JOTAPATA, JANUARY, AD 28
Jesus of Nazareth, who recently returned from Capernaum and the cities of the Decapolis, taught his apostle corps in quiet sessions here today. The subjects were prayer, thanksgiving and worship. His twelve-point training session was reportedly a comprehensive answer to accumulating questions raised by his apostles. The twelve points offered follow:
1. By opening the human end of the channel of God-man communication, we make immediately available the ever-flowing stream of divine ministry.
2. They who would receive mercy must show mercy. Judge not lest you be judged.
3. Righteousness is the faith act of the child of God which opens the door of the Father’s storehouse of goodness, truth, and mercy. Prayer does not change the divine attitude toward man, but it does change man’s attitude toward the changeless Father. It’s the motive of your prayer which gives it the right of way to the divine ear.
4. Prayer may not be employed to avoid the delays of time or to transcend the handicaps of space. Said Jesus: “Let your supreme delight be in the character of God, and he shall surely give you the sincere desires of your heart.”
5. “If you are ever in doubt as to what you would ask of the Father, ask in my name, and I will present your petition in accordance with your real needs and desires and in accordance with my Father’s will.” Avoid praying much for yourself; pray more for the spiritual progress of your brethren. Avoid materialistic praying; pray for the abundance of the gifts of the spirit.
6. When you pray for the sick and afflicted, do not expect that your petitions will take the place of loving and intelligent ministry to them. Pray for the welfare of your families and friends, but especially pray for those who curse you, and for those who persecute you.
7. Many resort to prayer only when in trouble, but you should also pray to your Father even when all goes well. Prayers of thanksgiving are appropriate for groups of worshippers, but the prayer of the soul is a personal matter. There is but one form of prayer which is appropriate for all God’s children, and that is: “Nevertheless, your will be done.”
8. All believers should pray sincerely for the extension of the kingdom of heaven. Jesus commented most approvingly on the prayer of the Psalmist: “Create in me a clean heart, O God.” Jesus said, “The human tongue is a member which few men can tame, but the spirit within can transform this unruly member into a kindly voice of tolerance.”
9. Jesus taught that the prayer for divine guidance and wisdom on your pathway of life was next in importance to your petition for a knowledge of the Father’s will. Pray wholeheartedly and intelligently, earnestly and steadfastly.
10. Employ prayer as a means of leading up through thanksgiving to true worship. Jesus deplored that so little of the spirit of thanksgiving was to be found in prayers and worship.
11. Jesus said: “Be not constantly overanxious about your common needs. Be not apprehensive concerning the problems of your earthly existence, but by prayer and sincere thanksgiving, let your needs be spread out before your Father who is in heaven.”
12. Jesus taught that after praying we should remain for a time in silent receptivity to afford the indwelling spirit the better opportunity to speak to the listening soul. The spirit of the Father speaks best to man when the human mind is in an attitude of true worship.
The presentation was well received. It was also reported that Jesus plans to continue his tour of Galilee and will soon move on to Ramah.
(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)