Guide To Christianity
Christ-To-You Ministry
10. Prayer
11. The Lord's Prayer
12. Baptism

10. Prayer

I hear that a pretended atheist prays when he is at the end of his tether. One of the big differences between a man and a monkey is that a man knows how to pray and a monkey does not.
Our Lord Jesus Christ taught us, who knew no other God but idols, the true God and moreover the way of prayer "By the Name of Jesus".
We need a letter of introduction, the Son of God Jesus Christ, in order to meet and talk with a person of status, Our Father, true God.

The Father will give you whatever you ask Him in my name". John 15:16

The salvation of us Christians is the result of our faith, not of our deed and even the faith is the gift from God through prayer (Eph2:8). Our salvations are not the result of our own prayer, but that of the intercession by our Lord Jesus and churches around the world (Heb.7:25: Lk 6:27,28).

Jesus said in his prayer to his Father,
"This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." John 17:3

To know the only true God is not to know Him by brain intellectually, but to do by spirit situated deeper than inteligenc.
Those who have not received New Life by the faith in Jesus are dead in their spirits (Eph. 2:1). We heard the Good News of Jesus and received Him as our Savior opening our heart with the result that we were born again and had got the eternal life in which we knew God and His only Son Jesus Christ.
Prayer is breathing of spirit for Christian as daily Bible reading is eating spiritual food. So the daily Bible reading is indispensable for our spiritual growth.
Those who have faith never spend every day without praying. Praying displays the faith which the prayer has (Lk 18:1-8). There is no faith where there is no prayer.

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6,7

Now to Him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Eph. 3:20,21

I can not forget the testimony which an aged woman bore in a church. She said, " I have no learning, but I know God exists, because I never failed to get the answer whenever I offer up a prayer."
Faith is trained and grows by the practices of faith and prayers and daily Bible reading.

Truely our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 1John 1:3

11. The Lord's Prayer

Our lord Jesus showed his disciples an example of prayer, which is called the Lord's prayer written in the Matthew 6:9-13.
As the Ten Commandments are composed of the former four ones concerning God and of the latter six ones concerning our neighbors and us, so the Lord's prayer is composed of the former three prayers concerning God and the latter three petitions concerning us.

Our Father in Heaven
Having been made one of sons of God by believing in Jesus, we Christians are permitted to call Him our Father, who is the only true God and the creator of everything in the heavens and earth.

But to all who recieved Him, who believed in His Name, He gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man,but of God. John 1:12,13

Jesus Christ is the true Son of God who is able to call Him my Father (John 10:29,30), but we Christians are the heirs of Father God who are redeemed by the blood of Christ (Acts 20:28; Eph.1:3-7).
We are taught to pray not only for us, but also for our brothers and sisters by calling God Our Father not my Father.

Hallowed be your Name
We pray in the first petition that not idol gods, kings, heroes and our own honors, but our Father, the Creator of the heavens and earth might be glorified.

Your Kingdom come
We pray by this petition that the kingdom of God might come in the hearts of people by faith in Jesus and the righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit might govern them by Christ and thus the second coming of Christ might be hastened.

Your Will be done
We pray that the will of God which is revealed in His Word might be done through His churches, believers, statesmen and all peoples.
The clause "on earth as it is in Heaven" after this third petition modifies each three petitions of the first half of the Lord's prayer.

Give us this day our daily bread
We pray for the neccessaries of life: food, clothing and shelter.
The Bible says, "If we have food and clothing, we will be content with these." (1Tim.6:8). "Clothing (Grk 'skepasma')" in this verse means covering, clothing and shelter(that is small house).

And forgive us our depts, as we also have forgiven our deptors
Remembering we had been forgiven our big and many sins by the blood of Jesus without cost, we also proclaim forgiving our neighbor's sins against us in the name of Christ and deepen our assurance of our own forgiveness by the practice of forgiving others.

If you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Mt 6:15

And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one
We pray that we might be guarded from Satan who aims our spiritual life as lions prowl around, looking for someone to devour (1Pt 5:8).
As Israel were protected from the destroyer by the blood of lamb (Ex ), we pray that we might be rescued from Satan by being covered by the blood of Jesus.

For the kingdom and the power and the glory are yours forever. Amen.
This teaches us that we should begin our prayer with praise and end with praise. We are created as the crown of all creatures, so that it is suitable for us to praise God always. Our God plans to make us partake the kingdom, power and glory of him ( Lk 12:32; Is 40:29-31; Rom. 8:30).

A sample of prayer based on the Lord's Prayer

Our Father in Heaven
Hallowed be Your Name on earth as it is in Heaven

Let me show your glory today in mind, word, deed and my being itself.
Sanctify me today by your precious and holy blood and take me into your service as light of the world and salt of the earth.

Christ died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themseves, but for Him who died and was raised for them. 2Cor.5:15

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. 1Cor. 10:31

Your kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven
You said
" But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you" (Lk 11:20).
The kingdom of God has come wherever the Gospel is preached with the authority of Jesus, demons are cast out, illnesses are healed and the spiritual dead are raised.
So, our Lord, let Your kingdom come on the earth through the salvation of many people by our ministry.
The kingdom of God which is the righteousness, peace and joy by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17) do come into our heart and govern us through surrender of the whole spirit and body of us who are saved.
The Second Coming of Jesus be hastened by preaching the Gospel all around the world (Mt 24:14).

