Keith Hunt - Prayer: Part 1 of 3   Restitution of All Things
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All About Prayer

Part One

   
After Jesus had finished praying on one occasion, one of his
disciples came to him and said: "Lord, teach us to pray" (Lk.
11:2). They knew that followers of Christ should pray. Christ
said, "WHEN you pray...." He expects His brothers and sisters to
pray!

God has a lot to tell us about prayer in His word; so let's find
out what He wants us to know on this subject. Because prayer IS
important, it being one of the lifelines to God and Christ.

                    WHEN SHOULD WE PRAY?

David, a man after God's own heart (Acts 13:22), prayed in the
MORNING : 
  "My voice shall you hear in the morning, 0 Lord; in the morning
  will I direct my prayer unto you .." (Ps 5:3).

Before we start our daily work, we need to talk to our Father in
heaven. We need that love and guidance and strength He can give
us, to help us through the day we are starting upon.

David also ENDED his day in prayer to God:
  "0 Lord God of my salvation, I have cried [in prayer,v.2] day  
  and night before you" (Ps. 88:1).

Sometimes we should pray THREE TIMES A DAY: 
  "...Daniel ...kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and    
  prayed......" (Dan.6:10).
  "Evening and morning and at noon will I pray, and cry aloud:   
  and He shall hear my voice" (Ps.55:17).
    
At special times we may have to pray for many hours:
  "And it came to pass in those days that he went out into a     
  mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God"    
  (Luke 6:12).

We should always be in an ATTITUDE of prayer. We can pray to God
ANYWHERE and at ANY TIME of the day, even if only for a few
seconds.  This is what Paul meant when he said in I Thes. 5:17,
"Pray without ceasing."

                       SECRET PRAYER!

MOST of our prayers are to be personal PRIVATE conversations with
God:
  "And Isaac went out to PRAY [margin reading] in the field at
  the eventide ....."(Gen.25:63).
Christ plainly told His followers that when they prayed they were
not to be:
  ".....as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in
  the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may
  be seen of men ..... but you, when you pray, enter into your
  closet and when you have SHUT YOUR DOOR, PRAY TO YOUR FATHER
  WHICH IS IN SECRET....." (Matt. 6:6).

                     HOW SHOULD WE PRAY?

Christ instructed us NOT TO USE VAIN REPETITIONS and profuse
speaking: ".....but when you pray, use not vain repetitions, as
the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their
much speaking" (Matt. 6:7).

To learn and repeat over and over again little "religious" rhymes
and sayings which become so well used with repetition that the
one using them no longer has his mind on what he is saying, is
WRONG!  To babble away like a machine gun and yet say very little
of heartfelt meaning to God is also condemned here by Christ. We
are instructed in Ecc. 5:2 to:
  "Be not rash with your mouth, and let not your heart be hasty
  to utter anything before God: for God is in heaven, and you    
  upon earth: therefore, let your words be few."

Even to use the NAME of God or Christ over and over in repetition
during our prayers would constitute vain [to no good or useful
purpose] talk. We would be breaking the third commandment, which
says: "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in
vain....."

Sometimes our prayers will be SILENT:
  "Give ear to my words, 0 Lord, consider my meditation" (Ps.    
  5:1).
There will be times when we can and should PRAY WITH A LOUD
VOICE, see Ps.102:1,2.
And at other times we will want to WEEP AS WE PRAY:
  "Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping  
  and casting himself down before the house of God, there        
  assembled unto him out of Israel a very great congregation of  
  men and women and children: for the people wept very sore "    
  (Ezra 10:1).

There will be many times we will want to PRAY WITH THANKSGIVING
AND PRAISE:
  "..... But in everything by prayer and supplication, with      
  thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God" (Phil.
  4:6).  "I cried unto Him with my mouth, and he was            
  extolled [praised] with my tongue" (Ps.66:17).

Our prayers must be accompanied WITH FAITH, WATCHFULNESS, and A
TRUE HEART:
  "And all things, whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing,
  you shall receive" (Matt.21:22).
  "Watch you therefore, and pray always, that you may be         
  accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to
  pass....." (Lk. 21:36).
  "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of       
  faith....." (Heb. 10:22).

We must PRAY IN ACCORDANCE WITH GOD S WILL:
  "You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may 
  consume it upon your lusts" (James 4:3).

We must study God's word to understand His will (Eph. 5:17).

                  IN WHOSE NAME DO WE PRAY?

  "Hitherto have you asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you shall
receive.....At that day you shall ask in my name: and I say unto
you that I will pray the Father for you" (John 16:24, 26).

All of our prayers should end in the name of Jesus Christ.  They
should end with something like:
  "We ask this in Christ's name" or "We pray this in our Savior's
name, Christ Jesus."

