March 17 Bible Reading:
**Click to read Christine Miller’s Bible study for today.
Boker tov! I want to start by mentioning the instructions our Master Yeshua gave us on how to pray:
Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”
So He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us day by day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.” (Luke 11:1-4)
I think we should take Him seriously and actually use this as our model for prayer daily. As I explain in a video I once made, I pray thourgh this long set of Scriptural prayers, mostly from the Torah, Psalms, and some of the Prophets, as I pray each day, ending with the “Lord’s Prayer.”
But some days are just too busy. My goal is to never start a day without prayer, no matter how brief, and the “Lord’s Prayer” is the model I use. My habit is to attach my tzitzit to my clothes, then pray. I’ll go through each phrase and add my own personal requests after each one.
I urge you to cultivate this important habit. As we read today in Luke 11, persistence in prayer pays off! We should honestly have a constant conversation with our Heavenly Father all throughout our day, but when our prayers start turning into “anxious thoughts,” it helps so much to return right back to the “Lord’s Prayer.” It’s a great “reset button.”
Please notice something in the prayer Yeshua taught: “Hallowed by Your Name.”
Many years ago, as I was first starting to think about the “Lord’s Prayer,” I decided to blog on what the word “hallowed” meant (and you can read those posts here and here). I wrote,
“To review, “hallow” means “to set apart.” Something can be set apart for a good use or an evil use. For instance, we can set apart for God (the typical understanding we have of holiness) or our lives can be set apart for evil purposes (how the word is used in Isaiah 66:17).”
One of the things I hadn’t yet learned back in 2008 was that we make the Father’s name “hallowed” (or set apart for a special use) not only in our speech, but mostly in our daily actions.
In Leviticus 22, YHVH gives a warning to Aaron,
“Speak to Aaron and his sons, that they separate themselves from the holy things of the children of Israel, and that they do not profane My holy name by what they dedicate to Me: I am YHVH. Say to them: ‘Whoever of all your descendants throughout your generations, who goes near the holy things which the children of Israel dedicate to YHVH, while he has uncleanness upon him, that person shall be cut off from My presence: I am YHVH'” (Leviticus 22:2-4).
As we read through the chapter, we find out that if the children of Israel came to YHVH with sacrifices that were low-quality (lame, diseased, blind, etc.), or if the priests came into the Tabernacle to eat the sacrifices while they were physically unclean, they would be profaning His “holy” (set-apart) name. It was a death penalty!
This was followed up by instructions to the children of Israel on specific days that were to be “set apart” to worship YHVH by bringing those top-quality sacrifices and congregating together rather than going about their daily lives.
The Hebrew word profane (Strong’s #2490) means “to run into or through as with a pointed weapon or tool; pierce a hole through.”
My father-in-law was occasionally a substitute teacher, and he had a silly tradition with children. He’d sit next to them at lunch and ask if they’d ever played “motor boat.” They would shrug and say, “I don’t think so.” He’d say, “Oh it’s fun!” and then he would stick his finger in their drink, stir it around real fast, and make motor-boat noises with his mouth.
He had a similar prank of poking holes in kids’ peanut-butter sandwiches.
No one wants their drink or sandwich profaned in that way! It’s unclean! 🙂
And when we bring uncleanness into His presence, He is profaned. When we bring Him a gift that is less than our best, He is profaned. When we go about our own business rather than stopping to worship Him alone on His appointed feasts, He is profaned.
“Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary;
Who is so great a God as our God?” (Psalm 77:13).
The phrase, “Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary,” could be literally stated, “Elohim in separateness [is] your way.”
אֱלֹהִים בַּקֹּדֶשׁ דַּרְכֶּךָ
This is an “elementary thing,” according to the author of Hebrews 6:1-2. We need to learn the “teachings about washings” so that we can confidently come into His presence now and in the future.
Let us respect and hallow His name by our daily actions. Someday He will return, and every knee will bow. Let us learn today how to worship Him in spirit and truth!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture in this blog post taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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