Matthew 6.6 and Tebow

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Matthew 6.6 and Tebow

Postby DarthMonk » Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:35 pm

Matthew 6.6
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

I'm curious how people feel about this passage in general. Also, how it might relate to Tebow and Tebow-ing.

I'd also be interested in reaction to these notes:


Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Enter into thy closet - Every Jewish house had a place for secret devotion. The roofs of their houses were flat places, well adapted for walking, conversation, and meditation. See the notes at Matthew 9:2. Professor Hackett ("Illustrations of Scripture," p. 82) says: "On the roof of the house in which I lodged at Damascus were chambers and rooms along the side and at the corners of the open space or terrace, which constitutes often a sort of upper story. I observed the same thing in connection with other houses." Over the porch, or entrance of the house, there was frequently a small room of the size of the porch, raised a story above the rest of the house, expressly appropriated for the place of retirement. Here, in secrecy and solitude, the pious Jew might offer his prayers, unseen by any but the Searcher of hearts. To this place, or to some similar place, our Saviour directed his disciples to repair when they wished to hold communion with God. This is the place commonly mentioned in the New Testament as the "upper room," or the place for secret prayer.

The meaning of the Saviour is, that there should be some place where we may be in secret - where we may be alone with God. There should be some "place" to which we may resort where no ear will hear us but "His" ear, and no eye can see us but His eye. Unless there is such a place, secret prayer will not be long or strictly maintained. It is often said that we have no such place, and can secure none. We are away from home; we are traveling; we are among strangers; we are in stages and steamboats, and how can we find such places of retirement? I answer, the desire to pray, and the love of prayer, will create such places in abundance. The Saviour had all the difficulties which we can have, but yet he lived in the practice of secret prayer. To be alone, he rose up "a great while before day," and went into a solitary place and prayed, Mark 1:35. With him a grove, a mountain, a garden, furnished such a place, and, though a traveler, and among strangers, and without a house, he lived in the habit of secret prayer. What excuse can they have for not praying who have a home, and who spend the precious hours of the morning in sleep, and who will practice no self-denial that they may be alone with God? O Christian! thy Saviour would have broken in upon these hours, and would have trod his solitary way to the mountain or the grove that he might pray. He did do it. He did it to pray for thee, too indolent and too unconcerned about thy own salvation and that of the world to practice the least self-denial in order to commune with God! How can religion live thus? How can such a soul be saved?

The Saviour does not specify the times when we should pray in secret. He does not say how often it should be done. The reasons may have been:

(1) that he designed that his religion should be "voluntary," and there is not a better "test" of true piety than a disposition to engage often in secret prayer. He intended to leave it to his people to show attachment to him by coming to God often, and as often as they chose.

(2) an attempt to specify the times when this should be done would tend to make religion formal and heartless. Mohammed undertook to regulate this, and the consequence is a cold and formal prostration at the appointed hours of prayer all over the land where his religion has spread.

(3) the periods are so numerous, and the seasons for secret prayer vary so much, that it would nor be easy to fix rules when this should be done.

Yet without giving rules, where the Saviour has given none, we may suggest the following as times when secret prayer is proper:

1. In the morning. Nothing can be more appropriate when we have been preserved through the night, and when we are about to enter upon the duties and dangers of another day, than to render to our great Preserver thanks, and to commit ourselves to His fatherly care.

2. In the evening. When the day has closed, what would be more natural than to offer thanksgiving for the mercies of the day, and to implore forgiveness for what we have said or done amiss? And when about to lie down again to sleep, not knowing but it may be our last sleep and that we may awake in eternity, what more proper than to commend ourselves to the care of Him "who never slumbers nor sleeps?"

3. We should pray in times of embarrassment and perplexity. Such times occur in every man's life, and it is then a privilege and a duty to go to God and seek his direction. In the most difficult and embarrassed time of the American Revolution, Washington was seen to retire to a grove in the vicinity of the camp at Valley Forge. Curiosity led a man to observe him, and the father of his country was seen on his knees supplicating the God of hosts in prayer. Who can tell how much the liberty of this nation is owing to the answer to the secret prayer of Washington?

4. We should pray when we are beset with strong temptations. So the Saviour prayed in the garden of Gethsemane (compare Hebrews 5:7-8 ), and so we should pray when we are tempted.

5. We should pray when the Spirit prompts us to pray; when we feel lust like praying; when nothing can satisfy the soul but prayer. Such times occur in the life of every Christian, (and they are "spring-times" of piety - favorable gales to waft us on to heaven. Prayer to the Christian, at such times, is just as congenial as conversation with a friend when the bosom is filled with love; as the society of father, mother, sister, child is, when the heart glows with attachment; as the strains of sweet music are to the ear best attuned to the love of harmony; as the most exquisite poetry is to the heart enamored with the muses; and as the most delicious banquet is to the hungry.

Prayer, then, is the element of being - the breath the vital air; and, then, the Christian must and should pray. He is the most eminent Christian who is most favored with such strong emotions urging him to prayer. The heart is then full; the soul is tender; the sun of glory shines with unusual splendor; no cloud intervenes; the Christian rises above the world, and pants for glory. then we may go to be alone with God. We may enter the closet, and breathe forth our warm desires into his ever-open ear, and He who sees in secret will reward us openly.
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Postby Cappster » Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:08 pm

The Bible is full of contradictions and Christians are the worst to contradict. With that said, I believe in the teachings of Christ...just not the Dogma of Christians.
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Postby patjam77 » Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:25 am

Cappster wrote:The Bible is full of contradictions and Christians are the worst to contradict. With that said, I believe in the teachings of Christ...just not the Dogma of Christians.


