Sermon: Prayer: Our Spiritual Lifeblood

Sermon: Prayer: Our Spiritual Lifeblood


[Victor Kubik] Well, the subject I wanted
to talk to you about today is about prayer. Now sometimes I’m asked to give speeches and
talks about vision and so forth of the Church, but I thought that I would talk about a very,
very vital and important tool that is our spiritual lifeblood. Our life is in our prayers. The life of the Church is in prayer. It is one of the most oft-mentioned activities
in the Bible, after God, there’s another activity and then there’s prayer. And if you wanted to find out what the other
activity is, check my Twitter feed. I tweeted it just before services. Prayer is spoken of from Genesis to Revelation. From the time that man began to call upon
the name of the Lord to the time when the prayers of the saints have wafted into heaven
as sweet-smelling savor to God as He answered the prayers of Saints throughout all time. There are 650 prayers listed in the Bible. There are approximately 450 recorded answers
to prayer in the Bible. They make for a good reading, once I gave
a series of sermons on the various prayers of the Bible. My wife and I just before I go to work every
morning we spend some time just reading the Bible, or just talking about spiritual things. And just a few weeks ago she just said, “Let
me just read the ninth chapter of Daniel to you.” We were so inspired of a prayer of repentance
that was just preceding the 70 weeks prophecy and Daniel acknowledging the sins of his people
and acknowledging the reason that they had got into captivity, and now God was delivering
them and sending them back from Babylon to Palestine, back to Jerusalem. It was so inspiring and so motivating. And there are many other prayers with different
purposes biblically that make for just excellent inspiring reading in a short manner. The Bible records Jesus praying 25 different
times throughout His earthly ministry. He’s God in the flesh and He’s talking to
His Father in heaven. He spends a lot of time before choosing His
12 apostles, those would be the leaders of the Church. Here, He is God and He’s talking to His Father
in heaven about, “Who should I choose?” He prayed over that all night long. What an example! The apostle Paul’s prayers are mentioned
41 different times. There are prayers, reports of prayer, prayer
requests and exhortations to pray 41 times. Prayer is exclaimed as a very rich communication
tool between us and God going all the way to the book of Deuteronomy wherein Deuteronomy
4:7, this statement is made about this tool of prayer and its effect and what God’s relationship
is to us through prayer. “What nation… What other nation” Deuteronomy 4:7, “is
so great” talking about Israel, “as to have their gods near them the way of the Lord
our God is near us whenever we pray to Him?” Our God is near to us whenever we pray to
Him. He’s right there. And as we pray the opening prayer, as we pray
at other times, our God is near to us. We expect that we want that, and we know that. But He’s saying as compared to “the gods”
which don’t even exist of other nations. They’re not existent. Nobody’s listening. Nobody’s caring. There isn’t a God out there. Nobody’s hearing, but our God is near us and
hears our prayers. There are many different kinds of prayer in
the Bible. They range through a series of types, probably
the most common, or one the most common is praise of God, which is so vitally important,
and we’ll be talking about why praise is. But there are several Psalms that are simply
praise pslams. They just praise God for how wonderful and
how good He is. Some of the psalms we sing they come to us
in the form of music such as Psalm 148, we know these psalms. “Praise ye the Lord. Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise
Him in the heights. Praise ye Him, all His angels; praise Him,
all His hosts. Praise ye Him, sun and moon; praise Him, all
you stars of light. Praise Him, you heavens of heavens and you
waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord: for
He commanded and they were created.” take a look at all the wonderful things that
God has done. “He has established them forever and ever:
He has made a decree which shall not pass. Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons,
and all deeps. Fire, and hail; snow, and vapor, stormy wind
fulfilling His word.” You can almost hear that song going through
our head right now. Verse 14, “He also exalts the horn of His
people, the praise of all His saints, even the children of Israel, a people nearer to
Him, praise ye the Lord.” David was so expressive. This was why he was a man after God’s own
heart, many reasons, but this was one. He could praise God with his whole heart. He could thank God for all the things He had
created. We can take a look at other songs as well
such as Psalm 150. You could read this yourself and many, many
others, songs and prayers of praise. There’s thanks, “come before His presence
with thanksgiving,” come before Him not only with praise but with thanksgiving. There are prayers of confession and repentance,
as I mentioned Daniel 9, or probably the most notable one that we often sing at the Passover
sermon service, confession repentance Psalm 51. “Create in me a clean heart, O God.” This was a prayer. This was almost a notation of either David
writing it or somebody for him about the way he expressed himself in repentance. There are prayers of beseeching and supplication
and earnestly praying to God for His intercession. There are prayers of consecration or dedication,
such as the very, very awesome prayer of the dedication of Solomon’s Temple, where Solomon
praises God and in the special dedication to the temple. That’s a wonderful, wonderful prayer in Kings. When we bought our building or actually bought
