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 86:6-7

Study the Inner Meaning

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6 Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.

7 In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.

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   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 336

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  Spiritual Topics:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Nehemiah 1:11

Psalms 17:1, 50:15

Bible Word Meanings

lord
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

voice
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.

day
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

day of
'Day of vengeance' signifies a state of damnation.

call
'To proclaim' signifies exploration from influx of the Lord.

answer
To "answer" generally indicates a state of spiritual receptivity. Ultimately this means being receptive to the Lord, who is constantly trying to pour true ideas...

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.


 Having Ears and a Voice
Read and reflect on a verse from the Word and let it inspire you to respond with a spiritual task. With color photograph illustration.
Activity | Ages over 15

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

 Prayers for Children: Baptism
Activity | Ages 7 - 14

 You Shall Not Take the Name of the Lord Your God in Vain
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14


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