Commentary

 

Learning to Pray      

By Rev. Kurt Horigan Asplundh

The Word is full of prayers to express our heartfelt states. They have a special power to open heaven and give us strength against evils and falsities.

"The Word in its literal sense, or the natural, is in it fullness, and also in its power; and by means of it man is in conjunction with the heavens" (The Word 15)

This power becomes effective when the Word is read or recited reverently by people on earth (Divine Providence 256, Apocalypse Explained 1066[4]).

Through prayers from the Word the Lord literally can "give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways" (Psalm 91:11).

Here are some examples from the Word, of prayers for personal strength:

"Direct my steps by Your word,
And let no iniquity have dominion over me,
Redeem me from the oppression of man,
That I may keep Your precepts.
Make Your face shine upon Your servant,
And teach me Your statutes." (Psalm 119:133-135)

"Lord, help me stop worrying anxiously about tomorrow, and give me strength to face the troubles of this day." (Adapted from Matthew 6:3-4)

"I am a little child O Lord, I do not know how to go out or come in.... Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil." (1 Kings 3:7, 9)

Of course, there are many more. Here are just a few more references that you can look up:

Prayers for troubled states: Psalm 4:1, Psalm 7:1, Psalm 42:1, Psalm 86:6-7.

Prayers for mercy and forgiveness: 2 Samuel 24:10, Psalm 25:7, 11, Psalm 130:1-5, Luke 18:13.

Prayers of personal commitment: Mark 12:30, Psalm 37:5.

Prayers of comfort: Psalm 90:1-2.

In so many instances, these prayers have great spiritual power and beauty - not just because of their natural language, but also because, when we read them, we open our minds to the Lord's influx. He says,

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." (Revelation 3:20)

When we pray, we are hearing His voice, and opening the door.

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For you, Lord, are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me." (Psalm 23:4)

The Bible

 

Psalms 119:133-135

Study the Inner Meaning

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133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.

134 Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts.

135 Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me thy statutes.

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   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 369


Other references to this text:

Arcana Coelestia 5585, 9306


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 328, 409

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  Spiritual Topics:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Numbers 6:25

Psalms 40:3, 119:12

Bible Word Meanings

iniquity
Folly, iniquity, hypocrisy, and error, as in Isaiah 32:6: Folly has respect to the false, iniquity signifies evil, hypocrisy, the evils spoken against goods, and...

oppression
'Oppression' signifies destruction of truth by falsities.

keep
"Keeping" in the Bible generally has to do with controlling the actual actions of life, though in some cases it can mean holding something away...

face
“The eyes are the windows of the soul.” That’s a sentiment with roots somewhere in murky antiquity, but one that has become hopelessly cliché because...

shine
“Light” in the Bible represents divine truth, ideas which pour out to us from the Lord’s infinite love. It makes sense, then, that when something...

servant
“Servant” literally means “a person who serves another,"" and its meaning is similar in reference to the spiritual meaninngs of the Bible. Our lives in...

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


 A Psalm about the Word
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 A Psalm About the Word
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 A Psalm About the Word
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 A Psalm About the Word
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 Blessings: Hearing the Lord
Blessings to say at mealtime.
Activity | Ages over 7

 Blessings: The Tree of Life and the Crystal River
Blessings to say at mealtime.
Activity | Ages over 7

 Blessings: The Way to Heaven
Blessings to say at mealtime.
Activity | Ages over 7

 Casket of Jewels
Make a picture of the Word as a treasure chest of "jewels" from the Lord.
Activity | Ages 7 - 10

 Inspirational Quotation - Great Peace Have Those Who Love Your Law
A peaceful landscape suggests the peace the Lord gives those who love His law
Picture | All Ages

 Looking to the Lord in His Word (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 Looking to the Lord in His Word (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 Looking to the Lord in His Word (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 Memory Verse: Looking for the Good in Others
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Memory Verse: The Promise of Baptism
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Memory Verse: The Word of God
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Memory Verse: Treasuring Marriage
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Miniature Word Project
Make a project picturing a miniature book of the Word with two birthday candles set beside it.
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 Prayers for Adults: Prayers for His Kingdom
Activity | Ages over 18

 Prayers for Adults: Treasuring Marriage
Activity | Ages over 18

 Prayers for Children: Being Kind to Other People
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 Prayers for Children: I Am With You Always
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 Prayers for Children: The Kingdom of Heaven
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 Prayers for Teens: Kingdom of Heaven
Activity | Ages 15 - 17

 Prayers for Teens: Treasuring Marriage
Activity | Ages 15 - 17

 Quotes: Looking for the Good in Others
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 The Lord Gave Us the Word
Story | Ages 4 - 6

 The Word Is a Light to Your Path
Story | Ages 4 - 6


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