PHI: like the play-actors; RHM: shine before men; WMS: to attract the attention of people.

1581 Psalter with Rose Warm sunlight streams d...

1581 Psalter with Rose Warm sunlight streams down on this ancient prayer book, bible and psalter, open to the Lord’s Prayer set to music. A rose lies on the open book. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

[2] Praying to your Father secretly: See Luke 6:12: privacy. Various renderings: WEY: into your own room; NEB: into a room by yourself; RHM: and fastening thy door; BECK: who is with you when you are alone; PHI: pray to your Father privately; PHI: who sees all private things. Remember that even Jesus on occasion wandered off some distance from his disciples when praying.

The relationship with ‘love your neighbor’ in private prayers rather than a showy display is the affect such hypocritical prayers have on your neighbor. You give the impression you take yourself too seriously and judge your neighbor to be less “spiritual” than yourself. A private prayer in a cafe or restaurant without show is heard just as easily, or more so, by the Father.

[3] The Father watching secretly will reward you: The Nazarene does not explain what this “reward” is, only that it will occur. This requires “faith,” a word only occurring one time in this sermon (Matthew 6:30) and only in reference to his disciples – “little faith.”

[4] Uttering many words: Either “babbling” or “wordy”. Various renderings: GDSP: do not repeat empty phrases; WMS: repeating set phrases; PHI: don’t rattle off long prayers; NEB: do not go babbling on. For thousands of years religious worshippers have resorted to long prayers filled with a multitude of repetitions. Even the Nazarene’s famous prayer (the Lord’s Prayer, or Our Father, pater nostra) has come in for many repetitions though Jesus counseled against that. Some Asian religions use prayer wheels, beads, and flags to continue their repetitions.

[5] Your Father knows: See Matthew 6:32: needs; and, Luke 12:30: Father knows.

[6] What you need: “Needs” not “wants.”

[7] Pray: This most famous prayer outlines what we call Nazarene Principles.

[8] Father: The First Principle. The word “father” occurs 1,180 times in the OT in a family or secular context but less than 15 times in a religious or spiritual relationship. Most of these apply to the Messiah, leaving only a handful with reference to the Saints. The idea is rare in Judaism but “father” occurs 134 times in the Gospel of John. In the Mountain Teachings Jesus uses “your Father” 8 times, “our Father” 1 time, and “my Father” 1 time for a total of 10 occurrences.

Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Volume 1, page 615:

“In the oldest version of this prayer, the invocation reads pater, (dear) Father, and indicates abba as the Aramaic original. This means that when Jesus gave his disciples the Lord’s Prayer, he gave them authority to follow him in addressing God as abba and so gave them a share in his status as Son.”

Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Volume 1, page 617:

“The description of God as Father never refers to any other individual or to mankind in general. To be a child of God is not a natural state or quality.… In Palestinian Judaism of the pre-Christian period the description of God as Father is rare. The Qumran texts provide but a single example.… We have yet to find an example of an individual addressing God as ‘my Father.’… Jesus did not teach the idea that God is the Father of all men.… It must have been nothing short of outrageous that Jesus should make use of the completely unceremonious Aramaic word abba.”

For more information search the words “sons,” “children,” “born,” or “begotten” in a concordance or computer program.

Almost all of Mark’s content is found in Matthew, and much of Mark is similarly found in Luke. Additionally, Matthew and Luke have a large amount of material in common that is not found in Mark.

 Let your Name be sanctified: The Second Principle. The Nazarene does not use the opportunity to incorporate the noma sagrada or Divine Name (YHWH = Jehovah; Exodus 3:15) in his model prayer. Jesus uses the words “your name” with reference to the Father rarely in the Synoptic Gospels. In John the Nazarene uses the expression at John 12:28 and John 17:6, 26. However, he never uses or pronounces YHWH in these contexts. Why? In Jesus’ day the Jews refrained from uttering the name YHWH and substituted Elohim (God) or Adonay (Lord). The Jews never removed YHWH from its nearly 7,000 occurrences in the Old Testament. About the year 1,000 AD Jewish copyists began to incorporate vowel points in YHWH to warn to say God or Lord in its place.

Does the Nazarene ever use YHWH? The Gospel evidence would indicate this could only be when he is quoting the Hebrew Bible. It is now thought that the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible, known as The Septuagint (LXX), had YHWH untransliterated in the Greek text. There is a good reason for this. The Greek language cannot convert the Hebrew letters for YHWH. Modern Greek dictionaries use dzehoba or Iekhoba for “Jehovah” but original Greek did not have an “h” as it were, other than a breath sound. Modern Greek attempts to capture the sound of the English pronunciation of the name.

Given the attitude of the Jews what would have happened if Jesus used YHWH in quotes or normal speech? Certainly equal to that misguided accusation that he violated the Sabbath! Yet the Gospels are silent on this. What about private meetings with his disciples when the use of YHWH could not cause a public stir? Compare the lengthy closing words in John chapters 13 to 17. Not once does Jesus use YHWH even though he alludes to the “name” four times.

