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 Sermons on important subjects by Rev. Paul C. Jong

 

The Lord’s Teaching on Prayer (2)


< Matthew 6:5-15 >
“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”



I hope you all are people of prayer. I hope you become people of faith by praying and experiencing the answers from God. I hope you become people of strong faith and give many people help, just as Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6). I also hope that you pray for what you need and receive it.

Humans are always insufficient, and therefore we must constantly pray. This is why Paul said, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks.” You must learn the prayer that you pray through faith in God. If you do not develop a habit of praying out loud when you pray together for a prayer topic, you cannot pray boldly when you need to pray for yourself later.

Prayer is the breath of life and a blank check. This means whatever you ask God, He will give it to you. Since God is the Father of the righteous, when we pray, He listens and gives us the answer.



We Must Ask God for Help with the Faith in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit

Matthew 7:7-12 tells us about prayers: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him. Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”

This passage is saying that when we truly ask in faith, God the Father will give it to us. The Lord taught us how to pray and that the Father knows everything we need, but we must still pray to God, and only then God listens to us and gives us answer. Although we need to learn the grace of God through His gospel, we must also learn the life of fellowship with God. We need to learn through our faith that if we, the righteous pray to the Father, He will answer our prayer.

When God the Father is the Father of those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, why would He not give good things to His children who ask in need? We must believe that God is our Father and gives good things whenever we pray. We must pray with the faith that believes in it. Those who know how to pray to God fervently in faith can pray for their brothers and sisters and for the salvation of other souls. What makes a man a man of faith is trying to pray for the righteousness of God. The faith of those who believe in the true salvation of the Savior cannot but grow gradually while they are experiencing the power of fervent prayers. Therefore, we must learn about prayers through faith.

Even though we were delivered from our sins once for all by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we must pray to God “incessantly” just as we constantly breathe. If we pray to the Lord for help constantly, He listens to us. We must live as we make relationship with God through faith, communicate with Him, constantly ask for help, and receive His help.

I hope that you become people of prayer, and I also become a person who prays through faith. I also hope that both you and I learn to pray, so that we become those who pray with faith and experience the answers. I hope that you and I ask God for many things, so that we can be rich in faith, wealth, health and God’s righteousness and that we can share these with others. I hope that God gives us these blessings and make us blessed to become the people of true prayers.



We Must Ask for Faith That Exalts the Holy Name of God the Father

In today’s scripture lesson, the Lord taught us what to pray for and how to pray first. He says, “In this manner, therefore, pray. Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name”(Matthew 6:9). The Lord tells us to pray first for this part: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.” We must pray first that the name of God the Father be hallowed.

In order to do that, what kind of faith do we have to have? Surely, we must have the faith that believes in the gospel of salvation that gives us the remission of sin. In order to have that faith, we must understand and believe in the gospel of the water and Spirit, which the Lord said to Nicodemus (John 3:1-17).

Therefore, if we are to hallow the name of God the Father who is in Heaven, we must first be someone who has received the remission of sin before God. This means we must be those who believe that God the Father and Jesus Christ are God who made you and me, was baptized by John the Baptist to save you and me from all sins, and became the Savior, who was crucified. The faith that can call the Father of Jesus Christ our Father is the faith that believes in the gospel of the water and Spirit. This is the only way we can legitimately call God “Our Father in heaven,” and pray as we call Him lawfully. And only by this faith, we receive qualification that enables us to pray to God since God is the Savior and Father to you and me. Since those who receive remission of sins have this faith, they can pray “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.” Therefore, the Lord taught us to pray first what is most suitable to such faith.

“Hallowed be Your name” means we must not blemish His name. If so, what is not blemishing the name of the Father? Here, “Hallowed be Your name” means what kind of faith we should have in order to glorify God and live a life that does not blemish God’s name. This means that in order to do that, we must have the faith in the salvation from all sins that God gave us: “The Lord has saved us from all sins of the world by giving us the righteousness of salvation and making us believe in the righteousness of God. He has made us sinless with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Therefore, we are people of God.” We must go in front of God the Father with this faith whenever we pray.

We must all have the faith that believes in the gospel of the water and Spirit. We must firmly keep our strong faith in the gospel of the water and Spirit that the Lord spoke of. Therefore, the Lord says to pray to have the holy faith that enables us to receive the remission of sin.



