Prayers and Praise

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    Here’s the last one Jesus presented to his apostles from PAPER 144:

    “Our Father who dwells in the secret places of the universe,

    Honored be your name, reverenced your mercy, and respected your judgment.

    Let the sun of righteousness shine upon us at noontime,

    While we beseech you to guide our wayward steps in the twilight.

    Lead us by the hand in the ways of your own choosing

    And forsake us not when the path is hard and the hours are dark.

    Forget us not as we so often neglect and forget you.

    But be you merciful and love us as we desire to love you.

    Look down upon us in kindness and forgive us in mercy

    As we in justice forgive those who distress and injure us.

    May the love, devotion, and bestowal of the majestic Son

    Make available life everlasting with your endless mercy and love.

    May the God of universes bestow upon us the full measure of his spirit;

    Give us grace to yield to the leading of this spirit.

    By the loving ministry of devoted seraphic hosts

    May the Son guide and lead us to the end of the age.

    Make us ever and increasingly like yourself

    And at our end receive us into the eternal Paradise embrace.

    Even so, in the name of the bestowal Son

    And for the honor and glory of the Supreme Father.”





    Imagine the scene of supreme adoration and spiritual praise enjoyed on Paradise!

    27:7.3   The periodic, spontaneous, group, and other special outbursts of supreme adoration and spiritual praise enjoyed on Paradise are conducted under the leadership of a special corps of primary supernaphim. Under the direction of these conductors of worship, such homage achieves the creature goal of supreme pleasure and attains the heights of the perfection of sublime self-expression and personal enjoyment. All primary supernaphim crave to be conductors of worship; and all ascendant beings would enjoy forever remaining in the attitude of worship did not the chiefs of assignment periodically disperse these assemblages. But no ascendant being is ever required to enter upon the assignments of eternal service until he has attained full satisfaction in worship.
    Regarding the Book of Psalms:
    96:7.3   No collection of religious writings gives expression to such a wealth of devotion and inspirational ideas of God as the Book of Psalms. And it would be very helpful if, in the perusal of this wonderful collection of worshipful literature, consideration could be given to the source and chronology of each separate hymn of praise and adoration, bearing in mind that no other single collection covers such a great range of time. This Book of Psalms is the record of the varying concepts of God entertained by the believers of the Salem religion throughout the Levant and embraces the entire period from Amenemope to Isaiah. In the Psalms God is depicted in all phases of conception, from the crude idea of a tribal deity to the vastly expanded ideal of the later Hebrews, wherein Yahweh is pictured as a loving ruler and merciful Father.
    97:7.9 [Part III]
    This Isaiah conducted a far-flung propaganda of the gospel of the enlarging concept of a supreme Yahweh. He vied with Moses in the eloquence with which he portrayed the Lord God of Israel as the Universal Creator. He was poetic in his portrayal of the infinite attributes of the Universal Father. No more beautiful pronouncements about the heavenly Father have ever been made. Like the Psalms, the writings of Isaiah are among the most sublime and true presentations of the spiritual concept of God ever to greet the ears of mortal man prior to the arrival of Michael on Urantia. Listen to his portrayal of Deity: “I am the high and lofty one who inhabits eternity.” “I am the first and the last, and beside me there is no other God.” “And the Lord’s hand is not shortened that it cannot save, neither his ear heavy that it cannot hear.” And it was a new doctrine in Jewry when this benign but commanding prophet persisted in the preachment of divine constancy, God’s faithfulness. He declared that “God would not forget, would not forsake.”
    97:5.2 [Part III]
    Isaiah went on to preach the eternal nature of God, his infinite wisdom, his unchanging perfection of reliability. He represented the God of Israel as saying: “Judgment also will I lay to the line and righteousness to the plummet.” “The Lord will give you rest from your sorrow and from your fear and from the hard bondage wherein man has been made to serve.” “And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,’this is the way, walk in it.’” “Behold God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid, for the Lord is my strength and my song.”” ‘Come now and let us reason together,’ says the Lord,’though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like the crimson, they shall be as wool.’”
    97:6.3 [Part III]
    Jeremiah also preached of the just and loving God described by Iasiah, declaring: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn you.” “For he does not afflict willingly the children of men.”
    From PAPER 146:
    [At Jotapata] “Nathaniel was confused in his mind about the Master’s teachings concerning prayer, thanksgiving, and worship, and in response to his question Jesus spoke at great length in further explanation of his teaching. Summarized in modern phraseology, this discourse may be presented as emphasizing the following points:
    “1. The conscious and persistent regard for iniquity in the heart of man gradually destroys the prayer connection of the human soul with the spirit circuits of communication between man and his Maker. Naturally God hears the petition of his child, but when the human heart deliberately and persistently harbors the concepts of iniquity, there gradually ensues the loss of personal communion between the earth child and his heavenly Father.
    “2. That prayer which is inconsistent with the known and established laws of God is an abomination to the Paradise Deities. If man will not listen to the Gods as they speak to their creation in the laws of spirit, mind, and matter, the very act of such deliberate and conscious disdain by the creature turns the ears of spirit personalities away from hearing the personal petitions of such lawless and disobedient mortals. Jesus quoted to his apostles from the Prophet Zechariah: ‘But they refused to hearken and pulled away the shoulder and stopped their ears that they should not hear. Yes, they made their hearts adamant like a stone, lest they should hear my law and the words which I sent by my spirit through the prophets; therefore did the results of their evil thinking come as a great wrath upon their guilty heads. And so it came to pass that they cried for mercy, but there was no ear open to hear.’ And then Jesus quoted the proverb of the wise man who said: ‘He who turns away his ear from hearing the divine law, even his prayer shall be an abomination.’
    “3. By opening the human end of the channel of the God-man communication, mortals make immediately available the ever-flowing stream of divine ministry to the creatures of the worlds. When man hears God’s spirit speak within the human heart, inherent in such an experience is the fact that God simultaneously hears that man’s prayer. Even the forgiveness of sin operates in this same unerring fashion. The Father in heaven has forgiven you even before you have thought to ask him, but such forgiveness is not available in your personal religious experience until such a time as you forgive your fellow men. God’s forgiveness in fact is not conditioned upon your forgiving your fellows, but in experience it is exactly so conditioned. And this fact of the synchrony of divine and human forgiveness was thus recognized and linked together in the prayer which Jesus taught the apostles.”

