Tefillah Talmidim – The Disciples’ Prayer
Yeshua taught his followers to pray the well-known “Lord’s Prayer” found in Matthew 6:9-13. This prayer, though often thought to be ‘new’, actually follows the traditional Jewish outline for tefillah (prayers). Thus, our Jewish Savior gave his Jewish (and non-Jewish) followers a completely Jewish way to pray to his Father, our Abba, the Creator of the Universe.
:אבינו שבשמים ית1דש שמך
Avinu shebashamayim, yitkadash shemekha.
Our Father in heaven! May your Name be kept holy.
:תבא מלכותך יעשה רצונך בארץ כאשר נעשה בשמים
Tavo malkhutekha, ye’aseh r’tzonekha ba’aretz ka’asher na’asah vashamayim.
May your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven.
These first phrases resemble the kaddish, an ancient Jewish prayer. Like all Jewish prayers, it begins with acknowledging the Creator of the Universe who is our Father in heaven followed by sanctifying His ‘set apart’ Name, the יהוה . The coming Kingdom of God is the rule of God’s Spirit in, through, and over the hearts of men. This is the ultimate fulfillment of the ‘new covenant’ found in Jeremiah 31:31 and will bring forth God’s will on earth as it is in the heavenly realm – obedience to His commands that are part of His Kingdom rule.
:תן לנוּ היוֹם לחם חקנוּ
Ten-lanu hayom lechem chukeinu.
Give us the bread we need today.
The word ‘give’ at the beginning of this phrase is the imperative. It presents the idea of a child completely dependent on their father for everything they need. This day is a reference back to the manna – the bread of life – in the wilderness which was provided each day in order to build faith in the One who Provides. Lechem chukeinu is also used in Proverbs 30:8: “keep falsehood and futility far from me, and give me neither poverty nor wealth. Yes, provide just the food I need today ….”
:וסלח לנוּ את אשמתנו כאשר סלחים אנחנו לאשר אשמו לנוּ
U’selach-lanu et-ashmateinu ka’asher solechim anachnu la’asher ashmulanu.
Forgive us our sins just as we are forgiving those who sin against us.
Yeshua taught in Luke 6:38 that we will receive the same measure that we measure out. This not only includes how we use our gifts, but also includes forgiveness. Yeshua also made it clear that unless we forgive others, God will not forgive us. This part of the tefillah is a mirror to our hearts and is in the present progressive as the process of forgiving continues 70 x 7.
:ואל–תויאנוּ לידי מסה כי אמ–הצילנוּ מן הרע
Ve’al-tevieinu lidei massah, ki im-hatzileinu min-hara.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Massa is translated as ‘test or temptation,’ but can also mean ‘despair’ as in the ‘melting of one’s heart.’ This phrase does not suggest that we be kept from trials, but that as we go through them our hearts are changed or melted and be delivered from falling into despair and becoming bitter or angry. Hatzileinu min-hara is more than being drawn into evil inclination, but a deliverance from the Evil One who is the root of our evil inclinations and tries to steal all glory from God.
:כי לך הממלכה וחגבוּרה והתפארת לעולמי עולמים
Ke lakha, hamamlakha, vehageverah, veha tiferet l’olemei ‘olamim.
For kingship, power and glory are yours forever.
The conclusion of this prayer reflects the prayer and praise of King David in 1 Chronicles 29:11-13 when he dedicated the first Temple in Jerusalem.
אמן ו אמן
The Jewish sages taught that Amen is an acronym for el melech ne’eman or “God is a faithful King.”
Hebrew: tefillah תפלח means ‘prayer* from the heart’. Its root pileil comes from the prayer of Pinchas (Numbers 25) and means ‘to judge’. Pinchas was a high priest who stood against idolatry through inter-marriage and executed (judged) a Midianite woman and Israelite man who had brought a plague upon the Israelites. This definition suggests that tefillah is the ‘judging of oneself before God’ where one takes a long looked at themselves (self-examination) in the presence of a holy God to ‘judge’ whether they have lived up to God’s potential in their lives.
