Sunday, August 6, 2017

Avoid Repetitious Prayer. How to Pray. Prayer From the Heart. Jericho: Archaeological Findings. Update:

For “Scripture Sunday”:

How to Avoid Repetitious Prayer

“Jesus cautioned against praying “vain repetitions” (Matthew 6:7). Do you find it difficult to avoid repeating the same words in your daily prayers?

Here is one idea for avoiding repetitious prayers. (Click here to download PDF.)

This is a simple, but highly effective way to avoid that frustrating experience. Emphasize a different main subject on each day of the week.

How to Avoid Repetitious Prayer


Early in His ministry, Jesus gave His disciples a model prayer so that they would know how to talk with the Father. It is part of the “Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 6:5-15).

“The Lord’s Prayer” was a teaching tool

Jesus did not want His disciples simply to recite what He told them. Obviously, the disciples would have done that, if that was all there was to praying! They perceived there was more to it by seeing Jesus’ example over the years, and they asked for additional guidance.

“Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples’” (Luke 11:1).

Seeing Jesus’ example prompted one disciple to ask Jesus (on behalf of them all) to review His instructions. Luke records Christ’s answer in Luke 11:2-4.

This has inappropriately come to be known as “The Lord’s Prayer,” instead of “the Lord’s model for praying.” Jesus said, In this manner, therefore, pray” (Matthew 6:9, emphasis added throughout).

Christians still struggle with prayer today

In prefacing His instructions about prayer in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave this challenging counsel: “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words” (Matthew 6:7).

What is challenging about that? Don’t just recite Jesus’ model prayer, the prayers written by other people or the prayers written by churches for their followers. Pray original prayers.” 

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How to Pray

“It is universally understood that Christians should pray.  But what should we say to God? Do we know how to pray? How does God want us to pray?

Jesus said we should ask our Father for His Kingdom to come and for His will to be done—which includes praying for the work of His Church to be done. We are also told to ask for our daily needs, for forgiveness and for deliverance from “the evil one” (Satan).

How to Pray

When we wonder about prayer, it should be reassuring to know that even a disciple of Jesus asked Him for instructions about how to pray.

“Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples’” (Luke 11:1).

Simply stated, prayer is our means of communicating with God. As with any personal relationship, interaction with God matures as we spend more time with Him.

As the Lord’s disciple indicated, prayer is something that does not come naturally to us—it is something that needs to be taught. The inspired Word of God provides the answers to some frequently asked questions about how to pray.

To whom should we pray?

Elijah and others in the Old Testament prayed to God. The apostle Paul made references to praying to God in both of the epistles he wrote to the Christians living in the pagan city of Corinth (1 Corinthians 11:13 and 2 Corinthians 13:7).

Jesus taught His disciples to pray to “our Father” (Matthew 6:6). Jesus Himself told the gang that arrested Him in the Garden of Gethsemane that He could pray to His Father right then and be rescued (Matthew 26:53).

After His resurrection, Jesus told Mary Magdalene not to cling to Him because He had not yet ascended to heaven. He told her to tell the others that He was ascending to “My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God” (John 20:17).

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Prayer From the Heart

“The Bible gives many examples of what is most important to God when we come to Him in prayer. He wants us to pray from the heart. How do we do that?

Prayer From the Heart

Man was created to need God. But mankind today in general has not known the true God and His revealed way of living. Man has generally failed, leading to all of the evils and suffering we see around us.

Even those who have tried to live as close to God as they could have done so imperfectly. Yet even if imperfect, the benefits of a relationship with God far exceed anything offered by this world.


To have a relationship with God, we have to keep in constant communication with Him through prayer.

The Bible is full of examples of the people of God talking with Him. For example, many of the psalms were actually prayers, and many of those were by David, the great king of Israel. (Consider Psalms 3, 4 and 5, to mention just a few).

There are many types of prayer mentioned in the Bible, but one common factor in prayers that helped build a relationship with God is that these effective prayers were heartfelt.

The Bible records many examples of prayer from the heart. First, let’s look at one prayed by Hezekiah, king of Judah, in the Old Testament.

Hezekiah’s heartfelt prayer

The first prayer we will examine is found in 2 Kings 20:1-3. When the prophet Isaiah told King Hezekiah that he would die, Hezekiah reacted to the message with a supplication found in verse 3. Hezekiah reminded God of his efforts to walk before Him with a loyal heart. It seems he might have wanted to say more to God, but emotion overcame him and he broke down in tears and cried bitterly.”

