Shabbat Shalom Fellow Believers…
“Our Father in the shamayim (heaven), may your name be kept qodesh (sacred). Let your Kingdom come. Let your will be done, as in the shamayim, so on earth. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. Bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For kingship, power and honor are yours forever. Amen.” Matthew 6:9-15
For if you forgive others their offenses, your Eternal Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others their offenses, your Eternal Father will not forgive yours.
The latter half of Matthew 6:13 verse 13 is not found in the oldest manuscripts.
How should we pray?
It is a question that many ask today, and it was a question that any first-century Jewish disciple might reasonably expect their Rabbi to answer. Thus, following His comments on hypocritical prayer, Yahusha suggests how His followers should pray. He provides them with the prayer we now refer to as “the Lord’s Prayer,” a prayer for collective use by all who consider Yahuah their Eternal Father (note how it uses ‘our’ and ‘us’).
“The Lord’s Prayer” distills the themes of the Sermon down into a brief prayer. It opens with intercession for the coming of the Kingdom promised in the beatitudes. The centrality of Yahusha’s words finds its expression in asking for ‘daily bread’, i.e. for Alahim given wisdom. Then the prayer seeks the sort of freedom from temptation and deliverance…
Wrapped around the central focus, of seeking Yahuah’s wisdom and forgiveness, is the idea that just as what Yahuah thinks above should affect what is done on earth, so what we think on earth affects what is done in the shamayim. As Yahusha points out in verses 14 and 15, whether we forgive others governs whether Yahuah will forgive us or not. Alahim has fashioned mankind to fulfill good purposes in accord with the divine will. However, all fall short of that high goal. Therefore, what people need above all else is for Yahuah to forgive them when they have inadvertently gone astray, unknowingly fallen short, or deliberately sinned and then repented. If we refuse to forgive those around us, then Yahuah applies the same measure to us.
We should pray, says our Messiah and Savior that Yahuah’s name be kept sacred without the need to put us to the test that Yahuah’s Kingdom will come and deliver us from evil. Indeed this was the pressing matter of the moment, for Israel had already rejected Yahusha’s authority once. Although Yahuah is merciful, allowing time for repentance, He is also just and eventually has to uphold His word. Excerpted www.sermononthemount.org.uk
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray”. James 5:16.
“And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to Alahim.” Luke 6:12.
Prayer is an absolute key to spiritual growth and success in life. Prayer is a special kind of contact with Yahuah. The world doesn’t know about the power that can be realized from this divine contact because it is cut off from Yahuah. People in the world around us have no more true spiritual power than a lamp which has a burned out light bulb, or which isn’t even plugged into the electrical circuit!
But when a true servant of Yahuah prays, it is like plugging in the extension cord connecting a lamp to its source of electrical energy and power and turning on the switch; suddenly light floods the room, casting out the darkness and providing illumination everywhere in a startling, graphic manner.
If you really wish to survive the coming days of hellish anguish and trauma that are coming upon the earth and leading up to Armageddon, then you will certainly need to be familiar with Yahuah’s instructions on prayer. If you wish to be a strong follower of Yahusha the Messiah and an over-comer, then you need to know about the keys to dynamic and answered prayer!
Just what is prayer? Yahusha’s Example…
There are several Hebrew and Greek words used for “prayer.”
Yahusha our Messiah set us an example in prayer. We read: “Afterwards he went up into the hills to pray” (Mark 6:46). We also read: “The next morning he was up long before daybreak and went out alone into the wilderness to pray” (Mark 1:35).
Prayer is between each one of us and Yahuah. It is usually a private matter, and it is therefore good to get off by oneself to spend time in prayer. It is good to go into a private room, close the door so you won’t be disturbed and then pray.
The word translated “pray” in these verses is the Greek word proseuchomai, which means to pray, worship, to open up and pour out your heart. It is used 78 times in the New Testament and is the most common word for prayer. It is the word used in Matthew 6:5-9 where Yahusha taught His disciples a model outline of prayer, showing them what to pray for and how they should generally organize their prayers.
He instructed them to: “Pray like this”…The very same word is used in Matthew 14:23: “Then afterwards he went up into the hills to pray.” Yahusha the Messiah often spent hours at a time in prayer, meditation, and communion with His Father. This was one very important reason He was such a strong dynamo of spiritual strength and power. He never let contact with His Father slide …
Another word sometimes translated “pray” in the Renewed Covenant (NT) simply means literally to “ask.” It is the Greek word erotao and means to “ask,” or “interrogate.” When Yahusha entered into Simon Peter’s ship, he “prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land” (Luke 5:3). This means he simply asked Him. It wasn’t needful to make a moving, impassioned supplication to Him, or a fervently phrased prayer — but he simply requested or asked Him to do it.
