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The Perfect Prayer

NudeInMA

NudeInMA

Ultra Nudist [4993] | 4 years ago | More Info

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Nudism is the Great Equalizer. It is impossible to put on airs when one is nude.-- NudeInMA<br>

The Perfect Prayer

THE PERFECT PRAYER

"And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, one of His disciples said, Lord, teach us to pray." This supplication in Luke 11:1 was an invitation to Jesus to provide mankind with the way to effective prayer. In response, Jesus offered to them the only prayer that He ever taught to mankind, the timeless Lord's Prayer. A longer version of the prayer appears in Matthew 6:9-13, as part of Christ's Sermon on the Mount.

As a preface, let's consider what those casually acquainted with the Bible might call contradictions. For example, the two occurences of the Lord's Prayer are evidently unrelated in time and place, and critics might well question why, if such obvious discrepancies exist, we are to give the Bible any credence.

Perhaps the most common supposition is that whenever similar or identical wording occurs in the Gospels, it automatically refers to the same occasion. But, why make that assumption?

All the events outlined in the Gospels, taken together, could not possibly have required the three years of Jesus' earthly ministry. Indeed, as John wrote in closing his Gospel, "And there are also many other things that Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen." (John 21:25)

John's comment indicates that the vast portion of Jesus' life is NOT recorded. The four Gospels represent snapshots of the Lord's time on this world, doubtless the highlights as the writers saw them. What about all that in-between time?

Jesus spent those three years as an itinerant preacher, going from place to place teaching. Much of the apostles' time with Him was spent walking, or patiently waiting while He stopped to speak to those who gathered to hear Him. Why were those hours and days not preserved for posterity, unless Jesus said or did nothing new during them?

When an evangelist comes to a church, are his messages penned only for that church? Of course not! On each tour, he writes a series of nightly messages, and uses them at every church he goes to with only minor changes, tailoring his comments to suit the individual churches.

In His travels, the Lord did a great deal of teaching, and it is probable that most of His listeners had never heard Him speak. As such, He repeated Himself frequently, so that each new crowd would hear the same vitally important lessons and truths. Thus, Matthew recorded the Sermon on the Mount, and Luke reported a similar sermon while Jesus was teaching from "a level place" (Luke 6:17). The question isn't where Jesus actually preached the sermon, but rather how many more times He used that same one that are NOT mentioned.

Matthew told us about one occasion and Luke reported another. Matthew told of one time when Jesus taught the Lord's Prayer to the people on the mountain, and Luke told us how He taught it to His close disciples. Matthew's is a longer version just because Jesus had more to tell the people concerning prayer than was necessary for His disciples. It's that simple.

With that said, let's delve into the Lord's Prayer, as it is recorded by Matthew in the glorious King James Version.

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"Our Father"

One constant in the Jewish tradition was the profound respect they held for their fathers, and for the forefathers of their nation. How often they spoke of their fathers, of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. Imagine, then, the effect that Jesus' lesson must have had on them when the very first words that He told them to say in prayer were, "Our Father".

Throughout their history, Israel's God was the fearsome and mighty God of the plagues that ravaged Egypt, the God of the cloud by day and the fire by night, the God Who parted the Red Sea, the God of power atop Mount Sinai, the God of glory who dwelt in the Holy of Holies. God evoked just one response from the Hebrew people: fearful reverence. The farthest thing from their religion was the personal God spoken of by Christ.

What, then, was their reaction when Jesus said to start their prayers to God by saying, "Our Father"? What Jesus was telling them was to set aside their picture of the God of Israel's past, and envision themselves intimately talking with him, confident of his undivided attention. Needless to say, Jesus was hitting them right in their hearts.

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"Which art in heaven"

This phrase removed any questions His hearers had about Whom He was saying to call their "Father" (and He spoke of "your" Father in heaven six times in this sermon alone). They knew that there is only ONE in heaven who hears the prayers of the people, and that's Yahweh, God. It was their choice to accept what Jesus was saying about God, or to reject it and stand by their traditions. One wonders how many of them were able to make such a spectacular leap of faith. How many actually set aside their lifetime of education on the nature of the God of their forefathers, and adopted this radically new teaching about Him? The Lord gave them much food for thought.

In our time, this phrase is a direct rebuttal to the nonsense of pantheism and the various New Age myths. It places God in a distinct place called heaven separate from this world, and does not support the foolishness of "Christ-consciousness", the "God within us" that is integral to the lie of the New Age -- the oldest lie in the world, first told by Satan in the Garden (Genesis 3:5).

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"Hallowed be thy name"

The wording of this phrase indicates that it is the first of the seven petitions of the Lord's Prayer. Let Your name be hallowed, honored, respected, revered, used in a manner that brings glory to You. That is the meaning of the sentence, and how we need to take it to heart!

One vile habit of the unsaved is their cavalier defiling of the name of God. It's instructive to consider that ONLY the holy names of God and Jesus Christ are so abused.