Given the facts that the Jews do not attack him for violating their understanding of one of the Ten Commandments and the absence of his use in private speeches and prayers, it would seem he respected the Jewish tradition of the time.

This does not minimize the importance of the “Name” as Jesus’ words in his prayer shows. The idea of this sanctification occurs scores of times in the Hebrew Bible. Compare Exodus 3:14, 15 and 6:3.

Various renderings are: TCNT: May thy name be held holy; MOF: thy name be revered; PHI: may your name be honored. For more information on this subject see Nazarene Principles.

[10] Let your Kingdom come: The Third Principle. After the subject of the “Name” in the Hebrew Bible with its 7,000 occurrences of YHWH, the next most important topic is the Kingdom. The Messiah and his “kingdom” are inseparable (Note Psalm 2 and 110 as well as Daniel chapters 2 and 7). In the Nazarene’s teachings there are two “kingdoms”: the Son’s and the Father’s (Matthew 13:41, 42). The “kingdom” here in his prayer is the Father’s.

“Kingdom” is a word used often by the Nazarene. The word occurs 55 times in Matthew, 23 times in Mark, 45 times in Luke and 5 times in John.

When does the Nazarene begin to reign? The Second Psalm is quoted by Peter at Acts 4:24, 25 and Paul at Acts 13:33 and applied to the resurrection and ascension of Christ in the year 33 AD. This was in fulfillment of Psalm 110:1 (Note 1 Corinthians 15:24-28). Daniel chapters 2 and 7 would argue this kingdom’s beginning is during the reign of the “fourth kingdom” or Rome (Daniel 2:44; 7:9-14). Upon his ascension the Nazarene took up his Power as described by Paul at Ephesians 1:20-23.

Upon the Return or Arrival (parousia) of the Son of Man, and his gathering to himself his Saints, there will be a milestone in the King’s rule (Matthew 24:3, 30; John 14:2,3; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; Revelation 11:18; 12:10).

[11] Let your Will take place: The Fourth Principle. The “kingdom” is the agency by which the “Name” is sanctified and the “eternal purpose” (Ephesians 3:9, 10) or will of the Father is accomplished (Psalm 72; Daniel chapters 2, 7). God’s original purpose was for a global paradise (Genesis chapters 2, 3). His Will has not changed (Isaiah 45:18; 55:11). Messiah and his Saints will rule the earth (Psalms 2, 110; Daniel 7:13, 27; 1 Corinthians 6:2; Revelation 5:10; 20:4, 6). The earth will never be destroyed (Psalms 104:5; Ecclesiastes 1:4; Psalm 72:8). The City of God will one day descend out of heaven to rule the earth for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:4, 6; 21:1-5).

God has a “will” or purpose for “heaven” as Daniel 4:35 shows. This will for “heaven” will be realized by virtue of the Son and the Messiah’s Church (Ephesians 1:10; 3:9, 10 Colossians 1:20).

[12] Give to us our bread today: The Fifth Principle. The first four Principles of the Nazarene’s prayer deal with God, the last three deal with the individual disciple. The first of these, or the Fifth Principle, deals with that necessary bread for each day (Psalm 37:25). This is not “daily bread” but “bread for today.” From the Nazarene’s viewpoint it would be materialistic to pray for tomorrow’s bread (Matthew 6:33, 34).

Various renderings: ALF: our needful bread.

Prayer for “today’s bread” does not guarantee a disciple may not go hungry on occasion. Compare 2 Corinthians 11:27 and Matthew 25:37 (Philippians 4:11-13). Some see the daily offering of loaves at the Temple here.

Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Volume 1, page 251:

“Origen suggested that we should understand it as eip ten ousian (the bread) necessary for existence. It can be supported by reference to Proverbs 30:8 and it reminds us of Exodus 16:4. The Israelites were to gather only so much manna as they needed for ‘the day.’”

[13] Forgive our debts: The Sixth Principle (Luke 11:14). Various renderings: WEY: shortcomings… those who have failed in their duty towards us; PHI: forgive us what we owe to you as we have also forgiven those who owe anything to us. Note there is the tax collector’s tone here as earlier in debits, credits and rewards. Not only are financial debts canceled but moral and emotional debts as well (Romans 13:8: owe only love).

Forgiveness is a kissing cousin to agape or that love which has an unselfish, even selfless, interest out of pure motive for others. The word group “forgive” occurs 48 times in the Gospels (1 Corinthians 13:5: log, or, keep account; LOGIZETAI). Such forgiveness cannot be separated from love of neighbor. Such a quality ought to characterize the Nazarene Saint.

[14] Debt to us: This may be moral or emotional indebtedness but it also may be literal monetary debts (Luke 6:34). One of the clearest ways to judge a man is by his wallet and how he uses it in relation to his dealings with others. When it comes to spirituality, the use of money from the standpoint of God separates the men from the boys.

