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Posts tagged ‘Prayer’

Matthew 21:12-14 – From a den of thieves to a house of prayer

In Jesus time we could already find temples where money was handled. Those who wanted to exchange money could go for that to the temple. Though God had not let build temples for worldly actions like exchanging money, selling and buying.

“12  And Jesus entered the temple and cast out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who were selling doves. 13 And He *said to them, “It is written, ’MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER’; but you are making it a ROBBERS’ DEN.” 14 And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.” (Mt 21:12-14 NAS)

John’s Gospel records a similar cleansing of the temple at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry (John 2:13–17).

“13 And the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the moneychangers seated. 15 And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the moneychangers, and overturned their tables; 16 and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a house of merchandise.” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “ZEAL FOR THY HOUSE WILL CONSUME ME.”” (Joh 2:13-17 NAS)

Because being around the same festival (the passover – 14-22 Nisan) both writers could have been writing about the same event. But it can well be that John spoke of an earlier incident. It is commonly supposed that Jesus observed three Passovers in Jerusalem  — one recorded in Luke 6:, another in John 6:4, and the last one on the night before he was crucified, John 11:55. By John we also find Jesus who went up to Jerusalem and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting.

John also says something about the temperament of Jesus. Jesus was not at all pleased with what went on in what should be a House of God. Annoyed with what he saw, Jesus in a burst of rage, made a scourge of cords, and cast all out of the temple, both the sheep and the oxen; and he poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew their tables and the seats of them that sold the doves. For Jesus it was clear that a Temple for God should not be a house of merchandise. His disciples also remembered that it was written,

“For zeal for Thy house has consumed me, And the reproaches of those who reproach Thee have fallen on me.” (Ps 69:9 NAS)

Interpreters have proposed two explanations:

(1) there was only one cleansing, but John narrated the action at the beginning for thematic/theological purposes, while the Synoptic Gospels narrate the actual historical chronology;

(2) there were indeed two similar but distinctly different temple cleansings. The differences of detail seem to indicate the latter, for while the initial action is similar, Jesus’ statement (Matt. 21:13) and the challenge from the Jewish leaders (vv. 15–16) are entirely different from what John records.
In addition, John places the event so early in his Gospel that it would be difficult to think he wanted readers to take it as anything but an event that happened early in Jesus’ ministry. Thus Jesus cleansed the temple at the beginning as a warning, and at the end of his ministry as a statement of judgment on the leadership of Israel.

You could wonder why the first cleansing had no success at all. But that indicates how the gaining of money was more important than keeping the temple only for worship.

This incident Matthew is talking about, is placed on the Monday morning, when they were come out from Bethany, by the evangelist Mark (Mark 11:12–19).

“12  And on the next day, when they had departed from Bethany, He became hungry. 13 And seeing at a distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if perhaps He would find anything on it; and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 And He answered and said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And His disciples were listening. 15 And they *came to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple and began to cast out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who were selling doves; 16 and He would not permit anyone to carry goods through the temple. 17 And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ’MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL THE NATIONS’? But you have made it a ROBBERS’ DEN.” 18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard this, and began seeking how to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him, for all the multitude was astonished at His teaching. 19 And whenever evening came, they would go out of the city.” (Mr 11:12-19 NAS)

Jesus wanted nobody to carry a vessel through the temple or doing business. After his outburst of anger Jesus taught those around him that it was written,

  My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations.

referring to what his heavenly Father, the God of Israel had told His people

“Even those I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.”” (Isa 56:7 NAS)

Therefore what would be acceptable in the Temple or God’s House are burnt offerings and people their sacrifices brought to the altar. All had to understand that the house of Jehovah God shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. (Isa 56:7)

“A house of prayer for all peoples” indicates that first of all it had to be a place where people of all nations should be able to come in to pray. Jesus indicated that within the temple there is no place for a sort of market where commercial activity would take place.

In Matthew 21:13 Jesus compares the temple and its keepers to a den of robbers. Thieves often used caves to store their ill-gotten wealth and to plot future crimes. A temple for God does not have to be a place of secret actions, nor for worldly activities. It should be a place where people come without fear nor hesitation to gather in unity, to express their faith and for worshipping God. Everything belongs already to God, so people should know they can not tempt Him with money nor worldly sacrifices.

God allowed people to bring burnt offerings and sacrifices, but any sacrifice of a wicked person is an abomination to Jehovah God.

“The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But the prayer of the upright is His delight.” (Pr 15:8 NAS)

God is willing to incline His ear for those who come in honesty to His House (the temple) (Ps 10:17) where pepole also could come to confess their sins to one another, and could gather to pray for one another, so that they might be healed. This with the knowledge that the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. (Jas 5:16)

Also today we should wonder what is acceptable to be done in a House of prayer, be it called a synagogue, temple, prayer hall, kingdom hall, church hall, or simply church. We can find a lot of churches where financial activities take place. When you go and visit places have a look into many churches and see how they have stalls for selling things and often also have a lot of statues of people (called saints) with underneath a collecting box. In many churches we not only can see such sculptures of human beings but also of gods, like Jesus (the son of God – for many god the son) and God the Father, which is against God His commandments.

