BLONDIE’S highlights FROM the 08 29-2015 WT Study (JUNE 15, 2015), pages (20-25)
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THE WATCHTOWER (STUDY EDITION) JUNE 2015
Live in Harmony With the Model Prayer—Part I
“Let your name be sanctified.”—MATT. 6:9.
DO YOU RECALL?
What can we learn from the expression “our Father”?
Why should we pray for God’s name to be sanctified?
How can we live in harmony with the request for God’s will to be done on earth?
1. How might we use the prayer recorded at Matthew 6:9-13 in our ministry?
MANY people can recite the Lord’s Prayer from memory. In our door-to-door ministry, we often refer to this prayer to help householders understand that God’s Kingdom is a real government that is going to bring wonderful changes to our earth. Or we may refer to the first request in the prayer to show that God has a personal name, which is to be sanctified, or “treated as holy.”—Matt. 6:9, ftn.
How many jws can recite the Lord’s prayer or at least the elements in it? How often did you as a jw refer to this prayer at the door? How often do jws refer to the “kingdom”? How often do the WTS sample presentations refer to the kingdom, “Jehovah,” or Jesus? Out of 48 each year in the KM, perhaps once or twice. Not quite a theme. Does Jesus use the name Jehovah in the Lord’s prayer or Father?
2. How do we know that Jesus did not intend that the model prayer be repeated word for word every time we pray?
2 Did Jesus intend that this prayer be repeated word for word every time we pray, as is done by many in Christendom? No. Just before Jesus provided this prayer as a pattern, he said: “When praying, do not say the same things over and over again.” (Matt. 6:7) On a later occasion, he restated this prayer but used different wording. (Luke 11:1-4) Thus Jesus helped us know what sort of things we need to ask for and in what order of importance. Hence, it is fitting to call it the model prayer.
Do jws repeat words and phrases in just about every public prayer? Can you think of some? 1) Bless the Governing Body 2) Saying Jehovah in every other sentence 3)
- When we are being represented in public prayer, we need to display reverential “fear of God.” (1 Pet. 2:17) There may be a proper time and place for some actions that would be inappropriate at a Christian meeting. (Eccl. 3:1) For instance, suppose someone sought to have all in a group link arms or hold hands during such a prayer. This might offend or distract some, including visitors who do not share our beliefs. Some marriage mates might discreetly hold hands, but if they embraced each other during public prayer, those who got a glimpse of such conduct might be stumbled. They might think or get the impression that the couple was focusing on their romantic relationship instead of reverence for Jehovah.-- What Do Your Prayers Say About You? w09 11/15 pp. 3-7 The Watchtower (2009)
- Using prayer to make announcements or to counsel the audience would also be out of harmony with the spirit of Jesus’ sayings in the Sermon on the Mount. Do Jesus’ Sayings Influence Your Prayers? w09 2/15 pp. 15-19 The Watchtower (2009)
3. What questions could we meditate on as we analyze the model prayer?
3 In this article and the next, we will analyze the content of the model prayer. As we do so, ask yourself, ‘How can this model help me improve my own prayers? And, more important, am I living in harmony with the prayer?’
Analyze the content of the “model” prayer…implies that you would have to know the words and phrases…improve prayers. Do you think most jw men know the pattern of the model prayer based on the prayers you heard at their gatherings?
“OUR FATHER IN THE HEAVENS”
4. Of what does the expression “our Father” remind us, and in what sense is Jehovah “Father” to Christians with an earthly hope?
4 The expression “our Father,” not “my Father,” reminds us that we belong to an “association of brothers” who truly love one another. (1 Pet. 2:17) What a precious privilege that is! Anointed Christians, who have been begotten as God’s sons with heavenly life in view, rightly address Jehovah as “Father” in the fullest sense. (Rom. 8:15-17) Christians whose hope is to live forever on earth can also address Jehovah as “Father.” He is their Life-Giver, and he lovingly provides for the needs of all true worshippers. Those with this earthly hope will in the fullest sense become God’s children after they have reached perfection and have proved their loyalty in the final test.—Rom. 8:21; Rev. 20:7, 8.
So Jesus did not c all God Jehovah in his model prayer…why not? When do the great crowd become “sons of God” per the WTS…not until the end of the 1,000 year reign and having successfully remained faithful to God. It takes the anointed jws a moment to become perfect when they die, the great crowd takes 1,000 years.
5, 6. What fine gift can parents give to their children, and what should each child do with this gift? (See opening image.)
5 Parents give their children a fine gift when they teach them to pray and help them to view Jehovah as a caring heavenly Father. A brother who now serves as a circuit overseer in South Africa recalls: “From the day our daughters were born, I would pray with them every night unless I was away from home. Our daughters often say that they do not remember the exact words of those nightly prayers. However, they recall the atmosphere, the sacredness of communicating with our Father, Jehovah, and the feeling of calm and security. As soon as they were able to, I encouraged them to pray out loud so that I could hear them express their thoughts and feelings to Jehovah. This was a wonderful opportunity to get a glimpse into their hearts. Then I could gently coach them to include important elements of the model prayer in order to give their prayers a meaningful foundation.”