[15] Bring us not into temptation: The Seventh Principle. Various renderings: BAS: let us not be put to the test. This is a subject the Nazarene knows something about (Matthew 4:1; Luke 4:1; 22:40; Hebrews 4:15). The word group “tempt” occurs 36 times in the Bible and 14 times in the Synoptics, but not once in John. A related word “test” occurs 113 times in the Bible with 11 in the Gospels. Compare 1 Corinthians 10:13.

1 Corinthians 10:13 and James 1:13 are good commentaries on the Nazarene’s words. God does not tempt or test one with evil, so He does not cause a prostitute pass before a man to test him. The Temptation of Christ had two phases: a beginning and an end. At the beginning he was tempted (tested) by Satan (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13). These tests or temptations dealt with doubt in the word “if,” as well as greed and pride. The later test was manifest at the end of his life beginning in the Garden of Agony and finally, the Tree (Hebrews 4:15). Test or tempt really find their best definition in the word “endurance.”

[16] Evil: Some render the Greek PONERON as either “evil,” “wicked,” or Wicked One, alluding to the Devil (Matthew 4:1; Luke 4:1).

 

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Preceding articles

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 1 Charity and neighbour love

Be sound in mind and be vigilant with a view to prayers

Praying is surrendering in all circumstances

Praying and acts of meditation without ceasing

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Additional reading

  1. Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer
  2. If your difficulties are longstanding, try kneeling
  3. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #1 Kings Faith
  4. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  5. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #6 Prayer #4 Attitude
  6. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #9 Prayer #7 Reason to pray
  7. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #10 Prayer #8 Condition
  8. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #11 Prayer #9 Making the Name Holy
  9. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
  10. Not able to make contact with God because to busy
  11. Give Thanks To God
  12. Get into the habit of dealing with God about everything
  13. Israel, Fitting the Plan when people allow it
  14. Running challenge and the City build by the Most High Maker
  15. Jerusalem and a son’s kingdom
  16. Jesus … will come in the same way as you saw him go
  17. Tapping into God’s Strength by Waiting on Him
  18. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  19. God should be your hope

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Further reading

      1. The Good Neighbor
      2. 7 Habits That Distinguish Believers from Professing Christians (part 4)
      3. Should Christians Meditate?
      4. Are You Praying?
      5. Keep Praying!
      6. My Prayer for 2014
      7. Daily Bible Verse:John 14:6
      8. Jesus, Light of The World Praying the Scriptures through Advent Book
      9. Waiting On God
      10. In All Honesty
      11. Wait for it………….
      12. What Jesus is Praying For (May 12)
      13. Praying in the dark 1
      14. Praying in the dark 2
      15. Bend Your Head so You Can Stand Your Ground
      16. That’s it, I am Angry and I am Praying
      17. praying for hard things
      18. Unmasked
      19. I Believe in Praying ~
      20. Praying Hands
      21. Meditation/Betty’s Verse Of The Day/1-22-14
      22. Why Nothing Is Worth Grieving The Holy Spirit
      23. I’m Praying!
      24. Praying for God Peace ~
      25. Childlike praying
      26. Praying Through
      27. March 16 – Keep on praying
      28. Praying Scripture for strength and courage
      29. Seven lessons from Jesus’ prayer for us all…
      30. “Till death” (NOT)
      31. Kesha Takes the High Road in Powerful New Single, “Praying”
      32. My Personal Prayer
      33. Pray with love in your heart
      34. Today’s Thought: Why We Dare
      35. The Benefits of Praying in Public
      36. Let’s step up our prayer game
      37. Today’s Thought: The Invited Name
      38. Why praying is important
      39. The Bible uses different Facets to convey the meaning of Kingdom of God
      40. The Kingdom Of Heaven And The Kingdom Of God Compared And Contrasted
      41. Shadows of Messiah – Astronomy
      42. Into God’s Kingdom for New Jerusalem
      43. New Jerusalem: God’s House Becomes a City
      44. Christ, God’s House, God’s City, the Earth
      45. New Jerusalem, City of the Living God
      46. New Jerusalem, City of the Living God (2)
      47. The Glory of God
      48. Seek His Kingdom
      49. The Kingdom of God and the Marriage of the Lamb
      50. What Brings Us Near to the Kingdom of God?
      51. The Bilateral Ekklesia vs. The Kingdom of Heaven
      52. The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) – Pt. 4
      53. Luke 14:15-24
      54. All Things Are Possible with God
      55. The Power of Prayer
      56. “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.”
      57. “Unless one is born of water and Spirit he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.”
      58. Summer in the City of God
      59. Jerusalem Jubilee
      60. The City of the Church
      61. Come let us Grow Together: The City of God
      62. The LORD of hosts is with us
      63. God is within her
      64. There is a River
      65. The City of the Great King
      66. The City of God – The Preface
      67. 66. A City to Come
      68. The Kingdom of Heaven
      69. Protection and Covering
      70. The Kingdom of God

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Praise Jehovah, ​You people

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Praise Jah, ​YOU​ people,
For it is good to make melody to our God;
For it is pleasant—praise is fitting. Jehovah is building Jerusalem;
The dispersed ones of Israel he brings together.