“’Cursed is the man who makes an idol or a molten image, an abomination to the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and sets it up in secret.’ And all the people shall answer and say, ’Amen.’” (De 27:15 NAS)

All going to such a House of prayer should know that God looks down at the earth and sees all people, knowing what goes on in their heart. All should be aware that everything which goes in against the commandments of God is an abomination in His eyes and considered evil. (Exodus 20:4-5; Deuteronomy 4:15-19; Acts 17:29; Proverbs 15:29; 1 Samuel16:7; 1 Peter 3:12; 1 John 3:22). When people live according God’s Will He is willing to listen to them, at any moment, but in a House of prayer they can find a special place to be in contact with their God.

“and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.” (1Jo 3:22 NAS)

In Jesus ‘ time but also later, as well as today, we can find pepole misusing their prime location, taking advantage of people’s religiosity to over-charge and cheat. In many places of worship and of pilgrimage we can find people deliberate making misuse of religion for personal gain. Look for example to Lourdes a.o. so called ‘sacred places’ and notice the whole ‘circus market’.

Jesus wants to see an atmosphere of pure, God-centred worship, free of man-centred worldly distractions. The House of God should be a place to gather to study the Word of God, to meditate and to pray. The Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, but Jesus had already given a sign that in each person there was a place for a temple.

Today we do not have to go up on the mountain, nor to Jerusalem,to worship the Father. As true worshippers we can go to any place where nothing is against the Will of God to worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to be his worshippers.

“21 Jesus *said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, shall you worship the Father. 22 “You worship that which you do not know; we worship that which we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.” (Joh 4:21-23 NAS)

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Preceding

Matthew 12:1-8 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Something Greater than the Temple

Matthew 21:1-3 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Sent Ahead for a Donkey

Matthew 21:4-5 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Your King Is Coming upon a Donkey

Matthew 21:6-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Blessed the One Coming in God’s Name!

Matthew 21:10-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Who Is This?

Matthew 21:12-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Temple Cleansed

Good or bad preacher

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Additional reading

  1. Today’s thought “Cleansing of the leper under the Law” (March 7)
  2. Memorizing wonderfully 13 Elija, Elisha, Mordecai, Job, chariots and a house for God
  3. Memorizing wonderfully 20 Mountain and Kingdom of God
  4. Having a small church mentality

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Further related

  1. He Was Moved with Compassion
  2. Watch Well Thy Faith
  3. How Many Christians Are Abusing the Label?
  4. The House of God
  5. House of God The house of God reaches upwards to meet with the cloudy firmament
  6. 5 – The House of God
  7. In the house of God
  8. Cornerstone
  9. This is a House of Prayer
  10. The Proper Place – I Timothy 2 – Part 1
  11. Church at Sardis-2 ‘Of whose house are we?’
  12. Of His House
  13. Today’s Theme Song: House of God
  14. I Miss Reverence
  15. Why You Must Be Glad when You’re Invited to church
  16. God’s Holiness
  17. The Church
  18. Welcome to the house of God

A heart full of love is a fundamental requirement

We stay for the moment looking at some writing by

We can not deny that forgiving is a very difficult thing for many. But we should know that unforgiveness hinders prayers and give access to tormentors. Uforgiveness also gives room to hatred and vengeance, retaliation, revenge and vendetta.

Christians should be followers of the role model Jesus Christ who had so much love for mankind he was even willing to give his life for us all. Jesus Christ, the Son of the Highest, never complained to serve. He did it with humility and without placing himself above others. That humility is something we need also to grow in us. It is something which shall make us humble enough to face others who have done wrong to us and to forgive them.

Throughout the New Testament we can see how the Nazarene master teacher mingled with sinners which must have certainly caused a stir back then, but Jesus never judged appearances. (Matthew 7:1-6) In this present world how many times do we not stare at others with some “idea” in our heart? Many of us can see the mote or the speck that is in some ones eye, but do not consider the plank or the beam of timber that is in their own eye.(Matthew 7:3) Often we come to demand others not being cross with us or to forgive us for what we did wrong, but to forgive others our selves does not always seem to be so easy.

Forgiving requires an attitude of understanding and of love.

A heart full of love, both towards God and your fellow man, is a fundamental requirement, if your prayer must get through to the throne room of heaven.

Forgiveness is an expression of love. {Forgive}

Not only the Messianic writings show us how the Most High must have been hurt by man and how He showed His love and came to forgive them or was always there to help them. God has forgiven man many times. We as lovers of God should also try to become like God, a forgiving person.

When Jesus taught His disciples how to pray, one of the things He told them to say was, “And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.”

That is to say, “Lord, forgive us, just the way we forgive others. Don’t forgive us what we don’t forgive others. {Forgive}

When looking at others we often use other measurements than we would for our own. Often we also want others not to be cross for something we did to them, but we ourself are not always so fast not to be angry any more at some one who did wrong to us.

If we document other people’s sins against us, then the Lord will document ours also; if we desire their hurt, He will desire our hurt also.

So, when you don’t forgive those who have offended you, your sins also remain unforgiven. Until your sins are forgiven, you don’t have a prayer access to God. {Forgive}

How many of us do not keep track of iniquities of others? Many people also love to show the record they keep of the wrongdoings of others.

The Psalmist said in Psalm 130:3:

If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?

Many have been crying in all manner of prayers, fastings and vigils, yet God hasn’t heard them, because they are holding back the sins of others in their hearts. {Forgive}

In this world we also see many who are not honest, and do as if nothing is at hand or nothing happened. They just do nice to get something else.

You probably have told your neighbour,

“It is over, I have forgiven you.”

But it is not over yet in your heart.

And because the Bible says in Psalm 66:18,

“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me”, your prayers go unheard.

