by Anniel 2/6/16
After this manner therefore pray ye. . . Matthew 6:9 KJV ~ My friendly advisor in Judaic thought tells me that in many sects of Judaism the practitioners are told not to engage in intercessory prayers on the sabbath, although they may ask for blessings on the sick. The teaching is that God established the first sabbath based on HIS own need for rest following creation, and that He still has need for rest from the pleas of His children. As my friend says, “I’m sure He doesn’t like to hear our whining all the time.”
This is a new way of looking at prayer for me. I have heard sermons given where we are told to pray sometimes and ASK FOR NOTHING, but GIVE ONLY THANKS to God for His blessings, and that such a prayer should make us more grateful and aware of all God does for us. Making it a regular sabbath day matter had not occurred to me.
In what manner ought we to pray? Dietrich Bonhoeffer recommended the Psalms as a teaching tool for prayer based on a sermon given by Martin Luther. Bonhoeffer said that every person seeking God in prayer should take the time to go through and study all of the Psalms at least once each year. They can be our model for prayer. Even the Disciples asked, ” . . . Lord, teach us to pray . . .” (Luke 11:1) KJV.
Jesus did give the true pattern of prayer in answer to the request of His disciples. Although it is translated a little differently in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew, the essence is the same, and it is beautiful in its profound simplicity. It is known as THE LORD’S PRAYER. Let’s break down the version from Luke to see if we can give attention to the meanings:
Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Christians pray to the Father Creator of us all, who dwells in Heaven, and give reverence to His name to show our love and awe for Him.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
We need to be reminded that it is HIS kingdom we look forward to. In order for that kingdom to come, we seek to follow His will here on earth. We study the scriptures and pray for understanding. This verse reminds us to consider our doings carefully and not rely on our own limited understanding. Truth is available to us.
Give us this day our daily bread.
Such a simple thing, our daily bread. We don’t ask for great riches or glory here, merely the humble “bread” that sustains us. Beyond that, we need to remember that Christ, Himself, is called “the Bread of Life.”
And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to
In order to be forgiven by God, we must forgive all men. Forgiveness takes divine help so we must ask God to aid us in that grueling task. Notice that in Luke’s version he says we are to forgive “indebtedness”, a term which covers all sorts of payments we think are due us, maybe even the value of a tooth for a tooth, or for emotional or monetary harm. We need to learn to forgive, but we can still ask for justice to prevail.
And lead us not into temptation; But deliver us from evil.
Does God “lead” us into temptation? Does He always “deliver” us from evil? I find these to be hard questions. Is this another warning statement of how the world really works? If we are not careful, can we and all men be led easily or blindly into temptation? Or from time to time, through no fault of our own, might we find ourselves in a time or place where we must be “delivered from evil?” Perhaps we need to think of this as a responsibility we each have, to pray for the strength to resist temptation and, if at all possible, the strength and ability to flee if we are in a dangerous or evil situation.
(From Luke 11: 2-4. KJV)
. . . For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. (From Matthew 6:13.) This ending is left off in Luke’s account. But we must always keep in mind that the kingdom belongs to our Father. That it is HIS kingdom, and power, and glory we seek, not our own.
Amen. This is our seal of acceptance for that which we have earnestly prayed.
The Lord does not want us to insult Him with thoughtless “vain repetition”, but rather we should offer Him thoughtful prayers – from the heart. Jesus said that God our Father knows what we need before we ask, but we still need to talk to Him about those needs. That is good six days a week, but perhaps we should approach our sabbath day prayers a little differently. Give our Father a rest and let full thanksgiving really count on that day.
The gratitude we learn and give voice to will profoundly strengthen our own lives, and perhaps even our degenerating culture. • (1223 views)