9 "YOU must pray, then, this way: "‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified. 10 Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth. 11 Give us today our bread for this day; 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the wicked one.’
|9 "YOU must pray, then, this way:|
|"‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified.|
(Da 2:44) "And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite;
(Re 11:15) And the seventh angel blew his trumpet. And loud voices occurred in heaven, saying: "The kingdom of the world did become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will rule as king forever and ever."
take place, as in heaven,
also upon earth.
11 Give us today
our bread for this day;
our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And do not
bring us into temptation,
(1Co 10:13) No temptation has taken YOU except what is common to men. But God is faithful, and he will not let YOU be tempted beyond what YOU can bear, but along with the temptation he will also make the way out in order for YOU to be able to endure it.
|but deliver us from
[What Does God Require of Us?]
1. Prayer is humbly speaking to God. You should pray to God regularly. Thus you can feel close to him as to a dear friend. Jehovah is so great and powerful, yet he listens to our prayers! Do you pray to God regularly?—Psalm 65:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
2. Prayer is part of our worship. Thus, we should pray only to God, Jehovah. When Jesus was on earth, he always prayed to his Father, not to anyone else. We should do the same. (Matthew 4:10; 6:9) However, all our prayers should be said in the name of Jesus. This shows that we respect Jesus’ position and that we have faith in his ransom sacrifice.—John 14:6; 1 John 2:1, 2.
3. When we pray we should speak to God from our heart. We should not say our prayers from memory or read them from a prayer book. (Matthew 6:7, 8) We can pray in any respectful position, at any time, and at any place. God can hear even silent prayers said in our heart. (1 Samuel 1:12, 13) It is good to find a quiet place away from other people to say our personal prayers.—Mark 1:35.
4. What subjects can you pray about? Anything that might affect your friendship with him. (Philippians 4:6, 7) The model prayer shows that we should pray about Jehovah’s name and purpose. We can also ask for our material needs to be provided, for our sins to be forgiven, and for help to resist temptation. (Matthew 6:9-13) Our prayers should not be selfish. We should only pray for things that harmonize with God’s will.—1 John 5:14.
5. You may pray whenever your heart moves you to thank or praise God. (1 Chronicles 29:10-13) You should pray when you have problems and your faith is being tested. (Psalm 55:22; 120:1) It is appropriate to pray before you eat your meals. (Matthew 14:19) Jehovah invites us to pray “on every occasion.”—Ephesians 6:18.
6. We especially need to pray if we have committed a serious sin. At such times we should beg for Jehovah’s mercy and forgiveness. If we confess our sins to him and do our very best not to repeat them, God is “ready to forgive.”—Psalm 86:5; Proverbs 28:13.
7. Jehovah listens only to the prayers of righteous people. For your prayers to be heard by God, you must be trying your best to live by his laws. (Proverbs 15:29; 28:9) You must be humble when you pray. (Luke 18:9-14) You need to work at what you pray for. You will thus prove that you have faith and that you really mean what you say. Only then will Jehovah answer your prayers.—Hebrews 11:6.
The True God Jehovah. The true God is not a nameless God. His name is Jehovah. (De 6:4; Ps 83:18) He is God by reason of his creatorship. (Ge 1:1; Re 4:11) The true God is real (Joh 7:28), a person (Ac 3:19; Heb 9:24), and not lifeless natural law operating without a living lawgiver, not blind force working through a series of accidents to develop one thing or another. The 1956 edition of The Encyclopedia Americana (Vol. XII, p. 743) commented under the heading "God": "In the Christian, Mohammedan, and Jewish sense, the Supreme Being, the First Cause, and in a general sense, as considered nowadays throughout the civilized world, a spiritual being, self-existent, eternal and absolutely free and all-powerful, distinct from the matter which he has created in many forms, and which he conserves and controls. There does not seem to have been a period of history where mankind was without belief in a supernatural author and governor of the universe."
*** Knowledge That Leads to Everlasting Life, chap. 10 pp. 91-92 God’s Kingdom Rules ***
A KINGDOM WITH A PURPOSE. Jehovah God has always been King, or Sovereign Ruler, of the universe. The fact that he created all things elevates him to that exalted position. (1 Chronicles 29:11; Psalm 103:19; Acts 4:24) But the Kingdom that Jesus preached about is subsidiary, or secondary, to God’s universal sovereignty. That Messianic Kingdom has a specific purpose, but what is it?