We Must Believe That Everyone in the World Accepts the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit So That the Kingdom of God Will Be Established Quickly on Earth

Secondly, He said, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This means all humans must become people of God, so the Kingdom of God will come. Truly, even before the Creation, God had planned to make us people of God in Christ by the gospel of the water and spirit, created man within that providence, and saved those of us the sinners from all our sins. And He gave His perfect salvation to us who believe. Therefore, we, who became the people of God by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, must live a life that prays and works hard so that the Kingdom of God will come quickly.

We must do this so that people who have received the remission of sin will increase by believing in Christ, and so that when God comes back to this world, He can resurrect and judge those who oppose Him and give blessings and rewards to those who are born again. We must pray for the quick establishment the Kingdom of God so that God will accomplish all His plans predetermined in Jesus Christ.

We must live by the faith and pray for the people to receive the remission of their sins and for the expansion of the Kingdom of God. We must work hard to spread this gospel of the water and the Spirit to every country in the world, so that all those who are to believe will believe and come back to God to glorify Him. We must make the unbelievers repent quickly before God to receive His perfect salvation. This is what the passage “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” means.

Therefore, we must pray and work hard according to the Lord’s Prayer. We must pray that He will open the door so that the gospel of the water and the Spirit will quickly be spread. And we must pray for this mission: “Please keep us safe and bless us so that we can do the work.” “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Truly, just as the remission of sin is fulfilled in our hearts, we must live a life of prayer so that the gospel of water and the Spirit will be fulfilled in the hearts of many of those who have not heard the gospel. We must live as we pray that God gives the faith to all the brothers and sisters in God, and that He blesses us so that we can spread the beautiful gospel all over the world and glorify God with true faith.



We Must Pray for Our Daily Food

Third, the Lord told us to pray for our daily food: “Give us this day our daily bread.” We can live only if we also have our spiritual food. So, God told us to pray for spiritual food. He said that we must ask for our daily food everyday. We must pray for our daily food “God help us that we can eat the spiritual food and live.”

God told us to pray for our daily bread, so we should pray like this: “Father God, please fills us with worldly material so that we do not lack any materials for flesh and spirit, that He blesses us so that we can share what we have with others rather than borrowing from others. Let me become a man of faith who tries to attend every meeting and share fellowship with the other born-again saints in order to eat spiritual food.”

Dear fellow Christians, can we live one day without eating spiritual food? Can we live even one day without doing God’s work? Our Lord said, “I have food to eat of which you do not know” (John 4:32). The food for us who are born again is doing God’s work. When we do the work of God, it becomes food in our hearts and the Holy Spirit in your hearts rejoices. When you become irritable even though you have received the remission of sin, try doing God’s work. When you serve God, your body may be tired, but the Holy Spirit in you rejoices. Our hearts are glad because the Holy Spirit is pleased. This is the spiritual food.

We can also eat spiritual food when we meet our brothers and sisters and have fellowship with them. This is because during the fellowship, the mind and will of the Holy Spirit were interchanged each other through the body of our brothers and sisters. But, this does not mean that we must sever our lives from the world. This means that we live in this world, but we must meet other righteous people as often as possible.

And we also have to pray and read the Bible to eat our daily food. Who can always do well on eating spiritual food everyday? But we can eat the spiritual food and maintain our spiritual strength by coming to church. This is why we have to attend every worship service and meeting of God’s Church. Gathering together is good and also a great blessing to eat spiritual food. This is also doing spiritual work. Psalms 133:1 says, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is. For brethren to dwell together in unity!” All the gatherings and services in church are not randomly planned with no significance, but are systematically organized so that we can eat together the daily food that is hard to eat alone. Therefore, by coming to this meeting, we can eat much food.

Dear fellow Christians, since He said to pray to God for our daily food rather than complaining of a shortage of food, we must ask for help as we pray: “Give me the daily food, God, give me the blessings to earn much material so that I will not lack in worldly materials. Give me the spiritual food and faith, and bless me so that I can do the work of God with faith. Give me blessings for flesh and spirit.” We can receive food only when we ask for help.

We must ask for food for the flesh and for the spirit. We must do the work of God and be glad in it. We must pray, seek, knock and ask for these. We must ask actively, for Jesus promised us saying, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). We ask with our hearts, acknowledge with our mouth and act it out to seek, ask and receive. If we look up, pray, and seek how and through what God will give us, we will receive it. That is how we live everyday. Therefore, the Lord told us to pray for these things.



