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

A Prayer For God's Leadership
Teach me to do your will,     for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward     on a firm footing. Psalm 143:10 NLT  Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; let Your good Spirit lead me into a level country and into the land of uprightness. (Amplified) Father, Y

posted 1:47:43pm Dec. 19, 2014 | read full post »

A Prayer for Peace, A Prayer for Health
A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body;     jealousy is like cancer in the bones. (Proverbs. 14:30 NLT)  A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness of the bones. (Amplified Translation) One of the greatest se

posted 11:51:34am Dec. 17, 2014 | read full post »

All I Really Want In Life
When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn. Wherever I go, my enemies have set traps for me. I look for someone to come and help me, but no one gives me a passing thought! No one will help me; no one cares a bit what happens to me. Then I pray to you, O Lord. I say,

posted 12:30:57pm Dec. 12, 2014 | read full post »

Turning Down the Invitation To the Christmas Pity Party
“Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring GREAT JOY to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!" Luke 2:10,11 If Christmas is a bit disappointing to you this year – perhaps you don't have funds to

posted 10:01:46am Dec. 11, 2014 | read full post »

God's Promises: Too Good to Be True?
Elisha replied, “Listen to this message from the Lord! This is what the Lord says: By this time tomorrow in the markets of Samaria, six quarts of choice flour will cost only one piece of silver, and twelve quarts of barley grain will cost only one piece of silver.” The officer assisting the ki

posted 11:56:57am Dec. 10, 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.