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An Amazing Fact: “Archaeological findings in the Middle East sometimes reveal surprising evidence linked to biblical accounts. The ruins of the ancient city of Jericho contain collapsed brick walls, including a small section of wall still standing, which might reflect the story of Rahab!

In the 1950s, archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon conducted extensive exploration and research in the ruins of the ancient city of Jericho. She concluded that the city contained no evidence of the destruction recalled in the book of Joshua. But later researchers reexamined her work and found that her dating was incorrect. When the correct dates were applied to the findings, collapsed brick walls were found surrounding the city exactly as we would expect.

And what about the story of Rahab? The book of Joshua records that Rahab’s home and family were saved from destruction when she followed the instructions of the Israelite spies and hung a scarlet cord from her window. Interestingly, a short stretch of the city’s mud brick wall was left standing with houses positioned against it. This portion of the wall was even on the north side of the city, a short distance from the hills to which the spies escaped.

In today’s skeptical world, it can be easy to doubt the words of Scripture in the face of cynicism and doubt. But God’s Word stands true. Increasingly, the stories of the Bible have been linked with archaeological evidence, revealing that these passages are far more than stories and legends. We can trust that God Himself has spoken to us through His Word. His message for us, from stories of instruction to words of comfort and hope, has been preserved for thousands of years.”  

And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him. Joshua 6:5



Cabinet-rebuildAfter lowering several of the mini-house upper kitchen cabinets, we have been adding shelves above them at the same height as the tops of the cabinets that could not be lowered, to keep continuity in the kitchen design.  On the big upper cabinet on the back wall where we had to cut the doors to accomdate the microwave and toaster oven, we just raised the doors to the top of the shelf above, and made it look like part of the cabinet. 

We did the same thing to the cabinet above the range hood.  Some of the shelves, we will just make doors to match the others.  I wish that I had caught the guy who was installing the porthole windows when he had his own ideas and raised them.  That is what made all the upper cabinets the wrong height, as the porthole was too high.  We actually found my original mark on the outside wall, where the first porthole was supposed to be.

DSCF1649-001We also added some permanent and temporary shelves under the deep window sills on the back wall of the bedroom, so that we can house some of the items that we use every day while the building is ongoing. Mostly different sizes of screws, nails and caulk on this one, so far.  Hans is still sanding on the great big 6’ tall, 17” deep, 40” wide shelf unit that will be going in between those window sills.  We should be bringing it in from the carport any day soon.  Then we will stain and polyurethane it and all the shelves and all the window sills.

Jay, my neighbor’s son, said his cold was too bad to go to church, so I went on my own again.  Not many in attendance this week because of one thing or another.  It was so cold in the chapel that my sinuses acted up, my head stopped up, and even when I donned a cardigan and a jacket, I was still cold.  I have never been able to find a place in there where the AC isn’t blowing artic air on me.  They could hang meat in there.  Why do people want it blowing on them that cold? The light company says that the economical AC temperature is 78F, so that is where I keep mine at home.  Each degree below that equals at least $10 a month, and I am on a strict budget.

This time I didn’t know what to take for the church potluck, and I had to make it on Thursday as I would be taking my neighbor to the doctor on the Friday afternoon.  That’s my usual “Preparation Day” when I cook for the potluck, wash my hair, choose and lay out my clothes, purse, shoes, all getting ready for the Sabbath. That gives me more time on Saturday, before church, to talk to my daughter on the phone.  So I cooked some organic boneless chicken thighs, added some already cooked organic potatoes, carrots, spices and called it Chicken Stew. 

I had intended to buy some 2 x 4’s for building the wall between the living room and bedroom in the mini-house when I was taking Zach to the doctor in Conroe.  Then Friday midday he comes here and calls them to postpone his appointment as he doesn’t feel well.  So that plan was dashed, as I won’t make a special trip to Conroe for just one thing, especially on a Friday.  So as Roy had spilled food and drink splotches on my carpet, Roy shampooed it so that it would be clean for the Sabbath.

The Bible readings were Num. 25:10-30:1, 1 Kings 18:36-19:21, and Rom. 11:2-32, and the Teaching was about Giving Thanks, Praise and Acknowledging the Wisdom of The Lord.

DSCF1652-001My crockpot of Chicken Stew was well received, as was my other crockpot of Rutabagas.  We also had some chicken patties, Chili Pie, pinto beans, broccoli, several salads, including green, potato, pea and cole slaw.  Pies, fruit and cookies were there for dessert.

Jay wanted to work, and Roy didn’t, so Jay and I put the new white canvas cover over the frame of the motorhome RVport today.

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