Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple


Muttering to God

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Every day in great Cathedrals, in automobiles, restaurants and school libraries millions upon millions of people around the world recite “The Lord’s Prayer.”  I said it myself this morning. It is perhaps the simplest, most direct, most encompassing prayer ever cast in human language. 

 

But while the simple words themselves provide a wonderful form for the function of prayer, the ideas behind the words can open a wider world for communication with God.  “The Lord’s Prayer” is more than a rote intercession.  It is also a template for prayer.  More than a score for an intricate symphony, it is also a chord chart for a jazz improvisation, setting the tempo, key, and basic progression for a free-flow of expression.  For anyone, asking, “teach me to pray” this simple pattern provides a beginning. 

 

Jesus was a rabbi. Rabbis of Israel in his day had (and still have today) a particular way of teaching their “talmidim” (students) to pray.  Their method is called “haggah,” a Hebrew word usually translated in English “meditate.” 

 

When most people think of meditation they envision a sophist or guru sitting passively in an incense-filled room.  But “Haggah” meditation is more than silent contemplation.  The word literally means to mutter, or to speak aloud quietly.  When a rabbi would teach his students to pray “haggah” he would begin by reciting aloud a short portion of holy text, a Psalm or a prophecy or a portion of the Torah, the Law. 

 

Following the scripture patterns the students would corporately but personally “mutter” to God his own thoughts and feelings about this text, amplifying the meaning with specific details relevant to his own life and the immediate situations in the world around him.  This would continue for a few moments.  Then just as the wave of “haggah” would begin to subside the rabbi would quote aloud the next portion of scripture.  Again the student would expound the scripture back to God. 

 

This seems to be how Reb Yeshua bar Yosef taught his followers to pray using the phrases of what we now call the Lord’s Prayer. He may well have started: “Our Father, you who make your dwelling in the heavens, your name is holy…”  The disciples would then “haggah” by praying personal details in their own words… “You are my Father, my provider and the one who grants my identity. You are making your home in Heaven a place to welcome me…” And more…  

 

We can each do the same here and now.

 

Take up the “Lord’s Prayer,” and say the words quietly under your breath.

 

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver from the evil one” (Matthew 6:9-13).

 

Pause at each line and amplify how that phrase fits your needs today…



  • http://www.netzarim.co.il Anders Branderud

    You write: “Jesus was a rabbi. Rabbis of Israel in his day had (and still have today) a particular way of teaching their “talmidim” (students) to pray.”
    (le-havdil)
    The first century historical man Ribi Yehoshua from Nazareth (the Mashiakh; the Messiah) was a Ribi and he taught in the Jewish Synagouges.
    To you who want to follow him: A logical analysis of the first centuries Hellenistic and Jewish documents and archaeology shows what he taught and how to follow him.
    Learn more here in the extensive and eye-opening research at: http://www.netzarim.co.il
    Anders Branderud

  • http://LOM.ministries@gmail.com lom.ministries@gmail.com

    Hey Herringshaw … this is what I teach!! Man do I miss you. How yah all been bro. Check out my videos at the web site …

    http://www.LightofMenorah.com – pick Bet Midrash and the video study room

    John Ferret

Previous Posts

An Endless Circle of Affirmation and Celebration
Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you." John 17:1 Jesus gave tutorials on prayer to His disciples. He gave them an outline of subjects for prayer; he also gave them examples of how to present (and how not to present) our

posted 1:12:10pm Nov. 21, 2014 | read full post »

You Have An Advocate
"It is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. ..When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.

posted 12:00:20pm Nov. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Jesus on Productivity
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers... If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it wi

posted 11:43:02am Nov. 19, 2014 | read full post »

A Prayer for Anyone With a Pending Business Contract
Please, Lord, please save us. Please, Lord, please give us success. Psalm 118:25 If you are working through a business contract today, let's pray. God has promises in His Word that we can claim when Jesus is our leader, the CEO of our business and our lives, and the love and power by which we oper

posted 11:39:15am Nov. 18, 2014 | read full post »

I Want to Want to Not Want What I Want
May he give us the desire to do his will in everything and to obey all the commands... And may these words that I have prayed in the presence of the Lord be before him constantly, day and night... 1 Kings 8:58,59 Solomon was at one point in his life the wisest man that ever lived, and this Scriptur

posted 10:30:28am Nov. 17, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.