As explained in Chapter 6, the first human pair rebelled against God’s authority. Because of the issues raised, Jehovah chose to bring about a new expression of his sovereignty. God announced his purpose to produce a "seed" that would crush the Serpent, Satan, and remove the effects of mankind’s inherited sin. The primary "seed" is Jesus Christ, and "the kingdom of God" is the agency that will utterly defeat Satan. By means of this Kingdom, Jesus Christ will restore rulership over the earth in Jehovah’s name and will vindicate God’s rightful sovereignty for all time.—Genesis 3:15; Psalm 2:2-9.
According to one rendition of Jesus’ words to wicked Pharisees, he said: "The kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:21, King James Version) Did Jesus mean that the Kingdom was in the wicked hearts of those corrupt men? No. A more accurate translation of the original Greek reads: "The kingdom of God is in your midst." (New World Translation) Jesus, who was in their midst, thus referred to himself as the future King. Far from being something that a person has in his heart, God’s Kingdom is a real, operating government having a ruler and subjects. It is a heavenly government, for it is called both "the kingdom of the heavens" and "the kingdom of God." (Matthew 13:11; Luke 8:10) In vision, the prophet Daniel beheld its Ruler as "someone like a son of man" brought before Almighty God and given lasting "rulership and dignity and kingdom, that the peoples, national groups and languages should all serve even him." (Daniel 7:13, 14) Who is this King? Well, the Bible calls Jesus Christ "the Son of man." (Matthew 12:40; Luke 17:26) Yes, Jehovah designated his Son, Jesus Christ, to be King.
Jesus does not rule alone. With him are 144,000 who have been "bought from the earth" to be his associate kings and priests. (Revelation 5:9, 10; 14:1, 3; Luke 22:28-30) The subjects of God’s Kingdom will be a global family of humans who are submissive to Christ’s leadership. (Psalm 72:7, 8) How, though, can we be sure that the Kingdom will actually vindicate God’s sovereignty and restore paradisaic conditions to our earth?
*** Knowledge That Leads to Everlasting Life, chap. 1 pp. 6-7 You Can Have a Happy Future! ***
You Can Have a Happy Future!
A WARM embrace from someone you love. Hearty laughter during a good meal with dear friends. The pleasure of watching your children cheerfully at play. Moments like these are bright spots in life. For many, however, life seems to present one serious problem after another. If that has been your experience, take heart.
It is God’s will that you enjoy lasting happiness under the best conditions in wonderful surroundings. This is no mere dream, for God actually offers you the key to such a happy future. That key is knowledge.
We are talking about a special kind of knowledge that is far greater than human wisdom. It is "the very knowledge of God." (Proverbs 2:5) Nearly 2,000 years ago, a Bible writer said: "Every house is constructed by someone, but he that constructed all things is God." (Hebrews 3:4) Think of the knowledge that the Maker of all things must possess! The Bible says that God counts and names all the stars. What a staggering thought, since there are hundreds of billions of stars in our own galaxy, and astronomers say that there are about a hundred billion other galaxies! (Psalm 147:4) God also knows all about us, so who else could provide better answers to life’s important questions?—Matthew 10:30.
Picture two men trying to repair their cars. Frustrated, one man throws down his tools. The other calmly corrects the problem, turns the ignition key, and smiles as the engine starts up and runs smoothly. You would not have a hard time guessing which of the two men had an instruction manual from the manufacturer. Does it not make sense that God would provide instructions to guide us in life? As you may know, the Bible claims to be just that—a book of instruction and guidance from our Creator, designed to impart the knowledge of God.—2 Timothy 3:16.
If the Bible’s claim is true, think of what treasures of knowledge that book must contain! At Proverbs 2:1-5, it urges us to seek wisdom, to dig for it as we would for a hidden treasure—not in the soil of human thinking, but in God’s own Word. If we search there, we will "find the very knowledge of God." Since God understands our limitations and needs, he gives us instruction that will help us to lead peaceful, happy lives. (Psalm 103:14; Isaiah 48:17) Furthermore, the knowledge of God offers us exciting good news.
The well-known historical figure Jesus Christ described this feature of the knowledge of God in clear terms. He said: "This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ." (John 17:3) Imagine—knowledge that leads to everlasting life!
