Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Scriptures used to advocate for contemplative prayer

There is a movement in the church today to advocate for prayer without words. Usually not much Scripture is involved in the presentation off these ideas. I came across one recently that did. I found it helpful to look up the Scriptures claimed to support the ideas.

What follows are the claims with Scripture references cited, and then the actual text of those Scriptures. The question to ask in considering these is: Do the Scriptures cited back up the claims? Links are added which can be used to look at them in context.

“The soul is what lives on after our bodies die.  (Matthew 16:26-27; Romans 8:10)”

Matthew 16:26-27 (NKJV)
For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.

Romans 8:10 (NKJV)
And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

“It is that part of God that He breathed into us at creation.  (Genesis 2:7)”

Genesis 2:7 (NKJV)
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

“The Holy Spirit in each of us is untouched by our day-to-day hurts and frustrations.  (Psalm 46)”

Psalm 46 (NKJV)
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. A Song for Alamoth.  God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted. The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah Come, behold the works of the LORD, Who has made desolations in the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

“More amazing still is that God loves us and freely offers us all the fruits of His Spirit.  (1 Corinthians 12:4-11)”

1 Corinthians 12:4-11 (NKJV)
There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

“First, we need to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.  (Romans 10:9)”

Romans 10:9 (NKJV)
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

“Second, we get to know God intimately – we become acutely aware that we are the body of Christ.  (Ephesians 4:15)”

Ephesians 4:15 (NKJV)
but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ

“We approach Him with vulnerability, open minds and open hearts.  (Luke 24:45; 2 Corinthians 6:13)”

Luke 24:45 (NKJV)
And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.

2 Corinthians 6:13 (NKJV)
Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open.

“To really know God through prayer we must learn to listen more and talk less, which is called contemplative prayer, which is silent.  (Matthew 6:6; Jude 1:20)”

Matthew 6:6 (NKJV)
But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

Jude 20 (NKJV)
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,

“We listen at ever deeper levels of inward attention, which is called lectio divina.  (Matthew 11:25-26; Luke 24:32; John 14:26; 1 Corinthians 2:9-10; Ephesians 3:5)”

Matthew 11:25-26 (NKJV)
At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.

Luke 24:32 (NKJV)
And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”

John 14:26 (NKJV)
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

1 Corinthians 2:9-10 (NKJV)
But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

Ephesians 3:5 (NKJV)
which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets:

“Our goal is to intimately ‘know this love that surpasses knowledge’.  (Ephesians 3:19)”

Ephesians 3:19 (NKJV)
to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

“The goal is not intellectual knowledge – the goal is living closer to Christ daily.  ‘How wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ’.  (Ephesians 3:18)”

Ephesians 3:18 (NKJV)
may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height

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