Are two words better than one?


“Jesus was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial.”“ Luke 11:1-4

Teach us to pray.

In these days of personal relationship with a personal God, I find that an odd request. For the same reason I have watched with interest studies on the Lord’s Prayer, the differences between that and the “Disciples Lord’s Prayer”. The wording, the choice of wording, the context and subtleties.

This morning He and I roamed. Off to Teknia and the Greek. All the instances of “pray” in the New Testament (Teknia only does the NT).

Pray – 85 occurrences. As always there are “duplications” between the Gospels. But that is still a big number which I take to mean that praying is a big deal. Something we should be doing. Jesus took Himself off to pray. The disciples sat and waited trying not to fall asleep. Jesus spent whole nights alone praying. That’s a lot of praying! Jesus threw Himself to the ground and prayed short prayers. So I take all that as praying to be something I should be doing too.  “Praying box” – TICK!

Now how exactly …

Well something in the meandering landed on “faith”. There seemed to be many instances of “pray” and “faith” in the same sentence. So off to Teknia for that one.

Faith – 243 occurrences. And the same observation. Faith and Pray, Pray and Faith.

Okay, Lord. Faith is another box to tick. I am cool with that. Struggle with it. Question it. Tussle with it. Relax into it. Wallow in it. Talk about it. Nod my head to faith. And deep down inside question whether I have cobwebs of doubts, dusty corners of no faith, questions that veer to close to doubt – which then impacts on praying (the asking bit as well as the hearing bit).

But despite all that internal belly button fluff examination this morning, He still managed to draw my attention to something I had never noticed before:

Jesus uses the word “faith” as just that. One word. Yet as the New Testament moves into the apostles and their writings, faith becomes “the faith”. It now becomes two words. Faith is no longer enough, it must be “The Faith”.

And “The Faith” smacks of transaction, a scorecard with implicit judgment: the right faith and the wrong faith. Jesus never seemed to have that confusion. One word did it for Him. One word did it for those who sought Him out. There was not a right or wrong faith, there was just “faith”.

So just how did one word become two? Because it seems to me that is as relevant today as it was when the dusty peeps amended one to become two.

I have thoughts but not answers.

In these days of personal relationship with a personal God, I find that an odd request. For the same reason I have watched with interest studies on the Lord’s Prayer, the differences between that and the “Disciples Lord’s Prayer”. The wording, the choice of wording, the context and subtleties.

And now here I am!

From five verses of the Disciples Lord’s Prayer, my God Soft Hands Jesus saw fit to take me on this small journey. A journey of just two words.  And He never wastes anything. There is always a purpose. And maybe the purpose this morning is simply to ask you the question.

Are two words better than one?  I am curious.

Thank you.

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One thought on “Are two words better than one?

  1. Pingback: Are two words better than one? (wow!!) | Just me being curious

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