Jeff

Lessons in Communicating With God: Lesson 2, part 1: Learn how to pray from Messiah (Luke 11:1-13)

Effective communication requires attentive listening and confirmation a message is received, perhaps via a reply or acting on the information delivered. The passages in Luke 10:38–11:13 and Matthew 6 contain lessons in effectively listening to God and talking with Him.

Building on our first discussion of lessons in communicating with God, we will explore the second lesson:

  • Lesson 1: Rebel against distraction to absorb the words of God.
  • Lesson 2: Get the will-ies when asking for God’s will to be done in forgiveness and ways God is re-establishing dominion on Earth.

Other text: Matthew 6

We don’t want to allow anything, including our money, clothes and food to distract us from following God. We also should beware that we don’t allow over-occupation in “the Lord‘s work” keep away from the Lord Himself. 

When Yeshua told them how to pray, He told them not to pray for the sake of being heard by others. We see another example of prayer in Hannah. She went to the tabernacle to pray to the Lord. She moved her mouth and prayed in such a quiet whisper that Eli the priest thought she was drunk. This kind of prayer is superior to simply praying silently in one’s head. Praying silently in your head leaves you open to distraction. Just by moving one’s lips in prayer can help keep you focuses on your conversation with God in prayer. 

It was common for students to learn the prayer of their rabbis. In the section of the Talmud called “blessings” there are several rabbinic prayers recorded. Based on what is recorded in the Mishna, we know it was common for rabbis to start their prayers with the Shema. But after the Shema, each rabbi would add his own prayer, which was an encapsulation of the unique teacher of the particular rabbi. 

The Shema starts with the command to love the Lord. The love in the Greek translation of Deut. 6:4–5 is agape, a selfless love. 

  • The Shema also tells us we are to give God our heart, our prayer. We are also told that prayer is supposed to come from the heart. The heart’s service is prayer. 
  • The Shema also tells us we are to give our soul to Him. The soul is connected with fasting. We are told that fasting afflicts the soul and affects one’s well-being. 
  • The Shema ends with reminding us to give Him our strength, which is our charity. 

Doing God’s will should be uncomfortable to the world’s way of doing things. The world tells us that the world functions on “survival of the fittest” yet where does altruism come from? The world will tell you it’s all about “game theory” which means that people are willing to give up something, even to the point of discomfort for the sake of ultimate gain. A game has rules and these secular people don’t even know where the rules originate. They pretend that rules make themselves. 

There is a difference between praying persistently and vain repetition. There are many passages where God tells His people day and night. In Luke 18, there’s a parable about appealing to an unjust judge. It doesn’t mean God is an unjust judge or that we are to act like the unjust judge. We are not to obsess over every little point of the parable. You need to find the lesson of the parable. The lesson of the parable is that persistence and trust in God will bring answers to our prayers. 

We are to trust God and have faith in Him. Trusting in God is not just knowing scripture but knowing God through prayer and communication. 

We are not to live in familiar misery but be willing to trust God in uncomfortable freedom. 

The “Lord’s prayer” is a call to change us and to go where God calls us. We are part of a community, we not on our own. There is strength in a body of believers working towards the same goal. 

For those who love God, He will not lead them into temptation or entice them into sin but God will set up moral and physical snares. If a person has a rebellious heart, He will set up circumstances that will reinforce their folly. He will leave the unrepentant to the wold of their making. He will let them believe a strong delusion if they want to stay in that delusion. 

Reader: Joshua Brady. Speaker: Jeff. Summary: Tammy.


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