Biblical Prayer

By Chette Nichols Jr

Prayer is probably the most important doctrine for the church today and is the most neglected of all. I too am negligent in prayer. But I praise my God that he is merciful and gracious unto us even when we fall short in prayer.

In the writings of Paul he makes mention of the terms of prayers 28 among the 13 books he wrote that is an average of 2.1 times in each book he penned. He gives instruction to pray or makes mention of his prayer or the prayer of others or a prayer request at least once in each of the books he was inspired to pen. That makes it a doctrine for the body of Christ.

One of the thing I learned about prayer is this. Nowhere in all of the Holy Bible is prayer ever mandated. It is never commanded or forced upon Israel or the Christian church, the body of Christ, the fulness of Him or anyone. This marks a major difference between the God of the Bible and all other so called gods in every world religion. In each of the major and sub major religions of the world their god or gods require their followers to pray unto them.  But the God of the Bible never makes prayer a requirement, mandate or a command.

Why is that?

Because real true prayer is a heart condition, it must be of a free and willful heart that is desiring God to hear and to help. Mandated prayers become ritualistic and routine. Here is what Jesus Said about this type of prayer. Matt 6:7, 8 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. You see the true and living God already knows what you have need of, and what your situation is. What he wants is a person whose heart is turned to him in sincerity and truth, broken and humble willing to come to him in faith. Psalm 34:17, 18 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. God is not near them who offer mandated and commanded prayers he is near them that are broken heart and contrite spirit. So a man can be commanded to pray many times a day but the true and living God is not the one that commanded that.  That would make it a doctrine of man but it is not a requirement or a doctrine of a Holy and righteous God.

An interesting note is that prayer or any of its terms are only used 3 times in the books of the law of Moses and only in Numbers just making mention of Moses praying. I would tend to guess that the reason prayer is not mentioned in the law is that prayer cannot be commanded. It must be voluntary, it must be from the heart, it must be from a person wanting to communicate with God.   God will hear the prayer of a lost person to be saved, and once that takes place then they are through Christ given direct access to heaven to pray but a lost person is not limited to just the prayer of salvation see the word study below as it indicates that anyone can pray unto God if their heart is in the right place. And even then I would think by my own experience that prayer must be in God’s will, one should be spiritually willing to hear and be under conviction of the word of God, and ones prayer should be Biblical. So right heart, right motive, right desire, and his will all play a part in God hearing and answering our prayers.

I. How to pray

A. Physical Position

1) Standing

 Mt 6:5 ¶ And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites [are]: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Lu 18:10-13 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 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. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 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

1Kings 8:22 ¶ And Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven: . . 1Ki 8:54 ¶ And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the LORD, he arose from before the altar of the LORD, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven. Solomon went from a standing position to kneeling during this prayer.

2Chron 6:12 ¶ And he stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands:. . . 2Ch 7:1 ¶ Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house.

Mr 11:25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

2) Kneeling with hands spread

1Ki 8:54 ¶ And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the LORD, he arose from before the altar of the LORD, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven. Started his prayer standing and ended on his knees but his hands were spread the whole time.

2Ch 6:13 For Solomon had made a brasen scaffold, of five cubits long, and five cubits broad, and three cubits high, and had set it in the midst of the court: and upon it he stood, and kneeled down upon his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven,

Ezr 9:5 ¶ And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the LORD my God

3) Sitting

1Ch 17:16 ¶ And David the king came and sat before the LORD, and said, Who am I, O LORD God, and what is mine house, that thou hast brought me hitherto? . . . 1Ch 17:25 For thou, O my God, hast told thy servant that thou wilt build him an house: therefore thy servant hath found in his heart to pray before thee. David was sitting before the Lord when he prayed.

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Pray/Praying/Prayer – A Word Study

First thing a student of the Bible should do on any given subject is to list out all the verses pertaining to ones subject of Biblical study. In this case we are studying on Prayer and all its term uses like pray, praying, prayeth etc… should be listed so we can see how these terms are used.

The different forms of the word pray are found 156 times in the Old Testament(OT) and 124 times in the New Testament (NT).

A word study is necessary in order to understand what prayer is all about, this would include the when, who, what, when, where, why, which and how questions (Read Post on the Seven Divine Tools for studying the Bible) as we go through verse by verse and explore how prayer and all it terms are used in Scriptures. Once done clear doctrine of prayer can be laid out for practice for Israel and by the church, the body of Christ the fulness of Him.

The verses that follow shall not have to much interpreted but are placed in order so that YOU the student of God’s word can read them through look up their context and learn from God’s word about prayer. My study on “Biblical Prayer” is a conclusion from my own study of this vast topic. I will post it after this Verse/word study to give you time to do some of your own work. Yes studying the Bible is hard work. But we would not be called a workman that needeth not be ashamed (2Tim2:15) if everything was spoon fed to us.
Pray – Found 83 times in scripture OT 42 NT 41 Present active verb

The term pray is found in scriptures more that 2000 times. However in the majority of its uses it means nothing more than “request or ask” i.e. “I pray thee”.

