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WORSHIP JEHOVAH GOD

"You are worthy, Jehovah our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they came into existence and were created"
(Revelation 4:11)

HOW TO PRAY GOD?

Jesus Christ, indirectly, did not encourage to worship his mother, Mary (who was a virgin at the time of his conception) (Luke 1:34,35). Here is what is written about a homage paid by a woman to Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ: "Now as he was saying these things, a woman from the crowd called out to him: “Happy is the womb that carried you and the breasts that nursed you!” But he said: “No, rather, happy are those hearing the word of God and keeping it!" (Luke 11:27,28). It is true that Mary was a "highly favored one", to use the greeting of the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:28). The opportunity would have been entirely chosen, if it had been the case, for Jesus Christ, to mention the Marian cult. However, Jesus Christ never mentioned the Marian cult which has Greco-Roman origins, and therefore has no place in the Bible.

In a dialogue with a Samaritan woman, Jesus Christ spoke of "true worshipers", which presupposes only one form of acceptable worship in the eyes of Jehovah God and his Son Jesus Christ: "Nevertheless, the hour is coming, and it is now, when the true worshipers will worship the Father with spirit and truth, for indeed, the Father is looking for ones like these to worship him. God is a Spirit, and those worshiping him must worship with spirit and truth" (John 4:22-24; 7:21-13).

"True worshipers" must worship God with "spirit," or spiritually, without idolatrous religious objects, such as crosses, statues, images, or medals connected to Marian worship or others "saints". If a Christian has such objects, he must get rid of them and destroy them (Acts 19:19,20). The Christian must worship God with the "truth" set forth in the Bible (John 17:17, 2; Timothy 3:16,17; 2 Peter 1:20,21). The Christian must not make gestures that are not suitable, biblically, before and after the prayer, such as making the sign of the cross. It is a non-biblical practice that did not exist in the time of the apostles. As the apostle Paul said, under inspiration: "Therefore, my beloved ones, flee from idolatry" (1 Corinthians 10:14).

Jesus Christ, indirectly, did not encourage to worship his mother, Mary (who was a virgin at the time of his conception) (Luke 1:34,35). Here is what is written about a homage paid by a woman to Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ: "Now as he was saying these things, a woman from the crowd called out to him: “Happy is the womb that carried you and the breasts that nursed you!” But he said: “No, rather, happy are those hearing the word of God and keeping it!" (Luke 11:27,28). It is true that Mary was an "highly favored one", to use the greeting of the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:28). The opportunity would have been entirely chosen, if it had been the case, for Jesus Christ, to mention the Marian cult. However, Jesus Christ never mentioned the Marian cult which has Greco-Roman origins, and therefore has no place in the Bible.

In a dialogue with a Samaritan woman, Jesus Christ spoke of "true worshipers", which presupposes only one form of acceptable worship in the eyes of Jehovah God and his Son Jesus Christ: "Nevertheless, the hour is coming, and it is now, when the true worshipers will worship the Father with spirit and truth, for indeed, the Father is looking for ones like these to worship him. God is a Spirit, and those worshiping him must worship with spirit and truth" (John 4:22-24; 7:21-13).

"True worshipers" must worship God with "spirit," or spiritually, without idolatrous religious objects, such as crosses, statues, images, or medals connected to Marian worship or others "saints". If a Christian has such objects, he must get rid of them and destroy them (Acts 19:19,20). The Christian must worship God with the "truth" set forth in the Bible (John 17:17, 2; Timothy 3:16,17; 2 Peter 1:20,21). The Christian must not make gestures that are not suitable, biblically, before and after the prayer, such as making the sign of the cross. It is a non-biblical practice that did not exist in the time of the apostles. As the apostle Paul said, under inspiration: "Therefore, my beloved ones, flee from idolatry" (1 Corinthians 10:14).

