The Gospels – The Gospel According to Matthew
The proper way to pray and the Lord’s Prayer
Matthew 6:5-15 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our debts, As we also have forgiven our debtors; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
The craving for recognition is a particular characteristic of the distorted intellect. Along the same lines as the previous passage, Jesus warned us to guard against this temptation that always wants us to crave for earthly recognition. In the same way these men have their full reward in the satisfaction they get from being admired by men. But that is all they get. They crave admiration but this will never bring them one step closer to the Luminous Heights which should be the goal of every human being. Here and in so many other passages Jesus warned against the evil of vanity which is one of the excrescences of the intellect.
The full meaning of the Lord’s Prayer has been discussed by Abd-ru-shin in his book “The Ten Commandments and the Lord’s Prayer”, but it suffices to say here that the first two lines of the Lord’s Prayer already exposes the fact that this mankind will only pay lip service to the fact that they are Christians and followers of Christ when in reality we worship ourselves and are followers of our own vanity.
The line “Hallowed Be Thy Name” means that the Name of God should be hallowed in such a way that it does not become the everyday sound that It has become with mankind of today. We should not swear oaths with it nor should we utter the Name in a careless manner. But we are guilty of this every single minute. Every court of law requires that we take an oath in the Name of God and the use of the Name of God is an everyday occurrence in today’s language.
“Thy Kingdom come” is our asking that God establish His Kingdom on earth and that we are ready to create the conditions for the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. It is our duty to create these conditions. The terror and conflict and suffering which predominate today are all man-made and these are not the conditions that will lead to the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. We hold back any true blossoming for this Creation through our wrong activities. God’s Kingdom can only be established on soil free from war, death and conflict. We have failed so far to create these conditions and as such have held back the establishment of this Kingdom on earth.
The Will of God are His Laws which He has woven into this Creation as the guardians of the order. They proceed from Him and are perfect. The perfect spiritual beings in Paradise consciously obey this Will. They know that It is good for them, It is perfect and just. It is our duty to learn to know this Will while here on earth and seek to adjust ourselves to It. We must adjust ourselves to this Will just like the spiritual beings in Paradise adjust to the same Will in their Realm. There is only one Will that permeates the entire Creation.
It is impossible for us to be happy and to belong fully to this Creation without adjusting ourselves. It is like living in a country without knowing the laws that operate therein. Sooner or later we will come into conflict with the law. We cannot live in peace in this Creation unless we know of the Laws and adjust ourselves. When we say this Prayer, we are promising that we will learn of the Laws of Creation and adjust ourselves voluntarily to them just like the perfect human spirits do in Paradise.
After we have fulfilled the condition of upholding the Will of God, then we can ask for His Blessings on our activities but not before. We deserve to be given nothing if we do not learn to know the Laws and adhere ourselves to them. We become directly harmful and obstructive in this Creation.
The precondition for the forgiveness of our sins is that we have previously forgiven our neighbours. God does not lead any one into temptation but here Jesus was saying that God should deliver us from evil by whatever means necessary. Even at the cost of some pain to us. He should forcibly restrain us from falling into temptation and evil. It should read “Let us not fall into temptation.”
Matthew 6:16-18 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
Whatever trials one is going through should be borne with the assurance and knowledge that it is for the best. One should never demand sympathy. One should face all difficulties, trials with a cheerful disposition. Otherwise one becomes unjust to one’s surroundings. If also we voluntarily decide to undertake a spiritual task, it should be taken up with joy, not calling attention to one-self and demanding that one be recognised for it. These are spiritual decisions and tasks and it is only between the individual and his Creator.