Reading through the Bible together

Friday, November 7, 2014

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The Lord’s Prayer is familiar to all Christians. In fact, it has become so casual that it almost lost its revolutionary approach to prayer. But, it was, it is, and it will continue to be a prayer with a radical message.

Even the language in which the prayer was said carried a deep meaning. The New Testament was recorded in Greek. Jesus, on the other hand, spoke Aramaic because it was a language of daily communication. Bible scholars agree that Jesus presented this prayer also in the Aramaic language, which in itself was a revolutionary action.

You see, even though the Jews spoke Aramaic in their everyday lives they were supposed to recite their prayers in Hebrew, not in Aramaic. Hebrew was considered to be a sacred language. So, the use of everyday Aramaic in prayer and worship in Jesus' time was unacceptable. In the same manner Muslim worshipers recite their traditional prayers not in contemporary Arabic, but in classical Arabic of the seventh century. Christians also are sometimes inclined to use old English, thinking it to be holier. The same was happening in the medieval ages when Christians were using Latin in prayers. In fact, only Latin translation of the Bible was acceptable in Christian worship in those days.

But, in teaching us how to pray Jesus turns the religious views of His time and ours upside down. For Jesus there is no sacred language, there is no sacred culture. Believers are able to break into God's presence using the language of their hearts.

It was not enough for Jesus to use an everyday language in prayer; the first word that He uses is “Abba,” meaning Father. It is the first word that little children learn to say in the Middle East to this day, for them it means “daddy.” The word "Abba” affirms both respect and a very close personal relationship between God and us.

When you pray today remember that He is your “daddy,” and use the language of your heart.

Oleg Kostyuk
Host of Cross Connection
Hope Channel