January’s Thread #4: Example

For this series on “prayer” I thought some form of facts would be interesting.  As I write this I will be praying that I word everything in the way the Lord wishes it to appear. 

I gave up on my own research for how many times “prayer” is mentioned.  I lost count and would get myself lost in the readings; so what did I do?  I hit the internet for its dubious facts.  I tried to stay with Christian sites, et al.  Several sites said that prayer was mentioned over 600 times.  That being said, I think that may include all the “pray” words, or other assumptions for prayer.  One site said over 400 prayers were answered.  That must have meant that some form of answer or even an action was recorded.

Then the statistics bored me, so what I  found more interesting was the first time “prayer” was insinuated.  Genesis 4:26.  Before that time, the Lord called upon men.  [Let it be known that He still called upon men in the Old Testament AND STILL DOES WITH A DIFFERENT format .]  The reference does not include the word “prayer”, but “to call upon the name of the LORD.”  There are so many different views on this single verse.  Some think it means that men finally began to assemble, some think it means they were finally calling themselves the Lord’s children.  Again, it could mean different things to us, for/during each of the different seasons we are going through.  Again, I got side tracked.  My mind started asking myself different questions.  So, …..

It is my belief, that if I am a child of our Lord, that prayer is conversation.  In Genesis we have the Lord roaming the Garden with Adam and Eve.  He talked with them daily.  Then after they had sinned they hid themselves, but He seeketh them out.  Does the Lord seek us out today?  Think about it, God spoke with Cain after he killed his brother.  Cain was a sinner, we are sinners.

I am a person who has a love/hate relationship with statistics.  After taking college courses, I fully understand that any statistic can be manipulated by us.  All it takes is using a word out of context or even taking words out of studies to turn the statistic to how we want it to read.  Sadly, that is even how so many read and share the Bible.  Even as I blog I have to find individual verses that I feel support what I am saying.

I know that this post may seem a jumbled mess right now but hang in there, the point will come.  If you consider all I have written above then you will see that I could manipulate this post for any reason I wish.  Keeping that in the forefront of my mind, I am still praying that the Lord lets the Holy Spirit control the typing.

How do you pray!  Vague, yes?  But have you considered how you personally pray?  Do you do it continually?  Do you do it on your knees?  Do you pray just at meals?  Do you pray only in church?  Do you pray aloud?  I could ask probably a hundred questions on “how do you personally pray”?

First, consider the Lord’s example of how to pray.  Consider the places Jesus prayed.  Consider why he prayed.  And I could add a hundred “considers” to the list.

Do you know I never end my prayers with an, “Amen” ?  That is, unless I am praying in front of people.  Some seem to think that you need the ‟Amen” .  Me?  I only feel the need to add it if I am orating a prayer.  Mainly because I know a group needs to understand when it is ‘ok’ to start the next step in the activity.  Just think, if I did not say “Amen”  after my grace, some people might starve to death waiting to pick up their forks.  [ Sorry, couldn’t pass that bit of humor up.  Also, a bit of ‘fact’ is that in Numbers 5:22 is where I found the first use of the word. ]

This post is an encouragement for you to look at how you pray.  As we do this, have we considered those examples?

Luke 11
1   And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
3   Give us day by day our daily bread.
4   And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.  And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

 

Mathew 6
8    Be not ye therefore like unto them:  for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of,  before ye ask him.
9    After this manner therefore pray ye:  Our Father which art in heaven,  Hallowed be thy name.
10   Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11   Give us this day our daily bread.
12   And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13   And lead us not into temptation,  but deliver us from evil:  For thine is the kingdom, and the power,  and the glory,  for ever.  Amen

I am going to break down each verse as I see or understand them to be.  If you are praying, as you read this post, you might be guided to understand them in a different way.  That is the wonder of our Lord and the Spirit with us!  I will use the text from Matthew since it is broken down into smaller verses.

9    After this manner therefore pray ye:  Our Father which art in heaven,  Hallowed be thy name.

This verse is as straight forward as can be.  He is instructing us with the words, “After this manner”.   “Our Fathergives credence to Him being the Son of the Father,  but also includes us.  Why do I say that?  Well, he is instructing the followers on how to pray.  He did not say, “My”.  If we were to address the Lord differently would He not have put in the title we are to use?  If we were not one of His children, would Jesus not have instructed us to say something like “Holy Father of Jesus alone”?   Now, ‟Hallowed be they nameis letting us know we should give recognition to the Lord.  It is a form of praise.

10   Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Verse 10 has us looking to the future kingdom, it speaks of hope and excitement.  In the second part of the verse  Luke words it as: “Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.”   It is showing us that we need to acknowledge that God’s will is the will we should seek.

11   Give us this day our daily bread.

Verse 11 is a gentle request or petition.  It is a simple petition for the Lord giving us what we would need for the day.  I have never taken this to mean just food.  It covers all the spiritual substances, along with the bodily needs.  It is not a request for “things,” but an acknowledgement that He provides for us.

12   And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Verse 12 is so important to us as Christians.  If we have taken the steps of salvation then we know that Jesus took our sins on, and because of this the Holy Father has forgiven our sins.  Jesus paid our debts; thus, we are to always forgive those that we seem to think owe us.  That means forgiving those that anger us, those that disappoint us.  That means we are to forgive no matter what.  Luke reads this way: “And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us”.

13   And lead us not into temptation,  but deliver us from evil:  For thine is the kingdom, and the power,  and the glory,  for ever.  Amen

Here you can take the word “temptation” several ways.  Yes, it can mean temptation to do wrong.  It can mean temptation to not enlist God’s help with trials.  It can mean listening to what satan has to say.  Just as satan tempted Christ, we will be tempted.  If we reversed the wording it becomes clearer to us:  For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.  –  lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  We are to take comfort in knowing that He is our force to protect us, to give us what we need, and we should have faith in that glory.  We should also consider what or who “evil” is in this verse.  Ah, if we read it as “lead us not in to temptation, but deliver us from satan”  we can understand that we are petitioning our Savior or/and then glorying in our salvation. Even thankfulness in/for our salvation.   We could even substitute anger, lust, and any old problem we are faced with.  By praying  “For thine is”  we are acknowledging that all is due to the Lord, nothing is of our abilities.

I was not sure how to end this post, it being quite long; so I broke it into two posts.  I will end this part in a prayer. 

Lord, I first wish to praise You and give my thanks to You for my gift of salvation.  Lord, provide the right reader and may something I typed give them what they need.  Knowing your power and glory, please let the Spirit help keep the tempter at bay or at-least let the Spirit slap me up-side the head and tell me to pay attention.

 

 

 

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