an old, not an old, but we bought a tanning salon in Terre Haute, Indiana and we turned
it into our church hall that seated about… could seat up to about 70 people, the attendance
there was in the low 40s, usually. And we had quite a bit of remodeling we did
to it, it was actually very nice, clean, little building, and we were so happy with it. And we had our kitchen there, we had the church
hall, and it was a brick building, it was very, very nice. It served us and it’s continuing to serve
us very well. But we had a very special dedication ceremony,
and what we did for it was read Solomon’s prayer of the temple. It was nowhere near that temple of Solomon,
believe me, it’s a tanning salon. And we’ve actually, one time I was giving
a sermon, we had a lady walk in and say, “Where can I get a tan?” I said, “Sit right down here, just listen
to the rest of my sermon.” I didn’t. But anyway, we had this tanning salon and
we read, we had a visitor from the home office, and we read it with real joy and real gladness
this awesome prayer of dedication of a place for God to have His presence there. There are prayers of faith such as when we
come together to anoint someone, the prayer of faith shall save him. But to say there are three essential prayers
if you guys remember. Wow, thanks, and help. Wow, thanks, and help. The disciples in their work in the ministry,
the New Testament church, the word prayer is always associated with the work that they
were doing. Acts 1:14. Acts 1:14, for the very beginning of the start
of the New Testament church, here’s a work being done with people who are fisherman,
tax collectors, construction people, all these people who were called to be disciples. There wasn’t to our record, to our knowledge
a single theologian among them. We didn’t get to that until we got to the
apostle Paul who had gone through school and was very knowledgeable in a disciplined way
of study. It seemed like most of the disciples and apostles
under Jesus Christ tutorship were very, very plain people. And they relied totally on prayer, not on
their charisma or on their work. But in Acts 1:14, we see immediately, “These
all continued in one accord in prayer and supplication,” you know, probably what they
were saying after Jesus Christ was ascended to heaven, “What do we do now? How are we supposed to continue? Please show us the way.” It’s interesting that when I was selected
to be president, which I wasn’t really expecting to happen, and just so many things had happened
at that time of the death of Denny Luker and so forth. And I know that after I was selected, I went
out to see my wife and I said to her, “Well, I guess I’m it.” And I said, “Now Bev, now what?” That was a feeling I had, “Now what?” I have no president to look to for simple
answers because I’m the one in that role. And I had to continue in accord and ask God
in prayer, “What do we do? What do I say? How do I react? How do I conduct myself in a way that’ll be
pleasing to you?” Well, all these disciples and apostles as
the church got off to a start here getting on to the Pentecost “continued with one
accord in prayer and supplication,” believe me, from the time that Jesus ascended to heaven
and they could no longer be with Him in person, to 10 days later when the day of Pentecost
came, I’m sure they were saying, “What do we do now?” And they continued with prayer and supplication,
earnest prayer. Acts 2:42, as the church begins to grow, “They
continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in the breaking of bread,
and in prayers.” So when they got together for their meetings
for their meals and so forth, in their planning, I’m sure there was just a lot of excitement
as the Church was getting off to a start. But prayers were an integral part in what
they were doing. Acts 11:5. I mean you can look through a concordance
and look at so many passages that speak to prayer. “I was in the city of Joppa praying:” this
was Peter, “and in a trance I saw a vision, an object descending like a great sheet,”
you know something? I think I have the wrong verse. But you have to excuse me, I pray that I will
find the right one here. I pray that I move on in my notes. We find a church that was in prayer before
God and was continually relying upon God for His help in leading them to what needed to
be done. The power of the Spirit descended upon the
early Christians in the Church, and powerful prayer was spoken as to ask God for His help. At the home office, we pray continually. We pray continually. We have a meeting, sometimes a very routine
meeting about something in our office, and we sit down and we ask God for help, for His
guidance in leading us to what needs to be said and what needs to be done. On Tuesday mornings, we have a staff meeting
that starts at about 10:00 in the morning and runs an hour or two, usually no later
than 12:00 where we discuss the week’s events and things that need to be done. We begin that meeting in a tradition that
was started by our former president Denny Luker. We all kneel down on the round table in my
office, and we all ask God to direct us into the decisions that have to be made. We have a different staff member who gives
that prayer. But we have about five people that get together
of our administrative staff and we ask God, we beseech Him, we supplicate Him to please
show us the way, show us what the right thing to do is. We rely upon Him to help us in what needs
to be accomplished. All Christians are expected to have a regular,
faithful, devoted, fervent prayer life, it’s part of what they are. Prayer, as I mentioned, is our spiritual lifeblood. As a study of God’s Word, is our spiritual
food, and fasting is our spiritual catalyst. Prayer is what circulates in our body, takes
food to every cell of our body, and gives us life. Prayer gives us a spiritual consciousness
