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Irony involving the Lord's Prayer

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posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 05:28 PM
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In much of mainstream Christianity, the Lord's Prayer (or Our Father) exists as a ritual prayer to be repeated rote.

Actually, this defies the very instructions of Jesus Himself in the exact same Gospel chapter where He gives the prayer.

See the passage below, which contains the prayer and part of the chapter prior to the prayer. Note that Jesus explicity "forbids" (really, I think just means is pointless and useless) ritual prayer.

Seems to me like Jesus was telling His disciples that prayer is a personal thing and should be heartfelt. I suspect that, in the original language and cultural setting, the words were more natural-sounding.


And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.


Matthew 6:5-13 KJV

(emphasis mine)


edit on 22-3-2011 by NewlyAwakened because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 05:38 PM
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Very true, but Jesus gave an example, guidelines for our prayer and pointers. It means we have to open our hearts and tell God all things that keeps us busy, praise his name and ask for forgiveness. There is nothing wrong with the Lords prayer it self, as long as you pour your heart out in prayer and you don't keep it limited to the Lords prayer, there is more in our life that God wants to know about.



posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 05:40 PM
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But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.



this is the part you highlighted...

This isn't against the lords prayer, you'll find no repetition in it....but for catholics....they are told to use "Hail marys"

This is vain repetition...

what he forbids is this...

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.


As in prayer in crowds, churches... Basically praying so others can see you're a good(add religious affilation)





posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 05:41 PM
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an astute observation, OP


reminds of that Ghandi quote: "i like your Christ. i do not like your christians."

seems like JCs original messages have a way of being skewed.



posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 05:47 PM
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reply to post by NewlyAwakened
 


I'm no longer religious but I was raised Roman Catholic and it wasn't until I actually started paying attention to my religion that I gave it up, for this exact reason. The more research I've done the more I've learned that irony & contradiction run rampant in this religion.
I'm not a hater towards people who are religious, but I've had my share of heated debates and trust me, starting threads like this only brings out the same old circular argument in the end...

Non-believer: "You can't prove it exists"
Believer: "You can't prove it doesn't"
Non-believer: "But you can't prove it does"
Believer: "But you can't prove it doesn't"

But I hear what your saying...it seems the authorities in this religion have forgotten the main question...
WWJD? Apparently he'd pray in a closet



posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 05:54 PM
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Originally posted by Akragon
This isn't against the lords prayer, you'll find no repetition in it....but for catholics....they are told to use "Hail marys"

This is vain repetition...

You're saying that what makes it "vain repetition" is whether you say it once or more than once. I fail to see how this makes any difference.

What matters is that the prayer means something important to you. In this sense there's nothing wrong with daily saying of the Lord's Prayer, if the words mean something to you (i.e. "give us this day our daily bread" = "make sure I'm aware of opportunities today to make a choice between selflessness and selfishness" or some such).

To me, the words of the passage pretty clearly state that what matters is what's concerning your heart, and not that you are simply able to repeat some words.



posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 05:59 PM
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edit on 22-3-2011 by NewlyAwakened because: Not really necessary



posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 06:05 PM
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reply to post by NewlyAwakened
 


The only part of the Lord's Prayer that I question the way it is written here is:

"And lead us not into temptation"

According to my understanding, the Lord does not lead anyone into temptation, so maybe this was meant to say, lead us away from temptation? Or maybe it means the same thing.

As to praying in the closet behind closed doors, this could possibly hint to meditation, where the "doors" (senses) to the outside world are closed and we attain a humble and receptive attitude by beginning silently with such a prayer.
edit on 22-3-2011 by mysticnoon because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 06:13 PM
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Originally posted by NewlyAwakened

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.


Doesn't this mean going to church and praying in front of a congregation is wrong?

It is saying that praying in front of people is wrong because you're doing it in order that other people see you doing it, rather than doing it because you really feel it from the heart.

It's like making it obvious to people you want to be seen as a Christian because of the way people perceive you, rather than being a Christian because you really believe in God. This is what politicians do, claim to be Christian simply because they wouldn't get votes if they didn't. Sad thing is people believe them.

So this makes the whole church institution hypocritical? It's all about image rather than true devotion to a God.


edit on 3/22/2011 by ANOK because: 911wasaninsidejob



posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 06:18 PM
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Originally posted by NewlyAwakened

Originally posted by Akragon
This isn't against the lords prayer, you'll find no repetition in it....but for catholics....they are told to use "Hail marys"

This is vain repetition...

You're saying that what makes it "vain repetition" is whether you say it once or more than once. I fail to see how this makes any difference.

What matters is that the prayer means something important to you. In this sense there's nothing wrong with daily saying of the Lord's Prayer, if the words mean something to you (i.e. "give us this day our daily bread" = "make sure I'm aware of opportunities today to make a choice between selflessness and selfishness" or some such).

To me, the words of the passage pretty clearly state that what matters is what's concerning your heart, and not that you are simply able to repeat some words.


Actually i didn't say that....Theres nothing wrong with the lords prayer or any prayer for that matter.

I was giving you an example of what Vain repetition was....and its not the lords prayer...


