Devotional Readings, John Bunyan

Focus on Prayer

Mat 7:14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

I spent the morning following up on a note someone from our WCF study class send out on prayer and particularly the Lord’s Prayer. As I note below our evening small group will be in Like 18 tonight so this is timely.

Luk 18:1  And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

I’m looking forward to that discussion.
Anyway the passage I received and the way it was posted led to my trying again to present some perhaps useful insight. But don’t lose the focus on Prayer. That is the primary thought.

One added thought, as you read about the discussion over verse Matthew 6:13, remember Jesus was once presented with another alternative:

Mat 4:8  Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;

Mat 4:9  And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

Mat 4:10  Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

Wow 24 hour schedule that is old school medicine! Not much free time there!
Sorry, I put too much info into this note back. Hope some is useful.
Read the whole memo through down to the John Gill comment at the bottom, then come back and work through the links I put below. It may take a while to work through. Let me know any questions you have, or if my points are useful.

Btw this does point out why I use the KJV. It took me into my 60’s to come to this realization. I wrote about it a little last week. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

You can read about this further here:

One of the most notable differences between the Catholic bible versions and the Protestant Reformation Bibles has been the ending of what is commonly referred to as the Lord’s Prayer.  If the Bible critics and “No Bible is the inerrant words of God” crowd can get rid of these words from the Holy Scriptures by means of their so called “science” of Textual Criticism, then no verse or reading is safe and sure. 

These last words: “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen” are found in the vast Majority of all Greek texts, as well as in four copies of the Old Latin (k, f, g, and q), which point to a Bible text that predates anything we have in the Greek copies. All these words are also found in the ancient Syriac Peshitta, Harclean, Curetonian, and Palestinian, as well as the Coptic Boharic and Sahidic, the Georgian, Armenian, Gothic, Slavonian, and Ethiopian ancient versions.

In fact, of over 1000 Greek manuscripts that contain this section of Matthew’s gospel, these words are found in all but 10 manuscripts. Dean Burgon mentions emphatically the 100 to one ratio in favor of the King James reading. At the bottom of this article you will find listed the manuscript evidence for this God inspired reading.

Thanks for the note. Another good verse is:

Luk 18:1  And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

Something I know I need to work on.

Our small group is reading this chapter 18 tonight.
I has one of my favorites.

The Pharisee and the Tax Collector

Luk 18:9  And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

Luk 18:10  Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

Luk 18:11  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other menare, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

Luk 18:12  I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

In Matthew we read…

Mat 7:21  Not every one that saith unto me, LordLord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Mat 7:22  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

Mat 7:23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

John Bunyan wrote a book about that found here:
Might be best to start with Pilgrim’s Progress though if you have never read it.

The Pilgrim’s Progress – Part One

John Bunyan


Written during a brief re-imprisonment in 1675.


I’ve read several of his little books.

Luk 18:13  And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

In class on Sunday we covered,  chapter 11 of our book.

Of Saving Faith

Of Repentance unto Life

The discussion there comes out of the above scriptures…it’s not our works or deeds that save us, it’s when God gives us faith, and in the power of that faith God reorients us into repentance and belief, knowledgeable of our sin.

Luk 18:14  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Btw. The passage you quoted, the KJV actual gets it right…the NIV ends here at verse 13 w/o including the final words…For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever, Amen.

13 And lead us not into temptation,[a]
    but deliver us from the evil one.[b]

See John Gill comment on the whole verse below and note especially the commentary on this last phrase. Gill can seem hard to read, just pause at the ;’s & :’s he doesn’t use many “.’s”. He wrote this in the late 1740’s…almost 300 years ago.

Matthew 6:13

And lead us not into temptation,…. Such a petition as this is often to be observed in the prayers of the Jews (a),

אל תביאני, “do not lead me” neither into sin, nor into transgression and iniquity, ולא לידי נסיון, “nor into temptation”, or “into the hands of temptation”;”

that is, into the power of it, so as to be overcome by it, and sink under it; in which sense the phrase is to be understood here. We are not here taught to pray against temptations at all, or in any sense, for they are sometimes needful and useful; but that they may not have the power over us, and destroy us. There are various sorts of temptations. There are the temptations of God; who may be said to tempt, not by infusing anything that is sinful, or by soliciting to it; but by enjoining things hard and disagreeable to nature, as in the case of Abraham; by afflicting, either in body or estate, of which Job is an instance; by permitting and letting loose the reins to Satan, and a man’s own corruptions; by withdrawing his presence, and withholding the communications of his grace; and sometimes by suffering false prophets to arise among his people: his ends in them are on his own account, the display of his power; grace, wisdom, and faithfulness; on account of his Son, that his saints might be like him, and he might have an opportunity of exercising his power and pity: and on his people’s account, that they might be humbled; their faith and patience tried; might see their weakness, and need of Christ, and be excited to prayer and watchfulness. There are also the temptations of Satan; which lie in soliciting to evil, suggesting hard and blasphemous thoughts of God, and filling with doubts and fears; which are cunningly formed by him, and are very afflictive. There are moreover the temptations of the world, which arise from poverty and riches, from the men of the world, the lusts of it, and from both its frowns and flatteries: add to all this, that there are temptations arising from a man’s own heart. Now, in this petition, the children of God pray, that they may be kept from every occasion and object of sinning; from those sins they are most inclined to; that God would not leave them to Satan, and their own corrupt hearts; nor suffer them to sink under the weight of temptations of any sort; but that, in the issue, they might have a way to escape, and be victorious over all.