Christ's counsel about the prayer

"Also, when you pray, do not act like the hypocrites, for they like to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the main streets to be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your private room and, after shutting your door, pray to your Father who is in secret. Then your Father who looks on in secret will repay you.  When praying, do not say the same things over and over again as the people of the nations do, for they imagine they will get a hearing for their use of many words. 8 So do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need even before you ask him.  “You must pray, then, this way: “‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified. Let your Kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also on earth. Give us today our bread for this day; and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the wicked one" (Matthew 6:5-13).

What lesson to draw from the model prayer?

Is it appropriate to repeat this prayer by rote, without thinking about it? On the basis of the declarations of Jesus Christ, it is obvious that no. We can read again what he said about not mechanically repeating, without thinking, always the same things, in our prayers: "When praying, do not say the same things over and over again as the people of the nations do, for they imagine they will get a hearing for their use of many words" (Matthew 6:7).

We must pray to God with love and affection, as when a son and a daughter speak to their father whom they love deeply and sincerely. We must be concerned for His Name, to be sanctified, which includes the desire to defend the reputation connected with the divine Name. We must express to God our sincere desire that his righteous purpose be fulfilled on earth (Matthew 6:9,10). Jesus Christ makes it clear that our prayers, in general, should be an act of worship directed towards God, expressing to Him praises and deep gratitude for the many expressions of love that He manifests to us. The book of Psalms gives many examples of praises we can direct to Jehovah God, such as a pleasant spiritual incense for Him: "May my prayer be as incense prepared before you, My uplifted hands like the evening grain offering" (Psalm 141:2). Jehovah God is very sensitive to the fact that we love Him and that we make him know by our praises and our good conduct: "(God) showing loyal love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments" (Exodus 20:6). Through our prayers and good behavior, let us respond to His Love, BY loving God in return. Psalm 145, is very rich in praise directed to God: "I will exalt you, O my God the King, I will praise your name forever and ever" (Psalms 145:1).

Then we can pray to God, referring more specifically to our personal needs, such as to ask God to help us spiritually and materially. We can share with God our most intimate feelings that concern us, or express to Him our joy in thanksgivings (The biblical book of Psalms is a precious poetic collection of feelings expressed to God). Jesus Christ, in the last part of the prayer, encourages us to ask God to help us to fight against our weaknesses, that the devil is exploiting to tempt us and thus undermine our integrity (Matthew 6: 11-13 Romans 7: 21-25).

In Matthew 6: 14,15, Jesus Christ shows that the quality of our relationship with God depends on the relationship we have with our neighbor: "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you;  whereas if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Matthew 5:23,24; 1 John 3:15; 4:8).

Is it obligatory to conclude the prayer by the phrase, "through Jesus Christ I direct this prayer"? In examining the model prayer and some other prayers made by the disciples in the Greek Christian Scriptures, it does not seem to be obligatory (Acts 2: 24,25; 4: 24-30). Of course, Jesus Christ has said that prayers are directed in his name: "Also, whatever you ask in my name, I will do this, so that the Father may be glorified in connection with the Son. If you ask anything in my name, I will do it" (John 14:13,14). Therefore, if we wish to conclude our prayers by mentioning the mediation of Christ, we can do so (1 Timothy 2:5). Whether we do it or not, the important point is our faith that this prayer will be listened to through Christ, to the extent that it conforms to the will of God (Matthew 7: 21-23). On the other hand, the prayer should be concluded by "amen" (1 Corinthians 14:16).

Is it appropriate to have a particular attitude to pray?

The Bible evokes several body positions and attitudes, which express respect and deference to God: There is no strict rule. Our attitude or body position, will depend on the circumstances:

- To kneel (Acts 9:40; 21: 5).

- To low the eyes and the head (Luke 18:13).

- To lift the eyes to heaven or to present our face to Jehovah (John 11:40, Job 42: 8 "And my servant Job will pray for you. Surely I will lift his face").

- to open and raise your hands (Psalm 141:2 "My uplifted hands like the evening grain offering").

These are the circumstances related to God's reverential fear, to Christian discernment and respect for local human usages (to the extent that they conform to the Bible), in local Christian congregation, which will guide us in the respectful attitude to have (Hebrews 5:14).

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