We Must Forgive Each Other As the Children of God the Father

The fourth part of the prayer is “And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” This means that since God forgave all of our sins, there should not be anything we, the born-again, do not forgive each other for. If there is any evil carnal mind in our heart that cannot forgive others, you should pray: “God, keep me safe and deliver me from the evil one so that I do not fall for evil, and give me the heart and faith that forgive.” This means that when we do not have the strength to follow God’s will, we should ask God for help and live by the help from God.

In addition, there is no one whose life of faith is perfect from the beginning. When you look at yourselves, do you see many shortcomings of your own? -Yes.- Do we have more wrong doings than righteous doings? -Yes.- Dear fellow Christians, do not be discouraged. If we make mistakes, have shortcomings, and are conscience stricken, but do not have the strength to make it right, what do we do then? We call on God again.

“God Father, make me someone who is a person of blessing, a person of faith, a person of joy. Give me the faith.” Should we not ask God for help like this? Is it not true? That is all we have to do. When we ask God for help, does He give us help or not? -He does.- When He does, do we become people of faith or not? -We do.- Therefore, I hope you become people of faith, who seek and live with faith rather than people who look back the past discouraged, are remorseful of the present, and give up the future. The past is the past and the present is the present. The past is not so important just as the song says: “Do not ask about the past.”

God is powerful, so He likes people who ask Him for much. He is offended when we do not ask. When we ask God for what we need, He is pleased and thinks, ‘You know that I am powerful, you know that your Father is rich. It is commendable.’ We should ask for good things as well rather than saying ‘I can do it myself’ because then the Father’s dignity is lost. God, who saved us, likes it very much when we ask Him to give us things. Ask Him to give, give, and give. We should ask everyday “Give us our daily food,” and ask Him to give us blessing whenever we open our mouth. If this was biological father, he will slap us because we ask him to give everyday, but our spiritual Father is not like that. Rather, He is pleased that we ask Him to give us everyday.

If your biological father gave it to you yesterday, and you ask the same thing to him again today, he surely becomes angry, so the biological son cannot even ask because he is afraid. We examine the mood of our father and mother and think ‘Oh, if I ask to give today, I will be slapped,’ and if he looks to be in good mood, only then we go up to him and we barely receive something. However, our spiritual Father is not like that. If we ask as soon as we open our eyes ‘give me,’ and during our sleep ‘give me,’ then God is pleased and says, “Yes, I will. I will give it to you, but you cannot use it at random, but use it properly, Okay?” and gives it to us at once. This is the reality.

God the Father, who saved you and me, loves more those who ask more. If you do not have faith, ask Him, “Give me faith. Give me. Give me.” Then, you will know, in no time, God has given you faith. You can feel this, “O my! I have faith, I can believe, I used my faith. I have faith!” Do not be reluctant to ask God binding by your own thought. Just ask Him anything boldly as if you have entrusted God with it. The Lord likes it that way.

Dear fellow Christians, do you know how faith that was not there before comes to being? It is because you ask to “give me the faith, give, give it to me,” and so God gave it to you. We received it because God gave it to us. There is no other way to have faith. It is also because God saved us and became the Father to you and me. We did nothing more than ask, “Give us Lord. Give us.”

When we teach little children about prayer, the children pray, “Jesus, give me cookies. I pray in Jesus name. Amen” and open their eyes. When they open their eyes, if there are no cookies, they exclaim, “There are no cookies,” and start crying. In such a case, I explain, “Hey, you rascal, how can He, even though He is God, bring cookies when you have just opened your eyes after your prayer? God is listening now ‘Ok’, and thinks in His heart ‘I will give it to him’, and commands the angels to bring you the cookies.”

Even though God does not give immediately when we pray, we experience that He gives the to right man in the right place, and we can testify that He gives. This is why we must always pray to give us much.

Do you not have many necessities? If there is anything that we need or we lack for the flesh or spirit, we must pray for them: “Give us faith. Give us blessings. Give us fullness of the Holy Spirit. I heard that there is fullness of the Holy Spirit-give us that. Help us live for righteousness. Give to us.” If we pray like that, even though it is a prayer of an immature child, since the Father knows what the child needs, He gives what the son needs to the right man in the right place.

This is why praying is not hard. Just saying “give me” well is praying. Do you think like this? -“Well, I am all grown up. He said not to say the same thing over and over. And the Bible says that I should go my room to pray, but if I go to my room, I cannot pray, but only become sleepy.” Praying and asking for help always in our heart “give us, give us” is praying.