Do not quickly dismiss everlasting life as a mere dream. Instead, look at the way the human body is made. It is splendidly designed to taste, hear, smell, see, and feel. There is so much on the earth that delights our senses—delicious food, pleasant birdsong, fragrant flowers, beautiful scenery, delightful companionship! And our amazing brain is far more than a supercomputer, for it enables us to appreciate and enjoy all such things. Do you think that our Creator wants us to die and lose all of this? Would it not be more reasonable to conclude that he wants us to live happily and to enjoy life forever? Well, that is what the knowledge of God can mean for you.take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.
*** Knowledge That Leads to Everlasting Life, chap. 1 pp. 7-10 You Can Have a Happy Future! ***
LIFE IN PARADISE
What the Bible says about the future of the earth and mankind might be summed up in one word—Paradise! Jesus Christ spoke of it when he told a dying man: "You will be with me in Paradise." (Luke 23:43) The mention of Paradise no doubt brought to that man’s mind the happy state of our first parents, Adam and Eve. When God created them, they were perfect and lived in a gardenlike park that the Creator had designed and planted. It was fittingly called the garden of Eden, which name denotes pleasure.
How delightful that garden was! It was a real paradise. Among its beautiful trees were those bearing delicious fruit. As Adam and Eve explored their domain, drank from its sweet waters, and gathered fruit from its trees, they had no reason to be anxious or fearful. Even animals posed no threat, for God had placed the man and his wife in loving dominion over all of them. In addition, the first human pair had vibrant health. As long as they remained obedient to God, an eternal, happy future lay before them. They were given the satisfying work of caring for their wonderful Paradise home. Further, God gave Adam and Eve the mandate to "fill the earth and subdue it." They and their offspring were to extend the borders of Paradise until our entire planet became a place of beauty and delight.—Genesis 1:28.
When Jesus mentioned Paradise, however, he was not asking a dying man to think about the distant past. No, Jesus was speaking about the future! He knew that our entire earthly home would become a paradise. God would thus fulfill his original purpose for mankind and our earth. (Isaiah 55:10, 11) Yes, Paradise will be restored! And what will it be like? Let God’s Word, the Holy Bible, answer.
LIFE IN THE RESTORED PARADISE
Sickness, old age, and death will no longer exist. "At that time the eyes of the blind ones will be opened, and the very ears of the deaf ones will be unstopped. At that time the lame one will climb up just as a stag does, and the tongue of the speechless one will cry out in gladness." (Isaiah 35:5, 6) "God himself will be with [mankind]. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away."—Revelation 21:3, 4.
Crime, violence, and wickedness will be gone forever. "Evildoers themselves will be cut off . . . Just a little while longer, and the wicked one will be no more . . . He will not be. But the meek ones themselves will possess the earth." (Psalm 37:9-11) "As regards the wicked, they will be cut off from the very earth; and as for the treacherous, they will be torn away from it." —Proverbs 2:22.
Peace will prevail earth wide. "He [God] is making wars to cease to the extremity of the earth. The bow he breaks apart and does cut the spear in pieces." (Psalm 46:9) "The righteous one will sprout, and the abundance of peace until the moon is no more."—Psalm 72:7.
Housing will be secure and work satisfying. "They will certainly build houses and have occupancy . . . They will not build and someone else have occupancy; they will not plant and someone else do the eating. For like the days of a tree will the days of my people be; and the work of their own hands my chosen ones will use to the full. They will not toil for nothing, nor will they bring to birth for disturbance."—Isaiah 65:21-23.
Healthful food will be available in abundance. "There will come to be plenty of grain on the earth; on the top of the mountains there will be an overflow." (Psalm 72:16) "The earth itself will certainly give its produce; God, our God, will bless us."—Psalm 67:6.
Everlasting life on a paradise earth will be delightful. "The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it." (Psalm 37:29) "The wilderness and the waterless region will exult, and the desert plain will be joyful and blossom as the saffron."—Isaiah 35:1.
Give us today
our bread for this day;
***it-1 p. 363 Bread ***
A baked food, sometimes leavened, the basic ingredient of which is flour or meal. Bread (Heb., le´chem; Gr., ar´tos) was a staple in the diet of the Jews and other peoples of antiquity, the art of bread making being common knowledge among the Israelites, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and others. Even in modern times in some parts of the Middle East, bread is of chief importance, and other types of food are of secondary significance. At times the Bible seems to use "bread" for food in general, as at Genesis 3:19 and in the model prayer, which contains the request: "Give us today our bread for this day."—Mt 6:11; compare Ec 10:19, ftn.