He is healing the brokenhearted ones,
And is binding up their painful spots.

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“5  Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, 6 the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them— the LORD, who remains faithful for ever.” (Psalms 146:5-6 NIV)

“8 the LORD gives sight to the blind, the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves the righteous. 9 The LORD watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.” (Psalms 146:8-9 NIV)

“Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.” (Zechariah 14:16 NIV)

“If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die.” (Revelation 11:5 NIV)

“[A psalm of David.] O LORD, I call to you; come quickly to me. Hear my voice when I call to you.” (Psalms 141:1 NIV)

“2 I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble. 3 When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who know my way. In the path where I walk men have hidden a snare for me.” (Psalms 142:2-3 NIV)

“1  [A song of ascents.] Praise the LORD, all you servants of the LORD who minister by night in the house of the LORD. 2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the LORD. 3 May the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth, bless you from Zion.” (Psalms 134:1-3 NIV)

“For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.” (Deuteronomy 10:17 NIV)

“1  Praise the LORD. Praise the name of the LORD; praise him, you servants of the LORD, 2 you who minister in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God. 3 Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; sing praise to his name, for that is pleasant. 4 For the LORD has chosen Jacob to be his own, Israel to be his treasured possession. 5  I know that the LORD is great, that our Lord is greater than all gods. 6 The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths. 7 He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth; he sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.” (Psalms 135:1-7 NIV)

“For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods.” (Psalms 95:3 NIV)

“For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.” (Psalms 96:4 NIV)

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalms 139:14 NIV)

“1  [For the director of music. To [the tune of] “The Death of the Son”. A psalm of David.] I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. 2 I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.” (Psalms 9:1-2 NIV)

“All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name.” (Psalms 86:9 NIV)

“From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,” says the LORD.” (Isaiah 66:23 NIV)

“All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads:” (Psalms 22:7 NIV)

“1  [For the director of music. A song. A psalm.] Shout with joy to God, all the earth! 2 Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious! 3 Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you. 4 All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name.” Selah” (Psalms 66:1-4 NIV)

“Praise the LORD, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples.” (Psalms 117:1 NIV)

“Like your name, O God, your praise reaches to the ends of the earth; your right hand is filled with righteousness.” (Psalms 48:10 NIV)

“1  [For the director of music. A psalm of David. A song.] Praise awaits you, O God, in Zion; to you our vows will be fulfilled. 2 O you who hear prayer, to you all men will come.” (Psalms 65:1-2 NIV)

“The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with corn; they shout for joy and sing.” (Psalms 65:13 NIV)

“13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD. 14 I will fulfil my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people. 15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. 16 O LORD, truly I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant; you have freed me from my chains. 17 I will sacrifice a thank-offering to you and call on the name of the LORD. 18 I will fulfil my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people, 19 in the courts of the house of the LORD—in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD.” (Psalms 116:13-19 NIV)

“21 My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever. 146:1  Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul.” (Psalms 145:21-146:1 NIV)

“I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.” (Psalms 146:2 NIV)

“11 the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. 12  Extol the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion, 13 for he strengthens the bars of your gates and blesses your people within you. 14 He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat. 15 He sends his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly.” (Psalms 147:11-15 NIV)

“1  Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD from the heavens, praise him in the heights above. 2 Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his heavenly hosts. 3 Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars. 4 Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies. 5 Let them praise the name of the LORD, for he commanded and they were created. 6 He set them in place for ever and ever; he gave a decree that will never pass away. 7  Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,” (Psalms 148:1-7 NIV)

“1  Praise the LORD. Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of the saints. 2 Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the people of Zion be glad in their King. 3 Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and harp. 4 For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation. 5 Let the saints rejoice in this honour and sing for joy on their beds. 6  May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands,” (Psalms 149:1-6 NIV)

“1  Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. 2 Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. 3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, 4 praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, 5 praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. 6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.” (Psalms 150:1-6 NIV)

“Be exalted, O LORD, in your strength; we will sing and praise your might.” (Psalms 21:13 NIV)

“1  Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. 2 Why do the nations say, “Where is their God?”” (Psalms 115:1-2 NIV)

“LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure.” (Psalms 16:5 NIV)

“Then we will not turn away from you; revive us, and we will call on your name.” (Psalms 80:18 NIV)

“You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness, O God our Saviour, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas,” (Psalms 65:5 NIV)

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Preceding: Bring praise to the Creator

Afrikaans: Ek sal u prys, o Jehovah, met my hele hart

Deutsch: Preiset Jehova, Denn es ist gut, unserem Gott Melodien zu spielen

Français: Répondez à Jéhovah par des actions de grâces

Neerlands: Looft Jehovah en bezingt Hem met melodieën

Man reading Psalms at the Western Wall. Jerusa...