Other than an occasional ritual prayer before meals, how often do jw children hear their parents pray (especially their mothers)? How often do jw fathers have a family worship session, weekly, monthly (are these reported on their time slips)? Can a female jw child pray out loud in front of a baptized male jw?
6 Not surprisingly, the brother’s little girls went on to make fine spiritual progress. They are now happily married, and along with their husbands, they are doing God’s will in the full-time service. Parents can give their children no greater gift than that of helping them to develop a warm, close relationship with Jehovah. Of course, it is up to each one to maintain this precious relationship. That involves learning to love God’s name, treating it with the deepest respect.—Ps. 5:11, 12; 91:14.
Yes, now happily married, but never praying except alone and silently. No close, warm relationship with Jesus? In fact less than 20 times, the WT publications mention a “relationship with Jesus” and half of those times, anointed jws only.
“LET YOUR NAME BE SANCTIFIED”
7. What privilege do God’s people have, but what does it require of us?
7 What a privilege it is for us not only to know God’s personal name but also to bear it as “a people for his name.” (Acts 15:14; Isa. 43:10) We implore our heavenly Father: “Let your name be sanctified.” Your making such a request may move you to ask Jehovah to help you to avoid doing or saying anything that would dishonor his holy name. We do not want to be like some in the first century who did not practice what they preached. The apostle Paul wrote of them: “The name of God is being blasphemed among the nations because of you.”—Rom. 2:21-24.
Are jws the only ones that know that God’s name and use it…no. Does the WTS teach that only jws are being brought together as Jehovah’s people exclusively, yes.
8, 9. Give an example of how Jehovah blesses those who are concerned about sanctifying his name.
8 We want to sanctify God’s name. After the untimely death of her husband, a sister in Norway was left alone with a two-year-old son. “It was a very difficult time in my life,” she explains. “I prayed every day, nearly every hour, for strength to keep my emotional balance so that I would not give Satan reason to taunt Jehovah because of any unwise decision or unfaithfulness on my part. I wanted to sanctify Jehovah’s name, and I wanted my son to see his father again in Paradise.”—Prov. 27:11.
“Prayed every day, nearly every hour” during the meetings and at work?
9 Did Jehovah answer such unselfish prayers? Yes. This sister received support from her regular association with caring fellow believers. Five years later, she married an elder. Her son, now 20 years old, is a baptized brother. “I am so happy,” she says, “that my husband helped me to raise him.”
Prayer yields an elder husband? Did he adopt her son? Then that explains his only “helping” raise him. I wonder what the next 20 years will yield…marriage, divorce, TTATT…or worse.
10. What is needed for the complete sanctification of God’s name?
10 What is needed for God’s name to be completely sanctified and cleared of all reproach? For that to happen, Jehovah must act to remove all who willfully reject his sovereignty. (Read Ezekiel 38:22, 23.) Mankind will gradually be brought to perfection. How we long for the time when all intelligent creation will treat Jehovah’s name as holy! Then, at last, our loving heavenly Father will “be all things to everyone.”—1 Cor. 15:28.
“remove all who willfully reject his sovereignty” all non-jws and their minor children. “gradually be brought to perfection” that’s right, anointed perfect in a instant, 1,000 years for jws on earth.
“LET YOUR KINGDOM COME”
11, 12. Toward the end of the 19th century, true Christians were given what insight?
11 Before Jesus ascended to heaven, his apostles asked: “Lord, are you restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?” Jesus’ answer showed that it was not the time for them to know when God’s Kingdom would start ruling. He told his disciples to focus on the important witnessing work that they needed to do. (Read Acts 1:6-8.) Nevertheless, Jesus taught his followers to look forward to the coming of God’s Kingdom. So Christians since the days of the apostles have been praying for it to come.
Was 1966 (or 1879 or 1920) the time to know?
12 When the time approached for God’s Kingdom in the hands of Jesus to start ruling from heaven, Jehovah helped his people to understand the timing of events. In 1876, an article written by Charles Taze Russell was published in the magazine Bible Examiner. That article, “Gentile Times: When Do They End?,” pointed to 1914 as a significant year. The article linked the “seven times” of Daniel’s prophecy with “the appointed times of the nations” spoken of by Jesus. *—Dan. 4:16; Luke 21:24.
13. Armageddon ended
"… the battle of the great day of God Almighty … The date of the close of that "battle" is definitely marked in Scripture as October 1914. It is already in progress, its beginning dating from October, 1874." Zion's Watch Tower 1892 Jan 15 p.23
What happened in the year 1914, and what do world events since that time confirm?