To me, the words of the passage pretty clearly state that what matters is what's concerning your heart, and not that you are simply able to repeat some words


Exactly!

Besides who says the lords prayer more then one time in a row?


edit on 22-3-2011 by Akragon because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 06:21 PM
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The praying behind closed doors thing is, I believe, clearly aimed at people who make a big spectacle of their praying and their fasting as did the religious leaders of the time. They would "act" all holy in front of the people, but in their hearts they were selfish, greedy and judgemental. Prayer should be a personal conversation with God, not a show of your holiness to others.

Another thing about the "Lord's Prayer" is the part where it states "Forgive us our debts (or sins) as we forgive our debtors (or those who sin against us)"...the original language here is more appropriately translated as "forgive us our sins in the same manner as we forgive those who sin against us" - further pointing out that God should treat us in the same way as we treat others. This, in my opinion, is the most important teaching of Christ. Essentially the same as Karma. "Christians" today seem to have messed the point of loving everyone and instead think that they are "righteous" enough to go around pointing out everyone else's sins.

Christ seemed to be most upset with the church leaders in his time while he was friends with the "sinners". I tend to believe that He would feel the same way about the majority of today's church goers...
edit on 22-3-2011 by tallcool1 because: edited to add that I am also a recovering Roman Catholic...I am now a Christian without religious dogma.



posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 06:21 PM
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reply to post by Akragon
 

Ah! I think I follow you now.

Yes, the Lord's Prayer is full of content while the Hail Mary is pretty much fluff.

But both are fluff if you simply repeat the words without meaning.

As for the repetitions, I thought you were referring to the fact that Catholics are sometimes instructed to say Hail Mary several times in a row as penance, and comparing that to the Lord's Prayer where this is not (as commonly) done.



posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 06:27 PM
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edit on 22-3-2011 by NewlyAwakened because: Not really necessary



posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 06:45 PM
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Originally posted by ANOK
So this makes the whole church institution hypocritical? It's all about image rather than true devotion to a God.

This is a really tough question.

On one hand, it seems to be. There are churches where the principal thing people actually, deep down feel is a combination of pride for being holy and fear that they will not be seen as holy by others.

True religion is truly a personal thing. It's between you and the powerful unconscious forces within you. And it starts with recognizing such hypocrisy, feeling the shame of it, and making efforts within oneself to combat it.

At the same time, much of becoming conscious and correcting oneself requires interactions with others, because many of our mechanical impulses that need correction happen to us in our interactions with others. We are social animals. Having two people together who are genuinely devoted to correcting themselves and to becoming aware of their shared situation with all other people can't be a bad thing.

It of course helps to realize that we all are hypocrites. Speaking, with love, to another person's inner being, penetrating their egoistic defense mechanisms, is extremely complicated and is probably impossible using nothing but human reason. Hence prayer and heartfelt devotion.

So if one can find a religious or spiritual community that contains at least one or two people who "get it", and one works hard to see the rest as human beings painfully trapped within their egos (which is our chief condition) rather than as spiritually inferior.


edit on 22-3-2011 by NewlyAwakened because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 06:52 PM
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reply to post by NewlyAwakened
 


As i said friend, repetition to God is pointless...when you speak, or think its a vibration right? Everything is...so if God is everything why would he not hear you the first time...


I thought you were referring to the fact that Catholics are sometimes instructed to say Hail Mary several times in a row as penance,


do you see the correlation...


But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.


You don't even have to speak in your prayers, if you talk in your mind and come from the heart why would he not hear you? As a matter of fact...meditation is a form of prayer... but instread of talking to God, you listen




posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 06:53 PM
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reply to post by ANOK
 



So this makes the whole church institution hypocritical? It's all about image rather than true devotion to a God


Yes




posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 06:58 PM
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It's simple: We must kill the batman.

Anywho, his teachings have been perverted by the ego, for the ego, as it now reigns. Praying in the middle of the street and any who 'repent?' as well as in the churches only feeds the ego. But when you pray to yourself, or the bit of 'God' in all of us, you do it on your own terms. Thanks for bringing that piece to light. I've never read the bible nor going to but it's nice to just compare about how Jesus actually meant to today's.. perversion of it.



posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 06:59 PM
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Originally posted by Akragon
You don't even have to speak in your prayers, if you talk in your mind and come from the heart why would he not hear you? As a matter of fact...meditation is a form of prayer... but instread of talking to God, you listen

Agreed, to some extent.

I find the process of giving words to feelings, even just in my own head (but even better if said to a confidant; I think the psychological power of this is where the idea of "confession" originated), helps me to sort them out.



posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 07:42 PM
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Jesus was quite obviously, not only a real person, but a metaphysician and philosopher of the very highest order.



posted on Mar, 22 2011 @ 07:45 PM
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Originally posted by NewAgeMan
Jesus was quite obviously, not only a real person, but a metaphysician and philosopher of the very highest order.

Absolutely.

A human, but one who brought out the divine potential in the human psyche to unparalleled degrees.


edit on 22-3-2011 by NewlyAwakened because: (no reason given)




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