Man reading Psalms at the Western Wall. Jerusalem, Israel/Palestine, March 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Find also to read:

  1. For Jehovah is greatly to be praised
  2. Praise be to God
  3. Song of Praise for the Elohim Set-Apart
  4. Songs of Moses and the servants of God
  5. Worship and worshipping
  6. Jehovah God Almighty greater than all gods
  7. Praise the most High Jehovah God above all
  8. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  9. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #1 Listening Sovereign Maker
  10. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #13 Prayer #11 Name to be set apart
  11. Looking at the Source of joy
  12. God our refuge
  13. Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight
  14. Best intimate relation to look for
  15. Look for your Refuge by God
  16. Attributes to God, names and titles
  17. Believe in only One God
  18. God is one

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Please do find also of interest:

  1. Contents of the Book of Revelation
  2. The Song of The Lamb #1 Visions, symbols and suggested meanings
  3. The Song of The Lamb #2 Sevens
  4. The Song of The Lamb #3 Daniel and Revelation
  5. The Song of The Lamb #4 Methods of Interpretation
  6. The song of the lamb #5 Revelation 5
  7. The Song of The Lamb #6 Revelation 14
  8. The Song of The Lamb #7 Revelation 15
  9. Kingdom Visions of a Man, Throne and Great crowd
  10. Kingdom Visions of Rainbowed angel, Lamb in Mount Zion
  11. Kingdom Visions of God’s judgements and Marriage of the Lamb
  12. 144 000 following the Lamb
  13. An unblemished and spotless lamb foreknown
  14. Seals, a flying scroll, a statue and blessings
  15. Songs of Moses and the servants of God

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Praying and acts of meditation without ceasing

Looking for solutions

In Natural inclinations and Praying and asking we saw that we are recommended to Pray without ceasing.
(1 Thessalonians 5:17)

With what may we not stop and what is that action of prayer all about?

We can see that in many religions the believers do take time to meditate and to go deep into themselves. It is like they are doing a sort of exercise to come into contact with themselves or with elements outside them. In many religions we can see that time spend in ‘prayer’ may bring pleasant thoughts into their mind.

Many do hope to find solutions for their many questions and for things that happened around them. They expect their prayer to be a way of miraculously solving impossible situations. For many prayer and meditation time is a religious ritual to become holy and to higher themselves above a previous situation.

What is general, is that their prayer is also a confession of their faith, and an indication of what they believe and whom they want to honour.

Not an innocent playful act

It is not such an innocent act as it may look at first sight. For the Divine Creator it is even a very important part of life of His creatures to show their awe and respect for the Most High Elohim. Truly followers of the Lord Jesus Christ must, like him, be guided in all matters of faith and practice by what the Bible teaches about this act of adoration, glorification and communication with the God of gods.

The Bible leaves us in no doubt that believers ought to pray:

“Men ought always to pray and not to faint” (Luke 18:1).

“Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

“In everything by prayer and supplication let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6, R.S.V.).

To fail to pray is regarded as a sin; Samuel the prophet declared:

“God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you” (1 Samuel 12:23).

Being conscious of inner needs

Today there are many who are afraid to show others their needs and even more afraid to let others know they would ask solace or guidance by someone Who can not be seen, touched or heard.

Nothing has changed with the past. All days there have been people with many questions, people having great difficulty in coping with life, facing seemingly insuperable problems. We may be conscious of our failings and desire some kind of spiritual cleansing; we may be trying to search out the meaning of life. In fact the very problems which confront us have a significance in emphasizing to us that for all man’s great achievements, we are frequently helpless in the midst of human failure. Failure is more often at the start of the road to God than success.

In the Gospels we read of men who commanded great armies, of people in high office in government, of mothers and fathers seeking the best for their children, of farmers and fishermen, tradesmen and craftsmen — people of all types and backgrounds who sought out the Lord Jesus Christ because some need or other could not be fulfilled elsewhere. And as we see Jesus always finding time to listen, to advise, to help, we see how he reveals to us the character of his Father:

“Whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6, R.S.V.).

The Bible makes it clear that God wants to help us. We should never feel that it is only good people that He will hear. In fact if we think we are rather good and managing quite well on our own, the chances are we shall be less inclined to rely upon God.

With meditating we are not thinking of philosophical or Zen-meditation. We mean by meditating taking time to set yourself apart to think about matters of life and to think about what you have done, want to do, have read and how you are going to apply it with the knowledge you can get from the Holy Scriptures.

Meditation

Meditating girl on beach

Meditating girl on beach

Meditation is a means of transforming your mind, letting that what you have learned from the Holy Scriptures to work in you and to transform your character. It is making your mind free of the pollution this world brings every day to you. Meditating is the willingness to make time free for your own mind, letting God’s Spirit enter into your life. Therefore you can use different techniques that encourage and develop concentration, clarity, emotional positivity, and a calm seeing of the true nature of things. By engaging with a particular meditation practice you learn the patterns and habits of your mind, and the practice offers a means to cultivate new, more positive ways of being. With regular work and patience these nourishing, focused states of mind can deepen into profoundly peaceful and energised states of mind. Such experiences can have a transformative effect and can lead to a new understanding of life.

