The previous chapter possibly seemingly is too vapid of a truth. That is, the chapter seems a truth too doting or indulgent on sin. That is the way it would seem as a result of fixity on a fraction of a truth of God’s grace- commanding holiness and a rejection of the part of that grace saving sinners from sin. Well, which of these should the church accommodate, sin or sinners? None? Actually, the church cannot tolerate sin but it can reach out for sinners. Aren’t they the fish Jesus’ fishermen are to catch? Anyway, the last chapter wasn’t to defend or encourage sin or sinning. It was to show that we who are holy should be eager to pray to God, always. That is, in Jesus name sinners can pray to be helped and forgiven and saved and the redeemed should be more at ease to pray. He listens to us and even to those who are believed to be ‘Greek’ and are inside the church. They are also beloved whom God wants to save. The chapter was meant to awaken and fan our interest in prayer.
Now, in order not to seem, any longer, an overly doting, confused or compromised comrade, I must state that this chapter shows that nothing more, nothing less, except a sinner repents, forsakes and detests sin, being dead to sin, the sure end is death. There is no other hope for sinners than that Christ saves us from the power of sin that we may not be sinning. There is a culture of the kingdom on which the mode and medium of our prayers are founded. Upon this background is this chapter laid as ‘The Word’.
No matter how integrated the world has almost become there are and will always be peoples and cultures. Only the one alien or lost to a culture described it as worthless! There is ‘a’ culture of Faith, a culture of Christianity, of Christians and that is The Bible and Holy Ghost. Is culture not the way of life of a people? Is Holy Ghost not a way of life of the redeemed. But, first of all, a culture of Christianity is scripturality or scripturalness. Prayer which is one of the ways of life of Christians is defined and described clearly and perfectly in the scriptures. Upon the word is a life of prayer established. Outside the word, prayerfulness is mere busyness without a focus.
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name (Matthew 6:9).
I listened to Charles Spurgeon on ‘The Fatherhood of God’ after I had written this. I never doubted the Holy Ghost wants us to consider it. The Lord Jesus Christ taught us to pray to God. The first thing noticeable is that we pray to the Father. There is more to that statement. It means that we (already) must belong to the family of God. It also means that we must know him as The One to be worshipped. We must have got the knowledge that He is in heaven above. All these matter because our language must be in accordance with the Father-children heedfulness. First, a child should grow to speak the father’s native language, naturally and normally. Of course, growing in a place different from home may not make that possible. Should the child need to return home and be able to relate with the people at home, learning the language of his ancestry is very important to enjoy proper filiation. The Bible is a language code of Christianity. Prayer is an entering into the ‘shrine’ to commune with God. Any unwarranted utterance will be sacrilege. Any utterance that is not in agreement with the word of God in prayer is sacrilegious. In fact, such is incomprehensible to the ministering spirits, the attendants of God for the saints. There are times a baby cries for long because the parent cannot get to comprehend the sounds or speech of the baby. Prayerfulness outside of the word, if acknowledged at all, is just a babbling stage. In a culture where a parent is revered, there is an ordered manner of speaking to parents. If God could give a law, ‘honour your father and your mother’ will He not demand His honour? Actually He did. ‘A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name Malachi 1:6?’ Even Jesus in His prayers never forgot the Fatherhood of God. He was always saying ‘My Father in heaven; He’s always in cognisance of the Father.
The success of Joshua will be attainable by studying and meditating on the word. The Lord, God told him ‘This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success (Joshua 1:8). It is as strictly holistic and mandatory as it sounded. We have always and now known that the father wants to hear us and talk to us. We will understand Him better and also be understandable to Him better if we dwell in the word. So, if I have to pray I should start to study the word or do that more from now. I need to and I will! Really? It is a decision that must be fortified with determination.