It is spiritual foolishness to live with unforgiveness; the cost is too high. It is one of the traps of the devil to make you lose favour with God. {Forgive}

A Christian should be a striking likeness of Jesus Christ. You have read lives of Christ, beautifully and eloquently written, but the best life of Christ is his living biography, written out in the words and actions of his people. If we were what we profess to be, and what we should be, we should be pictures of Christ.

A Christian should be like Christ in his boldness but also humble enough to put the own “self” away. Calling yourself a Christian, means not only that you want to be a follower of Christ, but goes much further, showing others that you even want to imitate him in your loving spirit; think kindly, speak kindly, and do kindly, that men may say of you

“He is with Jesus.”

A Christian should imitate Jesus in his holiness. Like Jesus submitted himself to his heavenly Father a Christian also should submit himself to God and become like Him a forgiving person. As the highest portraiture of Jesus, try to forgive your enemies, as he did; and let those sublime words of your Master,

“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do,”

always ring in your ears.

Forgive, as you hope to be forgiven. Think of the Highest King, Jehovah God and think of the highest King on earth Jesus Christ, who shall come to judge the living and the dead. When you want to be allowed to enter the Kingdom of God, remember all those things which would be a hindrance to be pure enough to enter that Kingdom. Remind the King from Jesus  parable.

Jesus told a parable in Matthew 18:23-35:

Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.

And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.

But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.

The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.

And his fellow servant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.

Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:

Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow servant, even as I had pity on thee?

And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

When God forgives you your sins but later sees the way you are tormenting somebody who has offended you, He will bring your records out again and deal with you.

Forgiveness brings you into eternal friendship with Jesus which gives you access to heaven’s hotline.

Until you free that man or woman, God will not hear your cry of affliction.

That man might have really cheated you, and that woman insulted you terribly, but let him go! Let her go!

Until the love foundation is in place, effectual prayer is impossible.

Watch any man who walks in hatred, malice and unforgiveness, his life keeps drying up.

And because he has no access to God’s favour, he is a cheap prey of the devil.

Your expression of love for your fellowmen is the authentic proof of your salvation.

The Bible says,

“Whosoever claims to love God, and hates his brother, is a liar” (1 John 4:20 paraphrased).

You may pray as long as you like, remain on your knees all the days of your life and fast for as many days as possible,

if you have imprisoned somebody in your heart through unforgiveness, you will never have a breakthrough, because the Scriptures cannot be broken.

Love is your vital link with God, and the foundation stones of the altar of your heart.

There is a future in forgiveness. Let love flow from your heart to everyone and you will see God step into the affairs of your life.

Examine yourself, to see if there is anywhere your altar has been broken down, and plead the mercy of God for restoration.

Rededicate your life to God and be determined never to be found doing what displeases Him.

That long-awaited answer to your prayers will be delivered to you now, in Jesus’ name!

Amen! {Forgive}

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Preceding posts

Matthew 18:1-6 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Children and Stumbling

Matthew 18:1-6 Reborn and pliable as a child

Matthew 18:7-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Danger of Stumbling-blocks

Matthew 18:12-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Searching for Lost Sheep

Matthew 18:15-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Three Steps to Gaining a Brother

Matthew 18:18-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Authority of Two or Three

Matthew 18:21-22 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Forgive 77 Times!

Matthew 18:23-35 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Kingdom and Forgiveness

Ableness to forgive those who wronged us

Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

Forgiveness a command given for our well-being

Matthew 12:46-50 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Family of Messiah

Matthew 12:46-50 – The True Family of Messiah

|| Mark 3:31-35; Luke 8:19-21

MT12:46 While still speaking to the crowds, look! his mother[1] and brothers[2] were waiting outside to speak with[3] Jesus. MT12:47 Someone called to Jesus, “Look! Your mother and brothers are standing outside wanting to speak to you.” MT12:48 Jesus responded and told this person: “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” MT12:49 Now Jesus pointed at his disciples and said: “Look here! My ‘mother’ and my ‘brothers.’[4] MT12:50 For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father[5] – these are my brother and sister[6] and mother.”

*

[1] His mother: The mother of our Lord is rare in the Gospels and often unnamed (Matthew 1:18; 13:55; Mark 3:31; Luke 2:48, 51; 8:19; John 2:5, 12; 19:25, 26). Nothing indicates she was a follower or even a believer at this time. She is differentiated from his “disciples.” Jesus even elsewhere infers that he may have not been honored or respected as a prophet even among his own family early on.

[2] Brothers: Jesus has four brothers so named: James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us?” (Matthew 13:55, 56) The number and names of his sisters are never mentioned. Later, at least one (James) became a power in the Christian Church. See the word James in Acts, 1 Corinthians, and Galatians. The epistle of James is attributed to this brother.

[3] Waiting outside to speak with: We never discover the reason. One may speculate but it is useless: family business, a share in his honor. Few sons would have acted in this manner without serious cause. Compare John 7:3, 5.