    “4. There is a basic law of justice in the universe which mercy is powerless to circumvent. The unselfish glories of Paradise are not possible of reception by a thoroughly selfish creature of the realms of time and space. Even the infinite love of God cannot force the salvation of eternal survival upon any mortal creature who does not choose to survive. Mercy has great latitude of bestowal, but, after all, there are mandates of justice which even love combined with mercy cannot effectively abrogate. Again Jesus quoted from the Hebrew scriptures: ‘I have called and you refused to hear; I stretched out my hand, but no man regarded. You have set at naught all my counsel, and you have rejected my reproof, and because of this rebellious attitude it becomes inevitable that you shall call upon me and fail to receive an answer. Having rejected the way of life, you may seek me diligently in your times of suffering, but you will not find me.’


    “5. They who would receive mercy must show mercy; judge not that you be not judged. With the spirit with which you judge others you also shall be judged. Mercy does not wholly abrogate universe fairness. In the end it will prove true: ‘Whoso stops his ears to the cry of the poor, he also shall some day cry for help, and no one will hear him.’ The sincerity of any prayer is the assurance of its being heard; the spiritual wisdom and universe consistency of any petition is the determiner of the time, manner, and degree of the answer. A wise father does not literally answer the foolish prayers of his ignorant and inexperienced children, albeit the children may derive much pleasure and real soul satisfaction from the making of such absurd petitions.


    “6. When you have become wholly dedicated to the doing of the will of the Father in heaven, the answer to all your petitions will be forthcoming because your prayers will be in full accordance with the Father’s will, and the Father’s will is ever manifest throughout his vast universe. What the true son desires and the infinite Father wills IS. Such a prayer cannot remain unanswered, and no other sort of petition can possibly be fully answered.” (See PAPER 146)



    “7. The cry of the righteous is the faith act of the child of God which opens the door of the Father’s storehouse of goodness, truth, and mercy, and these good gifts have long been in waiting for the son’s approach and personal appropriation. Prayer does not change the divine attitude toward man, but it does change man’s attitude toward the changeless Father. The motive of the prayer gives it right of way to the divine ear, not the social, economic, or outward religious status of the one who prays.