Meditation is making yourself prepared to go deeper in yourself and to examine your life-path. It is an exercise not to miss our experiences because we are somewhere else in our mind. It is a willingness to for a moment forget the daily worries, work or school, and to look at what really should be our main focus in our daily life. In ordinary life, we tend to equate focus with concentration. That’s like using the mind like a concentrated beam of light. But in meditation, that kind of mind isn’t helpful. It’s too sharp and edgy. To focus in meditation means to pay soft attention to whatever you place in the centre of awareness.

Conscious of a need

In the hectic life we get in this world it is our aim to take distance of the worldly matters and to get to know the more important spiritual matters.

As such we do need to take time of our daily duties to come closer to the Most Important person in our life. It is taking time for the Most High Elohim because we are conscious of a higher need and we recognize that God alone can meet that need. To accept that God can do what we cannot do is to bow to His greatness, to acknowledge His infinite wisdom. When we do set us apart from the worldly business, come close in our own cocoon, we open ourselves to the Only One God, who is our Maker but also our Protector. It is to Him we do want to give our soul, our spirit, our thinking and our handling. In the time we set ourselves apart, we want to come as close as possible to Him, or as close as possible we can get at the moment. To Him we want to give that special time and give our most valuable moment of the day.

In that time of silence and personal withdrawal of the world, we want to give our voice to God to let Him know how we want to be with Him and how we do know we need Him. Coming in seclusion we can find ways to have a conversation with that Most High Spirit. Then we can come to talk to Him and pray. Not only asking Him things for our welfare, but also thanking Him for what we had already and for what we still are going to receive.  This is praise. Praise, when it finds expression in words, is an attempt to describe the ways in which God is superior to man; it is to give God glory. Through praise we reflect on what God is, and what resources He has to meet our need.

Listening to God

Praying is not only speaking to God, but it is also opening up your mind to Him to listen to Him. Since God knows best, we must listen to what He says to us. In prayer we have a communication tool we can use every moment of the day. In it we do have an other means, next to the Bible, for God speaking to us.

We do have god’s Word given to us in the Holy Scriptures. The Bible should be our lead and most important guide through life. Through it we can hear God speaking to us in a Book of books given by inspiration of God, profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that we as children of God may be perfect. (2 Timothy 3:16).

How people like to turn it, prayer is inseparable connected with the Words of God, given in the Bible. Our prayer should be build on the knowledge we get from those Holy Scriptures. The Words of the Bible with our prayer, should be fused with our knowledge and understanding of the Word of God. For prayer is communication with God. The communication is two-way. It is not enough that we should speak to God. He expects us to listen to Him. In fact, we shall often be better occupied meditating on His Word than trying to talk to Him at great length. It is no use to over and over repeat the same words. The Bible itself warns:

“Let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few” (Ecclesiastes 5:2).

The Lord Jesus himself emphasizes this point:

“When ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking” (Matthew 6:7).

We should remember that silence is healing. Nothing beats simple silence. We do not need music background to drown out the chatter in our mind. When we sit in silence we actually get to experience what our mind is doing. There is steadiness and calmness that comes from sitting in silence. In time outer and inner silence meet and you come to rest in the moment. It is in such moments that we also can give way for God’s Spirit to enter our universe.

Coming to God

Jesus clearly knew Who was the Most High to give all honour of what he could do. Jesus was thankful and hopeful to His heavenly Father, which he recognised as the Only True God.

Jesus clearly knew Who was the Most High to give all honour of what he could do. Jesus was thankful and hopeful to His heavenly Father, which he recognised as the Only True God.

Praying should be a coming to God, not to put us in the forefront row, being full of ourselves, ready to tell Him what we think. That would be like the person who asks a question, not because he wants to know the answer’, but because he wants the opportunity to air his own knowledge. Our vanity and pride, we must put aside and we should be humble enough not to propose our thoughts as the best ones, but to allow God to see that we are really willing to hear what He thinks best for us. Like Jesus did not want to do his own will, which he would have done when he would have been God, we also like Jesus should know that we can not do anything without Jesus his heavenly Father. Jesus was well aware that he could not do anything without the Hand of God.  He too prayed to his heavenly Father, and not to himself. He too had questions about his relationship with his Father up high, and even at one moment dared to ask why He (God) had abandoned him (Jesus). Like Jesus not being afraid to ask such matters to the Most High, we too should dare to go to Him (Jehovah God). Jesus prepared the way to the Divine Creator and we should be thankful for that and use it.If we come to God as those who do not know the answers and believe that He does, then what folly if we ignore what He has already told us through the Scriptures! Rather we must read them regularly and reflect on them in order that we may attune our minds to the mind of God, as the words of a hymn direct us:

“Inspirer of the ancient seers,
Who wrote from Thee the sacred page,
A light for all succeeding years,
A lamp in this degenerate age:
Wisdom to us Thy words impart,
And with Thy comfort fill our heart.”

The many examples of prayer in the Bible make it clear that God responds only when man prays in accordance with His will. After all, God knows best what is in man’s interests and can control events accordingly.