Even so, there are many times when Yahuah simply wants us to learn to ask Him for certain things. As a loving Father, He promises to hear us when we ask, simply ask. This word is used in John 14:16, 16:26 and 17:9, 15, and 20. Sometimes we simply need to ask with confident expectation, believing, and that is all that is necessary, because Yahuah knows our needs even before we ask Him. Sometimes all He requires is the simple act of asking.
In Matthew 9:38 we read: “The harvest is so great, and the workers are so few,’ he told his disciples. So pray to the one in charge of the harvest, and ask him to recruit more workers for his harvest fields.” The word for prayer in this verse is deomai and means literally to “petition,” “beseech.” It is a much stronger word than “ask.” This is a very intense word, and refers to intensive, earnest prayer — crying out and literally begging or beseeching Yahuah to intervene and act. This is also the kind of prayer and praying we should do whenever trials or trouble come upon us, or when we really need a quick answer, or divine intervention on our behalf, to rescue us from potential threats or disaster or serious difficulty. This is also the kind of prayer we should do on behalf of other people.
Using this word, Yahusha tells us: “Keep a constant watch. And Pray that if possible you may arrive in my presence without having to experience these horrors” (Luke 21:36). Or, as the King James Version has it: “Watch you therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”
The perfect example in prayer, of course, was set by our Savior, Yahusha the Messiah. We read in Heb. 5:7: “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared.” The strongest, most intensive form of prayer is “supplication.” This is the Greek word deesis. It refers to powerful entreaty and intense and fervent requests…
Supplication means you stick with it — you don’t give up, ask just once, and then quit — like so many distrustful and unbelieving people do …
Pray All the Time
Paul exhorted Timothy with guidelines of supplication we all should heed and obey. He wrote: “Here are my directions: Pray much for others; plead for Yahuah’s mercy upon them; give thanks for all he is going to do for them. Pray in this way for kings and all others who are in authority over us, or are in places of high responsibility, so that we can live in peace and quietness, spending our time in godly living and thinking much about Yahuah. This is good and pleases our Savior, for he longs for all to be saved…” I Tim. 2:1-4.
Pray Boldly and Earnestly
One of the most powerful, dynamic and incredible scriptures on the subject in the Scriptures, in the book of James tells us with apostolic authority: “Confess your faults one to another, and pray (speak up, pour out your heart) one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer (supplication) of a righteous man avails MUCH.” (James 5:16).
The Ruach (Spirit) of Prayer
In our day and age many think prayer is not all that important — at least prayer on your knees before Yahuah. They think all they need to do is maintain an attitude of prayer throughout the day. And they will get by. No wonder their prayers are so ineffectual — worthless — useless — powerless — vapid — insipid — inane — mere powder-puffs of spiritual vanity!
Yahuah’s Word says we should be “instant in prayer” (Rom. 12:12), and that we should “pray always” (Eph. 6:18). But this does not mean we should just have an “attitude of prayer.” This is talking about CONSTANT PRAYER — repeated and consistent and persevering prayer!
What about your prayers? Have you discovered the secret of powerful praying? Are you developing the HABIT of resourceful, energetic, ALIVE praying?
The example in the Bible of all Yahuah’s Ruach led servants was of praying with intensity, with fervor, with dynamic energy, and strength, and gripping emotion, with surcharged feeling and commitment. Have you begun to pray in this way, consistently, repeatedly, often? This kind of prayer leads to supernatural power and spiritual deliverance! It unlocks the doors of the shamayim, and opens the gates of baruk (blessings), encouragement, and prosperity. It makes things happen…
The Word of Yahuah is the KEY to Prayer
Why do so many prayers lack power and punch? Why do people seem to “run out of things to pray about” after they have been on their knees for a few minutes? The answer is partly that they do not really know how to pray. They may think all they need to do is fall on their knees and begin speaking to Yahuah. So they mumble a few things, and first thing you know their mind begins to wander and they begin to daydream. Heart-felt, intercessory prayer is very difficult to achieve under such circumstances.
True, heart-felt prayer, intercessory prayer, prevailing prayer, requires HARD WORK — LABOR. It requires effort, and even sometimes “sweat.” At one point in His life, when Yahusha the Messiah was praying, the apostle Luke tells us, “And being in an agony he prayed MORE EARNESTLY: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Luke 22:44)
Even fervent, agonizing prayer is useless if we are knowingly disobedient to Yahuah, and transgressing His commandments. As the prophet Isaiah declared: “Behold, Yahuah’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither is his ear heavy that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your Alahim, and your SINS have hid his face from you, that he will not listen.” (Isa. 59:1-2)
Yahuah says in His Word, “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination unto Yahuah: but the prayer of the upright is his delight. The way of the wicked is an abomination unto Yahuah: but he loves him that follows after righteousness.” (Prov. 15:8-9)
In verse 29 of this chapter, Solomon wrote, “Yahuah is far from the wicked: but he hears the prayer of the righteous.” And what is righteousness? Who are the “righteous”? Alahim says: “ALL thy commandments are righteousness.” (Psa. 119:172). In other words, His eyes and ears are open to see and listen to the prayers of His obedient, loving servants who keep His commandments, His statutes, and His laws — those who actively have the Messiah living within them. (Gal. 2:20)
But Yahuah will not hear the prayers of those who disobey laws and break His commandments — who transgress His law — especially if they KNOWINGLY and deliberately do so! Solomon declares, “He that turns away his ear from hearing the LAW, even his prayer shall be an ABOMINATION.” (Prov. 28:9)
Remember that scripture in James, about the earnest, fervent prayers that bring about great results, and mighty power and impact? Notice it again: “The effectual, fervent prayer OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN avails much”! (James 5:17)
If we want to have our prayers answered, then, we must strive to obey and please Yahuah in our daily lives, with our thoughts, words, activities, and desires.