Gen 20:7 Now therefore restore the man [his] wife; for he [is] a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore [her] not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that [are] thine.

Gen 20:17 So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children.

First use of the word pray in the Bible is found in Genesis and it is concerning Abraham. Remember Abraham had told a half truth to Abimelech concerning Sarah but never the less God will at times hear the prayer of a sinner. Remember Abraham was said to be righteous because he believed God.

The first prayer is made to the One True God Almighty

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Sermon on Hell – James W. Knox at Orlando Rescue Mission

Clear and honest preaching on Hell is seldom heard today. Most preachers are afraid to touch the subject. Brother James goes to the heart of the matter with this sermon preached at the Orlando Rescue Mission on September 15, 2012.

For More from Pastor James Knox – Please go to www.jamesknox.com or click the link in our Blogroll

THE KINGDOM OF GOD & THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN

By George Anderson Jr

The following comments are in reply to some questions concerning the subject of the “kingdoms” found in the New Testament. While this issue may be of some interest to genuine Bible believers (and might be of some help in “rightly dividing the word of truth”), it is not a principle (or major) doctrine that is necessary for Christian fellowship (Please See: “THE BIBLICAL BASIS OF OUR FELLOWSHIP – Parts I, II, III). I can fellowship with brethren who disagree with me on this doctrine as long as they do not make it a bone of contention between us.

The subject of the “kingdom” is one of the major themes (possibly the main theme) of the Bible. Alongside of the Grace of God, the subject of the “kingdom” is central in God’s plan for the ages; and its importance should never be underestimated. The study of the subject of the “kingdom” (or “kingdoms”) in the Holy Scriptures is also one of the most difficult of all the studies in the Bible to undertake and the undertaking of such a study should be done with caution and carefulness because a spiritual “mystery” [Matthew 13:11; Mark 4:11; Luke 8:10] is involved; which simply means that the understanding of the subject must come from God Himself and not from some school, or some commentator, or some book – other than the Holy Bible.

In regards to the subject of “kingdoms” in the Bible, the Scriptures clearly reveal WHEREthe kingdoms of the world” are – i.e. in “the world”; and they plainly define WHAT they are – i.e. the kingdoms: “of men”; “of nations”; and “of the heathen”, etc.

And although the Bible declares “the kingdom of God” to be a “mystery”; the Scriptures clearly state, without a doubt, WHEREthe kingdom of God” is – i.e. in the “third Heaven” and within each and every born again child of God, and definitely “NOT OF THIS WORLD”; and a reading of the 69 verses in the New Testament regarding WHATthe kingdom of God” is reveals much about its nature – i.e. the kingdom of God”:cometh not with observation”; “is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost”; “is not in word, but in power”; “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God”; etc.  Bible believers recognize that no one can know all there is to know about the nature of “the kingdom of God” simply because it is one of “the mysteries of God”.

But just exactly WHAT is “the kingdom of heaven”; and WHERE and HOW does “the kingdom of heavenFIT into the scheme of things?

SOME QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN

Which “heaven” is being spoken of in the phrase “the kingdom of heaven”?

1. The “heaven” wherein the birds fly {i.e. our atmosphere}?

[Deuteronomy 30:4; Job 35:11;Genesis 27:28; Deuteronomy 11:11; 2Samuel 21:10; Jeremiah 49:36; Ezekiel 31:6]

2. The “heaven” wherein resides the Sun the Moon and the Stars (the Universe)?

[Deuteronomy 4:19; Isaiah 13:10; Genesis 26:4; Exodus 32:23; Deuteronomy 1:10; 10:22; Jeremiah 8:2]

3. The“thirdheaven” spoken of by the Apostle Paul wherein Almighty God resides? {HEAVEN}

[2Corinthians 12:2; Job 22:12]

4. Is “the kingdom of heaven” equal to, or the same as, “all the kingdoms of the world”?

5. Are “all the kingdoms of the world” a part “the kingdom of heaven”? Or is “the kingdom of heaven” a part of “all the kingdoms of the world”?

6. Is “the kingdom of heaven” different (i.e. separate) from “all the kingdoms of the world”?

7. Is “the kingdom of heaven” the same as “the kingdom of God”?

8. Is “the kingdom of heaven” a part of the “the kingdom of God”?

9. Are “the kingdom of heaven” and “the kingdom of God” different (i.e. separate) from each other?

As you can see this subject is extremely complex; and the answers to these questions must come solely from Scripture and not from the commentators.

{NOTICE: When dealing with the subject of the “kingdom” in the Holy Scriptures most Bible commentators engage in a great deal of speculation, hypothesis, and theories as they attempt to figure out a workable solution to the issue that will make some kind of sense to them.}

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Biblical Fasting

By Chette Nichols Jr

I had a lot of emails asking about how to fast according to the Bible after I posted the Word Study on Fasting.  This is a good question and on top of the heart reason for fasting this may be the second most important point of fasting.  Both will be addressed in this study along with some other subjects as well.

