13 Nov 2014

How to Pray?

Submitted by theshovel
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What happens when we don’t know what to say to God or what to ask Him? Are there steps we can take to have a better prayer life? Can our doctrines get in the way of our prayers?

Also, around the 14:45 mark on the recording, I tell the story of a very dear brother, Herb Sims, who we visited in October of this year. Whether you know him or not, I think you’ll be encouraged … or at least, amused.

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Hello,

Got a chance to listen to about up to 16:02. I think the context of that passage in Romans is all about the "conforming to the image of Christ", the predestination, the Lord working it all for "
good"...all the hard stuff and good stuff. I think it is peculiar that we have this simple phrase about prayer smack dab in the middle of this talk of Paul's.

What if all Paul is actually saying is we simply do not know how to pray for this growth and conforming to the image of His Son? While we walk this earth we get so hung up on the process and the Apostles always seemed to reassure us that the Spirit Himself would be faithful and that He would do it. We wont always or maybe even EVER know how to pray for and about this!

Love,

Adam

I see prayer as less of a thing we do, and more of something we ARE and can't help but do without realizing it. It's utterly and abjectly amazing to me to sit back and see the extent to which we in Christ fulfill all the Law and its commandments, without even trying at that!
Just as the word of God from His mouth is Jesus himself, prayer has become the very definition of who we are. We are the words of all prayer, living walking and breathing testimonies to the grace of God. Just as the angels sing out utterances to the Lord all day and night, we do the same and so much more because we ARE the Lord. What need is there to sit, tip our heads down and pray, when we are the Living One to which we have set to pray to? Christ, God and us cannot be separated, and this is especially essential to realize when it comes to performing the ritual of prayer: there's no more use to the ritual because we fulfill the very core of what it was originally intended to be. Miraculous is the only word I know to use for this! When I say "we are God" I really mean we have become God Himself through our Lord Christ: think of all of the implications. It's radical but scary how true it is!

Justin … you wrote,  When I say “we are God” I really mean we have become God Himself through our Lord Christ:   I will have to exclude myself from the “we”, as I see myself as only a partaker of the Divine Nature according to 2Peter I:4, and the empty vessel that Christ lives through to manifest His glory not mine.

 Neither do I see where us actually being God Himself is ever proclaimed by God in His written word, in fact was it not the serpent who sold that way of thinking to the first pair at  the tree?  It is the reasoning of the natural, fleshly mind that can take the  beautiful grace of God and make it into something for the exaltation of the self …… Julie

Yes, Julie, I woke this morning early thinking about all this. I agree, we are not God! There is a vast difference between being partakers of the Divine nature through Christ, not through ourselves, and being God. I am so thankful that He is God and I am not, you should be too! [wink] I was also thinking that in the garden Satan approached Eve via the serpent and convinced her of the lie that “you can be as God” and we in our flesh have become that lie and futility try to make life work our own way, as we in our blindness understand life. This statement “we are God” even takes it further than saying “you can be as God…”

I was also thinking about prayer and its importance. It seems to have been vital to Jesus as he walked this earth as God in human form. He vocalized prayer, he got away by Himself to pray, He taught others what prayer was like when asked. The last thing He did before being arrested and taken to the cross, was to pray to His Father in the garden. I think that prayer was vital to Christ as it is to us as well. Prayer can take any form, sometimes it may be on your knees, sometimes absolutely face down in awe, sometimes it is just talking with God throughout the day as we walk through it. And I do not mean talking to myself because I am God, but conversing with the One who created me and gave me new life, the only life that is real, the Life of Christ.

Anyway, just some thoughts to add to yours and Justins

theshovel's picture

Hello my dear friends!

I know this is one of those touchy subjects that is highly debated throughout Christendom, but it is something that needs to be reconsidered in view of our life in Christ.

For the record, I have never said that I am God or that we are God, nor will I do so in the future. BUT I will also point out that Jesus didn’t make such a statement, either. Yes, those around him often reacted to what he emphatically said about his connection with his father, but despite our many theological conclusions on Christology and the Trinity, you just don’t find quotes from Jesus where he claimed to be God.

I’m thinking we need to reconsider how we ought to react to a statement like what Justin made. I have to challenge the usual reaction that claims such a statement is an exaltation of self when it was so carefully placed within the context of having been made so only because of and within Christ himself. Did the deceiver in the garden ever nest his arrogant claims in view of God himself … or was he speaking of himself? Yes, he spoke only of himself. So, even though I might not agree with Justin’s wording, I do not see him making a statement anywhere near close to what the Adversary did … and continues to do.