and our spiritual existence. These are tools that are vital for our spiritual
existence. I cannot imagine a life without prayer to
God. I’m trying to figure it out how to figure
it out all by yourself. And, of course, there are a lot of smarter
people than us, a lot of really whiz people in the world that can do a lot of things that
don’t rely upon God. I know that I’m not as smart as they are,
and I need to have God’s help to direct me and to show me the way. So many times in the work of the Church, I
had to look up a cliff and say, “How do I get up to the top of that cliff?” It could be any number of matters that need
to be taken care of. We need manpower, we need help, we need support,
we need financing, we need something done overseas, we need something done internally. We need to educate our ministers. How do we do it? I look up the cliff and say, “God, show us
the way. God, we need good new trainees into the ministry.” You know, God had brought them to us. God has answered our prayers. That has given me a great deal of confidence
because I’m not afraid. I don’t say, “What do we do now?” I just ask God, “What must I do? What is it that you want me to know? How do you want me to act? How do you want me to react,” sometimes more
importantly to stimuli that come to us at the home office or in my particular role? And God answers every time. And I ask Him to learn to do it right. Prayer is a universal part of the human psyche. God built something into our brains, into
the human being, that because I don’t know if turtles pray or if elephants pray, but
I know that human beings have a capacity to want to reach out beyond themselves, whether
it’s in paganism to reach out to the stars or to the moon, kind of, a worship, human
beings have part of their psyche to reach out to look to something higher and bigger. In the recent study, 30% of atheists said
that they prayed occasionally. I don’t know what they prayed to, but they
did pray. I heard in a sermon here not so long ago that
50% of atheists were known to have prayed. And in a foxhole, there are no atheists. Those who are about to know that they might
view every other one killed the next moments, there are no atheists. You have a 100% prayer rate of people like
that. Prayer can be public. Prayer is private. We’re told to go to a private place, but we
also pray publicly as Solomon did, and as others did very, very publicly. And prayers can be cultural. I’ve traveled to Ukraine many times work with
Sabbatarians and Sabbath keepers, and there they pray a lot. They pray, of course, at mealtime. When the meal is over with, they thank God
for the meal they just had. When they get to the car, they take a trip
to go someplace, before they turn the ignition on, they pray. In fact, one time we were leaving, you know,
driving in town and one of the Sabbatarians and I put my seatbelt on after he prayed,
he says, “Why are you doing that? Don’t you like my driving?” I guess in town they don’t wear seatbelts,
but on the highway, they do. In 1992, when I visited the Sabbatarians for
the first time in Western Ukraine, it was a very, very poor time. The economy was a real mess, they had just
torn themselves away from the U.S.S.R., the U.S.S.R. collapsed just a year before and
things were so bad that when they saw me, and they saw who I was with, at that time
our regional director in Germany, that, “Can you help us out? Can you just stand in the bread line? Because they’re giving, they’re allowing every
person who’s in this line two loaves of bread. So, Here’s money, and just, could you just
stand there and, you know, take the two loaves.” So I stood there in line, the bread line,
you know, and this big woman just throws two loaves of bread at me, takes my money and
pushes me aside. And then other people came and I said, “This
is poverty. This is really, really poor.” But then that evening, Friday night, we were
with them, and their tradition was for the whole family to pray as the sunset. The sun was going down and I said, “Okay,
so almost sun time. So sundown right now. Let’s all gather, let’s all gather in the
room here in the house.” And the whole family, and me, and John Carlson
at that time, we just all got together in a prayer circle. And everyone prayed and thanked God for the
week. And I thought to myself, you know, here are
these people, they go through economic turmoil, they don’t know if they’re going to be brought
back to the U.S.S.R., they’ve lived under an oppressive government for all these years,
people who would probably just want to curse their circumstances, and then their poverty,
and just the fact that there was no work and everything was in the pits.” And they all prayed, “God, thank You. Thank You for my brothers and sisters. Thank You for my parents. Thank You for our children, our beautiful
children whom You love so much. Thank You for our church that we can meet
openly in public.” And I thought to myself, “How many things
do we take for granted? And these people are so thankful to God, and
they’re just expressing it all one to another, all to them.” I thought to myself, “How we take things for
granted back in America.” The prayer was so wonderful as they expressed
gratitude to God for what they had and not cursed circumstances for what they didn’t
have. We all came through some type of culture of
prayer, whether you were a Baptist, or Catholic, or, you know, what other denomination you
had before. I came up through the Orthodox Church. The Greek Orthodox or Ukrainian Orthodox branch
of the Greek Orthodox Church. I was very active in my church, even as a
teenager. I was the altar boy for five years, worked
with the priest, really, really liked him very, very much, and I was devout. One time, believe it or not, I even thought
about the priesthood. Not too long, but I just thought, “Well, that’s