[4] My ‘mother’ and my ‘brothers’: The Nazarene’s real ‘family’ is spiritual and related to him by faith. It is very possible that none of his fleshly family were among his disciples, or following him. Perhaps this is the reason for the terse ignoring of his family. At least twice family members wanted him to perform miracles for their benefit (John 2:1-12; 7:3, 5). It is only the beloved apostle John who brings this out. Hebrews 2:10-13 indicates Jesus Christ and the members of his Church are originating with The God. A point to note is that if Jesus were “God” then his followers would be brothers of God, not sons. William Barclay notes: “It was one of the great human tragedies of Jesus’ life that during his lifetime, his nearest and dearest never understood him.… When Jesus set out on his public mission, his friends tried to restrain him, for they said he was mad (Mark 3:21). He seemed to them to be busily engaged in throwing his life away in a kind of sanity.… ‘A Christian’s only relatives,’ said one of the early martyrs, ‘are the saints.’” (page 52)

[5] Whoever does the will of my heavenly Father: The word “will” is from the Greek THELMA and may be rendered determination, choice, desire or wish. What is the “will of the Father”? Surely this is connected to His “eternal purpose”? Jesus uses the phrase twice in Matthew. See notes on Matthew 7:21. Only in John 6:40 is the How of doing the will of the Father explained: “For this is the will of my Father: Everyone who observes the Son and deeply believes in him will have everlasting life.” This is put another way in another context when some ask Jesus what the work of God is so that they may do it. The Nazarene responds: “This is the work of The God that you deeply believe in the One He sent forth.” (John 6:29) Faith or conviction is right at the center of the Father’s will. This belief or faith surely involves a knowledge of the Messiah’s teachings or “doctrine.” (John 7:17 KJV)

“The will of God” is discussed by Paul, Peter, and John. How the Church is involved in His will: to serve for the praise of His glory (Ephesians 1:9-13). God’s will is something to continually comprehend: be careful how one walks in the world (Ephesians 5:15-20). God’s will includes His sanctification which requires abstaining from fornication, illicit passions, and adultery (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8). Prayer and thankfulness are part of God’s will (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). God’s will includes doing God and loving the brotherhood (1 Peter 2:15-17). God’s will may include suffering (1 Peter 4:19). There are three things that are not part of God’s will: fleshly desire, covetousness, and bragging about materialism (1 John 2:15-17). Perhaps God’s will is best summarized by His commandment: to have faith in His Son; and, love one another (1 John 3:23).

[6] Sister: Jesus has been silent on female followers until now. Though no woman is ever called a disciple in the Gospels, there were women who were “with” Jesus’ entourage of disciples. These “ministered to Jesus and his disciples from their belongings.” (Luke 8:2, 3) The truth is the Nazarene had spiritual ‘sisters’. In time, throughout the Gospel Age of the Church female disciples of Jesus out number the men. In the New Creation – the Seed of Abraham – there are no females – nor males – for all are “sons” and one in Christ (Galatians 3:26-29).

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Preceding

Matthew 1:18-25 – Genesis of Jesus Christ

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:1-4 A Wilderness Temptation

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

Matthew 7:13-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #3 Matthew 7:21-23 The ones Jesus never knew

Matthew 12:1-8 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Something Greater than the Temple

Matthew 12:9-21 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Is It Lawful to Cure on the Sabbath?

Matthew 12:22-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: the Charge of Demonism

Matthew 12:31-32 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Blasphemy against the Pneuma

Matthew 12:33-37 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Judgment Day

Matthew 12:38-42 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Signs in Jonah and the Queen of the South

Matthew 12:43-45 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Generation Seven Times Worse

Gates to different belief systems in this world

False teachers and false prophets still around

Christians having the right heart to call others to go to God

Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions

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Additional reading

  1. Truth, doubt or blindness
  2. Faith coming by hearing and sent preacher gift from God
  3. When we think of Jesus let us strive to realise what he means to us
  4. Not about personal salvation but about a bigger Plan
  5. False opposite true worship which exalts the God of Israel
  6. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #15 Exposition before the Creator
  7. To will being present in us but to do it not always evident
  8. Material gain to honour God
  9. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  10. Salvation and Righteousness
  11. Receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken

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Related

  1. On Religion and Reasons: Why Fast for Lent?
  2. Some thoughts on Lent
  3. My Daily Devotion – My Quiet Time With God
  4. Use what you have
  5. Don’t worry about it.
  6. God’s Children
  7. The children of God
  8. Bestowed Upon Us…
  9. What Makes You a Child and Heir of God?
  10. Sons of God

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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Be vigilant with a view to prayers

Be vigilant with a view to prayers.—1 Pet. 4:7.

Prayer of David, psalm 51

Prayer of David, psalm 51 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In our prayers, we may often petition Jehovah for His help in satisfying our needs and in overcoming obstacles. The “Hearer of prayer” lovingly listens to our appeals for help. (Ps. 65:2) However, we should also endeavour to focus on other forms of prayer. These include those of praise, thanksgiving, and supplication. There are many reasons why our prayers to Jehovah should include words of praise. For instance, we are moved to praise him when we think of “his works of mightiness” and “the abundance of his greatness.” (Ps. 150:1-6) Why, the six verses of the 150th Psalm exhort us 13 different times to praise Jehovah! With deep reverence for God, the composer of another psalm sang:

“Seven times in the day I have praised you because of your righteous judicial decisions.” (Ps. 119:164)

Jehovah surely deserves to be praised. Therefore, should we not praise him in our prayers “seven times in the day,” that is, very often? w13 11/15 1:1, 3, 4

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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
  6. Praying and acts of meditation without ceasing
  7. Praying is surrendering in all circumstances
  8. Be sound in mind and be vigilant with a view to prayers

Dutch version / Nederlandstalige versie: Weest waakzaam met het oog op gebeden

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Additional reading:

  1. Blaming their circumstances for what they are
  2. Blind leading the blind
  3. Humility and the Fear of the Lord
  4. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  5. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #6 Prayer #4 Attitude
  6. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #8 Prayer #6 Communication and manifestation
  7. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #10 Prayer #8 Condition
  8. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
  9. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #17 Sorts of prayers
  10. God is my refuge and my fortress in Him I will trust
  11. Give your worries to God
  12. True riches
  13. Exceeding Great and Precious Promise
  14. A Breath for tomorow
  15. God Feeds The Birds
  16. Rejoicing in the day
  17. Heed of the Saviour
  18. A Living Faith #7 Prayer

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  • Lets Praise God With Freedom Of Emotion – Psalm 9 (craigbenno1.wordpress.com)
    I was reminded of Jesus telling us that we should love the Lord our God, with all our heart, mind and strength. And I asked myself, “Do I really praise and sing to God, with all my heart? Do I allow my emotions freedom to praise him with everything? Do I sing praises directly to God, with gladness? Do I thank God with gusto?”
  • Confident that You’ll Answer (tithebarn.wordpress.com)
    I remember hearing a rabbi say that the right place to start reading the Bible was in the book of Psalms. It’s an interesting thought isn’t it? You might think to begin at the beginning, or to first learn the historical story, or attempt to understand its high theology. So, why the Psalms?
  • Strong Tower (revelation217.com)
    A tower of strength in times of trouble.
    That’s Who He is. And who of us does not need a tower of strength?
  • Reflective Moment ‘Wonderfully Made’ (mylordmyfriend.com)
    David has found and knows for himself, that God knows us and watches over us and guides us like a perfect Father.

    God loves us individually, that is why, Salvation, is a personal commitment of repentance and to follow our loving God, and let Him watch over us.
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    Enjoy the intimacy of the Psalm, and understand we are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made by the hands of a loving Creator God, Everybody likes to feel loved, and the psalm reiterates the Omniscient of God {All-knowing} in verse 1 to 6. The Omnipresent {ever present} verse 7 to 12 and The Omnipotent {All-powerful}, verse 13 to 15: and that is Who we are loved by.Enjoy the intimacy of the Psalm, and understand we are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made by the hands of a loving Creator God, Everybody likes to feel loved, and the psalm reiterates the Omniscient of God {All-knowing} in verse 1 to 6. The Omnipresent {ever present} verse 7 to 12 and The Omnipotent {All-powerful}, verse 13 to 15: and that is Who we are loved by.

  • Day 26 Keep the Praises Rising (cutpaste.typepad.com)

    We tend to try everything to fix situations in our lives except turn to God. We turn to medication before prayer, friend’s advice before God’s advice and self-help books before the Bible.

    Our only hope and the only hope of every struggling person we know is for them to turn their life over to God!

    Psalm 107:9 …he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.

    Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

    God alone satisfies our every desire and makes our lives feel complete, nothing lacking. But it’s only as we trust him enough to place all the pieces of our lives before him and call him my Shepherd.

  • The Psalms as a Divine Tom-tom (avowofconversation.wordpress.com)
    A few months ago I discovered Father Lazarus Moore’s translation of the Psalter, which is available online here. (It’s available in Word somewhere too, but I can’t find it now). Apart from being a highly recommended translation of the Septuagint Psalter (the esteemed Esteban Vázquez praises it here as “at once laconic and lyrical”), it also has an introductory essay on the Psalms that is one of the best things I remember reading on them. In it Father Lazarus discusses not only the nature, content, and theology of the Psalms, but also their use and impact as the prayer book of the Church.
  • Your Prayer Life Is Better Than You Think | Desiring God (debbiehughett1.wordpress.com)
    As I was asking my heavenly Father what He was saying to me, a song by David Crowder  came to mind. It’s about God being holy. I have been humming it all week. I thought I might pen a prayer in response. This confirms I have been humming a prayer all week.
  • Prayer as Response to God (fellowshiproom.org) > Call for Fire Seminar
    Prayer may be a response to God. When we pray, we may attribute a recent event in our lives to the providence or the judgment of God. When we thank God for food, or a new job, or an answer to another prayer, we respond to his action with our prayer.
  • A Morning Prayer (bministry.org)
    King David had a heart for God. Seeking God through reading, meditating and memorizing Law of God would keep David in tune with his heavenly Father. Prayer was a key part in David’s life.
  • Saturday, 24 January 2015 : 2nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Psalm) (petercanisiusmichaeldavidkang.com)
    Clap your hands, all you peoples; acclaim God with shouts of joy. For the Lord, the Most High, is to be feared; He is a great King all over the earth.

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

But the end of all things has drawn close. Therefore, be sound in mind,+ and be vigilant* with a view to prayers.+ (NWT 1 Peter 4:7)

But the end* of all things has drawn close.+ Be sound in mind,+ therefore, and be vigilant* with a view to prayers.+ (Ref.B 1 Peter 4:7)

the end {Or, “complete end.” Gr., te′los} of all things has drawn close:

(Matthew 24:33): 33 Likewise also YOU, when YOU see all these things, know that he is near at the doors.+)

(James 5:9): Do not heave sighs* against one another, brothers, so that YOU do not get judged.+ Look! The Judge is standing before the doors.+

(Revelation 3:20): 20 Look! I am standing at the door+ and knocking. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,+ I will come into his [house] and take the evening meal with him and he with me.

be sound in mind:

(Romans 12:3): For through the undeserved kindness given to me, I tell everyone there among you not to think more of himself than it is necessary to think,+ but to think so as to have a sound mind, each one as God has given* to him a measure of faith.+