Right Relationship with God

Jesus showed us how we should behave, live and pray. He gave the example how our relationship should be with other humans but also with God. We can only come to a good prayer and a fulfilling meditation when we open our hearts to God and our willingness to have a good relationship with Him.

First of all naturally we do need to know God, have to understand His position and should be willing to accept His position. In the bible we are told that there can be life eternal for us as human beings, but then we shall have to accept the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the son God so loved He has taken him with Him to sit next to Him to be the mediator between God and man. (John 17:3, 1 Timothy 2:5, Hebrews 12:24; John 3:16; Matthew 3:17). Many in Christendom do say to know God, but take also Jesus to be God and do not mind bowing down in front of pictures of their god, though God made it very clear that there is only One True God of Whom no pictures may be made and certainly may not be bowed down for. Such knowledge is to be found, in the first instance, in the inspired writings of the Bible-and nowhere else. But to know God is not simply to know about Him. When a husband and wife know each other, they do not just have in their minds a pen-portrait of their partner. Their knowledge is intimate and deep, because of the nature of their relationship. It depends upon continued, regular contact, the acceptance of responsibilities and the desire to grow in knowledge and understanding of each other.

To acknowledge one’s need as a sinner, whose imperfection is in marked contrast to the glorious perfection of God’s character; to develop that “poor and contrite” spirit, which desires to be moved by the power of God through His Word, as the leaves on a tree tremble at the passing of a breath of wind; to realize from the knowledge of God’s gracious dealings with men and women of past ages that the same grace can be extended to us today-this is to begin the process of praise and thanksgiving which marks the beginning of uttered prayer.

Commands to obey

It is all to easy just to want all our wishes to be fulfilled. Would that not be selfish? Would that be taking notice of the Will of God?

For many people prayer consists of asking God for favours. For some the proof of whether God is actually there or not consists of testing out whether God will grant a particular request. Did not Jesus say:

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find” (Matthew 7:7)

There is no room here for the casual or the careless. God is in heaven, man upon earth. We cannot assume familiarity or presume upon His loving kindness. It is God’s to command, ours to obey. We cannot call God “Our Father“, without at the same time hallowing His name. And we cannot do that unless we seek to do His will upon earth as it is done in heaven. If we are to benefit from the privilege of being called His sons and daughters, we must, after serious consideration, come within His family:

“Hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments” (1 John 2:3).

We are told how Jesus welcomed little children and took them up in his arms. In this he reflected the character of his Father, who welcomes all who seek Him in sincerity and simplicity. But whereas the particular purpose of God at the time of the Lord’s ministry and during the subsequent establishment of the ecclesiae involved frequent miraculous signs that this was indeed the Lord at work, we shall be sadly misled if we expect God to work a miracle in response to every request we make.

This is not to say that God’s power is not demonstrated today, or to imply that God is not interested in us. There is a children’s prayer which simply states a truth:

“God always listens whenever we pray,
He’s never too busy to hear what we say.

No time to stop

The world goes on and the end-times come closer. This will not make it easier for believing and God fearing people. They shall be tested more.

It might be easy to say

“let go of your anxiety.” (Matthew 6:34)

Now the time is near it is even more important not to stop to study the Bible regularly and to spend time in conversation with God. “In everything” – without exception and at every opportunity – we should pray. Pray in supplication – humble in treaty – with thanksgiving! Knowing that the prayer will be answered according to His will and in His time.

Praying in the family

Praying in the family

Most of us spend lots of time after daily work, in front of the television or enjoying themselves with lots of pastures time, giving enough time to the entertainment industry. Churchgoing has lessened a lot. Not many are spending time with the family together studying the Word of God and contemplating what the Most High wants from us.

Most of us do not take enough time to be on their own and to be with their Creator. When we do love Him, we should, like we do with our most beloved, spend enough time with Him.

We may not cease to pray earnestly and give our worries to Jehovah, our God. Our willing to be with Him should give or be the pulse of your life in Christ. If that pulse is weak or erratic then that life is ebbing away. We need to pray. Alone and in community, we need to pray. And so much the more as we see the day of Christ drawing near.

Cast aside anxiety about the things of this life and pray. Do this and rejoicing in the Lord will be as natural to you as breathing. You will be happy. Profoundly happy so that even in the most terrible affliction and sorrow there will remain within a vibrant core of joy and hope and faith that no circumstance can affect.

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Find our pamphlet to download in pdf: Does God Hear Prayer?

