May 25, 2010

Ministry in Word

Divine Petition – Part 1
神的祈求 – 第一篇

(Partially based on Charles Spurgeon’s “Morning and Evening” devotional)
(部份根据查理斯.司布真的「早晨与傍晚」灵修作品)
Luke 22:31-32
路加22:31-32

“Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail.”
「西门!西门!撒但想要得着你们,好筛你们像筛麦子一样;但我已经为你祈求,叫你不至於失了信心。」

Introduction
前言
Most people have three questions concerning prayers, that is, when should we pray, how should we pray, and why should we pray. The apostle James answers these questions in his short letter in the Bible.
大多数人对祈祷有三个疑问,就是我们该在什麽时候祈祷、我们该怎样祈祷和为什麽我们要祈祷。使徒雅各在圣经中他的短信里解答这些问题。

When Should We Pray
我们该在什麽时候祈祷
The answer to the question “when should we pray” is found in James 5:13, “Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.” When we are in trouble we may think that God is uncaring, unknowing, or unable to help, therefore we become tired of praying. Instead, James said that trouble time is exactly the very time we should pray. And then when we are happy, we may not think of praying to God, because we are content, but James said we should also pray and our prayers should be filled with songs of praise, because God is the ultimate source of our happiness. The next verse says that if anyone is sick, when he seems like too weak to pray, that in his weakness he should pray. So James is saying that we should pray when we are in any kind of trouble or suffering, when we are happy for any reason, and when we are sick and feeble. In other words, we should pray in good time and bad time, in all circumstances. That is why Apostle Paul told the Philippian believers, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.” (Php 4:6). So Paul also said that in all situations we should pray.

「我们该在什麽时候祈祷」这个问题的答案在雅各书5:13找到:「你们中间有受苦的呢,他就该祷告;有喜乐的呢,他就该歌颂。」当我们在受苦的时候我们可能以为神漠不关心、不知不觉或有心无力去帮助,所以我们对祈祷产生厌倦。反过来雅各说受苦之时正是最需要祷告之时。而当我们喜乐的时候,因为我们心安意足我们就不觉得要向神祈祷。但雅各说我们该祷告并且我们的祷告该充满歌颂,因为神是我们喜乐的最终源头。下一节说你们中间有病了的呢,当他看来没力气祷告,在他的软弱中他须要祈祷。所以雅各在说当我们受任何的苦之时,当我们为任何缘故喜乐之时,和当我们带病软弱之时,我们都该祷告。换句话说,不论在好景或失意时,不论在任何处境里,我们都当祈祷。那是为何使徒保罗告诉腓立比的信徒说:「应当一无挂虑,只要凡事藉着祷告、祈求,和感谢,将你们所要的告诉神。」〔腓4:6〕所以保罗也说我们在所有的情况中都要祷告。
How Should We Pray
我们该怎麽祈祷

James then answered the question of “how should we pray,” saying FIRST, if a person is sick, he should call for the elders to pray over him. Calling the elders, who represent the church, is calling the church to pray in unity for him. This follows closely Jesus’ teaching for He had said that if two of us agree about anything we ask for, it will be done for us by His Father in heaven (Mt 18:19).

雅各接着解答「我们该怎麽祈祷」这问题说,方法之第一点,一个人病了,他就该请教会的长老来为他祷告。请代表教会的教会长老来就是请教会合一地为他祷告。这跟耶稣的教导相近,因为他曾说过若是我们中间有两个人在地上同心合意的求甚麽事,他在天上的父必为我们成全。〔太18:19〕

SECONDLY, James also said that our prayer should be offered in the name of the Lord. This is in accordance to what Jesus said in John 14:14 that “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” Praying in the name of Jesus means we submit our will to His will, believing that He has in His heart our best interest. It is so easy to pray a list of requests specifying what we want God do for us, instead of praying in submission to God’s will for us. That is why Jesus told his disciples, “Until now you have asked nothing in my name.” (Jn 16:24)

方法之第二点,雅各又说我们应当奉主的名来祈祷。这符合耶稣在约翰14:14说的:「你们若奉我的名求甚麽,我必成就。」奉主的名祈求就是我们的旨意顺服他的旨意,相信在他心中他会为我们的好处设想。我们很容易就会祈求一系列的东西,告诉神我们要他为我们做什麽,而非让我们的祷告顺服神对我们的旨意。那是为何耶稣告诉他的门徒「向来你们没有奉我的名求甚麽。」〔约16:24〕
To be continued next week.
下周待续。

May we remain steadfast in offering our prayer and petition with thanksgiving to God in all circumstances.

愿我们在所有情况中坚定不移地保持我们向神的祷告、祈求,和感谢。

Tom and Tehwan Tso
仲谋与德菀

“The outcome of your faith is the salvation of your souls.” 1Peter 1:9
“信心的果效, 就是灵魂的救恩” 彼得前书1:9