“Pray and Read Your Bible" is a Myth - and Not What Jesus Did
One of the great compromises of religion and christendumb has become its myth and guilt-mantra: “You aren’t reading your Bible enough or praying enough! You are unspiritual!”
So, question: WHY did those two things become the “standard” and “the key to spiritual growth?” Why those two things? And what did those two things “replace” that ARE “the keys to ACTUAL spiritual growth?” Keep in mind of course, until sixteen CENTURIES after Jesus was here PHYSICALLY, literacy was primarily limited to the elite classes, “clergy,” and some merchants or tradespeople. For much of the world, in most regions without written histories as a societal base or formal educational systems, literacy rates were in the single digits or low teens in terms of percentage.
You search the scriptures to find ME yet refuse to COME to ME - aka real time refuse to deny self (so called rights), pride, entertainment, hunger, control (delusional) etc... Someone can eat only from the tree of knowledge and feel like they “know.”
“And they overcame and conquered him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, for they did not love their life and renounce their faith even when faced with death.” Revelation 12:11 AMP
Similar reason to why “worship services” developed. You can compartmentalize your life and dedicate X number of hours to God and the rest of your time pursuing your own agenda, while all the time thinking you are “living a good Christian life,” feeling proud of your own religiosity. Unless you aren’t very good at it.
I would say... (for the “trying to replace” part) Communion with THE Word made flesh—the One—by His Spirit. And putting to death the misdeeds of the Body by His Spirit to Truly walk in a NEW LIFE with God, the One—the Man, Jesus! Not in theory, but in Reality. That is so exciting! Exhilarating!
Was thinking this morning that real prayer and hunger for His words are a byproduct of relationship not the other way around.
If I don’t sense the need to connect or a hunger for real Food, that Oneness is surely missing. And just because I go through the motions, doesn’t mean the Relationship is there.
Like saying, “this is the time when I sit down with my children and tell them I love them”...or...“this is now time to DO MATH”...or...“DO PRAYER”
Communion because our hearts cry Abba Father, not a guilt trip of you need to pray more, but Home, he’s our Home, Who we want to be like when we grow up, our everything.
And because they had no relationships with living letters they had to find papyrus to imitate revelation from within relationship.
And, like in the garden, “knowledge” that puffs up and puts man back in the center, is attractive to human flesh and pride.
Those two things became standard because they are shadows of something Real, but aren’t the Real thing, because an unspiritual, ungoverned, uncrucified person can do them their whole lives and never get an ounce closer to Jesus or ever emanate the character of Jesus. I remember hearing that someone would spend 2 or 3 hours every morning reading and “praying”... yet that man was a spiritual deadhead. “Eat my body, drink my blood, feed on Me” weren’t just offensive because they sounded gross. Whether they could put their finger on it, they were offended because Feeding on Jesus was the Core of where Jesus wanted to bring them, and that was a place their flesh refused to go.
And while there might be events or circumstances or people specifically to “pray” about, GOD’S INTENT, Jesus’ Way, is communion, *“conscious of God” LIFE* as a subroutine always running in the background, always always always, where we “pray without ceasing” in the background of all we do. This is why “doing nothing we don’t see the father doing” as Jesus did is unfamiliar to a world that needs to rely on meals and bedtime as a mnemonic to “pray” and superstition of “God told me” as a substitute for His spirit merging with our spirit as if his home is in us.
That right there is Who I want to be, Who I must be, Who I will be, by Grace and by Faith
If I may share a thought on the “what it replaces”...
I think about Joseph in Egypt often. No “Bible,” no one that loved God around him, no letters of encouragement, no 10 commandments, no do’s and don’ts.
He knew who the Creator of the galaxies was, he knew His promises to grandpa, and therefore he knew who the ruler of his heart was. And that was about it that he had to hold on through betrayal, slavery, lies, temptation, prosperity, forgiveness, love, faith on what God had planned for the present and for the future...
It seems God values relationships with us and amongst all of us over anything that amounts to good deeds (filthy rags!)
Conversation with a brother, a father, is a natural course of life, not a “spiritual” habit. Allowing God to lay us bare in any way he chooses.
They also were devoted to fellowship one with another, not “my relationship.” Every man for himself did not enter in to early believers’ lives, but it does now.
Emphasis on “habits” — checklists, allows us to feel ok without ever having communed with our Father, or acknowledged our deep depravity.
It’s not hard to see how “Jesus glasses” fit in with that description of “real prayer” instead of religious ceremony prayer. If you are conscious of God it will affect your life, not your religious moments, and a lighthearted moment can turn into a moment of revelation or a moment of conviction or a moment of prayer for someone or something in a heartbeat.
Yes! Just a dependent, intimate friend and doulos. :)
Yes. That’s why saying a “Daily prayer” for someone can never replace your Daily being THERE for someone in the “little things” with your Jesus glasses on.
Daily prayer OR daily There? Which would you rather have from someone? I want someone Daily there for me (of course)! And the daily there turns into daily prayer as well. So I must be that to have that.
(God is so amazingly Wise and Wonderful in His Ways!!!!)
More from a week later...
Since discussing “prayer” and “bible” x-y axis religion (with its guilt, pride, hypocrisy, fear, comparison, duplicity)... I hope we have all continued the Journey into the Most Holy Place. In THAT Place, on the z-axis, Zoe axis, the Tree of Life Place, we will not look for rationale to be lazy or sloppy but will Know when we are MISSING Him and need to Talk with Him and Groan in Him in a realm too deep to be uttered. We are SENSITIVE and longing, more not less, and slip to our knees in the middle of the night or the middle of a football game—slipping away or asking others to Join you.
Relationship is the Call to our spirits rather than our minds or pride, guilt, or fear. “As many as are drawn by the Spirit experience Sonship” and for such “all of creation groans for the emerging and coming forth of the little anointed ones experiencing Sonship.” Go forth and multiply and fill the earth, on earth as it is in Heaven, with religion-less Sonship Zoe Life that is More not less, merging and responding every moment without ceasing, craving His Words, Heart, and Mind like a newborn baby is alive and needs Mom and Dad’s connection of love and touch and leadership and laughter and food and shelter.
And OF COURSE you actually talk to Him and say words, OFTEN. How are you going to change His mind on something or find out His mind on something if you aren’t looking at Him and talking? Of course. Ask and knock and seek, without ceasing. Actual thoughts and usually words. But, not the “iron lung” self-promoting “discipline of prayer” religious thing. More not less. Additive, not subtractive. Asking in His Name, according to His Will, “and Knowing that He has Heard you” - require that we are in His Mind, on the Zoe-Axis, not dootzing around on earth with human’s versions of ritualistic prayer “beads” (figurative or literal) of repetitive empty words—like the dead dog that we wouldn’t even give to our mayor, let alone to the Great I AM. So! GO to Him. He’s not far away. :)