an interesting job that he had.” I read my prayers religiously every morning
and every night. It was a prayer book, and there were prayers
to recite when I got up in the morning, first thing on my knees with this book, and I read
these prayers, it took what? Ten minutes or so, and then before going to
sleep at night, the prayer book. That was very, very important. As an altar boy, part of the church service
was the preparing of the censers, that’s these things that have smoke coming out of them,
you put incense and hot coals, that represents the prayers of the saints as described in
the book of Revelation going up before God. And then the priest would take the censer
and go throughout all the church, these are presented prayers going up into heaven. I would say that one of the most wonderful
things that came to me is that when I was about 14 or 15, I began to listen to the World
Tomorrow program and began to discover faith and prayer and more Biblical examples of prayer,
that I could see, that I could talk extemporaneously to God. I didn’t have to go through the liturgical
style of repetitious statements over and over again, because certain statements were be
made 12 times, 10 times and even the grand finale at 40 times. And they’re repetitious, but that was the
way the prayer was done. And it was so wonderful to be able to talk
to God the way I would talk to another person, with my requests, gratitude, pleasantries,
requests and all the things that were there. That was very, very wonderful as I learned
those things. I went to Ambassador College, in fact, I’ve
always prayed in Ukrainian. Ukrainian was my first language. I didn’t know English until I was five. My parents were brought in to by my kindergarten
teacher and said, “Please, teach this kid English. Please speak English at home, because I didn’t
know any English. I could write my name in Ukrainian and said,
“What in the world is that?” You know, they were really worried about what’s
happening to this kid. But I always spoke to God in Ukrainian, always. I just didn’t feel, even though I grew up
with English and learned the English language ultimately, and now my first language is English,
but I always spoke in Ukrainian, and when I went to Ambassador College, I prayed in
Ukrainian. Now, we had these prayer booths, those of
you who may have gone to Ambassador College, we had they looked like telephone booths,
and they were, you know, kind of, in the dormitories, and you went in there and you prayed. Sometimes you’d hear people muttering something,
you know, next, you know, we, kind of, just said things and, you know, it was, kind of,
accepted. I got reported to the student body president. “Victor Kubik is speaking in some unknown
tongue.” And I remember being brought to the student
body president, “What are you saying? What are you doing? Students are complaining that they can’t understand
what you’re saying.” “None of their business.” But I was told, “You speak in English.” So I did. From the time I was 20 years old then to the
present time, my prayers have been in English. But even my mother to the time that she died,
I always spoke to her Ukrainian, I couldn’t speak in English because that was a familiar
language that I had. Biblically, there are some dramatic exchanges
of prayer between God and the various people that God was working with. The dramatic ones of Abraham and God. Where God and Abraham were in a negotiation,
“Now will you expunge the city if only 20 people are there.” “Oh, no. If you’ve got 20, fine, you know.” “Whoa,” Abraham said, “I may have underestimated
that.” And so, he, kind of, goes overestimated. So he, kind of, goes through a negotiation
with God, but there was that interplay between Abraham and God. There’s a talking to God about his son Isaac. There was God’s request to Abraham of what
to do very, very directly. Those were prayers, those were communications,
because obviously, Abraham was off in a private spot, someplace where he was focused his attention
totally on God who’s telling him what would be happening, what type of agreements, what
type of covenants and so forth, and that was repeated number of times that was done in
prayer. Moses and God, many interchanges between him. David and God. Daniel and God, I just spoke to you here about
the prayer of Daniel, you know, a prayer of repentance and probably the most awesome example
of all of Jesus Christ and His praying to God His Father. Praying all night saying, “Which of these
fellows should I choose? Peter, well, I’m not sure about him. He’s, kind of loud, you know,” or talking
about this one here, “Well, he’s Thomas, he’s just always, kind of, doubtful and so
forth.” You know, he finally were able to pick and
choose the people that God the Father and Him worked out to be the ones that would direct
the Church in that early New Testament time. Jesus Christ gave us the model of prayer. Disciples says, “Teach us how to pray.” They saw Jesus going off someplace by Himself,
and they weren’t sure what He was saying or what order He was saying it in, and they,
“Teach us how to play,” even though there were prayers known at that time, but the publicans,
and, you know, not publicans, but the Pharisees, and so forth and others. “How do you pray Jesus? What do you say?” John 17, one of the most beautiful, powerful
prayers of Jesus who is not distracted by the fact that He’d be dying within 24 hours
prayed for the unity of the Church. First and foremost, an extremely powerful
interchange between Him and His Father. When we pray, we pray not for God getting
to know more about you. “God I want to tell you about me.” You know, God already knows everything about
you, you can skip that part. It reminds me of the prayer of Charles de
Gaulle, “God, please trust me.” What? I remember reading that in the Plain Truth
