"Repeating the Lord's Prayer" (Matthew 6:7, 9-13; Matthew 6:7)
Letter to the
PASUGO, November 1997, p.2
I HAVE ATTENDED Iglesia ni Cristo Bible seminars and worship services here in Dubai several times. I noticed that you do not pray "The Lord's Prayer" (Our Father).
In the Bible, this prayer was taught by Christ. Shouldn't this also be said during worship services?
Also, does God prescribe a particular outfit for His worshipers? What if one is not financially capable of buying a decent dress, can't he be allowed to attend the worship service? Isn't prescribing a specific attire for the worship service a form of prejudice? (Interesting Question-48, pls. click to see specific answer)
During His earthly sojourn, the Lord Jesus Christ had, at many instances, exemplified prayerfulness. He Himself commanded His servants to always pray and not to lose heart (cf.Lk. 18:1, NKJV).
Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, (Luke 18:1, NKJV)
The apostles likewise admonished the Christians to become earnest, unwearied, and steadfast in prayer (cf. Col. 4:2, Amplified Bible)
Be earnest and unwearied and steadfast in your prayer [life], being [both] alert and intent in [your praying] with thanksgiving. (Col. 4:2, Amplified Bible)
and encouraged them to pray at all times, even in every church service (cf. I Thess. 5:17:1 Tim. 2:8, TEV).
pray at all times, (1 Thessalonians 5:17, TEV)
In every church service I want the men to pray, men who are dedicated to God and can lift up their hands in prayer without anger or argument. (1 Timothy 2:8, TEV)
The Lord Jesus Christ said:
In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
(Matthew 6:9-13, NKJV)
The Lord Jesus Christ did not command us to memorize this prayer verbatim and mumble it repetitivelypattern for our prayers. Remember that the Lord Himself forbids vain repetitions in praying, for such is the practice of pagans (cf. Mt. 6:7, NIV). Moreover, a prayer is said according to the circumstances and needs of the one praying. whenever we pray to God. Rather, He said," In this manner, therefore, pray." This prayer, therefore, was given as an example, a
And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. (Matthew 6:7, New International Version)
Jesus prayed on different occasions but never practiced praying in vain repetitions as the pagans do:
He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39, New King James Version)
Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” (John 11:41-42, Ibid. )
Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes t
o heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, . . . And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (John !&:1, 3, Ibid)
Note: Verses in smaller font were added for clarity. Emphasis ours.
Bible Study Suggestion: If you have further questions, please feel free to visit the Iglesia ni Cristo congregation nearest you. A minister or an evangelical worker would be happy to answer any biblical question you have in mind._______________________________________________________