The Bible also uses "bread" figuratively in a favorable sense. Isaiah 55:2 shows that Jehovah’s spiritual provisions are far more important than material things, stating: "Why do you people keep paying out money for what is not bread, and why is your toil for what results in no satisfaction? Listen intently to me, and eat what is good, and let your soul find its exquisite delight in fatness itself."
When instituting the new meal that would commemorate his death (on Nisan 14, 33 C.E.), "Jesus took a loaf and, after saying a blessing, he broke it and, giving it to the disciples, he said: ‘Take, eat. This means my body.’" (Mt 26:26) The loaf meant Jesus’ own fleshly body "which is to be given in your behalf."—Lu 22:19; 1Co 11:23, 24.
About a year earlier, Jesus Christ had contrasted "bread that comes down from heaven" with the manna eaten by the Israelites in the wilderness and had plainly stated: "I am the bread of life." He showed that he was "the living bread that came down from heaven," adding: "If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever; and, for a fact, the bread that I shall give is my flesh in behalf of the life of the world." (Joh 6:48-51) This ‘eating’ would have to be done in a figurative way, by exercising faith in the value of Jesus’ perfect human sacrifice. (Joh 6:40) Jesus presented the merit of his ransom sacrifice to his Father Jehovah God upon his ascension to heaven. By means of this merit, Christ can give life to all obedient ones of mankind. As foretold under divine inspiration, Jesus was born in Bethlehem, which means "House of Bread" (Mic 5:2; Lu 2:11), and through Jesus Christ life-giving "bread" is provided for all believing mankind.—Joh 6:31-35.
and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
***w05 3/15 p. 6 What Influence Does Jesus Christ Have on You? ***
Establish Good Relationships With Others
On one occasion, Jesus related a short story in order to teach a valuable lesson in human relationships. He spoke of a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. One of them, though, had a huge debt and no means to repay it. The master ordered that the man, his wife, and his children be sold and payment made. The debtor fell down and begged: "Be patient with me and I will pay back everything to you." Moved with pity, the master canceled his debt. But that slave went off, found a fellow slave who owed him a modest sum, and demanded repayment. Though this fellow slave begged for mercy, the first slave had him thrown into prison until he paid off all that he owed. When the king heard of this, he became angry. "Ought you not . . . to have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I also had mercy on you?" he demanded. And he had the unforgiving slave imprisoned until he repaid all that he owed. Drawing a lesson from the story, Jesus said: "In like manner my heavenly Father will also deal with you if you do not forgive each one his brother from your hearts."—Matthew 18:23-35.
As imperfect humans, we have many faults. We can never pay back to God the huge debt we have accumulated because of transgressing against him. All we can do is seek his forgiveness. And Jehovah God is ready to forgive all our failings, provided we forgive our brothers for sins they have committed against us. What a forceful lesson that is! Jesus taught his followers to pray: "Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors."—Matthew 6:12.
*** w02 4/15 p. 32 When It Is Wise to Run Away ***
When It Is Wise to Run Away
TODAY’S world is often marked by a spirit of bravado and confrontation or by temptation. A person who flees from a situation is generally regarded as weak or cowardly. He may even become subject to ridicule.
However, the Bible makes it plain that there are times when running away is both wise and courageous. Bearing that out, before sending his disciples out into the ministry, Jesus Christ told them: "When they persecute you in one city, flee to another." (Matthew 10:23) Yes, Jesus’ disciples were to try to escape from their persecutors. They were not to carry on anything like a crusade, trying to convert others by force. They bore a message of peace. (Matthew 10:11-14; Acts 10:34-37) So rather than allowing tempers to flare, Christians were to flee, to put distance between themselves and the source of provocation. In this way, they maintained a good conscience as well as their precious relationship with Jehovah.—2 Corinthians 4:1, 2.
A contrasting example is found in the Bible book of Proverbs. It tells of a young man who, instead of fleeing in the face of temptation, went after a prostitute "like a bull that comes even to the slaughter." The result? Calamity because of succumbing to the temptation that involved his very soul.—Proverbs 7:5-8, 21-23.