article. “God, I want you to trust me as a leader of
these people.” Wrong. God already knows everything about you. He knows every intention, every motive, every
hidden thought, any twist and turn of motives. He knows that. There’s no secret agenda, and you cannot fool
Him at all. Shouldn’t pray to vent. Oh, I guess some you can. David did, but he quickly got on to God’s
promises and what God’s abilities were. Certainly, you can say, “God, I’m hurting,
but also, I know that You are in charge, You hear me, You know everything about me, and
there’s a purpose for the reasons that I hurt.” First purpose is to get to know God, not for
Him to get to know you. Purpose of prayer is to get to know God, to
make Him part of your consciousness, to interchange your thinking and thoughts with that great
God in heaven. Prayer is the only entryway to genuine self-knowledge
of what we are and the only way to real deep change in our lives. Now, when we did the public appearance campaigns
for “Why Were You Born?” we sent out Steve Myers and crew out to interview people on
the streets in Cincinnati about asking the question of “why were you born?” You know, to me, yes, they were silly answers. People had no idea why they were born, what
their purpose was, not at all. But, you know, what thing that really struck
me is that these people spiritual life was totally empty. And I said, “I’m so thankful that I have a
God to talk to that can tell me what the purpose of life is.” Tells me who I am, who God is, what’s the
relationship I have with Him. And I thought about all these people, all
these poor people. They’re lost. They don’t even want to be found. They have no hope. And I just realized how fortunate we are to
be able to have hope. Prayer can be hard. I would say it’s harder now, probably back
then in Abraham’s time when there weren’t all the distractions, there weren’t all electronic
things that intervene and bug us and distract us from a real realization of what’s in the
spirit world. We have so many distractions that scatter
our mind. We have a huge volume and diversity of circumstances. And I began to realize when I talk to people
I cannot just tell them untruths that I’m praying for you. People say, “Mr. Kubik, please pray for me.” How in the world can I pray for all things? You know, I have to write them down. I have a logging method that I have to log,
you know, the people who are sick, the people who are distressed, I pray for our ministers,
I pray for our ministers that are at crisis positions in life, I pray for people that
just say, “Please, please, please pray for me.” That I  that I don’t want to get lost and
just say, “Well, I’ll just pray for you.” It’s kind of throw it in a big bag and just
have God somehow take care of it. We need to find a way, purposely, in the distracting
world that we live in, to pray for, to focus our attention and mind on the people, on the
things that we’ll be praying for, to be honest about praying, and not say, “Well, I’ll pray
about it.” You’ll say, ‘Yeah, sure.” I want people to believe that. There are people who have a serious health
crisis. And I know that I have decisions to make. I know that sometimes a decision that I make
is not going to make some people happy because I have to make the opposite decision or one
that will make them happy, will make other people unhappy. So what do I do? And I ask God to give me help in that. But that was an issue, too, in Paul’s time
because while the human being has the capacity for reaching out beyond his psychology, his
consciousness. And like I said, I don’t believe that an elephant
or a salmon does that. They just do what they do. They have instincts, they have different things. Human beings are not only conscious creatures,
we’re self-conscious creatures, we’re conscious of ourselves. And also, we as human beings are spiritually
conscious about life beyond. That is what God has granted us. And as we look to connecting to all that,
it may not always be easy. But the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:26,
well-known, and probably one that’s a scripture that you’ve got memorized because you need
it with a certain regularity in your prayers. “The Spirit” Romans 8:26, “helps us in our
weaknesses. Where we do not know what we should pray for
as we ought, but the Spirit makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” God through His Spirit helps us to pray for
the things that we should. In our prayers, we come to God and we say
things that we say to no other human being. Things that we wouldn’t even say to our mate. Admissions that we make, we appear before
Him totally naked. It’s just us and God. He sees everything there is about us. He knows our heart, there’s no other human
being does. Our motives, our moves. And also, He knows and predicts, He’s got
a predictor scale about what we might do. And so, He answers prayer based on probability
and what you might do. God factors this into His answer to your prayers. You are with another being, another conscious
being who created you, who created your unique self. God is the only one from whom you can hide
nothing, and come to see yourself in a unique light. Most people today base their inner life on
outward circumstances, how much money they have, what they own, their position, so forth. But they don’t have their inside cleared up. And this brings about a dark and scary inside. Better the other way around. Better clean up or inside to be the basis
of who we are, and the outside will take care of itself. So sad to see a person that is projecting
a certain vain image, and basically finds their value in that, than the one who in prayer
who sees himself/herself for what they are, what they need to be, for what their spiritual
way is to be as they clean up self-doubts, anxieties, self-pity and grudges to truly
