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Lesson # Matt. 6:9
Study Material - Matt. 6:9
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
9 'Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.
Christ has already taught us that it is our attitude, our state of mind that is important in the spiritual life. If we think sin, then that is as good as doing sin. If we have a weakness, then we best do whatever is necessary to help us avoid the circumstances that tempt us toward that weakness. We must seek an audience with God on His level of perfection. We do not seek to bring God down to our disgusting level of wickedness.
We communicate with God in a special manner which we call prayer. This is a private communication. It is for you and you alone, from your position of fellowship (in Gods presence, on Gods level), and for Gods ears alone, not for the ears of people. People, angels, animals, inanimate objects cannot help you. Your prayers to God are no ones business but your own. Now this is concerning your private prayers. There is a place for public prayers, but those events are generally few and far between. The bulk of your prayers are most likely of the private category.
Public prayers could include the blessing of a family meal wherein the Dad (presumably the one in the highest authority in the household) gives the blessing - 'Father please bless this food for the nourishment of our bodies. In Christ's name, amen'. Long drawn out prayers are unnecessary. Keep them short and to the point. More words only let the food get cold. You are gathered to eat, not have a Bible study. Other public prayers might be appropriate in times of huge catastrophe or before some major event - say the invasion of a foreign power in time of war.
But generally your prayers will be of the following categories - confession, thanks, a petition for something, food blessing, petition for someone, petition for yourself and family. You can probably think of other categories, but you get the picture I hope.
'Pray in this manner:....'. Jesus Christ gives us a guideline, to help us in our prayer life. People are generally so confused about prayer, that they do not know if it does them any good or not. And most probably your prayers have been ineffective for many reasons.
Since we have already seen that we need to be on the same level as God (fellowship - perfect as God is), now we need to know to whom we are to pray, to where we are to direct our prayers, and why this is.
'Our Father'. This is the first person of the Godhead, the author and designer of all things, the ultimate authority over all things. He is the one who issues the instructions and then others carry them out. Sure Jesus Christ is to inherit all authority, dominion, and power, but right now He sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven. Yes, it is Jesus Christ who executed all the actions of creation and controls history, but only at the direction of the Father's plan.
All prayer is addressed to God the Father. It is He and He alone that can receive your prayer, and grant your request. Prayer is never, repeat never addressed to anything or anyone else. We never pray to Mary, or to Joseph, or to any Saint, never to our ancestors, never to any angel of any kind whether saved angels or demons. We never pray to Jesus - Ohhh Jesus!! Even your tone of voice or its sound is irrelevant. Counting beads won't help you. Holding on to a little jewelry cross, won't help you. Holding on to a rabbits foot won't help you. We never pray to animals - fish, whales, bears, wolves, lions, buffalo, birds, worms, or anything else that you can imagine. Yet there are cultures that pray to these things because they believe that there is magic in the spirit world within animals, and this is all nonsense. There is neither magic, nor even spirits of any kind in animals. Animals are biological only. They have no souls, and certainly have no spirits. We never pray to things - rocks, idols, anything manmade, even portrayals of Christ on a cross as we see so much in churches and missions, etc. These are mere icons, never intended for worship or prayer, but as you all probably know, they have been abused and misused in the prayer function over the centuries. We do not pray to images of Christ, such as shadows that people think they see, or to shrouds that people think they have found. Even the cup that Christ drank from has no spiritual value.
All prayer is directed to God the Father. No exceptions.
Where is God the Father located? Well of course God is omnipresent, and therefore He is everywhere, but His seat of government is in Heaven. All things spiritual come from heaven. Not in the created heavens, not in the sea, not in the earth. There is no such think as being one with the universe. There is no such thing as being one with nature. There is no such thing as being one within ones inner self. Whether inside yourself, or in your immediate surroundings, or in your distant surroundings, whether in the past, present, or future, neither time nor place has anything to do with your prayer life. All answers come from God in heaven, never from anyplace else. So if you want to sit in a room and hummm to yourself, or sit in a park on the grass and hummm to yourself, or just hummm, then that is all you'll get is a good hummm out of it all. Want to tell everyone that you are stupid, then hummm a prayer to all those nothings out there.
'... Hallowed', 'Hagiazo', to make holy, purify, consecrate, sacred, magnified, glorified, Holy, pure, blameless, honor, recognition, merit. God is all of these and much, much more, but no one, and nothing in all of creation can come close to these characteristics of God. God alone is Holy (His righteousness plus His justice). Nothing on earth is holy. No water, no clothing, no ornament, no material, no constructed building, no idol, no jewelry, nothing on earth is holy. Nothing can be made holy by the mere waving of a rod or wand over it. No one, no organization can become holy by their self appointment to that status. Nothing unholy can become holy, unless something holy makes it that way. And God alone is Holy, and God alone can make things holy. Holiness cannot associate with anything unholy. So when we believed in Christ you received the imputation of Gods righteousness and His justice. At that point you became holy, but that only gives you the right to stand before Him when you are in fellowship. Out of fellowship your spiritual status is short circuited and out of order.
Prayer is a communication between a lower form of slime (mankind), with God, and on a level which God designates. Everything in creation is nothingness as Solomon teaches - '... all is vanity...', so our prayer recognizes Gods ultimate authority and status of perfection over all of creation. Who is God? 'I am, that I am. I am has sent you'. 'I am' is Gods name. I am - is the 'eternal existing one'. Everything in life is a result of Gods work. Nothing existed prior to Gods creation of angels, or universe, or fish, or bird, or animal, or man. Note that angels were created first, and man was created last. We are the least of creation so our boasting really carries no weight in anything other than our own imaginations.
Prayer then recognizes the Fathers will, authority, and position over everything in existence. To direct prayer to any other object is the quintessence of insult toward God, and a demonstration of the absolute stupidity of a person.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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