The Weekend Word

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12 Responses

  1. Jean says:

    MLD,

    I’m wondering if you can confirm what I recall reading somewhere (but can’t remember the source): Jesus was the first Jew to call and pray to God as Father.

  2. Owen says:

    Jean, now you have me curious on that one, also…..
    Just off the top of my head, it seems to me that there is OT reference to God as father, but the first time we read it as “Abba” (the more intimate reference) was from Jesus.
    Looking forward to hearing other more learned answers than mine.

  3. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jean, I don’t know that I heard that, BUT he would be the first one who really meant it. 😉

  4. Jean says:

    May I share my favorite exposition of the second petition of The Lord’s Prayer:

    “This is what is meant by “Thy king cometh.” You seek not him, but he seeks you. You find not him, but he finds you. For the preachers come from him, not from you; their sermons come from him, not from you; your faith comes from him, not from you; everything that faith works in you comes from him, not from you; and where he comes not, you remain outside; and where there is no Gospel there is no God, but only sin and damnation, though free will may do, suffer, work and live as it may and can. Therefore you should not ask where godliness begins; there is no beginning, except where the king enters and is proclaimed.” – Martin Luther

  5. Jean says:

    MLD, would you agree that the order of the prayer is purposeful?

    I think we should take Paul’s statement seriously that we do not know how to pray as we ought. Jesus, here, teaches us how.

    Look at the first petition: hallowed be your name. In addition to an affirmation that God’s name is holy, we ask that our prayer and very lives would hallow His name. When you begin, with this frame of mind, it shapes our prayers and our very lives. We should make this petition with confidence that the Father will grant our petition.

  6. Xenia says:

    We begin Orthodox prayers by calling upon the Holy Spirit:

    0h Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere present and fillest all things, Treasury of good things and Giver of life: Come and dwell in us, and cleanse us of all impurity, and save our souls, 0h Good One.

  7. Jean says:

    Xenia,

    Are you familiar with this promise:

    “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
    Luke 11:13 ESV

  8. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jean,
    I am sure that it is with purpose because I don’t think Jesus speaks / teaches without a direct purpose

    As I said in my comments about they kingdom come – “Is it a cry against Satan? It should be.” – there is a promise of the kingdom and of a defeat of Satan. I don’t know that Jesus is teaching us to come hat in hand and ask politely – I think Jesus is teaching that we are to boldly demand that he keep his word in these petitions.

  9. Jean says:

    “Do we ever see fasting taught to the Gentiles?”

    There is fasting mentioned in Acts 13:3 and 14:23. I can’t say for sure whether these cases involved Jewish and Gentile Christians or only Jewish Christians, but they were church-related Christian fasts.

    The fasts were coupled with prayer, and Jesus taught fasting right after prayer in Matthew.

    Can you give us a theology of fasting? It’s still a bit of an enigma to me.

  10. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jean, I probably cannot. Fasting is odd and I do wonder if it is for today. The Bible seems to be silent on the questions of how to fast, when to fast and for what purpose.
    It seems to be embedded in the Jewish culture and as I point out I do not see any explicit teaching or command to the gentiles to do it.

    It’s probably not a bad thing to do, if one can learn to focus better out of it – so I guess we can elicit opinions of those more in tune than us.

    Personally, I fast daily — between meals 🙂

  11. Xenia says:

    Yet Lutherans observe Lent, which is a type of fast.

  12. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Xenia – Lutherans observe Lent but fasting (or giving anything up) is optional and really it is something the church is trying to bring back – but I think more for an experience than by a command.

    I alternate years – even years I ‘fast’ something – odd years I go with the flow.

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