13 In 1914, war broke out between nations of Europe—a war that spread and engulfed the whole world. By the time it ended in 1918, terrible food shortages had been experienced and there was a flu epidemic in which more people died than were killed in the war. Thus “the sign” that Jesus had given to identify his invisible presence as earth’s new King started to be fulfilled. (Matt. 24:3-8; Luke 21:10, 11) Ample evidence points to the year 1914 as the time when “a crown was given” to the Lord Jesus Christ. He “went out conquering and to complete his conquest.” (Rev. 6:2) He cleansed the heavens in a war against Satan and his demons, who were hurled down to the vicinity of the earth. Ever since, mankind has experienced the truthfulness of these inspired words: “Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing that he has a short period of time.”—Rev. 12:7-12.
1878—Jesus begins ruling
14. (a) Why is it still important to pray for God’s Kingdom to come? (b) What are we privileged to do?
14 The prophecy recorded at Revelation 12:7-12 explains why the birth of God’s Kingdom basically coincided with the beginning of the disastrous events that continue to plague mankind. Jesus, the King of God’s Kingdom, began to rule amid his enemies. Until his conquest is complete and he has brought an end to wickedness on earth, we will continue to pray for God’s Kingdom to come. At the same time, we must live in harmony with such prayers by sharing in the fulfillment of a most amazing feature of “the sign.” Jesus foretold: “This good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”—Matt. 24:14.
1878 Jesus began ruling, not 1914
“LET YOUR WILL TAKE PLACE . . . ON EARTH”
15, 16. How can we live in harmony with the request for God’s will to take place on earth?
15 About 6,000 years ago, God’s will was being done perfectly on earth. That is why Jehovah could look upon the fine start he had given to mankind and say: “It was very good.” (Gen. 1:31) Then Satan rebelled, and ever since, comparatively few humans have done God’s will on earth. But today we are privileged to be alive at a time when about eight million Witnesses not only are praying for God’s will to take place on earth but also are striving to live in harmony with that prayer. They do so by their way of life and by having a zealous share in the disciple-making work.
6,000 years ago…the WTS taught from 1966 to 1975 that the end of that 6,000 years was in 1975 and that Armageddon would start, leaving 1,000 years more for the end of the 7th creative day of 7,000 years. How many jws today remember than prophecy?
Are you helping your children to live in harmony with the request that God’s will be done on earth? (See paragraph 16)
16 For example, a sister who was baptized in 1948 and who served as a missionary in Africa says: “In line with this part of the model prayer, I often pray that all sheeplike people will be contacted and helped to come to know Jehovah before it is too late. Also, when I am about to witness to someone, I ask for wisdom to reach the person’s heart. And regarding sheeplike ones who have already been found, I pray that Jehovah will bless our efforts to care for them.” Little wonder that this 80-year-old sister has success in her ministry and, along with aid from others, has helped many to become Jehovah’s Witnesses. No doubt you can think of other good examples of individuals who pour themselves out in doing God’s will despite the limitations of old age.—Read Philippians 2:17.
million jws (why not Christians, see Acts 1:8, Jesus’ witnesses, only “
witnesses of Jesus” in the New Testament, why? “Become Jehovah’s Witnesses” not Christians? For every older jw with limitations, the WTS can find a jw who is overcoming it…no excuses.
17. How do you feel about what Jehovah will yet do in answer to our request for his will to be done on earth?
17 Until the enemies of God’s Kingdom are removed from the earth, we will continue to pray for God’s will to be done. Then we will see God’s will taking place in an even more complete way as billions are resurrected on a paradise earth. “Do not be amazed at this,” Jesus said, “for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear [my] voice and come out.” (John 5:28, 29) What a wonderful time to be alive to welcome back our dead loved ones! God “will wipe out every tear from [our] eyes.” (Rev. 21:4) Most resurrected ones will be “the unrighteous,” who lived and died without learning the truth about Jehovah God and his Son. It will be a privilege to impart knowledge of God’s will and purpose to resurrected ones, thereby helping them to qualify for “everlasting life.”—Acts 24:15; John 17:3.
As billions of non-jws and minor children are destroyed forever, no hope of a resurrection. How many of those resurrected will gain everlasting life? How many of the jws that survive the destruction life until the end of the 1,000 years?
18. What are mankind’s greatest needs?
18 Universal peace and harmony depend on the sanctification of Jehovah’s name by means of God’s Kingdom. Thus, the complete answer to the first three requests of the model prayer will fulfill mankind’s greatest needs. Meanwhile, we have other vital needs that are mentioned in the remaining four requests in Jesus’ model prayer. They will be discussed in the following article.
This is a review of last Sunday’s article…Can you find a prayer by Jesus where he uses Jehovah?