Malankara World Journal Issue 20 (August 26 2011) is online
- Malankara World Journal Issue 20 (August 26 2011) is online at:
We are approaching the second Sunday after the Shunoyo Feast. Many
churches are making elaborate plans for the Eight Day lent culminating
in the nativity of St. Mary on September 8. The Syriac Orthodox Church
Lectionary specifies St. Luke 11:9-20 for Gospel reading during the Holy
Qurbana this Sunday.
The analysis, commentary and over dozen sermons discussing various
aspects of this week's Bible Reading is covered in Malankara World and
can be seen here:
Chapter 11 of Luke starts out by stating that Jesus was praying. Luke
pays particular attention to prayer, more than other Gospels. In fact,
if we look for the words proseuche/proseuchomai = prayer/pray in the
gospels, we find:
Matthew = 17 verses
Mark = 13 verses
Luke = 21 verses -- 12 of those verses in Luke are unique to that gospel
John = 0 verses
Acts of Apostles = 25 verses
Since Luke wrote both the Gospel and the Acts, we can attribute 46
verses to Luke that mention pray/prayer. Luke Chapter 11 is one of the
most important one on prayer in Luke. The disciples come and ask Jesus
to teach them how to pray. Jesus teaches them the prayer popularly known
as the 'Lord's Prayer.'
After illustrating the importance of persistent prayer by means of a
parable, Jesus now summarizes the importance of prayer in the passage
specified for this Sunday:
"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will
find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks
receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be
opened." (Luke 11:9-10)
We had discussed prayer several times in Malankara World Journal in the
past. We talked about the need for praying often. We also talked about
the need for persistence in prayer as shown in this passage.
Most of us pray only when we are in trouble or need God for something.
We get upset when God does not give us what we ask for. God, however,
answers all prayers. The answer to a prayer may be Yes, No, Wait, (or
sometimes a modified Yes).
Yes, there are times when God tells us "No!". The Apostle Paul had a
"thorn in the flesh," some kind of affliction from Satan. Paul pleads
with the Lord three times to take it away, but then receives the answer,
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in
weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). Paul accepts this answer, and now
begins to glory in his weaknesses that Christ's power may rest on him.
But Jesus assures that most of the time the Heavenly Father is anxious
to listen to you. He illustrates it via a parable in Luke 11:5-8 and
another related parable in Luke 18:1-8, the Parable of the Persistent
Widow. So, we are encouraged to ask boldly, knowing that we can trust
God. The writer of Hebrews encourages us, "Let us then approach the
throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find
grace to help us in our time of need" (Hebrews 4:16).
With this issue of Malankara World Journal, we are starting to publish a
full book on Prayer in Malankara World Journal. It is one of the most
important classic books on intercessional prayers - 'With Christ In the
School of Prayer' : Thoughts on Our Training for the Ministry of
Intercession By Rev. Andrew Murray (1828-1917). The power of
intercessory prayer is a great gift from God. God listens to those he
loves, and works all things for their good. Murray, in his classic work,
'With Christ in the School of Prayer', calls the church to exercise that
powerful gift. Murray skillfully describes the role of the Holy Spirit
within the church and exhorts Christians to use the blessings God has
given us. This book is a guide to living a life as a temple of the Holy
Spirit. This book is divided into 31 lessons on Prayer. We will cover
one lesson each week. The first lesson, viz., 'Lord, teach us to pray'
or, The Only Teacher is in today's journal. I hope that you will enjoy
reading this book in Malankara World.
Rev. Bryn MacPhail, in his article, 'The God Who Delights In Answering
Prayer' amplifies the concept of answered prayers.
We are also bringing an excerpt from Mother M. Angelica's work, 'Living
Prayers' in Today's Journal titled 'Living in the Present Moment' - an
important reading on Prayer.
Please take a look at the Recommended additional reading on Prayers from
Malankara World. This should answer most of your questions on Prayer.
Prayer -- Guaranteed To Succeed by Charles Spurgeon
We find a powerful reason for expecting prayer to be effective in the
fact that it is an institution of God. In God's Word we are, over and
over again, commanded to pray. God's commands and means of fulfillment
are not foolishness. Can I believe that the infinitely wise God has
ordained for me an exercise which is ineffective, and is no more than
child's play? Does he command me to pray, and yet has prayer produce no
more result than if I whistled in the wind, or sang to a bunch of trees?
.. Heaven and earth will pass away, but while God lives, prayer must be
heard. While God remains true to his word, supplication is not in vain.
The Lord give you grace to exercise it continually.
How to Pray by Walter W. Harms
How do your pray? Who taught you to pray? Maybe no one ever taught you
how to pray and what it is all about. Do you pray a lot? A little? Too
little? Think you ought to pray more? Perhaps a more important question
is: why pray at all? If God is in charge and he loves you and accepts
you, then why pray?
Prayer - A Relationship by Brian Stoffregen
Prayer, most of all, is a relationship: a child with parents, friends
talking with each other. The second part of our gospel lesson uses the
image of a friend asking another for some food for the sake of another
Pushy in Prayer by Edward F. Markquart
So these are the four Biblical facts about prayer: Jesus was a person of
devout prayer; Jesus wanted his disciples to be people of devout prayer;
we are to pray with perseverance and persistence, with bugging and
bothersome qualities; and pray is effective and changes not only us but
the heart and mind of God.
Exploring a Life of Prayer by Jane E. Vennard
Prayer is our response to God's loving call. In this reflection I will
invite you into activities to help you affirm and learn from these
experiences of prayer. We will explore what keeps us from responding
when deep in our hearts we long to be in relationship with God. I will
encourage you to try different forms of prayer to discover which ones
fit you best.
God's Generous Response to Boldness in Prayer by John MacArthur
But our God is absolutely available, absolutely approachable, gracious,
merciful, compassionate, kind and you can go into His presence boldly
and ask for whatever you want. You can go into His presence any time and
not interrupt Him. In fact, He desires you to do that.
"The Waiting Father" by Mark D. Ridley
You can't shock God --- he's seen it all, and he still loves you just as
much as the day you were born. You can hurt God, because he loves you,
and love is always vulnerable. You can hurt him, but you can't shock
him, and you can't make him stop loving you, and waiting for you...Do
you realize how deeply God loves you? Do you feel it? Do you live in
When God Says, 'Not Now' by John Piper
Luke emphasizes the praying of Jesus more than any other gospel. He
records nine prayers of Jesus, and seven of the nine are only in his
gospel. So let's let Jesus teach us about prayer. He knows about it from
both ends: he prayed as a full human; and he receives and mediates
prayer as God himself. There is no better teacher on prayer.
*Table of Contents (Issue 20)*
Bible Readings for This Sunday
Sermons for This Sunday
Inspiration for Today: Prayer is a Relationship Word
Featured: Prayer - 'Lord, Teach Us To Pray'
The God Who Delights In Answering Prayer by Rev. Bryn MacPhail
Living in the Present Moment by Mother M. Angelica
Recommended Reading on Prayers from Malankara World
The Face of Jesus Christ by Henry Morris, Ph.D.
News: Orthodox Peace Fellowship Conference to Focus on Forgiveness
Health: Best Way to Cook Fish for Heart Health
Evangelism: The Longing After Eternity by A. W. Tozer
Family: 25 Secrets of a Happy Marriage
Humor: Smart Woman
About Malankara World
Thank you for your support and help.
In HIS Service
Dr. Jacob Mathew
Malankara World Journal
ID No: 956