What if you should face a temptation to commit sexual immorality or confront some other potential danger? According to God’s Word, the appropriate action may well be to flee, to distance yourself from the scene immediately.—Proverbs 4:14, 15; 1 Corinthians 6:18; 2 Timothy 2:22.
˄ *** w06 1/15 pp. 28-29
Oppose Satan, and He Will Flee!
Us From the Wicked
Being an integrity-keeper is not a
simple matter; it calls for earnest prayer. Especially helpful are
the words of the model prayer. In part, Jesus said: "Do not bring us
into temptation, but deliver us from the wicked one." (Matthew
6:13) Jehovah does not tempt us to sin. (James
1:13) However, the Scriptures sometimes speak of his doing or
causing things, when he, in fact, merely permits them. (Ruth
1:20, 21) By praying as Jesus indicated, then, we are asking
Jehovah not to abandon us to temptation. And he will not do so, for
we have this Scriptural assurance: "God is faithful, and he will not
let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, but along with the
temptation he will also make the way out in order for you to be able
to endure it."—1 Corinthians
10:13. After mentioning temptation in the model
prayer, Jesus appropriately said: "Deliver us from the wicked one."
Some Bible translations read: "Deliver us from evil" (King
James Version; Revised Standard Version)
or "Protect us from evil." (Contemporary English
Version) In the Scriptures, however, the expression ‘deliver
from’ is used chiefly with regard to people, and Matthew’s Gospel
refers to the Devil as "the Tempter," a person. (Matthew
So it is important to pray for deliverance from "the wicked one,"
Satan the Devil. He tries to maneuver us into sinning against God. (1 Thessalonians
3:5) When we make the request, "Deliver us from the wicked one,"
we are asking our heavenly Father to guide and help us so that we
are not overreached by the Devil. ● Uphold Jehovah’s sovereignty,
end Satan’s rule. ● Rid earth of false religion and
oppressive rulers. ● Bring in Christ’s reign as
"Prince of Peace." ● Cause all earth to blossom as a
glorious paradise. ● Remove all shortages of housing,
food and fuel. ● Establish society on basis of
neighbor love. ● Control earth’s natural forces,
prevent disasters. ● Eliminate stresses, worries,
aches, pains, old age. ● Destroy the enemy death,
sickness and all sorrow. ● Raise the dead billions, to live forever on
*** w06 1/15 pp. 28-29 Oppose Satan, and He Will Flee! ***
"Deliver Us From the Wicked One"
Being an integrity-keeper is not a simple matter; it calls for earnest prayer. Especially helpful are the words of the model prayer. In part, Jesus said: "Do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the wicked one." (Matthew 6:13) Jehovah does not tempt us to sin. (James 1:13) However, the Scriptures sometimes speak of his doing or causing things, when he, in fact, merely permits them. (Ruth 1:20, 21) By praying as Jesus indicated, then, we are asking Jehovah not to abandon us to temptation. And he will not do so, for we have this Scriptural assurance: "God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, but along with the temptation he will also make the way out in order for you to be able to endure it."—1 Corinthians 10:13.
After mentioning temptation in the model prayer, Jesus appropriately said: "Deliver us from the wicked one." Some Bible translations read: "Deliver us from evil" (King James Version; Revised Standard Version) or "Protect us from evil." (Contemporary English Version) In the Scriptures, however, the expression ‘deliver from’ is used chiefly with regard to people, and Matthew’s Gospel refers to the Devil as "the Tempter," a person. (Matthew 4:3, 11) So it is important to pray for deliverance from "the wicked one," Satan the Devil. He tries to maneuver us into sinning against God. (1 Thessalonians 3:5) When we make the request, "Deliver us from the wicked one," we are asking our heavenly Father to guide and help us so that we are not overreached by the Devil.
● Uphold Jehovah’s sovereignty, end Satan’s rule.
● Rid earth of false religion and oppressive rulers.
● Bring in Christ’s reign as "Prince of Peace."
● Cause all earth to blossom as a glorious paradise.
● Remove all shortages of housing, food and fuel.
● Establish society on basis of neighbor love.
● Control earth’s natural forces, prevent disasters.
● Eliminate stresses, worries, aches, pains, old age.
● Destroy the enemy death, sickness and all sorrow.
● Raise the dead billions, to live forever on earth.