Very well said!
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Postby welch » Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:35 pm

I was brought up on that quote from Matthew. I cringe when people make a big show of their faith, practically boast. Tebow is a cringe-inducer.

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Postby fredp45 » Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:17 pm

See 1 Thessalonians 4:11

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Postby tribeofjudah » Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:32 pm

We can pray where ever and when ever we feel the need to talk to God. Yes, it's good to pray in secret but it's OK to pray in public too.
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Postby welch » Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:09 pm

Tebowing always strikes me as "look how pious I am". Not good.

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Postby Countertrey » Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:57 pm

welch wrote:Tebowing always strikes me as "look how pious I am". Not good.


People have been praying in the end zone, or otherwise gesturing to the heavens for decades. Why, suddenly, it is somehow showboating when Tebow does it. He did not ask the press to go over the edge. He did not suggest that wannabes imitate him.

I'm sorry... I see nothing that suggests this kid is anything but sincere...

This all this judgemental handringing seems disingenuous. Yet, I don't see a single complaint about superficial and self-serving/ over the top celebrations of plays that don't even result in preventing a first down... or result in a 3 yard gain.
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Postby DarthMonk » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:59 pm

Countertrey wrote:
welch wrote:Tebowing always strikes me as "look how pious I am". Not good.


People have been praying in the end zone, or otherwise gesturing to the heavens for decades. Why, suddenly, it is somehow showboating when Tebow does it. He did not ask the press to go over the edge. He did not suggest that wannabes imitate him.

I'm sorry... I see nothing that suggests this kid is anything but sincere...

This all this judgemental handringing seems disingenuous. Yet, I don't see a single complaint about superficial and self-serving/ over the top celebrations of plays that don't even result in preventing a first down... or result in a 3 yard gain.


I have problems with organized religion in general and noticed this passage when reading the New Testament. Tebow simply brought the issue to a head being that he plays the most popular game in America and includes the phrase "Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" in his first response almost every time I hear him speak right after a game.

I got no problem with him personally (he practically won Hognostications for me). I'm using him as the standard bearer for all those who demonstatively pray in public and simply ask how others, particularly devout christians, interpret this passage. It seems to me it (Jesus) says "pray in private - like me" - "Our Father, who art in heaven ........"

I believe Tebow is more-than-likely sincere. I also think he is misguided - and rich! I loved the way Riggins simply handed the ball to the nearest ref after a score. I hate it when players, particularly Redskins, showboat. I pulled my 11 year old from a game when he got fouled (not called) and threw his hands in the air in view of the ref.

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Postby Countertrey » Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:36 am

Then, perhaps your protests should begin, not with Tebow... but with Billy "white shoes" Johnson.
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Postby DarthMonk » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:53 am

Countertrey wrote:Then, perhaps your protests should begin, not with Tebow... but with Billy "white shoes" Johnson.


Perhaps but I'm doing way more asking than protesting. What did Billy do other than dance? He could be the standard bearer for celebrations I guess. Is that what you mean?
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Postby Countertrey » Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:12 pm

Precisely. Your example of Riggo handing the ball to the ref... vs over the top celebrations of mediocrity... is perfect.

Tebow kneels and says a quick prayer when he scores, and suddenly, the agreived are popping from crevases everywhere... but Laron Landry flexes after stopping a receiver after a 12 yard gain... and... crickets.

It's not aimed at you, so much, DM, as the whole attitude that generates threads such as this one. Tebow kneels to pray... Big deal... if you don't like it, don't watch. Yet, AA's stupid, and contrived, end zone dance draws cheers.

just seems pretty oddly selective, to me.
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Postby SkinsJock » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:28 am

Players today have different ways of expressing their feelings - some feel a need to show off and some don't

what bothers me more is players taunting other players - this should be discouraged by the players, officials & the league - it is not called or penalized often enough

I'd prefer players not showboat excessively - I feel a little bit sorry for them in that they feel a need to be recognized for doing something that they and others are being paid a lot of money to do
We are lucky to have Cousins - Griffin will become the better QB as he learns to use the pocket & read defenses

Until then, I hope that Cousins takes full advantage of this opportunity

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Postby Countertrey » Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:03 am

SkinsJock wrote:Players today have different ways of expressing their feelings - some feel a need to show off and some don't

what bothers me more is players taunting other players - this should be discouraged by the players, officials & the league - it is not called or penalized often enough

I'd prefer players not showboat excessively - I feel a little bit sorry for them in that they feel a need to be recognized for doing something that they and others are being paid a lot of money to do

Sorry... I prefer my players act as if they've been there before.
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Postby langleyparkjoe » Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:13 pm

SkinsJock wrote:what bothers me more is players taunting other players - this should be discouraged by the players, officials & the league - it is not called or penalized often enough

I'd prefer players not showboat excessively - I feel a little bit sorry for them in that they feel a need to be recognized for doing something that they and others are being paid a lot of money to do


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