There are several parts and ‘terms’ to Jewish prayer. The amidah (from Abraham’s prayer) acknowledges that we are standing in the presence of the Creator of the universe with reverence and fear. The sichah (from Isaac’s prayer) brings us into a personal, intimate and quiet conversation with the holy One, the loving and compassionate Father and Friend. This part of prayer joins man with his Creator. The pegiah (from Jacob’s prayer) confronts God and appeals to his mercy and compassion toward our broken and fallen state. The chinam (from Moshe’s prayer) reminds us that prayer is a generous gift and anything we receive from the Father is freely given to us, we don’t deserve it.
*The English word ‘prayer’ actually comes from the Latin word precari which means ‘to beg’.
©2017 Tentstake Ministries
“On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have set watchmen; all the day and all the night they shall never be silent” (Isaiah 62:6).
In ancient times, walls were built around cities to protect them from their enemies. Gates in the walls were closed to invaders and opened to allow its citizens to come and go. Watchmen sat on the walls watching and guarding the city to prepare its citizens for any attack that might happen to come their way.
There is a lot of discussion in these modern days about ‘the wall’ and ‘refugees’. I’ve seen some people compare ‘the wall’ to the Berlin Wall, but this wall is not being built to separate nationals, it’s being built to protect a long, and nearly impossible part of the United State’s perimeter.
For anyone who has traveled outside of the United States, you know that entering another country, you have to go through Customs. Some countries are more rigorous than others, but you do not just get off the plane and suddenly you’re walking the streets of that country. You have to go through Checkpoints. Passports are viewed, VISAS are checked to make sure they’re current or issued at that time, and sometimes you’re even asked questions to ‘profile’. Yes, other countries ‘profile’. It’s not invasive, but it is profiling nonetheless. They don’t care about ‘offense’ when they are wanting everyone entering their country to enjoy their time as tourists and not have their citizens become victims of terror attacks. It’s just a no-brainer. The ‘wall’ between Mexico and the US will just siphon people from every nation that want to get into this country on foot to Custom Checkpoints rather than allowing everyone to just cross the border and take advantage of American privileges.
Some people are concerned about the cost to build the wall. Though many may not like the idea that the US is going to stop funding international abortions, the UN and even the PA which funnels money to terrorist groups, the money that has been saved in just 10 days will more than cover the cost of ‘the wall’. Not only that, but that money will stay in the US and build the US economy. I’m not sure why it is important that hard-working Americans want to give their money to other countries rather than the people in their own nation. I don’t know why it is so distasteful for other Americans to want their hard-earned money. Moreover, the debt that doubled over the last eight years in the previous administration may actually be dwindled down.
For anyone who has ever traveled to the Middle East, you know that there are certain countries with VISA restrictions. Yes, certain countries do NOT allow you into their country, American or not, if you have a Passport or VISA from a ‘forbidden’ country. This is why Israel no longer uses a VISA stamp in a Passport, but gives a separate VISA card. It can be removed from the Passport if someone wants to enter a country that does not recognize Israel’s right to exist. In fact, 16 countries refuse entry to Israelis and many of those countries do not allow tourist VISAs from Israel into their country. Several years ago, we met several international students from around the Middle East. Each year they like to ‘meet up’ and reconnect, but the Israeli cannot go to Algeria, the UAE or Pakistan. So, they meet in France or Jordan.
I find it very ignorant of Americans to think that we’re the only country in the world who vets and checks who is coming into the country. Even when I was in high school and we went from France to Italy, our Passports were checked and we received a VISA stamp. When we traveled from Brasil to Argentina, we had to go through a check point, have our Passports checked and receive a VISA stamp. I do not understand why this is such an issue for those who are legally trying to enter the US with the proper identification and paperwork. This includes people from Muslim countries that do not harbor terrorists.
