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Wednesday, May 4 2016

Luke 18: How To Pray Like A Grownup

"When ye pray, use not vain repetitions ... for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him"

While the LORD's people are to "pray without ceasing" (see What Did Jesus Say About Praying?), that does not mean merely repeating the same words over and over. If someone talked to another person like that, would they be regarded favorably? Not at all.

Praying to God is speaking to God, in the same way that a thinking child (after they have learned not to babble) speaks to a parent:

"6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 6:8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him." (Matthew 6:7-8 KJV and see the Fact Finder question below).

So it was the parable of the persistent widow who was very specific and personal in her communication.

The Pharisee and the Publican

"18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 18:2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: 18:3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.

18:4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 18:5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.

18:6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. 18:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:1-8 KJV)

Notice also the stark difference between vain and arrogant "prayer," on one hand, and humble prayer that is heard by the Father, on the other, "for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."

"18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." (Luke 18:9-14 KJV)

The Kingdom of God (see What Gospel Did Jesus Preach?) is where the actual children of God will be born. That's what, and when, "born again" truly means (see What Was The Lesson Of John 3:16?).

"18:15 And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them.

18:16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

18:17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein." (Luke 18:15-17 KJV)

Wealth or poverty can be found in the righteous or the wicked (see No Class Struggles In Christianity). Making an idol out of money or wealth is where the problem happens (see The Mammon Of Past And Present and What Does The Bible Say About Lucre?).

Camels

"18:18 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

18:19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. 18:20 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.

18:21 And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.

18:22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

18:23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. 18:24 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! 18:25 For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

18:26 And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved?

18:27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.

18:28 Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee.

18:29 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, 18:30 Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting." (Luke 18:18-30 KJV)

The Twelve were personally taught by the Messiah, but they did not fully comprehend what the LORD was saying to them until after the Holy Spirit came upon them in greater measure (see Their Eyes Opened After Christ's Tomb Did). Until then, even they "understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken."

"18:31 Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. 18:32 For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: 18:33 And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.

18:34 And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken." (Luke 18:31-34 KJV)

The Messiah healed many people of their physical ailments for the entire time of His Ministry. The healings were themselves prophetic of the greater healing, to eternal life, to come (see Healings Of Man And Nature).

"18:35 And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging: 18:36 And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant. 18:37 And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.

18:38 And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

18:39 And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

18:40 And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him, 18:41 Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee?

And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight.

18:42 And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee. 18:43 And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God." (Luke 18:35-43 KJV)

Fact Finder: What does the Word of God actually teach about prayer?
See When Does God Listen To Prayer? and How To Pray: 12 Biblical Principles Of Personal Prayer


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This Day In History, May 4

1256: The Church of Rome's Augustinian monastic order was established with Pope Alexander IV's papal bull Licet ecclesiae catholicae (see Papal Bull).

1415: "Protestant" reformers John Wycliffe and Jan Hus were condemned as heretics at the Council of Constance (ironically, like most of the "Protestant" world today, they were persecuted for rebelling against the Pope's leadership, not the Church of Rome's antichrist doctrines; see Antichristians, The Church Today, The Church In The End Time and The Church In The Kingdom Of God; see also What Do Leaders Do?).

1471: During the Wars of the Roses, the Yorkists defeated the Lancastrians in the Battle of Tewkesbury.

1493: Pope Alexander VI, a Spaniard (at the time, Christopher Columbus was exploring and claiming the "new world" for Ferdinand, the king of Spain who started the murderous "Spanish Inquisition" against non-Catholics in Europe), decreed that all new lands discovered west of the Azores were Spanish, in effect dividing the world between Spain and Portugal.

1626: Dutch explorer Peter Minuit arrived in "New Netherland" (present day Manhattan Island).

1639: The St. Joseph and 2 other ships left Dieppe, France, for Canada; its travelers would eventually found a Jesuit College, a Hospitaliers house, and an Ursuline convent in "New France."

1675: King Charles II of England ordered the construction of the Royal Greenwich Observatory.

The Royal Observatory Greenwich

1814: The Bourbon reign was restored in France.

1886: The Haymarket Square Riot in Chicago by anarchist organized labour; 7 Chicago policemen were killed.

1910: The Royal Canadian Navy was created. During the Second World War (1939-1945), the Canadian Navy became the third-largest allied navy in the world, after the U.S. Navy and the United Kingdom's Royal Navy. During the "Cold War" years of the 1950s and 1960s, Canada had three aircraft carriers, including the HMCS Bonaventure shown in the photograph.

HMCS Bonaventure 1919: The "May The Fourth" movement began in China when 3,000 students at Peking University launched a national protest.

1945: British Field Marshal Montgomery announced that all enemy forces in the Netherlands, northwest Germany and Denmark had surrendered unconditionally. on the same day, the U.S. 7th Army captured Hitler's country retreat of Berchtesgaden (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1947: The Etzel (a self-proclaimed "zionist" group - true Zionism is about Jesus Christ, not those who deny and reject Him - see A History Of Jerusalem: Zionism and A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace) launched a deadly assault on the British prison at Acre, several weeks after 4 of their gang were hanged there for murders that they committed. By dynamiting its walls, 251 convicted criminals were able to escape, although several of the condemned felons were later recaptured and hung (2 days after the executions, 2 British soldiers were taken hostage and hanged by the Etzel in "retaliation").

By the present-day definition, the Etzel were a terrorist group who ignored (or were just plain ignorant of the fact) that it was the British that liberated the land of Judah, and much of the rest of the Middle East, from centuries of rule and occupation by the Ottoman Empire (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate and listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) and that it was the British Balfour Declaration (listen to our Sermon The Balfour Declaration) that enabled the independence of the modern-day state of Israel. The Etzel were killing the people that were freeing them.

1961: During the U.S. civil rights movement, the "Freedom Riders" began a bus trip through the South.

1970: Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire on student protesters at Kent State University, killing four and wounding nine others.

1979: Margaret Thatcher became the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

1982: During the Falklands War between Britain and Argentina, the destroyer HMCS Sheffield was struck by a French-made Exocet missile. 20 British seamen were killed and 24 others injured. The missile plowed through the very center of the ship, causing so much damage that it later had to be scuttled.

1994: Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian terrorist leader Yasser Arafat signed a "peace accord" regarding Palestinian autonomy. It granted self-rule for "Palestinians" in the Gaza Strip and Jericho (see Where Is Palestine?).





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