    “8. Prayer may not be employed to avoid the delays of time or to transcend the handicaps of space. Prayer is not designed as a technique for aggrandizing self or for gaining unfair advantage over one’s fellows. A thoroughly selfish soul cannot pray in the true sense of the word. Said Jesus: ‘Let your supreme delight be in the character of God, and he shall surely give you the sincere desires of your heart.’ ‘Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.’ ‘For the Lord hears the cry of the needy, and he will regard the prayer of the destitute.’

    ” 9. ‘I have come forth from the Father; if, therefore, you are ever in doubt as to what you would ask of the Father, ask in my name, and I will present your petition in accordance with your real needs and desires and in accordance with my Father’s will.’ Guard against the great danger of becoming self-centered in your prayers. Avoid praying much for yourself; pray more for the spiritual progress of your brethren. Avoid materialistic praying; pray in the spirit and for the abundance of the gifts of the spirit.” (See PAPER 146)


    Continuing the summary of Jesus’ discourse as presented from PAPER 146:
    “10. When you pray for the sick and afflicted, do not expect that your petitions will take the place of loving and intelligent ministry to the necessities of these afflicted ones. Pray for the welfare of your families, friends, and fellows, but especially pray for those who curse you, and make loving petitions for those who persecute you. ‘But when to pray, I will not say. Only the spirit that dwells within you may move you to the utterance of those petitions which are expressive of your inner relationship with the Father of spirits.’
    “11. Many resort to prayer only when in trouble. Such a practice is thoughtless and misleading. True, you do well to pray when harassed, but you should also be mindful to speak as a son to your Father even when all goes well with your soul. Let your real petitions always be in secret. Do not let men hear your personal prayers. Prayers of thanksgiving are appropriate for groups of worshipers, but the prayer of the soul is a personal matter. There is but one form of prayer which is appropriate for all God’s children, and that is: ‘Nevertheless, your will be done.’
    “12. All believers in this gospel should pray sincerely for the extension of the kingdom of heaven. Of all the prayers of the Hebrew scriptures he commented most approvingly on the petition of the Psalmist: ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Purge me from secret sins and keep back your servant from presumptuous transgression.’ Jesus commented at great length on the relation of prayer to careless and offending speech, quoting: ‘Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.’ ‘The human tongue,’ said Jesus, ‘is a member which few men can tame, but the spirit within can transform this unruly member into a kindly voice of tolerance and an inspiring minister of mercy.'”

    “13. Jesus taught that the prayer for divine guidance over the pathway of earthly life was next in importance to the petition for a knowledge of the Father’s will. In reality this means a prayer for divine wisdom. Jesus never taught that human knowledge and special skill could be gained by prayer. But he did teach that prayer is a factor in the enlargement of one’s capacity to receive the presence of the divine spirit. When Jesus taught his associates to pray in the spirit and in truth, he explained that he referred to praying sincerely and in accordance with one’s enlightenment, to praying wholeheartedly and intelligently, earnestly and steadfastly.

    “14. Jesus warned his followers against thinking that their prayers would be rendered more efficacious by ornate repetitions, eloquent phraseology, fasting, penance, or sacrifices. But he did exhort his believers to employ prayer as a means of leading up through thanksgiving to true worship. Jesus deplored that so little of the spirit of thanksgiving was to be found in the prayers and worship of his followers. He quoted from the Scriptures on this occasion, saying: ‘It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to the name of the Most High, to acknowledge his loving-kindness every morning and his faithfulness every night, for God has made me glad through his work. In everything I will give thanks according to the will of God.’

    “15. And then Jesus said: ‘Be not constantly overanxious about your common needs. Be not apprehensive concerning the problems of your earthly existence, but in all these things by prayer and supplication, with the spirit of sincere thanksgiving, let your needs be spread out before your Father who is in heaven.’ Then he quoted from the Scriptures: ‘I will praise the name of God with a song and will magnify him with thanksgiving. And this will please the Lord better than the sacrifice of an ox or bullock with horns and hoofs.’

    “16. Jesus taught his followers that, when they had made their prayers to the Father, they should remain for a time in silent receptivity to afford the indwelling spirit the better opportunity to speak to the listening soul. The spirit of the Father speaks best to man when the human mind is in an attitude of true worship. We worship God by the aid of the Father’s indwelling spirit and by the illumination of the human mind through the ministry of truth. Worship, taught Jesus, makes one increasingly like the being who is worshiped. Worship is a transforming experience whereby the finite gradually approaches and ultimately attains the presence of the Infinite.