be the person that they will show it on the outside, that’s a converted person. I’d like to go through some important things
about the prayer that Jesus gave His disciples. This is a couple of very important things
about maybe that we hadn’t thought of. Because when we pray, as we discipline ourselves
to pray, we find ourselves being very, very focused on the things that we need, and that
is certainly very, very true. Now, where are the person that is closest
to us, you know, and all of our needs? But here’s what God says should be the primers
for our prayer. Jesus’ disciples asked Him for guidance of
how to pray. And He showed them not only what to pray for,
but He gave them a framework. And it’s a very, very important framework. And also in the way that He wanted Him to
be addressed. Now, first of all, in Matthew 6, He prefaced
in verse 8, this is where the model pattern for prayer is given. He says as I’ve already said before, God
the Father knows all of your needs before you even ask Him. So you don’t have to remind Him. Not that you can’t remind Him but he knows,
He caught it, He knows it. He’s got His Wunderlist on you and tacked
on a bulletin board and He knows all the things that you need to know. But the first three elements of the prayer
start with us talking about God, of the things that He reminds us of. In Matthew 6:9, “After this manner, therefore,
you pray:” after this model, “Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Your name… Hallowed be Thy name,” and I will use the
Old King James translation. It’s important to understand a little… an
interesting factor in the language that is used in the Old King James which does not
appear in the more modern versions. “Hallowed be Thy name.” And oftentimes, we change that quickly to
“You,” because that’s modern. But thy and thou were very, very important
words of expressing familiarity. Now, in certain languages… and this was
the way it was in the English language long time ago. In fact, do you know that when the King James
was translated in 1611, thy and thou were already archaic. Already the word “you” was coming into use,
but there was a specific reason why “thy” was used. Here it is, those of us who’ve grown up as
Germans or in a German language, I’m not sure about Spanish, I know that in the Russian
and Ukrainian, there is a very, very big and important factor in how we refer to other
people, whether is in the familiar sense, or in the formal sense. The only thing we can say close to that would
be how we call somebody Mister, that’s the formal, or in the informal, “Hey, Bill.” Whatever. Now, in the language like in Ukrainian when
I grew up, you know, you always call everybody by their formal except for certain specific
cases. Your parents, you’re allowed to talk to and
refer to them in the informal. Your brothers and sisters. But never would you call another adult in
the informal, or for that matter, even somebody who’s in their mid to late teens, you use
the formal because you’re coming to a point of where you don’t know them and you’re respecting
their identity as a person. And I remember it was so important to talk
that way. When I go to Ukraine and talk to the people
there, it’s always in the formal. When I go to Chernobyl and talk to those people,
it’s always in the formal. Wouldn’t dream of using the familiar, except
one person there that I’ve got to know really well, he’s organized a lot of things for us,
and finally, instead of referring to him as bи, which is formal you, is tи. Well, if he said tu to somebody who is formal,
it would be the greatest disrespect of them. You know, it’d be like walking up to the governor
of the state, or to the president of the United States and calling him, “Hey, Bill,” or, you
know, “Hey, Don.” Don Trump, not Don Ford, but just refer to
them that way, it showed a disrespect. But you always want to make sure that you
spoke with respect. Now, who would you think would want to have
the greatest respect of all? Would be God, wouldn’t it? But do you know that God wants us to refer
to Him in the informal? And when I would hear the Ukrainian singing,
you know, in their songs, “Hey they’re referring to God in the informal.” But, “Hey, Bill.” You know, God is referred to in the informal. He wants us to refer to Him in the closeness
of family as the most familiar. He allows that. In fact, usually, when you talk to people
and you’re calling them formal, if you get to know them after a while and say, “Don’t
call me by that. You can call me, you know, this.” You know, the informal. But it’s with a permission of that person. God commands us to refer to Him in the informal,
in the closeness of Abba, Father, Daddy. That’s the way He wants us to talk to Him. And, again, thy and thou were already words
that were the informal, because in the King James Bible, you do have you, and you have
thy, or your and thou. So what’s the difference? Well, one was the informal and one was the
formal. God wants us to refer to Him in the informal,
to talk to him in the closeness of family. And in these languages, such as German, words
du for the familiar and sie for the formal. God is always Du, Du. You know, even when you talk to people and
you get to know people in these languages, you refer to actually most people that you’re
around except for family in the formal. Like even when I talk to teenage girls, you
know, teenage, upper teenage girls, I would refer to them in the formal. I wouldn’t refer to them in a very, very informal
way, because it had a certain air that is disrespectful. You do that, you know, in the informal. But we see here, “hallowed” holy “is
Your name.” The name reflects God’s identity, His creation,
His relationship to you, His whole plan to you. When God created us in His image and likeness,