Our longest or shortest pray should be in the name of Jesus.
                                     
                     TO WHOM DO WE PRAY?

Are we to pray to Christ Himself? Or do we pray to the Holy
Spirit? Do we pray to the angels, or Gabriel? 

Jesus set us an example in all He did (I Pet. 2:21). So WHO did
Christ pray to?

He prayed to the FATHER! (see John 17:1). You cannot find ANYONE
or ANYTHING that Christ prayed to but the Father. He always
prayed to His Father in Heaven.
Christ instructs us:
  "When you pray, say, OUR FATHER, which art in heaven...."      
  (Lk.11:2).

The NT teaches us that Christ is our elder brother, and He is the
HEAD of the church. I believe it would not be wrong to talk to
Him in prayer at times, as our elder brother and head of the
Church. And to praise and thank Him for all that He was willing
to come and do for mankind, and for His work today as High Priest
in heaven on the Father's right hand.

                    POSTURES IN PRAYER?
                                    
The positioning of our body does not have to be of a single mode.
We can use various postures.

Moses and Aaron fell upon their faces:
  "And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron......and they    
  fell upon their faces.....(Num.16:20-22).
  
We can pray while standing:
  "And Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord ..... and      
  spread forth his hands toward heaven and he said....." (I Kings
  8:22,23).

Jesus gave us the example of kneeling:
  "And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and      
  kneeled down, and prayed....." (Lk. 22:41).

We may pray with uplifted hands:
  "I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy    
  hands ....." (I Tim. 2:8).

Sometimes we are to pray with a bowed head, or bowing and
kneeling combined:
  "0 come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the  
  Lord our maker" (Ps. 95:6).

  "And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much
  as his eyes unto heaven..... saying, God be merciful to me a   
  sinner" (Lk. 18:13).

Spreading forth the hands is another way to pray:
  "And when you spread forth your hands.....when you make many   
  prayers...." (Isa. 1:15).

And in some prayers we can lift up our eyes:
  "These words spoke Jesus, and lifted up His eyes unto heaven   
  and said....." (John 17:1).

                   BASIC OUTLINE OF PRAYER

The so-called "Lord's prayer" in Matt. 6:9-15 is not so much a
prayer of Christ, but is an outline He gave to His followers to
use as a guide in what they should pray about. Christ said, 
"After THIS MANNER, therefore, pray you....."  In other words,
pray like this outline I give you.

OUR FATHER WHICH ART IN HEAVEN.  God is OUR Father. There are
many sons and daughters He has called to be in His family. God is
the example of complete UNselfishness. He wants to share His
glory, power and eternal life with millions of humans.
How wonderful it is to be able to call Him FATHER. Very few
Christians even understand the meaning of this.
A large number believe God is a closed triangle, a trinity. The
doctrine of the trinity is a false pagan Satanic theory which has
been foisted on this world to deceive people from the true
purpose of why God made mankind.

If you want to know why you were put here, read my study article
"A Christian's Destiny."  The truth about the Trinity is
explained in "The Holy Spirit - A Personal Being?" (available on
request, and both above studies can be sent via e-mail).

The NT is full of the glorious truth concerning the fact that we
Christians are the very children of God and that He is our very
Father.

HALLOWED BE THY NAME.  God is the creator of all things. All good
gifts come from Him (James 1:17). He gives us all the air we
breathe. He sends the rain down on the just and the unjust. He
gives us food, clothing, shelter. We are all blessed with some
kind of talent, be it  music, painting, singing, cooking,
writing, sports, etc. We can ALL find many things to PRAISE and
HALLOW God for. David, king of Israel was constantly praising and
thanking God for His blessings and mercy. Many of his Psalms
begin by saying, "Praise the Lord, give thanks unto God."  David
was a man after God's own heart. Christ told us to praise and
hallow His name.

THY KINGDOM COME.  Oh, again, so few really understand just WHAT
the Kingdom of God is! Some think it's only a spiritual something
in the hearts of people. Others think it's only the church. Some
think it's Britain. The prophets of the Old Testament understood
what it is.
Christ knew what it was. But Christianity seems all confused
about it. Christ preached the gospel of the Kingdom of God. He
told us to pray for it to come. So it has not YET fully arrived;
it is STILL to come, in the sense that Christ put that Kingdom in
the future, we are to pray that it will yet come.
Concerning that yet coming Kingdom, I have a full in-depth study
on the subject, in fact TWO studies, one to do with proving the
literal coming of Christ in glory, called "Christ's Coming" and
the other is all about the final last days and the world
tomorrow, called "Armageddon and the Age to Come." They also can
be sent via e-mail to anyone asking for them.
As we look around us, as we observe all that is going on in all
nations, as we listen to and see the news, we are aware of the
sins, the evils, the sickness, the pollutions of mind, body,
and the "good green earth" and hence we see the need to continue
to pray for "thy Kingdom come."