As for ‘profiling’, it is not such a horrible thing. In 2002, before the requirement for a Passport, as our family was crossing the border from Canada back into the US, the Customs person asked our small daughter if she knew us. At five years old, she misunderstood what he was asking and said she did not know us. What ensued was crazy as we all tried to find pictures of our daughter so they would believe she was ours. Our situation ended okay, but the man told us that a week before he had asked a little girl the same question. She also answered that she didn’t know her family. They further interrogated to find that she had indeed been kidnapped! She was returned to her family and the kidnappers arrested. This is what borders are for – to protect innocent people. If someone isn’t innocent, then they deserve to be caught and deported.
As for refugees, every IMMIGRANT or REFUGEE in the early days of the US had to pass through Ellis Island. Everyone was checked out – even just for contagious disease. This is the way it should be with anyone from another country. Today, however, that system has to be modified because of terrorism. It’s grievous that honest refugees may be turned away because terrorists infiltrate their ranks. Yet, in the past few years, cries from Christians who have had family members, children even, murdered and beheaded in Middle Eastern countries have been ignored while those fleeing their own country’s civil wars are absorbed around the world. Sadly, not all are absorbed; not all can be absorbed. If they had the same rights as Americans, for example the right to own weapons, perhaps they could fight back and regain their country. But, America is unique and everyone in the world knows it.
I don’t know the answer to all of these issues, but obviously 60,000,000 people were tired of the way things were going and voted for something different than the past 8, even 16 years. We have one ally in the Middle East and that is Israel. Our Muslim Israeli friends are Israeli citizens with the right to vote, work in hospitals, banks and even hold offices in Israeli government. To believe whatever the media is selling is just ‘fake news’. Before we take a stand against Israel, perhaps we need to discern who is trying to kill them, kill us and infiltrate our society and change it from within. From my life experience it seems that those who immigrate to America and become naturalized citizens, learning the language and assimilating into the ‘American’ culture, tend to love the freedoms they have in the United States far and above those who enter illegally, refuse to assimilate and take advantage of rights promised to citizens in the Constitution of the United States and benefits that Americans work hard to obtain.
Last week I shared some of these views with a liberal who called me all sorts of names, said I should never have been allowed to pro-create and spewed profanities at me. He never once asked if I even voted for Trump (which I did not, nor did I vote for Hillary), but assumed my ignorance when he had no solutions, only verbal abuse. Many times there is more than one solution to a problem. In order to find out which ones work, we have to try them for the sake of our nation, its people and it’s melting pot culture.
The prophet Ezekiel also had words for those ‘on the wall’. I will paraphrase, “If you fail to warn the people of impending war or death and it comes, then their blood is on your head. However, if you warn the people of impending war or death and they don’t listen, then the blood is on their head and you will save your own life.” The news around the world has been full of ‘impending’. We can respond and live or refuse to hear and then our demise is only on us.
©2017 Tentstake Ministries.
Heavenly Father of Yeshua, my self-sacrificing Savior,
As I praise Yeshua for allowing himself to be betrayed, captured and delivered into the hands of cruel persecutors, and then laying down his life in payment for my sins, I ask You for the sake of his suffering, bleeding and dying in my stead, to forgive me the cold cowardice by which I have often hastened from You. How eagerly I should confess Yeshua as my divine Deliverer, since he did completely finish everything required for my justification, yet how ungratefully and repeatedly I have denied him. Forgive me and strengthen me with a faith that remains firm and steadfast, even in adversity! Give me the courage required to valiantly confess Yeshua before men, friend and foe alike, and to tell the world that You purchased me with a great price, the highest in all history, by the precious blood of Your Son. Use the afflictions Your love may place upon me to purify my heart and to strengthen my reliance on You. Help the sick and the sorrowing throughout the whole world. Comfort especially the defeated and the dying, those who are tortured along with the families of those who have been martyred. Draw more to You my God through the message of Yeshua’s love. May I be faithful unto death so that I receive the crown of everlasting life. Omein.