The sin nature of man is not driven to call upon figures of mythology or history as epithets. Only the God Who authored the Ten Commandments demanded that His name be kept holy. It's no sin to take the name of Vishnu or Mohammed in vain, and the demonic realms are out to instigate sin. Ergo, when the lost use foul language, Satan's minions will see to it that the blessed names figure prominently therein, knowing how offensive it is to God. The lack of self-control causes gutter language in the unsaved, but demons play no small part in steering it toward the trashing of God's holy name.

Beyond the vulgar use of God's name, however, is the far more serious abuse of attaching His name to errant gospels. Chief amongst the "Christian" charlatans are the "televangelists" who preach the apostate "prosperity gospel". They shamelessly distort Scripture to mislead the viewers with their pretense of holiness, feigning praise of God while they fill up their pockets with the hard-earned money of people who often can't afford such "seed faith gifts". One shudders to think of the condemnation they are heaping upon themselves (2 Peter 2:3).

Perhaps the vilest way to besmirch the name of God is the sin of the nominal Christians. They profess their faith in God, and proclaim Jesus as Lord and Savior, but their lives refute everything they say. It is the offense of the "Do as I say, not as I do" hypocrites.

The instant a Christian identifies himself with Jesus Christ, he becomes a dweller in a glass house. The way the lost view Christ depends a great deal upon how faithfully the believer practices what he preaches. If a picture is worth a thousand words, the life of a Christian is worth a thousand pictures. We are indeed the only Bible most of the lost may ever see, and whether they turn to God in repentance or reject Him in disgust depends on how we live the Bible.

As Christians, we represent the holy names that we speak, and if we send the wrong message to the lost who are watching, we drag those names through the mud. God help us if we face the Lord in judgment for the sin of putting Him to shame.

Although the petition, "Hallowed be thy name," was spoken to the people of that time, it's arguable that it was aimed at the future, right at us. It's a warning, and it behooves us to treat it with the seriousness that it requires.

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"Thy kingdom come"

This petition is a plea to God to bring His kingdom to this world. Because Jesus taught the prayer knowing that it would continue to be repeated throughout the centuries, it evinces that until He returns to establish His millenial reign, the kingdom of God will not exist on Earth except in the hearts and lives of His children, the Church of Jesus Christ.

Recall that Jesus said during the Sermon on the Mount, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God" (Matthew 6:33). If it must be sought, it isn't readily accessible, and it is certainly not manifested within the worldly realm. For the duration, God's kingdom is spiritual, and believers must continue to pray earnestly for that blessed time when it will come by the presence of Jesus Christ ruling from the throne of David.

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"Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven."

We have come to the heart of effective prayer. If there's one truth that runs throughout Scripture, it is that the will of God is the master plan for the universe. Although each of us has a free will given in love by God, our decisions in no way modify the overarching plan. Indeed, because every choice we will ever make is known to God, it is already factored in, and the predestined plan continues flawlessly onward.

Sidebar: some say that predestination negates free will, but the two are compatible if we understand what is predestined. Think of God's plan for the Church as a plane going from New York to Los Angeles. The decision to purchase a ticket is up to the individual. However, the choice in no way affects the ultimate arrival of the plane at Los Angeles. In fact, those aboard have bought their tickets precisely because they know the plane's predetermined destination.

The true Church has always been predestined by God according to His divine purpose, but He in no way preselects some to join the Church and others to reject it. God's plan for the Church is independent of the choices of its members, and the members have joined because they concur with the plan.

Just as we freely accepted our salvation through Christ, our prayer lives are governed by our free will. However, what we pray for is NOT guaranteed to come to pass. Effective prayer is praying in the will of God. Jesus demonstrated it often, especially in the Garden of Gethsemane, where He surrendered His very life to the will of His Father, despite knowing the nightmare He was facing. He had the free will to "just say no", but He also knew that the salvation of every human soul depended on His obedience even unto death.

When we are in touch with God, He makes His will known to us through the Holy Spirit, and we know in our hearts that our prayer is effectual. Much of God's will is preserved in the Bible, and study of the Word will provide the foundations for efficacious prayer. Beyond that, day by day He will reveal His will to us if we sincerely seek to know it. When we have a feeling of uncertainty about what we're asking in prayer, it's quite possible that it is the Spirit's way of telling us that our petitions are outside of the Father's will.

Very seldom do prayers arising from self-interest or worldly desires have anything in common with God's will. Indeed, one of our first prayers ought to be in thanksgiving that God, in His infinite wisdom, gives us what we need rather than what we want. There is an old jest that brings with it a pearl of wisdom: "Be very careful what you pray for, because God might give it to you." Pray from the heart, "Thy will be done," and leave the inspiration to Him.

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"Give us this day our daily bread"

Here's one of those secrets for successful Christian living. "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" (Matthew 6:34). The passage in the Sermon on the Mount from 6:25 to 6:34 tells us that life is more than things, and that fretting about the future is merely borrowing trouble. No one ever succeeded in worrying the next day's affairs into even the subtlest change.