THY WILL BE DONE IN EARTH, AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.   Christians are
to pray that God's WILL be done? But has not God's will been done
away with?
Christians do not have to do God's will today, do they? Are we
not under grace today? Obedience to God is not required, is it?
Did not Paul say that we are not under obedience to the law, but
under grace?

Did Paul CONTRADICT the plain teachings of Christ?

Christ said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the
prophets. I am not come to destroy but to fulfil ..... whosoever
therefore shall break one of these least commandments,
and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the
Kingdom of heaven .....For I say unto you, that except your
righteousness [and righteousness is putting to use the
commandments of God, Ps. 119:172] shall exceed the righteousness
of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the
Kingdom of heaven." And,  "Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord,
Lord, [claiming to be a Christian ] shall enter into the Kingdom
of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in
heaven." Also,  "..... But if you will enter into life, keep the
commandments" (Matt. 5:17 20; 7:21; 19:17).
Christ said to his followers:
  "If you love me, keep my commandments."

  "If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; even
  as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in His      
  love."

  "If a man love me he will keep my words."
  (John 14:15, 23; 15:10).


The instructions of Christ were to obey God - do His will - keep
His commandments.

What IS the will of God?

The will of God is that we live by His every word (Matt. 4:4).
That includes all from
Genesis to Revelation in what we call the Holy Bible today.

Christ taught His disciples not only to DO God the Father's
commands, but to PRAY that His WILL would be done in the lives of
others, with the whole earth eventually to be obeying
God when He sends Christ back to establish His kingdom - as
foretold by Isaiah and Micah (Isa. 2; Mic. 4).
We especially pray for those children of the Father that have
surrendered all to Him in humble REPENTANCE, and that they will
continue to not only love the truth but who also hunger and
thirst after righteousness, that they will have the
mind of Christ in them (Phil.2:5), be a living sacrifice
(Rom.12:1), and shine forth as lights in a dark world.  We pray
that they will resist the Devil, overcome the lusts of the world,
and kill the flesh with its carnality, so enduring to the end
that they may be in that blessed resurrection at the coming of
Christ Jesus in the last days.

GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD.  Certainly for Christians the
foremost daily need is SPIRITUAL food. For God knows we are in
need of the physical things even before we ask him (Matt. 6:
25-34).
We receive our spiritual bread through God s word and prayer. We
should ask for His spirit to guide us into all truth, as promised
(Jn. 16:13). We must be humble and teachable always ready to
change when God corrects us or reveals more truth to us. We must
always be led by His Spirit (Rom. 8:14). We are to GROW in grace
and knowledge of God (2 Pet.3:18). Christians are to study to
show themselves approved unto God, rightly dividing the word of
truth (2 Tim. 2:15). We should ask God for understanding and
wisdom in all our daily activities, as David and Solomon did.

And let s not forget to ask for correction. God does correct
every child He loves (Heb. 12:5-11). Ask God to correct in love,
not anger, lest we be destroyed (Jer. 10:23-24). Certainly,
we can ask God to provide us with whatever physical needs we
shall be in need of for that day. Notice, it is "Give us this
day" not "Give us this month or year."  God wants us to ask
Him for our spiritual and physical needs daily.
Many of His children are in need of comfort and strength,
mentally and emotionally, as they face the trials and tests of
life. Many are in need of physical healing and/or strength to
endure their sicknesses to the will of God. We should pray with
these things in mind also.

AND FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS.  The Christian life is a life of
enduring and overcoming (Matt. 24:13) -  overcoming the self, the
world, and Satan. God desires us to obey and keep His
commandments, just as Paul did. "Wherefore, the law is holy, and
the commandment holy, and just, and good ..... For we know that
the law is spiritual ..... For I delight in the law of  God after
the inward man" (Rom. 7:12, 14, 22).
                                     
And as John wrote, "He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not
His commandments, is a liar; and the truth is not in him. And
hereby do we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments"
(1 John 1:3,4).

Does that mean a Christian is perfect - that he never sins? John
answers:  "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and
the truth is not in us" (1 John 1:8). A Christian may at
times fall down - sin - break God's law [sin is the transgression
of the law, see 1 John 3:4 and Rom.7:7].
The human doesn't want to, but under temptation and weakness of
the flesh, and not being as close to God as he/she should he, the
human sins. What must he/she do then? Again, God s mercy or grace
is needed!  "And if any man sin, he has an advocate with the
Father Jesus Christ the righteous" (Christ is there to intercede,
for us, advocate means intercessor.
Christ pleads our cause. He knows what it's like to be human (see
Heb. 4:14-16),   And He is the propitiation [atonement] for our
sins ..... " (1 John 2:1-2).
Christ's sacrifice - His shed blood can be applied. We can again
be forgiven.
What are we to DO?
We are to CONFESS and FORSAKE sin!