    “And many other truths did Jesus tell his apostles about man’s communion with God, but not many of them could fully encompass his teaching.”  (PAPER 146)


    Psalm 146:

    1 Praise the LORD!
    Praise the LORD, O my soul!

    2 I will praise the LORD while I live;
    I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

    3 Do not trust in princes,
    In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.

    4 His spirit departs, he returns to the earth;
    In that very day his thoughts perish.

    5 How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
    Whose hope is in the LORD his God,

    6 Who made heaven and earth,
    The sea and all that is in them;
    Who keeps faith forever;

    7 Who executes justice for the oppressed;
    Who gives food to the hungry.
    The LORD sets the prisoners free.

    8 The LORD opens the eyes of the blind;
    The LORD raises up those who are bowed down;
    The LORD loves the righteous;

    9 The LORD protects the strangers;
    He supports the fatherless and the widow,
    But He thwarts the way of the wicked.

    10 The LORD will reign forever,
    Your God, O Zion, to all generations.
    Praise the LORD!

    Susan Owen
    Susan Owen

    Test Post

    179:5.10 [Part IV]  And they ended this celebration of the old but bloodless Passover in connection with the inauguration of the new supper of the remembrance, by singing, all together, the one hundred and eighteenth Psalm.
    Psalm 118:

    1Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good!

    His faithful love endures forever.

    2Let all Israel repeat:

    “His faithful love endures forever.”

    3Let Aaron’s descendants, the priests, repeat:

    “His faithful love endures forever.”

    4Let all who fear the LORD repeat:

    “His faithful love endures forever.”

    5In my distress I prayed to the LORD,

    and the LORD answered me and set me free.

    6The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear.

    What can mere people do to me?

    7Yes, the LORD is for me; he will help me.

    I will look in triumph at those who hate me.

    8It is better to take refuge in the LORD

    than to trust in people.

    9It is better to take refuge in the LORD

    than to trust in princes.

    10Though hostile nations surrounded me,

    I destroyed them all with the authority of the LORD.

    11Yes, they surrounded and attacked me,

    but I destroyed them all with the authority of the LORD.

    12They swarmed around me like bees;

    they blazed against me like a crackling fire.

    But I destroyed them all with the authority of the LORD.

    13My enemies did their best to kill me,

    but the LORD rescued me.

    14The LORD is my strength and my song;

    he has given me victory.

    15Songs of joy and victory are sung in the camp of the godly.

    The strong right arm of the LORD has done glorious things!

    16The strong right arm of the LORD is raised in triumph.

    The strong right arm of the LORD has done glorious things!

    17I will not die; instead, I will live

    to tell what the LORD has done.

    18The LORD has punished me severely,

    but he did not let me die.

    19Open for me the gates where the righteous enter,

    and I will go in and thank the LORD.

    20These gates lead to the presence of the LORD,

    and the godly enter there.

    21I thank you for answering my prayer

    and giving me victory!

    22The stone that the builders rejected

    has now become the cornerstone.

    23This is the LORD’s doing,

    and it is wonderful to see.

    24This is the day the LORD has made.

    We will rejoice and be glad in it.

    25Please, LORD, please save us.

    Please, LORD, please give us success.

    26Bless the one who comes in the name of the LORD.

    We bless you from the house of the LORD.

    27The LORD is God, shining upon us.

    Take the sacrifice and bind it with cords on the altar.

    28You are my God, and I will praise you!

    You are my God, and I will exalt you!

    29Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good!

    His faithful love endures forever.

    187:5.2 [Part IV] Shortly after one o’clock, amidst the increasing darkness of the fierce sandstorm, Jesus began to fail in human consciousness. His last words of mercy, forgiveness, and admonition had been spoken. His last wish — concerning the care of his mother — had been expressed. During this hour of approaching death the human mind of Jesus resorted to the repetition of many passages in the Hebrew scriptures, particularly the Psalms. The last conscious thought of the human Jesus was concerned with the repetition in his mind of a portion of the Book of Psalms now known as the twentieth, twenty-first, and twenty-second Psalms. While his lips would often move, he was too weak to utter the words as these passages, which he so well knew by heart, would pass through his mind. Only a few times did those standing by catch some utterance, such as, “I know the Lord will save his anointed,” “Your hand shall find out all my enemies,” and “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus did not for one moment entertain the slightest doubt that he had lived in accordance with the Father’s will; and he never doubted that he was now laying down his life in the flesh in accordance with his Father’s will. He did not feel that the Father had forsaken him; he was merely reciting in his vanishing consciousness many Scriptures, among them this twenty-second Psalm, which begins with “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And this happened to be one of the three passages which were spoken with sufficient clearness to be heard by those standing by.
    Psalm 20:

    1May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble!
    May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!
    2May he send you help from the sanctuary
    and give you support from Zion!
    3May he remember all your offerings
    and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices! Selah

    4May he grant you your heart’s desire
    and fulfill all your plans!
    5May we shout for joy over your salvation,
    and in the name of our God set up our banners!
    May the LORD fulfill all your petitions!

    6Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed;
    he will answer him from his holy heaven
    with the saving might of his right hand.
    7Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
    but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
    8They collapse and fall,
    but we rise and stand upright.

    9O LORD, save the king!
    May he answer us when we call.


    Psalm 21:

    1O LORD, in your strength the king rejoices,
    and in your salvation how greatly he exults!
    2You have given him his heart’s desire
    and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah
    3For you meet him with rich blessings;
    you set a crown of fine gold upon his head.
    4He asked life of you; you gave it to him,
    length of days forever and ever.
    5His glory is great through your salvation;
    splendor and majesty you bestow on him.
    6For you make him most blessed forever;a
    you make him glad with the joy of your presence.
    7For the king trusts in the LORD,
    and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved.

    8Your hand will find out all your enemies;
    your right hand will find out those who hate you.
    9You will make them as a blazing oven
    when you appear.
    The LORD will swallow them up in his wrath,
    and fire will consume them.
    10You will destroy their descendants from the earth,
    and their offspring from among the children of man.
    11Though they plan evil against you,
    though they devise mischief, they will not succeed.
    12For you will put them to flight;
    you will aim at their faces with your bows.

    13Be exalted, O LORD, in your strength!
    We will sing and praise your power.


    Psalm 22:

    1My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
    2O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
    and by night, but I find no rest.

    3Yet you are holy,
    enthroned on the praisesa of Israel.
    4In you our fathers trusted;
    they trusted, and you delivered them.
    5To you they cried and were rescued;
    in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

    6But I am a worm and not a man,
    scorned by mankind and despised by the people.
    7All who see me mock me;
    they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;
    8“He trusts in the LORD; let him deliver him;
    let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”

    9Yet you are he who took me from the womb;
    you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts.
    10On you was I cast from my birth,
    and from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
    11Be not far from me,
    for trouble is near,
    and there is none to help.

    12Many bulls encompass me;
    strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
    13they open wide their mouths at me,
    like a ravening and roaring lion.

    14I am poured out like water,
    and all my bones are out of joint;
    my heart is like wax;
    it is melted within my breast;
    15my strength is dried up like a potsherd,
    and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
    you lay me in the dust of death.

    16For dogs encompass me;
    a company of evildoers encircles me;
    they have pierced my hands and feetb
    17I can count all my bones—
    they stare and gloat over me;
    18they divide my garments among them,
    and for my clothing they cast lots.

    19But you, O LORD, do not be far off!
    O you my help, come quickly to my aid!
    20Deliver my soul from the sword,
    my precious life from the power of the dog!
    21Save me from the mouth of the lion!
    You have rescuedc me from the horns of the wild oxen!

    22I will tell of your name to my brothers;
    in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:
    23You who fear the LORD, praise him!
    All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him,
    and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
    24For he has not despised or abhorred
    the affliction of the afflicted,
    and he has not hidden his face from him,
    but has heard, when he cried to him.

    25From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
    my vows I will perform before those who fear him.
    26The afflictedd shall eat and be satisfied;
    those who seek him shall praise the LORD!
    May your hearts live forever!

    27All the ends of the earth shall remember
    and turn to the LORD,
    and all the families of the nations
    shall worship before you.
    28For kingship belongs to the LORD,
    and he rules over the nations.

    29All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship;
    before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
    even the one who could not keep himself alive.
    30Posterity shall serve him;
    it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation;
    31they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn,
    that he has done it.

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