We want to see how people in the Bible fasted but at the same time we will have to answer why they were fasting as well.  To understand the reason why persons in the Bile fasted will help us to understand their purpose in fasting.  The purpose of fasting is more important than the fast itself.  True fasting in the Bible is of a true heart condition and not for any physical benefit.

Because there are connecting and interlacing teachings of men we will look at the following during this study.

I.       Cleansing of the Body Temple
II.     What Constitutes a Fast
III.   Fasting to be Filled with the Spirit
IV.    Defiling of your Physical Body
V.      Diet and The Body
        A)   Did men live longer before the flood because of their diet?
        B)   Daniel’s Diet
VI.    Fasts In the Bible
        A)   Affliction of the Soul
        B)   Grief
            1. Sickness or Illness
            2.  For Safety of ones life and/or the life of others
            3.  For Expelling a Devil
        C.   Hearing the word of God or getting an answer from God        
            1. Hearing to turn from their sinfulness
            2. Hearing God’s decision and/or purpose

I.  Cleansing The Body Temple

I was involved in modern forms of Hinduism, Buddhism and the New Age movement from 1979-1991 when I got saved.  And I had a lot of spiritual garbage to throw out.  And over the years as I my self sought to find the Biblical fasting I soon discovered this one truth.  Fasting for cleansing the Body is not found in the Bible.

Does that mean I am against fasting to cleans ones body of toxin and chemicals that have accumulated via the processed food, medications and alcoholic beverages we take in?  No.  I would consider that under good stewardship of your body.  We should all care for our health by putting it at risk medical problems by the things we put into our bodies.

Having said that I will reiterate, The Bible does not teach fasting for cleansing the body.  And I would like to state that if anyone claims that we need to fast to cleans our “Body Temple” they should first  that this is promoted in the religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, and the New Age movement.  The term and its teaching are strongly connected with the practices of the New Age meditation’s and chanting techniques where one can achieve a place where they can receive a spirit guide, and attain their christ consciousness, this teachings is by and large promoted and taught by the Church Universal and Triumphant cult, under the teaching of the self proclaimed prophetess Elizabeth Clair Prophet and her adherents.  I was deeply involved with this group in the 1980’s visiting and having some various experiences at their facility in Malibu California during that time.  I had read, practiced and believed at that time the teachings of this group. I met weekly in a group in Riverside California with others for meditations, chanting and teaching.  I mention this only as proof of my knowledge of what I am talking of.  At that time I tried to practice many of their dietary and spiritual exercises to achieve oneness with my inner self and my christ consciousness.

These so called spirit guides are what the Bible refers to as Devils.  So a Christian does not want to start out fasting for the purpose of cleansing ones Body Temple so that you may achieve a deeper relationship with Jesus through the spirit.  Mainly because it is not Biblical.  As mentioned in my  study Fasting/Fast/Fasted there is nothing a Christian can do to get closer to Jesus than he has brought you via his blood  Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.  The Holy Ghost dwells in us but not on a condition of body health or even the body itself.   The Holy Ghost indwells us not because of the condition of our body, nor because of any work we do.  The indwelling of the Holy Ghost is solely on the condition of what Christ did for us and our personal choice to make him our Saviour.

Also, the whole body temple issues is a misunderstanding of a few scriptures that need to be looked at so that we can simply understand them correctly.

1Cor 3:16, Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. This scriptures is often abused to make eating, drinking and taking medications defilement of the body as defiling the temple and in so doing the spirit is hindered or quenched.  That is because it is somewhat disconnected from the main body teaching that one will face judgement for how he builds on the foundation of Christ.  But it is actually not disconnected.  For the temple of God is your soul that resides in your physical body and if you are taught by someone a false teaching and follow their heretical practices therefor building on the foundation of Christ with the wrong materials, then God would be the one to judge and destroy that man.  See below for further understanding of what defiles a man.

1Cor 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  Again this is part of the doctrine of the indwelling of the Holy Ghost in the believer.  We are not our own because he bought us with his own blood.   Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. See also Eph 1:14 below.

2Cor 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.   The context of these two verses is obvious and has to do with two things physical fornication and spiritual fornication.  Here the temple is defiled by spiritual and physical actions.  These physical actions represented their spiritual condition those actions were immoral sexual and eating of foods sacrificed to idols both of them first take place in ones soul, mind or heart.

The real purpose behind all the verses above is to establish the doctrine of the indwelling of God the Holy Ghost (1John 5:7 AV, NKJV) in the believer.  And that a believer though having liberty should be aware of his actions as they affect the testimony of God who lives in them. It simply means that God lives in the believer.  He comes to live in us when we first believed on the Gospel of Christ Eph 1:13, 14 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.  The indwelling is the seal and has nothing to do with our fleshly bodies. Except to guarantee that we are redeemed.

The temple of the body is not an issue of physical defilement that hinders communion with the Holy Ghost but rather one of a spiritual condition represented in physical actions.  So fasting to purify the body is not a Christian doctrine, it is not found in the Old Testament for Israel, and no one pre or post flood before Israel ever practice fasting that we know of for the scriptures are silent.

COMMENTS

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