Your Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven
As Your Will is done in Heaven completely, so It be done on earth. First of all, in order for us to do your Will, make us the diligent student of the Bible and let us put the word of God daily into practice.
When we read the Scriptures, may we be led to every truth new and old by the Spirit of Truth (John 16:13).
The Scripture says,
"We know that we are God's children, and that the whole world lies under the power of the evil one" (1 John 5:19). And You, Our Lord, make it pleasure to accomplish your Will on earth by the prayer offered through us believers according to His Will.
Oh, Our Lord, Your holy and righteous Will be done by the governers of many countries on earth as well as being done by us.

Give us this day our daily bread.
The Scipture says, "One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God" (Mt 4:4).
If it is not Your Will for us to live, we will be starved to death or die from disease.
Please keep our health of spirit, mind and body and fill our need of lives and make us spend our daily lives faithfully until we enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Jesus said that if we did not forgive our brother or sister from our heart, neither our Father in Heaven forgive us (Mt 18:35). As our Lord forgave us our depts of 10 thousand talents (more than 150 years' wages of a laborer), make us forgive our brother's debts of a 100 denarii ( 100 days' wages of a laborer). (Mt 18:23-35).
Let me convince myself of my being forgiven from all my sins by my forgiving my brothers.
Our Lord says, "Beloved never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, "Vengence is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." (Rom.12:19).
Let us reliese judgement to God, pay no attention to any suffered wrong by others and bear up under everything that comes (1Cor. 13:4-8).

And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one.
We Believers lives our lives being surrounded by three antagonists : Satan, the world and the flesh of ourselves.
In order for us not to be stumbled to sin and not to be sifted out from the kingdom of Heaven, do not bring us to the time of trial and protect us and our families from every calamities covering over us with the holy blood of Jesus.
Let us walk daily with the Lord in the Word of God being led by the Holy Spirit. And make us conquerors over demons by casting them out of us in the Name of our Lord Jesus ( 1John 5:4,5).

For the kingdom and the power and the glory are yours forever. Amen
It is from our Father through Christ that the blessing comes which we ask for. You, Lord, promised to give us as well the kingdom , the power and the glory which were your exclusive possession.
We thank you that you promised us by your word to give the kingdom (Lk 12:32) and to be invested with the power to win the devils (Lk 24:29)and to cleanse us daily by the Word and Spirit (Rom.8:30) until we will be purified unto the image of the Son of God (2Cor.3:18). In Jesus' Name, Amen.

12. Baptism

Before our Lord Jesus ascended to the Heaven while more than five hundred disciples were watching on the 40th days after He had been raised from the dead, He commanded them saying,

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Mt 28:19).

Those who believe in Jesus and made up their minds to walk with Christ for their life are baptized as their first steps of obedience to Him.
Baptism is administered using water.
We are baptized as the testimony of believing in Jesus that as Jesus died for our sins and was raised from the dead for our forgiveness of them, so we died in our old sinful selves and were born as new men created according to His likeness.

3Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4Therefore we have been buried with Him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
5For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we will certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For whoever has died is freed from sin. 8 But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 The death He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Rom. 6:3-11

"In the Name" of Mt 28:19 in Greek New Testament is "into the Name" when translated literally, that is "baptizing them into the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit".
We believers are grafted into the triune God and the trinity God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit came and live within us (John14:23; 1Cor.6:19) and the promise was fulfilled : Immanuel that is "God with us" (Mt 1:23).

Since the covenant of God's grace (the one to promise to give eternal life to those who believe in Jesus without cost) is applicable not only to the believers, but also to their children (Act. 2:38,39), it conforms to the Scriptures for the infants of Christian home to be baptized with their parents.
The baptist churches, however, do not permit infants to be baptized until they grow to be able to profess their own faith.

There are three kinds of method in baptism: immersion and affusion and aspersion. Immersion is the submerging of the entire body in water.Affusion is the pouring of water over the head.Aspersion is the sprinkling of water on the head.
The baptist Churches approves only immersion. But as the New Testament Scripture names the affusion of Holy Spirit at Pentecost as Baptism of Holy Spirit, so affusion of water, I think, should be called as baptism biblically.

Anyway the content of baptism is more important than the formal method of it. As for the content of baptism, Protestant churches agree at the meaning of the water baptism, but they part each other concerning the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Christian churches had believed the teaching that the baptism of Holy Spirit means for believers to get the Spirit when they believed in Jesus and the nine gifts of the Spirit had been abolished as useless since the establishment of the New Testament Canon. But this teaching is not proved as true by the Scriptures.
The doctrine of Holy Spirit baptism has been discovered by some believers' faith and putting it into practice in a church of USA about one hundred years ago and the doctrine has developed as the belief of Pentecostals and Charismatics and grew to a global and super denominational movement.
As the Scriptures had been lost from the church of Israel until it was discovered in an archive by Joshua the king of Judah and as the doctrine of justification by faith had slept in the Bible until Martin Luther found it out and as the Bible had been confined in a classical language Latin until it was translated into the current languages, so the doctrine of Holy Spirit Baptism had been made sleep in the Bible.
In fact, however, the doctrine often appeared in the history of Christian church as it was mentioned in the commentary 1 Cor.14:5 of John Calvin. But the fire of the Holy Spirit is quenched by the unbelief and negligence of men.

"Do not quench the Spirit" (1Thess. 5:19).

1March 2008 Published