A place for Catholics who don't find their Catholic identity in the standard definitions. "He drew a circle that shut me out. Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. But Love and I had the wit to win: We drew a circle that took him in." Edwin Markham
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
THE MASTER'S PRAYER
Before we get to the master's prayer, there are a few loose ends to tie up.
First, we need to remember the qualities of God:
--- Omni powerful
We need to remember a simple truth – God always provide the best, nothing less. Anything that occurs that is not the best either is not from God or was distorted in the transmission.
Following are a few common examples of inappropriate prayers, examples of how NOT to pray. It should be noted, these prayers will be answered, but the answers will definitely NOT be the desired answer. As you read these examples take a moment and imagine how the answers to these prayers might manifest.
Maybe you asked, but you did not receive because you asked
with evil intentions, just to satisfy your own desires.
(James 4:3 victor alexander translation from aramaic)
HOW NOT TO PRAY –
common examples of prayers with “evil intentions”:
CASTING A SPELL
(say the magic words and God will have to do what I tell him to it)
--- Many people believe that God has to do what they tell Him to if
--- they say the prayer in just the right way, using the right words
--- EX: "I pray by the blood of Jesus that God will ...."
--- EX: "In Jesus Name I pray that God will ..."
--- Notice: the manipulative nature of this behavior
LETS MAKE A DEAL
(bargaining, trying to buy God off)
--- Many people believe that they can make deals with God to get
--- what they want these usually sound like “God if you will get me
--- out of this, I will …”
--- Notice the “IF” – if is always a sign of a lack of faith
(lack of faith)
--- some variation on "God if you are really listening, then give me a sign"
“I NEED A SPECIAL MIRACLE BLESSING”
(desperation, lack of faith)
--- Many people believe that there is a hierarchy of prayer,
--- that some prayer is more effective than others
--- They don’t want the ordinary prayer, they want the special prayer
--- Frequently sounds like: if I don’t get the answer I WANT to this
--- prayer right away, something really bad will happen to me
GOD WILL GET YOU FOR THAT
(anger, hate, revenge)
--- praying that God will cause some type of harm to befall another
--- This one usually has really nasty backfire ju-ju
MY NEEDS COME FIRST, THEIRS DON’T MATTER
--- praying that God will make someone else do what they want,
--- regardless of whether or not it is in their highest good
--- EX: make my boyfriend come back to me
--- EX: make them not evict me for not paying my rent for 6 months
--- EX: my son is guilty, but pray that he will not get convicted
--- This one also has nasty backfire ju-ju
IF I NAG GOD EVENTUALLY HE WILL GIVE ME WHAT I WANT
--- constantly repeating the same request over and over and over
--- this is actually an affirmation of lack of faith
--- DO NOT CONFUSE THIS WITH REPETION PRAYERS
--- SUCH AS THE ROSARY
I KNOW WHATS BEST FOR ME, GOD DOESN’T
--- unwilling to accept that God's Best for us really is the BEST
--- they usually go to great lengths and into great detail telling
--- God what they want and how they want God to give it to them
BEGGING and PLEADING -
--- usually sounds like "if I sound pathetic enough, God will feel
--- sorry for me and answer the prayer"
How to pray the master's prayer:
1. self-check - be clear about the intention
2. self-check - reaffirm faith is in God
3. Remember: ....
--- THERE IS NEVER ANYTHING WE NEED TO TELL GOD
--- THERE IS NEVER ANYTHING WE NEED TO ASK FOR
--- GOD ALREADY KNOWS EVERY NEED AND EVERY DESIRE
--- BEFORE WE ASK, GOD HAS ALREADY ANSWERED
--- THE REASON WE PRAY IS TO ALIGN WITH GOD
--- --- NOT TO GET SOMETHING
--- ALL OF OUR BLESSINGS FLOW THROUGH THE ALIGNMENT
--- ---THERE IS NOTHING TO GET
4. Pray the masters prayer from the heart with sincere heartfelt gratitude:
--- Thank you God, for helping me understand that this situation
--- has already been resolved and thank you for revealing
--- the answer to me.
(yes, it really is this simple)
5. Take time to be still and listen for God to reveal the answer
The Master's Prayer has been used successfully by hundreds of thousands of people for a very long time. It is easy, powerful, and extremely effective. When used properly, it covers everything, is always answered with the best outcome and really is the only prayer that anyone ever needs.
This is not meant to imply that other prayer formats such as the Rosary, the Apostles Creed, etc. are not effective. The truth is, that any prayer format when used with the proper intention and used with proper reverence and faith will be effective. However, it should be remembered, less is more.