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Preceding articles:

  1. Our openness to being approachable
  2. Natural inclinations and Praying and asking
  3. Always rejoicing Praying constantly Giving thanks for everything
  4. Psalm 66 HRV
  5. Psalm 66 OJB

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Additional reading:

  1. Walking alone?
  2. People Seeking for God 1 Looking for answers
  3. Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer
  4. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  5. 7000 to 20000 words spoken each day
  6. Do You Expect God’s Answer
  7. Biblical Prayer at Tabernacle Site Shilo
  8. Praying and thinking positively
  9. Being sure of their deliverance
  10. Genuine prayer
  11. People who know how to pray to move God to take hold of our affairs in a mighty way
  12. Does God hear prayer?
  13. Does God answer prayer?
  14. God doesn’t call the qualified
  15. Work with joy and pray with love
  16. Give your worries to God
  17. Praise Jehovah
  18. “Prayer 2″ – Child Abuse
  19. If you think you’re too small to be effective
  20. Quit griping about your church
  21. What moves mountains? Trust!
  22. A Living Faith #7 Prayer
  23. God, my father, my closest friend
  24. Prayer, important aspect in our life
  25. Prayer has comforted us in sorrow
  26. Prayer for the day
  27. If we, in our prosperity, neglect religious instruction and authority
  28. Change
  29. Prayer has the power to change mountains into highways
  30. Try driving forward instead of backwards
  31. Preventing us from going window-shopping in prayer
  32. He who kneels before God can stand before anyone!
  33. Aim High: Examples of Godly Characters to follow
  34. Sometimes we pray and pray and it seems like nothing happens.
  35. If you do pray you shall not be disappointed
  36. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  37. Worship and worshipping
  38. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #1 Kings Faith
  39. rusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  40. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #4 Words in Scripture
  41. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  42. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #1 Prosperity
  43. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #4 Transitoriness #2 Purity
  44. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #1 Listening Sovereign Maker
  45. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  46. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #3 Callers upon God
  47. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #6 Prayer #4 Attitude
  48. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #7 Prayer #5 Listening Ear
  49. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #8 Prayer #6 Communication and manifestation
  50. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #9 Prayer #7 Reason to pray
  51. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #10 Prayer #8 Condition
  52. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #11 Prayer #9 Making the Name Holy
  53. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #12 Prayer #10 Talk to A Friend
  54. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #13 Prayer #11 Name to be set apart
  55. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #14 Prayer #12 The other name
  56. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #15 Exposition before the Creator
  57. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
  58. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #17 Sorts of prayers
  59. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #18 Fulfilment
  60. Praying For What We Want or Don’t Want
  61. Continuing Paul’s Prayer Requests
  62. Listening and Praying to the Father
  63. Communion and day of worship
  64. Funeral service only belongs in church building according to Catholic Church

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  • The rapture or end times is in virtually every book of the New Testament. (omharris.blogspot.com)
    being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ
    +
    That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ
  • Scripture of the Day, 1/16 (sowegalive.com)
    Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
  • Five Believer’s Crowns: Heavenly Rewards (endtimesprophecyreport.com)
    The Bible declares that believers canobtain these heavenly rewards including five different crowns.What are these crowns and how can the believer qualify for them?The five crowns are:

    1. The incorruptible crown – Being disciplined [temperate] in all things.
    2. The crown of rejoicing – Winning souls for the kingdom of God.
    3. The crown of righteousness – All who love the appearing of the Lord.
    4. The crown of life – All who endure trials for Jesus.
    5. The crown of glory – Those who are godly examples to the flock.
  • Put First Things First (birdchirp.wordpress.com)
    Apart from Christ, we cannot expect God to bless us. Jesus promised, “But seek first His kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:33).
  • To an inheritance (activeinspiration.wordpress.com)
    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
  • Listen: God’s Second Man, Part 3 (Onward Christian Soldiers #67 with Daniel Whyte III) (blackchristiannews.com)
    In part one and part two of this lesson, we contrasted the “first man”, Adam, with the “second man”, Jesus Christ. Adam disobeyed God and caused the entire human race which descended from him to be a race of sinners. However, when Jesus Christ came, the Bible tells us that He “became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Jesus Christ did what Adam (and none of us) have done — be perfectly obedient to God throughout our entire lives. Because Jesus Christ is sinless, He is the perfect sacrifice for our sins. On the cross, Jesus paid the price for our sins so that we would not have to. Today, there are two races of people in the world — Adam’s sinful race, and Jesus’ righteous race. As Romans 5:19 says, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” Of course, we who are in Jesus’ race are only righteous because of what Jesus Christ did for us.
  • Excuse My Scepticism (pastorcharleschipere.wordpress.com)
    In our Christian Faith, we are taught to believe rather than to be a doubting Thomas. We are taught to trust rather than mistrust. We are taught to give a person the benefit of the doubt before we dismiss them. But my journey of faith has had some encounters with reality leading me to embrace some sceptical attitude towards some things I have observed in the land of the living.
  • A Prayer of The Heart (supertradmum-etheldredasplace.blogspot.com)
    About 45 years ago, I learned the Jesus Prayer, which has its roots in the Philokalia which was popular then. This prayer is a blessing to me now more than ever. The point of the prayer is twofold. The first to create a pattern of silence no matter where one is, walking down the street, or cleaning the house, or driving.
  • Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul (emmanuelchatham.typepad.com)
    O God, by the preaching of your apostle Paul you have caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world: Grant, we pray, that we, having his wonderful conversion in remembrance, may show ourselves thankful to you by following his holy teaching

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