Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Words of Jesus

What are they? Who wrote them? Did they hear them from Jesus? All these questions have only speculative answers although scholars have devoted their lives and written thick books about their answers to the questions.

As the years go by I find less and less interest in those matters. I have to fall back where I started, with my experience. George Fox said, "what dost thou say?" Here's what I say:

Jesus told me that God loves me, that I should pray to the Father, love him above all, and love my neighbor as myself.

That's all. That's all that I'm really sure in my heart that Jesus said. Re the words of Jesus in the gospels: I judge them by how congruent they are with my experience of Jesus. PTL


Matt said...

Larry, after many years of seeking, asking and knocking I must say AMEN to your post.
The one thing I had found perplexing for some time was prayer. I understood that the Father knew what I needed before I did and my Father would never withhold any needed help simply because I didn't ask for it, so why am I praying?
Through meditation, only this year, I received two answers:
The best prayer is to go into the silence to listen. If I can't do that, which usually I can't, the next best prayer was not to ask for change, for my own condition or others, but to pray for that which is for my/their highest good and allow the Father to decide what that is. After that it's up to my/their free will if the blessing bestowed is accepted or rejected out of fear.

Larry said...

Matt wrote: "The best prayer is to go into the silence to listen". Yes and no. I'm glad you mentioned that, Matt, giving me a chance to discourse further on prayer.

Yes, silence is wonderful, but some forms of prayer may be even better. Thanksgiving may be best. Do you appreciate what God has done for you? Are you grateful for the breath you receive moment by moment? These are the proper subjects of prayer.

I rarely petition, because for many years I've possessed every thing that I could possibly want. (If I was hurting, I'm sure I would pray.)

The primary benefit of prayer to me is that it takes my mind off myself, where it usually resides. That's true of praise and thanksgiving, and it's true of prayer.

When I pray, I'm no longer the center of the universe. That's true of giving thanks, and it's true of silence.

I have had problems with silence for most of my life because egocentric thoughts continually break in. Recently I've found a procedure (technique) that seems pretty effectual. See God and Zen. The secret is that long exhalation; a dozen of those, and my mind becomes quite quiet. Wonderful for sleeping when you need to but can't.

I will pray, Matt, that your life (especially prayer life) becomes richer and richer through the years.

SinnaLuvva said...

Thanks Larry for these comments on prayer. I don't think the 'Thanksgiving' aspect can be overstressed ... it's only when we start to give thanks that we overcome our ego (the cause of so many of our 'problems'). The reminder is timely!The problem with 'petitions' is that they redirect us to ourselves.

Larry said...