Since I have started praying, I found out that He does not like prayers with florid phrases. When we make a fuss with “Our holy, benevolent, graceful and omnipotent God, the Father…,” then God becomes impatient, saying, “What is the ultimate purpose then?” No matter how much we make a fuss with fluent speech skills, if we do not tell Him the purpose, it is nothing. When we are desperate out of absolute necessity, the main subject comes out immediately. “Give me this.” It is better to have one short sentence when we ask. When we make it unnecessarily long just to look good, we come to forget what we pray for. ‘What was I praying for? Oh, damn it. I don’t know.’ Then we pray for something that is off-the-wall, and end up praying for someone else, and do not get to the necessary prayers for ourselves. Do you not sometimes do that?

When we first opened the mission school, we used to pray sitting around in a circle after having a class. We sometimes prayed in unison and sometimes we took turns to pray. We were praying so long, usually over two hours, that our backs hurt. However, we prayed diligently. The prayer leader kept giving out prayer topics, and we all went around in prayers. Some brothers and sisters complained that their backs hurt due to such a long prayer meeting.

I was told an episode that a certain elder of a church once prayed in a early morning worship service for over three hours excerpting passages from Genesis to Revelations. His prayer never ended so that everyone at the church went home to have breakfast and came back, he was still praying. In general, people like that do not pray much at home or anywhere else. They pray for a long time to compensate for their lack of praying when they are asked to pray during services. However, that is not how we should pray. A short prayer is a good prayer. If we stretch it as if we stretch a rubber band, we forget what we are really praying for.

Sometimes, we pray in union with a few prayer topics. If the prayer leader says many topics all at once, to be honest, sometimes I cannot remember the earlier prayer topics and only remember the later ones. When that happens, I start praying for the later ones first. “God, give me this, give me that,” when I pray as such, I sometimes can remember the earlier prayer topics.

“God Father, give us our daily food, give us the worldly material today, give us health, give us the strength to do the work of God, give us blessings, give us faith, help us carry out righteousness with faith. Help us not to waste our life.” -We pray laying out the main subject like this.

Praying in faith is not hard. If we have been saved, then God is our Father. Being embarrassed for calling the Father “Father” is stranger. ‘Is Jesus the Father? Is Jesus’ Father the Father? If Holy Spirit is God, then is the Holy Spirit the Father?’ When you think about it like this, this gives you a headache. Dear fellow Christians, the Triune God is all our Savior and all our Father. Some people, after believing in Jesus for 20 years still do not understand this, so they are still confused about whether God is the Father, or Jesus is the Father, or the Holy Spirit is the Father. They all mean the same thing.

Jehovah God means “God the existing One.” God is not a creation. Jesus is our Savior and the Holy Spirit is God’s Holy Spirit, so they are all the same God in their Divinity and there is no need to make it complicated. Just believe that “God said so, therefore it is right.” If we are surely born again and have received the remission of sin, everything is allowed to you. Knowing that, I hope you all become God’s saints and male and female servants of God, who always pray for daily food.

Let’s stick to the main topic again. We are talking about His teaching: “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” There are many wrongs that others do to us, and many wrongs that we do to others. However, did God or did He not wipe out all of our sins and others’ sins? -He wiped them all out.- When He blotted them all out, should we not forgive from our hearts those who do wrongs to us? -We should forgive them.- This is the premise to pray, “And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” When God has forgiven all of our sins, if we cannot forgive each other, it is not proper as children of God. This is why He said this.

Therefore, we must pray when we have gone down the wrong way and the evil mind becomes strong and we fall into evil, and try to punish the others, and try to win others, and bear someone a grudge: “Do not let me fall into evil. Do not let me fall into temptation and do not let me run into trouble due to my carnal temper, which becomes a stumbling block for the gospel rather than benefit. Do not let me fall for temptation and run into trouble so that the church, other Christians and I, my self will not be harmed by it. Protect me not to fall into evil. Help me control my heart. Give me strength. Give me strength that can carry out the works of God’s righteousness.”

He told us to forgive, love, tolerate and pray for others. We must pray for everyone: “God, Give him the faith so that he will be saved from all his sins. His behaviors are kind of so-so, but please save him.” We need to pray like this. Can we pray for everyone in the world or not? -We can.- We can forgive and love all in our heart within the beautiful gospel of the water and the Spirit.