Three Vital Elements of Prayer
A little known key to powerful and meaningful prayer is found in understanding the sacrifices offered by ancient Israel. We read in Numbers 15: “Each sacrifice — whether an ordinary one or a sacrifice to fulfill a vow, or a free-will offering, or a special sacrifice at any of the annual festivals — must be accompanied by a grain offering. If a lamb is being sacrificed, use three quarts of fine flour mixed with three pints of oil, accompanied by three pints of wine for a drink offering…This will be a sacrifice that is a pleasing fragrance to Yahuah” (Num. 15:4-7).
Notice that there are three threes involved in this offering. There is grain, oil, and wine — three commodities — and three units of each (three quarts of grain, three pints of oil, and three pints of wine).
The number three is “Yahuah’s signature,” His number — and the number of “decision,” or judgment. Peter denied the Messiah three times before the rooster crowed (Luke 22:34); Yahusha asked him three times if he loved Him (John 21:15-17); Paul prayed three times for the thorn to be removed from his flesh (II Cor. 12:7-9).
What do these three elements required in a “grain offering” represent? The fine flour represents the WORD OF YAHUAH, which is perfect… pure. Yahusha Himself is the “bread of life.” (John 6:48, 51, 58, 63). He is also the “Word of God” (John 1:1-3, 14). The “fine flour,” then, represents the Word of Yahuah which we are to study, pore over prayerfully, and read carefully.
The next portion of the grain offering is the “oil,” which represents the Ruach of Yahuah. Yahuah’s Ruach teaches us all things (I John 2:27, John 16:13, 14:26). It even teaches us how to pray and inspires us what to pray for! As Paul wrote: “Likewise the Ruach also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Ruach itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Ruach; because he makes intercession for the righteous according to the will of Alahim.” (Rom. 8:26-27).
Third is the wine. Wine is a symbol of rejoicing and thanksgiving (Judges 9:13). Our prayers are to be accompanied with praise to Yahuah in thanksgiving. Paul wrote: “Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication WITH THANKSGIVING let your requests be made known unto Alahim.” (Phil. 4:6).
Thus the ancient sacrifice of the grain offering was a symbol of PRAYER. Today Yahuah commands us, “Offer the sacrifice of praise to Alahim continually, that is, the fruits of our lips giving thanks to His name” (Heb. 13:15).
When we put together these three elements – the Word, the Ruach and praise and thanksgiving of Yahuah — in our prayers, then we have a “sacrifice that is a pleasing fragrance to Yahuah.” (Numbers 15:7, 10) These are “golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints.” (Rev. 5:8; see also Rev. 8:3-4)
One of the major reasons so many people don’t pray nearly as much as they ought to be doing is simply this: They don’t incorporate the Scriptures into their prayer life! They don’t spread out the Scriptures before them, when they drop to their knees to pray and pray over the Word of Yahuah, applying its richness and depth to their own lives, problems, trials, family, job, circumstances, opportunities, questions, decisions, persecution, situations, friends, relatives, employers, the Work of Yahuah and the needs of saints specifically.
So often, as the apostle James said, we don’t receive what we pray for because we don’t know what to ask (James 4:2-3) or how to ask, or we have for the wrong things, with selfish motives. Sometimes we don’t pray about something because we don’t really know the will of Yahuah (Eph. 5:17). And we don’t know the will of Yahuah because we don’t study His Word enough, or pore over it as we pray, because the will of Yahuah is often revealed in the Scriptures…
If you will learn to pray this way, your prayers will grow in richness and meaning. They will grow in power and impact. They will become prevailing, energetic, moving, passionate prayers that are prayed according to His will. And they will achieve marvelous results!
There is much to pray about. Isn’t it about time that we fall on our knees, before our Maker, Sustainer, Provider, and Protector, our Creator, Ruler, and the Great and Magnificent Elohim whom we worship, and pray to Him as we ought? Excerpted www.hope-of-israel.org
Yahuah’s Prayer (The Lord’s Prayer) in Hebrew by Andrew Hodkinson
SONG: WORSHIP יהוה BEHIND THE VEIL – miYah
SONG: Find You On My Knees – Kari Jobe