(1 Timothy 3:2): The overseer should therefore be irreprehensible, a husband of one wife, moderate in habits, sound in mind,*+ orderly, hospitable,+ qualified to teach,+
(Titus 2:6): Likewise, keep on urging the younger men to be sound in mind,+
(1 Peter 5:5): In like manner, YOU younger men, be in subjection+ to the older men. But all of YOU gird yourselves with lowliness of mind toward one another,+ because God opposes the haughty ones, but he gives undeserved kindness to the humble ones.+

be vigilant: Or “alert; awake.”

be vigilant with a view to prayers

(Colossians 4:2): Persevere in prayer,+ remaining awake in it with thanksgiving.+
(Luke 18:1): 18 Then he went on to tell them an illustration about the need for them always to pray and not to give up,+
(Romans 12:12): 12 Rejoice in the hope. Endure under tribulation.+ Persevere in prayer.+
(Ephesians 6:18): 18 while with every form of prayer+ and supplication you carry on prayer on every occasion in spirit.+ And to that end stay awake, constantly making supplication in behalf of all the holy ones.

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Preceding articles:

Praying is surrendering in all circumstances

When you don't get what you askedPatience and self-control

It takes patience and self-control to trudge through difficult times, and it requires from us some faith in that what is promised to us in the very old days.

With praying we can ask but also say thank you and give praise. When everything goes right it is easy to forget God or it may also be easy to say thanks to God for times of health and prosperity. But when things go wrong or we do have a lot of problems it might be more difficult to say thanks to God. Though it is not so easy to thank God for our times of trials, storms, and adversity, we are called to give thanks in All circumstances.

Praying to God is also giving Him our heart and showing Him that we do have faith in His intentions and purpose.

Growing closer by surrendering

In our faith life we do have to grow closer to the Most High Elohim. We can do that by regular intensive study of His Word. In the Bible we can find lots of prayers which we can see as examples but which we also can use as prayers to Jehovah. In good but also in bad times we should decide to praise Him in the midst of happy moments, our bad moments, our pains and sorrows. We should not see it as a sacrifice of praise but as a gift of surrender to the One Who we do love and Who offered us the Grace of Salvation.

In this world where not many do love God it might well be that we do need some courage to show our gratitude and love for God. When we do surrender to the Divine Creator, The Elohim Hashem Jehovah this will give our heavenly Father much joy and probably cause the enemy much discomfort. Our relationship and our conversation with God will also serve as a quiet witness to those all around us.

“We ought to give thanks for all fortune:
if it is good, because it is good,
if bad, because it works in us patience,
humility and the contempt of this world and the hope of our eternal country.”
~C.S. Lewis        

When we surrender to Christ and to his heavenly Father the peace of Christ will always greet us if we lift up our needs in prayer, like Jesus did also to his heavenly Father. God loves us so much that he gave His only begotten son, who showed so much love for the world that he gave his body. Jesus restored the relationship between God and His creation so that we now all can come up to Him as His children. When we are prepared to give ourself in His Hands than peace that transcends all understanding shall be available for us as for every child of God. It is never withheld or out of reach. This peace comes when we surrender our challenges and submit to God’s plan, trusting Him to equip us for every obstacle.

Intimacy with God

When we pray we are prepared to want to experience intimacy with God. To be able to do that we do have to free our mind of our daily  ‘besognes” or worries. Our mind which is so often too preoccupied with all that is going on around us we do have to liberate from those problems and thoughts that haunt us.

When we purposely draw near to God with the hopes of Him drawing near to and speaking to us, we have to remember the primary way God speaks to us. He primarily speaks to us through His Word. That Word was brought to us by men of God, His prophets of which Jesus is the most important prophet and Master Teacher. When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread…” He was not teaching them to pray for food or provision. He was teaching them to meditate on the scriptures — the Word of his heavenly Father, the Only One God, to Whom Jesus gave all honour, prayed and learned us to pray to.

Chose to associate with who

To be able to come closer to God we do have to be careful with whom we do want to associate. The people who surround us shall influence us. They also shall cause that we take on a certain attitude, therefore it is important which friends we choose. Avoiding bad people who can influence us in a bad way we can show our good sides to others and be an example for God to attract other lovers of God. Together we can unite to take time to talk about God and His Word and to praise Him in unity.
When you try to go on the right path to come in a good relationship with the Most High, try to clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Leaving the past

In case in the past we did do a lot of bad things we should regret them but not linger with them any more. Leave what happened in the past for what it was. Try to change for the good wherever you can, but that what not can be changed any more or turned back, have pity for it, but continue your way in the good sense. Try to put it away by talking with God about it and demanding pardon. For that what you regret god is willing to give forgiveness. It is not just running away from the past like nothing happened, but it is taking on the right attitude to take on, continue your way in a better direction.

Loving God you should make an end to your old life and build up a new life. By trying to set your self apart from the world, i.e. becoming a saint the first on the list of your concerns should be sharing the love Christ had for you with others. As love is patient you should show patience for yourself and for others, forgiving others for what they did wrong to you and praying for them, showing God you forgive them and you feel with them. when you take on the right attitude to others who wrong you, you shall be able to cure more sins than by wanting to bring condemnation. When you are angry or even mad at some one try to take a moment with God, asking Him for advice, giving Him the ability to help you to do the right thing. You may be angry but do not sin. Always remember that your struggles develop your strengths. We also should always remember that the words we use and the tone in which we use are going to define our but also other’s life. They will speak life or death to ourself but also to our children and their children. Therefore it is important that we balance our thoughts and choose our words rightly. Do not be afraid to ask help to God to find the right words to use. God can give us grace even when we are stressed and overwhelmed, that our children never take the below from our words.

