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January 12

Matthew chapter 6.

I was struggling through Matthew 6 this morning, because it's been too long since I've used Greek. I've been listening to Tony Adams and David Kellum detail some of the issues they have with one of their logging machines, and it's one they only use in really wet weather, basically just a couple of months a year. And apparently the thing causes some trouble each time, but it's not the most efficient equipment to run all year, but there are times when it's the only thing they can use to get work done.

Greek for me is the same way. It's not the most efficient way to read through the Bible. In fact, I could read all of Matthew by the time I get through chapter 6. But there are things I see better in Greek, although they would also come out if you translated the Bible into proper English, and used "y'all."

When the Lord Jesus Christ teaches the people to pray, using the Lord's Prayer, in English you see the expression: this then, is how you should pray. Now, some teach that the only prayer a believer needs to ever use is that exact prayer. But, if you translate it into good English, you get this then, is how y'all should pray. You see, English doesn't translate plural "you" which exists in most languages. There's "you" when there is one person, and "you" when there's more than one person. (side note: We Southerners are more 'international' with our language: we have a plural and a singular you.) And now, you begin to see it as an instruction to the group. I see here that He is giving guidelines for prayer together, that we should be direct, to the point, and very trusting in our public prayer. And also, not repetitious or flowery in our language.

There are Biblical guidelines for personal prayer. The Lord uses the singular 'you' in verse 6, when He tells us to go into our closet to pray. I think what we should learn is that when we pray in public, we pray on behalf of everyone there, and focus the attention on God. In our closet, that's where we pour out our hearts.

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