and when we get it that the Bible is a story about man being made in God’s image to become
immortal, it’s a beautiful, wonderful, hopeful, light and a hopeful story. You know, mankind who has left God and is
catapulting in our time right now towards who knows what in the future, we have no idea
what’s up ahead of us, but there are some very dramatic things that could take place
here in the next century. Well, the most dramatic things is what’s been
talked about in the last few years that some of the big financiers have put some money
down on like Elon Musk of Tesla, or other notables, and that is to create immortality
of mankind now outside of God. You might think that’s crazy. You might think that that’s impossible. You know that there are certain possibilities. The two books this past year that have, you
know, talked about that and the technology as is progressing at a very fast rate, they
figured that the whole human brain, that your whole human brain can be uploaded to the cloud. Everything, all your thoughts, everything
you are, everything you’ve seen, videos of your memories. All this could be detected and be uploaded
into a cloud. And then be downloaded into a new body. Isn’t that spectacular? Already they’re talking about developing new
bodies. People don’t want to live forever with their
knees and age and everything else. I wouldn’t want to live forever the way I
am right now. I want a new body, I wanted… you know, I
want to be 21-years-old forever. And there are scientists who are thinking
in those terms. They figured that within 100 or 200 years,
maybe even sooner with the way technology is, there’s nothing that man seeks that sets
about to do that would be impossible to him. But what in the world would man be doing replicating
his ugliness in the nature he has. Do you know that God has the same plan, 1
Corinthians 15, we’ll be resurrected. What does resurrected mean? That means to be downloaded from somewhere. And I hope God has a backup for everybody
who’s died and doesn’t forget people. That’s what God is doing. He’s going to download what we were into an
incorruptible body that will be changed. We shall be changed and have a new nature. That’s the story of God. I find this to be so exciting, so interesting
because it’s interesting too that mankind wants to totally get around God and create
his own immortality. There’s a book that had been endorsed by Bill
Gates, Barack Obama, it’s taken the rounds last year called Homo Deus. Man God. Going beyond homo sapiens. Sapiens is man who is wise to man who is God. We don’t have to worry about religion, we
don’t have to worry about anything. We can continue and make our consciousness
portable. We can make who we are to be portable in a
different body and live forever. Could go out to space, in fact, that’s the
talk about how we can go and create our own environments out in space. Same things that we’ve talked about ourselves
and the wonderful world tomorrow, this is not just the earth that we’ll be governing. God has many different opportunities for us,
but it’s got to be done His way. I think C.S. Lewis had a very interesting
comment about anybody who thinks about man going out to outer space. He said, “Let’s pray that man never leaves
this planet to spread his iniquity elsewhere.” And that is so very, very true. But God has created us. God has created us, to be made in His image,
to ultimately become like Him, to recognize who we are and what we need to change. You know, you wouldn’t get all this unless
you studied the Bible, but also studied it in prayer and applied it to yourself. Hallowed be Your name, Your creation, Your
plan, that’s what I thank God for. “Thy Kingdom come” what’s interesting here
is again, the familiar, but also the fact that the Kingdom comes, suggesting that it’s
not here right now. The work of the Church is to prepare, to preach,
to proclaim the Kingdom of God. That proclamation is not here. This is not God’s Kingdom. Yes, He’s teaching us about the Kingdom. Yes, He’s giving us the Holy Spirit. Yes, we have a down payment of eternal life,
but this is not it right now. “Thy Kingdom come.” Our work of the Church, our mission is to
preach the gospel into all the world as weak or as slow as we are, as may be to some is
being irrelevant as we are as tiny as we are. That is the mission that we have to preach
the gospel into all the world. You know, in my prayers, my hope is God shows
us how that’s to be done with the money we have, with the people we have, with the demographics
that we have in the Church, and yet, that is to be our prayer, and it should be everybody’s
prayer, “Thy Kingdom come.” That we proclaim the Kingdom. Also, we pray, again, we’re not even into
anything that’s just ourselves, we pray, “Thy will be done.” These three important elements need to be
focused on in the very beginnings of our prayer. When the disciples say, “What in the world
do you talk about, Jesus?” “I talked about the greatness of God, His
name, His Kingdom, and about His will being done.” He said, “By the way, I also said to Him,
I said to My Father, ‘Let not My will be done, but let Your will be done.'” Where we say, “God, tell me what to do. Show me how I am to conduct myself. Don’t make me a person who looks at myself
and my preferences and the things that I feel I’m strong in and become like a de Gaulle. ‘God, trust me.’” No, God says, “Trust Me.” Trust God. We finally get to the first “us” in this prayer. “Give us,” this is Mathew 6:11, “Give us this
day our daily bread.” We come to the first request, to provide for
our needs. I’ll go on quickly here to the others here. “Forgive us our debts,” our trespasses,
our sins, “as we forgive our debtors.” Now, this scripture has been actually deemed
by some commentaries as one of the most difficult scriptures in the Bible. Think of it. “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” It’s not so hard to understand the words of