Truly, righteous people should not fall into evil. It is good to fall into righteousness, but is it good to fall into evil? Should we get drunk and make disturbances and beat people up? No, we should not. If you have that kind of energy, use it for the work of God. We should use that energy to diligently do the work of God, and diligently work for the will of the Lord rather than fighting. This is why God tells us to pray for these things so that we do not fall into evil. We should not fall into evil.

There are many outrageous people in this world. When we come across such people, if they do not seem to be anyone who can be beneficial to us, it is wise to bring down our tail before these people and avoid them.

Why did God add this verse at the end of the Lord’s Prayer? “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” This means that a righteous person must live as a righteous person with faith. If we received the remission of all our sins before God, we also must forgive all our brothers and sisters as well as all those who are yet not born again. If we do not have a forgiving heart, we must ask for help: “Father God, give me forgiving heart.” To command us to live like this, God added this teaching at the end.

Is praying hard or not? It is not hard. The essence of prayer is faith-faith that God is my God, my Savior, and my Father. He created us and saved us from all our sins. If so, we, the born-again are His people, His household, and His children, so that it is only natural that we call Him Father. In addition, it is righteous to thank Him that we are His people.

We must pray that we do not fall into evil and temptation and go down the wrong path. Jesus teaches us what to pray first: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Is there anything you need? Then, pray and live for the Kingdom of God first. Your Father will give everything to you. This is God’s promise.

So, we must believe this, seek the work of God first even though we truly have shortcomings, try to live by God’s will first, and ask God for help. We should always have desire to grow in spirit and be faithful to God’s works by receiving His grace and help even though we have shortcomings. Do you understand? -Yes.- Do you believe? -Yes.-

When we pray all together, we must pray carefully out loud. When you do that, your thoughts are organized so that you develop the faith, saying, “I prayed like this, and I believe like this.” And when God answers, we know that “the answer is coming from God because I prayed like this,” and our faith grows. This is why it is good to pray neatly with our mouth.

In addition, when we pray, it is possible to pray same things over and over, but we should not pray in formality. Sometimes, the heart says this way, but some outrageous things can come out of the mouth. When that happens, we must correct it with words. God sees, knows, and works in the center of our hearts, but it is important to confess correctly with our mouth as well. Therefore the Bible says, “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

And the Lord says, “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12). If we truly want to receive something, we must pray. If we truly want to have faith before God, want to live with faith, want to live righteously, want to have life in abundance for the flesh and spirit, we must ask much of many things.

Let us live with such faith. Let us live with such faith and welcome the Lord when He comes back. This is my faith and this is my prayer before God. And I believe it will be done.

While we are devoting ourselves to spreading the true gospel worldwide through the literature ministries, enormous amount of money will be needed. As for the finances that are necessary for the publication, I believe that God will take care of it for us. God has supplied all our needs so far, and will surely support us sufficiently. We have been able to do His works well, and there have arisen countless co-workers among the born-again through our Christian literature. But the devil also knows this, and tries to hinder our ministries. I am afraid that the devil may thwart this work and give us many difficulties. Therefore, we cannot but pray God for His help and protection.

When we publish books, we work with those who are born again in most cases, but sometimes, we also work unavoidably with those who are not. When we were editing the French edition of our first book, we put in tremendous amount of effort, but we found a mistake on the cover that is absolutely off from the original book. Of course, the French translator might do his best in his own way, but made a critical mistake, making the entire effort come to nothing. Therefore, we should pray God to prevent such loss from now on.

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Right now, English versions and Spanish versions of our gospel series are most popular. The next popular versions are French. What does this mean? In areas where God works greatly, the devil also works hard to thwart our works. This is why we must pray to God to protect us from the evil ones, and to supervise and reign these people who are working together with us, so that everything will go well. We should also pray God to help and protect all the brothers and sisters and the male and female servants, who are devoting themselves to this precious mission. This is why we pray.

You must pray for yourselves as well. Would God be glorified when you lead a faithful life! Also you need to lead a righteous life of faith for others are to be saved through you, and this is the only way you would be blessed in your flesh and spirit. This is why we pray. We must know the necessity of prayers and live as we pray with faith.

Let us live as we ask with prayers in faith that always believes in God. We must live as we pray that God blesses all male, female servants and all God’s people in areas where we work for the gospel, and that He blesses and provides everything so that the spread of this gospel of water and Spirit will be done powerfully.

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