What I see instead is that Justin is being blown away by his growing awareness of what it really means to be IN CHRIST. Doesn’t even the legalistic, religious Christian crowd safely state that we are “partakers of the divine nature” and that we are NOT God? What I’m saying is that if modernized scribes and Pharisees now use the same kind of terms and phrases that used to make them go into a religious frenzy, how are we to satisfactorily express the amazing reality of knowing that Christ IS our life by using the words that have mostly lost their impact?

And I’m not saying those words still can’t be used, for I have used them often. And when I do use those words, I have to go out of my way to make sure they are seen within the context of our having been brought into union with God through Jesus Christ. Otherwise, I will only end up saying the same things that will bring about a resounding “Amen!” from the majority of Christians the world over. I would rather say things that have the majority think and claim that I’m way over the edge … into the proverbial deep end.

Having said all this, I know that there are many out there right now who claim to be God in some form or another and that they are speaking of themselves, just as does the Deceiver. Never forget that many in the Christian community who will denounce a statement that suggests that we are God because we are in Christ will also stand in their pulpits and preach, in some form or another, that we are masters of our own destinies because it is all up to us.

How we speak of having been made partakers of the divine nature should still cause the natural religious mind to object on the grounds that we are trying to make ourselves equal with God. Never let us back down from the natural-minded fears that are being hurtled at us!

Jim

You know what I've found throughout my life in Christ?
No matter how close to truth the flesh gets, it will always MISS THE BIG POINT.
Just as the flesh misses the point of life (Which is Christ), so also did this Snake who was an incarnate representation of the spiritual dearth of truth that is mankind.

The snake in the garden missed the point of what Man was intended to be, the living representation of God in the physical form. Therefore any accusations that came from his mouth were errant. "Ye are gods." It is as simple a mistake as leaving out an apostrophe in that sentence "Ye are God's."

When I said that I am Christ and that "we may as well pray to ourselves" I was not adapting a New Age worldview, looking at MYSELF, but that which is in me.

What is God anyway? We have these preconceived notions of what God is, but we are only viewing God in terms of what He isn't because the flesh has never nor can ever experience(d) anything like Him.

He is the only THING ever. Anything outside of Him is nonexistent because it is only half-truth. So, when we read the Bible and even look at life on earth, we in the flesh only see shades of darkness in contrast to the Light. We see half-the-picture, not the FULL because the flesh always misses the point of life on earth.

"I AM." When Moses was asking God what his name was, God gave Moses something unexpected: He stated HIS REALITY instead of a name that defines him because any definition of God is only half the truth.

So I apologize for confusing you Julie and Char with my words. I was simply stating what was strikingly obvious to me: That whatever 'God' is has been united with me in our Lord Jesus the Messiah. That prayer testifies of this living reality that we live in and ARE.

Anything outside of Christ is not true BECAUSE it is incomplete truth, not because the things we see aren't real. Christ is the full picture. Christ is everything we see. Christ is life on earth. I have begun to see that everything on earth and in the universe loses its definition without Him. He defines us. He is the REASON we live.

Without Him, there is only misconception, emptiness.

Anyways, hope you all have a merry Christmas. Love to you all.

Great words Jim.

Thaanks Jim

Julie and Char my wording was off sorry. I was not exalting myself but the one who lives in me.

I find that the things I write cannot be understood without the context of Christ.

Perhaps that's why my wording appeared off to me when I reread it. I wasn't saying what the natural mind thought I was saying but I used natural terms...if you know what I mean.

Anyways hope everyone is having a good holiday season!

Justin, thanks for the reply, I appreciate it.  I have read and am pondering what you said, so I will not comment on it right now, but have to mull over your words a bit.  Thanks again, Char

I appreciated each of the comments here. It gives me much to ponder as I go throughout my day, and I love that! I just wanted to mention how refreshing it is to see how you all responded to one another even when you didn’t quite agree on what you thought was being said. I have seen MANY Christians utterly divide over much smaller issues with the purpose of defending the “truth”, and it’s heartbreaking. What I see here is brothers and sisters who genuinely love one another (because the LOVE dwells within them) and who know they are united to one another and to God Himself by the TRUTH (Who is Christ within them). Justin, whether or not you worded what you said well or not, I see someone who is so amazed by His God and all that He has done that you just can’t contain the joy! I love that! I cannot even count the number of times my wording has been totally awkward and yet God in His infinite wisdom uses it! I loved Jim’s response because I think he truly saw your heart behind the words.I’m beginning to see that that is one big key in understanding the Scriptures, especially the New Testament…seeing the Heart behind the words. Otherwise it is so easy to read them, and taking them out of context, be burdened down by them, which IS NOT what they were written for.
theshovel's picture

My dear Candi, I just love the expression of love and joy in you. :)

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