  "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso
  confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy" (Prov. 28:13).
  "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us
  our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John  
  1:9).

And that brings us back to what Christ said:  "AND FORGIVE US OUR
DEBTS, AS WE FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS."  The little word  "as"  joins
the first part of this sentence with the second,  "and forgive us
our debts A S [inasmuch as - in like manner as] we forgive our
debtors."  As we forgive those who sin against us, we can ask God
to forgive us when we sin against Him.
Christ said, "And when you stand praying, FORGIVE, if you have
aught against any: that [in order that] your Father also which is
in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not
forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your
trespasses" (Mark 11:25,26).  Again, he said another time, "....
Forgive, and you shall be forgiven" (Luke 6:37).

How many times must we forgive others?  This is what the apostle
Peter asked Christ:
  "Then came Peter to Him, and said, Lord, how often shall my
  brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times?"
Should my forgiveness be limited is what Peter wanted to know.
Jesus said unto him:
  "I say not unto you that you should forgive only seven times,
  but until forever, as many times as you have to, until seven is
  multiplied by forever" (paraphrased myself, Matt.18:21-22).

We need to ask God to give us the nature to forgive - to show
mercy on others. Then we can be assured He will have mercy an us.

AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION.   James says God does not tempt
any man (James 1:13). Is this a contradiction of the scriptures?
No!

The Greek for temptation means:  a putting to proof, discipline
[see Strong's Con.]. God does not say, "Ah I will tempt this
person today to do evil." He is not rubbing His hands together in
glee over ways He can think up to lead us astray or tempt us to
sin. BUT God does chasten and correct every child He loves (Heb.
12:6-8). 
Christ is telling us here not only to endure discipline (As Paul
also said,see Heb. 12:7,9-11), but to ask God that we will
LEARN - be TEACHABLE - always be of a HUMBLE REPENTANT attitude,
so God will NOT HAVE TO put us to the test - discipline us very
often.
Just as a child grows older he should need less and less
discipline from his father or mother [we are speaking of a
correctly raised child], so children of God should need less
discipline from their heavenly Father. Yes, we should pray that
God will lead - give us the nature of obedience to Him build a
teachable spirit, wanting to learn, to change and become more
like Him - allowing Christ to live in us, so that God will not
then have to test us with His discipline.

Remember that TRIALS of various kinds will come to every child of
God, for it is ".....through much tribulation we must enter into
the kingdom of God" (Act 14:22). Trials are to work patience in
us (James 1:3), and the patience of the saints is keeping God's
commandments (Rev. 14:12). Trials develop righteous obedient
character. We learn to trust God for help to obey Him. Trials
will come as a matter of course (time and chance can happen to
anyone so Solomon wrote in his book of Ecclesiastes 9:11), but
discipline from God comes as we need or deserve it. We are to
pray that God will not have to discipline us; pray that we can be
so yielded to Him that His chastening will not be necessary. 

BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL.  This is more correctly translated from
the Greek as "But deliver us from the evil one." Most modern
translations so render it. The evil one is Satan and his demons.
He truly goes about today like a lion, trying to devour whom he
can, as Peter was inspired to tell us (1 Peter 5:8). Satan has
hundreds of false ideas, ways to live, ideologies, religions,
philosophies. God has one truth - His word(John 17:17). The
Eternal has one way to salvation - Christ (John 14:6). We are to
pray with all our being that God will not only give us His Spirit
and mind to resist Satan and his demons, but we need to ask
God to show us all of Satan's false ways - his false doctrines,
philosophies and paganism.
We need to ask God to show us His truth - to show us how He wants
us to live - what His ways are - what He calls sin. We are to
seek and ask God for the armour of salvation to resist the
spiritual wickedness of Satan and sin (Eph. 6:10-17).
                                     
FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM, AND THE POWER, AND THE GLORY, 
FOREVER, AMEN.   Christ again brings us back to praising God - to
thinking about His Kingdom that is promised to every son of His,
and that will come in a literal way at Christ's return. This
Father of ours has power to bring about all that He has planned.
He is able to glorify His children just as He did His firstborn
son, Christ Jesus. (Rom. 8:29; 1:3-4; 1 John 3:2; Heb. 1:3;
2:6-13). Yes, God is to be praised for His wonderful works,
promises and plans.

To be continued

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