Habits, attitude, action and reaction

Mary Magdalene, in a dramatic 19th-century pop...

Mary Magdalene, in a dramatic 19th-century popular image of penitence painted by Ary Scheffer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We should know that we as creatures of habit, we continually return to what we know. For lots of people the unknown frightens them. Though that we do know is not always the safe place. Sometimes, that is a place of discomfort or sadness or frustration. Sometimes, it is the easy place to be, or the one that keeps us financially stable or under the radar. Sometimes it is not that a situation can’t be changed; it is more that we lack the courage to make change happen. There is risk involved.

Often we can see what is happening but do not dare to react. Often we are afraid for reactions of others. As Christians we should know what is good and what is bad and should dare to speak for what is going wrong. But the way we are going to react is very important and for this we can counsel God first in prayer. Though perhaps there can be lots of things outside ourselves which we can not control, but our inner self, our own being we should be able to control and let it to be guided by God’s Wisdom.

Taking on Christ’s attitude

Always remember that the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands when everything goes all right and when you feel comfortable. It is when problems arise that mostly the character of a person comes into the light. In times of problems, challenge and controversy, you have to have self-control and be a worthy follower of Christ, willing to take on his attitude in such circumstances. If you feel you can not tackle it on your own, than is the time ripe to take up prayer. Inner conflict are often the termites of disobedience, so than it is high time to show obedience to God and show your love to His other creatures, not sowing bad things but good things of which you later shall have no regret.

Giving time to the Most Important One

Spending time with God is special whether if “feels” intimate or not and whether I get goosebumps or not. It’s simply great to spend time with the Most High Lord of the lord of lords! In your prayers God always should be your hope.

You can spend time with God with your actions as well with your words.

Switching off your autopilot you can be with your mind with God from the moment you are awake. When standing up, washing yourself, you can take a moment to stop in your mind for a second, while your autopilot does the daily actions, you let your spirit wander into the Hands of God. When you eat your meal, you can savour it, thinking about the taste, texture even temperature, and take time to enjoy that what God gives you daily. On your route to work/school you can look up at the sky, feel the sun, the wind on your face, take time as it were to smell the flowers (metaphorically or in reality if at all possible).

Also at work you can take moments of meditation or prayer. At your desk, take a few deep breaths, then try and notice a few (e.g.five) things you can hear, see and touch and five body sensations you are experiencing. This is one perfect way to de-stress.

Moments for you and God

Several times in the day you should take a moment for yourself and to stretch in a quite space, taking note on how it makes your body feel, where the tension is in your body which you can focus on and breathe into.

Perhaps you think you will loose a lot of precious time that way. But it isn’t. You shall be able to recharge. These moments of meditation and prayer aren’t meant to last a long time,

30 seconds can sometimes be all it takes. Of course if you want to spend a bit longer doing it, by all means do so! {6 Ways to be More Mindful}

You shall not always be able to succeed to have a good meditation or a good chat with the Higher Being. Taking time for yourself and in that time daring to put yourself away from the busy world is not easy. when you feel not happy with your previous meditation session or prayer time, do not find an excuse than to have further delays. Take it as

when you have blown your planned diet or abandoned your exercise routine; when you have ventured down a path that feels like a waste of your time, energy, and talents; when you feel you have betrayed yourself in some way by not following through on your higher intentions; whenever you veer off course or are derailed by some setback, rather than mercilessly beat yourself up about it, rather than bludgeon yourself with self-criticism that only leaves you depressed and demoralized, you can recognize the fact that you’ve wandered from your desired path, identify what happened (and what you might do differently the next time, if it’s yours to do), and then take the opportunity to gently and lovingly collect yourself, redirect yourself, and…

Begin again. {Begin Again}

°°°

serenity-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
  6. Praying and acts of meditation without ceasing

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Additional reading:

  1. The business of this life
  2. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
  3. The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen
  4. God should be your hope
  5. God is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him
  6. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  7. Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality
  8. Fragments from the Book of Job #6: chapters 38-42
  9. Getting fate in your change to positiveness
  10. A Story of the Soldier and a Spider
  11. Running away from the past
  12. Walking alone?
  13. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  14. Control your destiny or somebody else will
  15. Malefactors becoming your master
  16. Control and change
  17. Know Who goes with us and don’t try to control life
  18. Wednesday Talk: Favorite Scripture: Rejoice always
  19. Tapping into God’s Strength by Waiting on Him
  20. God is the strength of my heart
  21. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  22. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  23. A man who cannot forgive others
  24. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
  25. Patience is the ability to count down before blasting off
  26. Your struggles develop your strengths
  27. Be ye angry and sin not
  28. He who smiles rather than rages is always the stronger
  29. Unconditional love
  30. Love will cure more sins than condemnation
  31. Careful what you sow, it might grow
  32. Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness
  33. Angry but not sinning
  34. Kindness
  35. Be kinder than necessary
  36. A treasure which can give me everything I need
  37. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #1 Kings Faith
  38. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  39. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  40. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #9 Prayer #7 Reason to pray
  41. God is my refuge and my fortress in Him I will trust

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Find also to read:

  1. Serenity. Courage. Wisdom.
  2. Do you want your direction to be more clear?
  3. 6 Ways to be More Mindful
  4. Benefits of Meditation ☮
  5. In Search of the Winter Sun
  6. Work with Thoughts
  7. It Sounds Very Simple!
  8. Begin Again
  9. Inside My Head
  10. The Understanding of Dee and Meditation
  11. The Spiritual Treatment of Anxiety
  12. A Prayer for Starting Over
  13. A Prayer for New Beginnings
  14. Self Discipline

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  • Growing Closer to Christ Through Our Afflictions (faithinspires.wordpress.com)
    Afflictions don’t just attack our belief and faith in God. They are also meant ti distract us from God’s way, and his work. This is true even if our “work” for God is as simple as our example to those around us. Consider these words from noted Christian Author Joyce Meyers, ” The only way to repay the devil for hurt and devastation in our personal lives is to aggressively and vehemently do the works of Jesus.” In this short quote Meyers points out again that the source of our afflictions is the Devil. There’s an old saying “ Success is the best revenge. “ This is also what she is saying. The best way to combat the afflictions in our lives, is to succeed in our walk with Christ. Now I’m am not saying this will necessarily be easy. In fact the value in what I am saying lies in the fact that it will likely be hard and require significant effort !So when afflictions and struggles wage against you, first of all pray ! The more it hurts the harder you should pray. Seek the support of other like minded Christians. Do something for Christ no matter how small it may seem. Fight back with Christ and God himself as allies.
  • When Prayer Comes Hard (rosemccormickbrandon.wordpress.com)
    Often when a Christian expresses a need that deeply troubles them, another believer will say something like, “Just prayer about,” or “Just trust God.” It happens too when a person has been violated, lied about or hurt by the actions of another person. Someone will pipe up with this solution: “Just forgive and let it go.”To pray is always right. The same is true about trusting God and forgiving others. The problem is that prayer comes hard sometimes. And trust is not always the issue – a person may trust God completely but be weighed down with the turbulence of a life-altering event. As for forgiveness, it doesn’t roll out of the heart as easily as it rolls off the tongue.
  • A Prayer Of Faith (christianmotivations.weebly.com)
    This statement of faith cannot be argued away: every prayer of faith will be answered by God. It is very important to learn to apply the Word of God when you pray, because the Word is spirit and life. God’s Word is the truth and will never fail. God watches over His Word to ensure that His promises come to pass. When you pray according to the Word of God, your prayers are in line with the will of God.
  • Prayer Part 4 – Our Personal Intercessor (pastortyrus.com)
    Did you know we carry a personal intercessor with us everywhere we go? We have a helper that “helpeth our infirmities” The message bible version of the same verse says, “Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.” Well how about that?!?!
  • 8 Things Jesus Never said (bryanpattersonfaithworks.wordpress.com)
    Jesus said a lot of things throughout the Bible, but there are also a lot of things he didn’t. Here are eight things Jesus never said (From chururchleaders.com).
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    Jesus never promises fame or fortune, yet these are also not things he opposes if used for his glory. If your reasoning for seeking a relationship with God is materially focused, you may want to evaluate what god you’re really yearning for.
  • Praying for our worldwide family (csmonitor.com)
    In order to pray, we need to first let go of any feelings of hopelessness, which lead thought away from the understanding that God is omnipresent divine Love, and that we are all God’s offspring, created spiritually in His likeness. When we turn away from the sense that God is anything other than a loving protector, we are open to understanding that God is powerful enough to provide for the needs of His creation! Praying this way – by choosing to keep our thoughts centered on the understanding of God’s omnipotence, omnipresence, and goodness – we are able to meet challenges both near and far.
  • Listen: The Attributes of God: Is God a “He”? (The Reasons to Believe #91 with Daniel Whyte III) (blackchristiannews.com)
    God has been under attack in the world almost since the beginning of time, but He and those who believe in Him are under attack more now than ever before. Atheism is increasing and atheists are becoming more vocal. This podcast is an ongoing debate response to such people as Richard Dawkins, Bill Maher and others who don’t believe in God and who preach atheism to the world. This podcast is also designed to equip Christians to do what the Holy Scriptures command, and that is to, “earnestly contend for the faith” and to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh us a reason of the hope that is in us”. But more importantly, this broadcast/podcast is designed to give you a reason to believe in God and His Son Jesus Christ.
  • DAY 18 Power to Heal and Deliver (cutpaste.typepad.com)
    As much as I want God to heal, it’s not up to me. God is the healer. My job is to give him the opportunity to heal by offering to pray for every sick person I come in contact with.  What I will be held accountable for is not how many were healed but how many I was obedient to pray for.
  • Banking on God’s Promises (witnesswell.net)
    “Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for not being like a busy parent who says, “Don’t ask – don’t knock – I’m too busy to be bothered!” Today I pray for those who don’t know Jesus – I pray they will begin to ask, search, and knock.  Use Christian friends to introduce them to the truths of Your Word – may their eyes be open. Draw them into a sincere faith in the real You and may they find and experience the wonders of You through Your Word. LORD, I’m banking on Your promise to open the door when they knock. Thanks you! I come before You in Jesus’ name”
  • I Sing Praises, Because There is a Name I Can Call On….Regardless of My Need (brandinicolejm.wordpress.com)
    Just like we have first names, God’s first name is Yahweh or Jehovah. The Hebrew word means “I Am” and comes from the verb which means “to be” or “to exist.” As we speak to one another on a first name basis, we should have a desire to be on a first name basis with God. It is when we seek Him out (regardless of our flaws, weaknesses and shortcomings) with a level of transparency and honesty that God shares with us His last name.

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