"(Y)e know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away" (James 4:14). We don't know if we'll still be here in five seconds, let alone tomorrow. The advice is wisely given to plan for the future but to live for today. That's the essence of the above petition to God.

Jesus was saying to pray that God will care today for today's needs. That's all we can reasonably ask of Him. After all, He already knows what we'll be requiring tomorrow, and praying for something else will just waste our time. And, do avoid the prayer seen on some T-shirts: "Dear Lord, please let me prove to you that winning the lottery won't spoil me."

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"And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors"

In ten words, Jesus summed up the parable of the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18:23-35. The catch in this petition is the second part of it, the part that makes God's forgiveness contingent on our own. The parable made it very clear that the debt we owe to God because of our sin is insurmountable by our own efforts. By comparison to what God could take us to task for, there's NOTHING that we can hold against someone else that isn't the proverbial hill of beans.

Therefore, it would be the very acme of consummate arrogance to ask that God forgive us for our sins against Him, every one of which carries the death penalty in eternity (Romans 6:23), while we refuse to settle the trivial disputes that we have amongst ourselves. Jesus made that plain enough, and He said it often enough, that we have no excuse. Don't even pray the Lord's Prayer unless your debtors are indeed forgiven.

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"And lead us not into temptation"

This is an interesting petition. James 1:13 says, "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man..." If God does not tempt us, then why would Jesus instruct us to pray, "Lead us not into temptation"?

Here we ought to look into the original Greek. The word used for "temptation" is "peirasmos" (pi-ras-mos), defined in the Strong's Concordance this way: "... A putting to proof (by experiment {of good}, experience {of evil}, solicitation, discipline or provocation); by implication), adversity: temptation, X try (in the Greek idiom)."

Evidently, then, temptation is a testing or trial. Since, as the writer of Hebrews said, Jesus was "in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15), temptation is NOT sinful. God uses our trials and temptations to help us strengthen and mature our faith, "(B)ut God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, they ye may be able to bear it" (1 Corinthians 10:13).

What, then, was Jesus saying in Matthew 6:13? It seems quite possible that the petition is simply to ask God not to throw more trials and temptations our way than will normally arise because we are prisoners in these bodies of flesh and living in a sinful world.

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"But deliver us from evil"

New versions say the "evil one" (Satan), but the petition is that we will be delivered from the influence of evil in its entirety, including that which can arise from our own sinful nature apart from demonic intervention.

It's convenient to blame the devil for every instance of sin and evil, and it plays into the New-Age delusions of man's Godhood and inner goodness. However, there is no doubt about the human ability to do wrong without any help from hell. When Flip Wilson's Geraldine said, "The devil made me do it!" he was simply citing an all too common excuse for sinning while shifting the blame.

In truth, on our own we simply cannot resist the power of sin over our weak human wills (see Romans 7:14-25). Whether it's sin arising from our fallen nature or sin evoked by the lies of the minions of hell, we need God's intervention to resist it, and Jesus exhorted us to ask God for that help.

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"For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen"

These words are truly a magnificent way to close a wonderful prayer. They acknowledge that our God is the one and only God. They confirm His sovereignty and His dominion over all of creation. They give Him the glory that is due Him. And, they profess that He is eternally God. That's a whole lot of Christianity in a few inspired and inspiring words.

It is shameful that this closing has been omitted from "new" Bibles except as a footnote thanks to those two architects of apostasy, Westcott and Hort, but that's another long story.

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No Christian at an impasse on how to go to God in prayer will ever do better than to remember this brief, forceful prayer. Jesus, being God, knew precisely what to say to His Father, and there is little that can be said in prayer that is not in some way covered by His priceless, timeless words.

When you're at a loss for what words to use, turn to the word of God and pray as the Lord taught us. Our heavenly Abba is listening.

Matt. 6:9 -- After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Matt. 6:10 - Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Matt: 6:11 - Give us this day our daily bread.
Matt. 6:12 - And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Matt. 6:13 - 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.
PIPearl4Christ

PIPearl4Christ

Undies Only [136] | 4 years ago | More Info

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<b>"Created in His Image and Likeness Naked and Unashamed"</b><br><br><br><br>

RE: The Perfect Prayer

Excellent read NudeinMa, I hope many here will take the time to read it as it is time well spent, a wonderful enlightening commentary to the Lords prayer. Please continue to share more bro.... God Bless.... PiP
naturistasif

naturistasif

Topless [69] | 9 months ago | More Info

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RE: The Perfect Prayer


NudeInMA, Amazing job, buddy! I've learned a lots of valuable things from your post. God bless you, may the happiness be always with you!
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C-A-N-R = Christian Association For Nude Recreation.

Christian nudist/naturists who enjoy nude recreation, and who keep Jesus Christ first and foremost in their lives whether nude or clothed. As we know statistically more that 60 % of nudists claim to be Christian, actually here at TN the % rate shows higher.



Good Christian conduct, and politeness and consideration to others, as we would expect the same of them. AANR principles with good Christian values is appreciated.



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