it. It’s just really hard to understand the doing
of it. And do we have anything against anybody? Of course, we do. Well, then we’re doomed. If you take a look at the scripture on the
surface. As we have not forgiven others, puts a lot
of stress on understanding this verse. And just in case you missed it, just in case
you’ve maybe thought, “Well, I don’t think He really meant that.” You take a look at verse 14 of the same chapter
that says, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Just like a P.S. to the model prayer. “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses,
neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Let’s chew on that before the Passover. Now do we have grudges? Do we have things that we don’t like about
people that we hold against them? Do we have people pigeonholed? Of course, we do. And I’ve tried to read as much as I could… In our website, we have only one article that
really addresses this in the year 2004 in the United News. It’s a difficult one. It’s a difficult one, one worthy of discussion. In the chapter before in chapter 5, this is
the same sermon. This is the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus said, “Therefore if you bring your gift
to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,” not you
having something against him. I mean, this makes it more complicated. “Leave your gift there before the altar,
and go your way; first, be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” That’s a tough one. Believe me. That’s why it’s considered one of the tough
scriptures of the Bible, almost as hard as understanding the unjust steward. Or any of these other parables, you know,
what in the world does that mean? I think, you know, I’m not going to explain
the whole thing, that’s a whole sermon, believe me. It’s a whole study, it’s a whole fasting and
praying situation about what we do. But can we just take it upon ourselves to
read the words and see what it says and how we treat people? Not only forgive us our sins as we forgive
others but if a brother has something aught against you and you know he does, leave your
gift, fix it, fix it. Now, as we are told to “give us this day
our daily bread.” This is a prayer that we pray daily, not that
we prayed once and just have a deep sigh and say, “Guess I can’t do it.” Now, this is a prayer that we pray all the
time. “Help me. Help me with this person, that, I know that
I have wronged him, I know that I wasn’t honest. Please forgive me. Please make it right.” It could be somebody who’s dead even then
you really can’t make it right with him. “God, please forgive me for the way I was
towards my parent, or towards other relationships.” Because that’s a heart and crux and core of
the relationship of God the Father, Jesus Christ, and us. It’s a world that’s reconciled. It won’t come to resolutions, it won’t come
for great announcements and pronouncements, it will come from the heart, the way Jesus
Christ expressed in this model prayer. And then it concludes to live, “Lead us not
into temptation,” or sore trial. And I guess we could tack on to that right
away, “and deliver us from the evil one.” Well, after these last week, where we had
another shooting and 17 more people who were gunned down, and I saw their pictures that
went on to C.N.N. and just watched, you know, on their cnn.com, those faces of young men,
young ladies, looked like staff of the school, janitors, or whatever, you know, where they
worked at the school that were gunned down randomly, you know, I teared up. I really did. I said, “Why them?” You know, I have a granddaughter. I have granddaughters and they go to school,
well, they’re home-schooled now, but they went to school. What if something like that happened? That will be absolutely devastating. I believe that we in the Church should be
praying not to have more guns in church, but to lead us not into sore trial. Don’t lead us to sore trial. Don’t allow that to happen. Protect us. “Have Your angels protect us.” Not the AR-15s. Have God protect us, and deliver us from the
evil one who is Satan the devil who hates us, who hates mankind, and is going to be
continually churning these things, and churning these things, and churning these things against
the world, because what we saw was not the last one. There’ll be more. We live, again, not in God’s world, not in
God’s Kingdom, we live in the world of Satan and we represent God, and we need godly tools. And believe me, our spiritual life, our spiritual
lifeblood, our spiritual protection is in our prayer, our communication with God, and
in this prayer, which has the whole plan of God, total relationship with us and reconciliation. It’s a beautiful prayer. It’s got it all. It’s such a simple prayer. We all know it probably from memory. In Ukraine, it’s interesting these expressions
to people. “He is so dumb. He doesn’t know the Lord’s prayer,” ultra
stupid person, because it’s such a simple thing, it’s called the “Our Father” over there. “He is so dumb. He doesn’t know ‘Our Father.’” Everybody knows it, “Our Father which art
in heaven.” Brethren, we need to live in asking God for
His continual watch over us and protection. But He’s given us to our consciousness a great
deal to be prepared with and tools that we have at our disposal. We have all these tools at our disposal as
those made in His image who are going to be brought to not only eternal life but to have
a status of godliness made in the image and likeness of God. Let’s be grateful to God for that. It has been wonderful to be here in the Church. I look forward to the council meetings. Look forward to talking to all of you after
services today. I’ll conclude with grace to you and peace
of God the Father and our Lord, Jesus Christ.