But deliver us from evil. This petition, with the Jews, is in this (b) form:

“er egpm ynlyutw, “but deliver me from an evil accident”, and diseases; and do not trouble me with evil dreams, and evil imaginations.”

R. Juda, after his prayer, or at the close of it, as is this petition, used (c) to say;

“let it be thy good pleasure, 0 Lord our God, and the God of our fathers, שתצילנו, “that thou wouldst deliver us” from impudent men, and impudence; from an “evil” man, and from an “evil” accident; from the “evil” imagination, i.e. the corruption of nature; from an “evil” companion; from an “evil” neighbour; and from Satan the destroyer; and from hard judgment; and from an hard adversary, whether he is the son of the covenant, or is not the son of the covenant.”

And most, if not all of these things, may be very well thought to be comprised in the word “evil” here: particularly Satan may be meant, by “evil”, or “the evil one”, as the word may be rendered; who is eminently, originally, and immutably evil; his whole work and employment is nothing else but evil: and to be delivered from him, is to be rescued out of his hands, preserved from his snares, and delivered from his temptations. Evil men may also be intended: all men are naturally evil, and unalterably so, without the grace of God; and some are notoriously wicked; from whose company, sinful lusts, and pleasures, to which they are addicted, as well as from their rage and persecution, good men cannot but desire deliverance; as also from the evil of afflictions, and especially from the evil of sin; as that they may be kept from the commission of it; have the guilt of it removed; be preserved from its power and dominion; and, at last, be freed from the very being of it.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever, Amen. This conclusion is left out in the Arabic and Vulgate Latin versions, as it is in Luk 11:4. It stands thus in the Jewish prayers (d),

כי המלכות שלך היא, “for the kingdom is thine”, and thou shalt reign in glory for ever and ever.”

The usual response at the close of prayers, and reading the Shema, instead of “Amen”, was (e) this:

“Blessed be the name of the glory of his kingdom, for ever and ever.”

Which bears some resemblance to this concluding expression, which ascribes everlasting kingdom, power, and glory, to God: which may be considered either as a doxology, or an ascription of glory to God, which is his due; and ought be given him in all our prayers to him; or as so many reasons strengthening our faith in prayer; or as many arguments with God, with respect to the petitions made; since the kingdom of nature, providence, grace, and glory, is his

he is omnipotent, he has power to give us our daily bread; to forgive our sins; to preserve from, support under, and deliver out of temptation; to keep from all evil, and preserve from a total and final falling away: whose glory is concerned in all, to whom the glory of all is, and to whom it must, and shall be given; and all this for ever: 

and the whole is concluded with the word “Amen”; which is a note of asseveration, of the truth herein contained; is added by way of assent to every petition made; is expressive of an hearty wish, and desire to have all fulfilled; and also of faith and confidence, that they will be answered. 

And this word being retained, and kept the same in all languages, signifies the unity of the spirit, and faith in prayer, in all the saints, in all ages. 

I leave this prayer with one observation, and that is, whereas it has been so long, and so often said, that this is the Lord’s prayer, it can never be proved that he ever made use of it; and it is certain that he did not make it, as appears from what has been cited out of the Jewish records: the several petitions in it were in being and use before he directed to them; and not only the petitions, but even the very preface and conclusion, are manifestly of Jewish original: 

what our Lord did was, he took the most proper and pertinent petitions, that had been used by good men among that people; which, with some alterations much for the better, he put together in this order, and gave his approbation of; and that with this view, to point out to his disciples some of the best and most suitable petitions to be made; and to give them a pattern of brevity and conciseness in prayer; and teach them to pray after such a manner, or in some such like words and expressions

This I observe, not to lessen the usefulness of this excellent pattern of sound words; the whole, and every part of it, being exceedingly instructive, and worthy of imitation; but to rectify a vulgar mistake, and to abate the formal and superstitious observance of it.

(a) Seder Tephillot, fol. 3. 1. Ed. Basil. fol. 4. 2. Ed. Amstelod. Shaare Zion, fol. 73. 1. T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 60. 2. (b) T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 60. 2. (c) Ib. fol. 16. 2. (d) Seder Tephillot, fol. 280. 1. Ed. Basil. (e) Misn. Yoma, c. 4. sect. 1. & 6. 2. T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 56. 1. & Taanith, fol. 16. 2. Seder Tephillot, fol. 70. 2. Ed. Basil.

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