This is not intended to be the be all end-all do-all answer to effective prayer, this is one way out of many. What I have attempted to do is to distill out the essential elements and to simplify it into something that is easy to do and easy to understand. I do not believe that God ever intended for it to be hard to connect to Him in prayer and to receive His blessings. Quite the contrary, I believe that the reason God gave us the Holy Spirit was so that the process of alignment could be simple and easy, and natural.
Men have cluttered up the process. We needed go betweens before Christ’s resurrection. With the Holy Spirit, we have all we need within us every minute of every day.
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Carl, does this mean my prayer for peace is no good, or the one I pray when severe weather is heading our way?ReplyDelete
This makes me think of the time Jesus was in the boat sleeping and there was a great storm and the disciples feared for their lives. Jesus then tells the storm to calm down, I can't remember the exact words.
Another thing I recall from the Gospels is Jesus saying to "ASK and you shall receive. You have not asked yet." So, if you are saying that God already knows our needs then we shouldn't have to ask Him for anything?
But, in the asking it brings us in alignment with God....ReplyDelete
Not at all. If your intention was solid and you prayed in faith expecting the prayer to be answered, it was answered.
However, if your prayer was a form of begging or pleading (which implies the possibility of it not being answered) or if you were praying out of fear instead of faith, then it was not as powerful as it could have been.
Consider the following variations which affirm the request as if it is already done:
Thank you God for bringing peace to this situation.
Thank you God for your protection and intervention in this situation.
Thank you God for providing for all of our needs today.
Re: the storm. In Mark 4:39 Jesus said "peace, be still" (RSV). Jesus commanded the storm and it obeyed. No fear. No doubt. Jesus knew when he spoke, the storm would obey. He did not ask, he commanded and what he commanded came to pass.
In John 14:12 (rsv) Jesus said "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do". Jesus is very clear here, each of us has within us already the power to say "peace, be still", and it will. That being the case, realistically, we all have a bit of work to do on ourselves before we are able to quiet the storm simply by commanding it be done. That is why we use the Master's Prayer.
One thing to consider, the terminology of "ask" was used to describe events before the crucifixion, before the Holy Spirit was given to us, at a time when an intecessor was needed. If you look at Jesus' words, he rarely if ever asked, he commanded. If the scriptures were to be written by the disciples today in the current vernacular, it would most likely be renedered "affirm in faith".
John 15:7 "And for those of you who adhere to me and my words become strong in you, whatever you wish to ask for, you shall have".
(victor alexander aramaic)
The issue with asking is, like hope, asking implies the possibility of not receiveing. Ask and hope by their definition express lack of faith.
It really isnt hard, it is just a new skill, which takes a little bit of practice to get comfortable with it.
My own personal story: 8 months ago I was crippled up with arthritis in the knees so badly, the only way I could ambulate was with crutches. When I finally stopped my pity party, I used the prayer “Thank You God for the health and vitality that fills every part of my body and mind. It took a while, but today, I walk without crutches, I mountain bike, I’m able to backpack with a light load and I received a bonus I didn’t ask for. 10 years ago I had 2 heart attacks that left me with walnut size damage to the back wall of my heart. My cardiac followup two months ago … no evidence of any cardiac damage, none. The report said that if it werent for the records on file, they would never have suspected a history of heart attack.
Today, “I know that God always provides for every need”, and that is my prayer. And God always does.
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
PS: The beauty of:ReplyDelete
"God always provides for every need"
is that it covers what I know I need, AND the things that I need that I dont know that I need.
"God always provides the best, and nothing less."
For any who are interested:ReplyDelete
The Victor Alexander Aramaic translation is found at:
Another Aramaiac resource is the Lamsa Online Bible at:
There is a good online concordance with a couple of dozen different translations that can be searched by keyword which I find really helpful:
Faith and how we pray really go hand in hand. If Faith is not focused on God and prayer is selfish, the prayers manifest negatively. If our Faith is focused on God and prayer is intended for good, the prayers will manifest positively. Does that sound right?ReplyDelete
Admittedly, a lot of the time my prayers have been fear-based. My idea of God was fear-based for a long, long time, because that is how I was taught. I could not develop a relationship with God since I was too fearful of Him. Discovering He is all about love has taken time to settle into my heart and soul. It's easy to become fearful in the political environment of fear-mongering, which always seems to bring one to the mind-set of relying on the self, on an institution, someone else, or something outside ourselves other than God to take care of problems. But - nothing about ourselves can truly take care of problems. We need God. We were meant to be in relationship with Him. Faith and prayer are all about that relationship.
It is a real testimony of true Faith in God, practicing that Faith in Him by prayers that thank Him for taking care of us and our needs; knowing that He will always provide the best, nothing less. If we doubt this, we doubt Him and our Faith is in doubt.
Thanks Carl for listening.
This needs to be a book Carl. Wow. Eloquent, precise, and so true.ReplyDelete