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Prayer

26th November 2011, hej

 

9) Prayers in the New Testament

The Lord's prayer is a pattern, not a prayer in itself. There is the complete text of only one prayer in the New Testament: John's record of the Lord's last prayer for his servants. These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven,

Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee.
Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou should keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
As you have sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. (John 17:1-26)

In a time of trouble and of leavetaking, he was thinking of the unity of his disciples and their future work. In addition it was a prayer for every disciple since that time. It may be argued that very few understand this prayer. But it is as simple as every other prayer in the Bible as it means what it says.



We are told Jesus prayed often (Mark 6:46, Luke 6:12,9:18,28 11:1 at his baptism 3:21). There is a glimpse to what he prayed in his prayer on the night before his capture,

Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt. (Mark 14:36)

Luke records great drops of blood, and that he said,

Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. (Luke 22:42)

Matthew records he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying,

O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. (Mat 26:39)

And he went away again the second time, and prayed, saying,

O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. (Mat 26:42)

We are told that this prayer was answered in that an angel strengthened him (Luke 22:43).



The Lord's prayer is a pattern that Jesus used to teach his disciples to pray, but there were other things that might be added as he also said,

Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest. (Mat 9:38, Luke 10:2)
pray for them which despitefully use you. (Luke 6:28)

At Olivet when speaking of the trials that would come on Jerusalem,

Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: (Mat 24:20, Mark 13:18)

and

Watch ye 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. (Luke 21:36)



James wrote

Is any among you afflicted? let him pray.(James 5:13)

The Apostle Paul was a man of prayer, and encouraged prayer for specific things. What he wrote of gives some idea of what he must prayed. He points out that prayer must be with understanding,

For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. (1Co 14:14)

Paul prayed for the Ephesians and asked the Ephesians to pray for his work,

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. (Ephesians 6:18-20)

Paul wrote to the Philipians, and prayed that they might grow in knowledge,

For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; (Php 1:8-9)

Paul wrote to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse,

Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth: As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit. For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you,
and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; (Col 1:2-9)

Paul asks the Thessalonians in his first letter,

Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1Thes. 5:16-18)

In his second letter he ends,

Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. (2Theslonians 3:1-2)

This prayer is for the Gospel, that in the work of individuals, such as Paul and those who laboured with him, that the gospel go forth unhindered.

Paul to Timothy

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. .. I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. (1Tim 2:5-8)

To the Hebrews, the writer reminds the Hebrews to pray,

For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By him (Chirst Jesus) therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

In context of Obeying peopel such as Paul, and the other Apostles, they were advised also to,

Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly. But I beseech you the rather to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner.(Heb 13:14-19)

Most poeple may pray for their freinds but how many would pray for the leaders who rule over them?



The New Testement reveals a different kind of battle to be overcome than the national struggles against pagan nations. The battle was against 'unreasonable men'

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