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  #51  
Old 10-18-2013, 11:17 AM
Walks_in_islam Walks_in_islam is offline
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Re: What I'm Learning From Islam:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pressing-On View Post
Aquila,
I think that even in praying once a day, we have to be careful not to go through the motions. I think it would be safe to assume, as human beings, that not all Muslims praying three times a day are focusing on a heartfelt prayer anymore than a Catholic picking up a rosary and reciting the Lord's Prayer. Repetitious prayer becomes just that - repetition.
5 times

As your Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday services also can become repetition.

One gets out of prayers what one puts into them. I suspect this is a human thing more than any single religious thing.
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  #52  
Old 11-02-2013, 12:58 PM
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Esaias Esaias is offline
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Re: What I'm Learning From Islam:

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Originally Posted by Aquila View Post
Lately, I've been studying Islam. One thing that has inspired me about Islam is the Muslim's dedication to regular and formal times of prayer. I began to reflect on my Christian life and wonder if I was praying enough. I know that the Scripture teaches that we are to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), and so I've tried to keep a proper prayerful mindfulness throughout my daily activities, but formal regular times of prayer often elude me. Sometimes I'll catch myself towards the end of the week realizing that I've not really engaged in enough focused prayer and meditation as I should have. Muslims pray 5 times a day (Salah). It is in fact one of the 5 Pillars of Islam (5 obligatory practices for every Muslim). These "pillars" are spelled out in their holy book, the Qur'an. When read in it's proper context the Qur'an is quite beautiful and can be inspiring. The Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) charted a course that united the peoples of the Arabian Peninsula, crushed idolatry, and established a more stable, just, and equitable society. He was known for his compassion and sense of justice, something the Western critics often don't hear much about. When viewed in historical contexts of what he was up against, Mohamed (PBUH) was truly an impressive figure. It is no wonder the Muslim people came to revere him so deeply. In a very real sense, Mohamed (PBUH) was a man who was like a mixture of Moses and Joshua in one. But this post isn't about Mohamed (PBUH), it is about prayer and the Islamic ideal behind it. In Islam one of the distinguishing features between the believer and the unbeliever is their dedication to prayer. The Qur'an maps out the obligatory prayers for every Muslim. As I studied these things I began to ask myself, why doesn't the Bible map out specifics on prayer? Jesus mapped out a prayer commonly called the Our Father Prayer. This prayer covers the basic elements that all Christian prayers should be composed of. Here I will present it for reference:
Matthew 6:9-13 (KJV)
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
As with Muslims and their regular prayers, most Christians can rattle this prayer off of the tips of their tongues at a moments notice. However, many rarely pray it and meditate upon it's meaning. In this prayer we hallow the name of God, prayer for the advancement of His Kingdom on earth, pray for our daily needs and sustenance, confess and plead for forgiveness of our sins, pray that God protects us and delivers us from the enemy of our souls, and we close affirming His eternal kingdom, power, and glory. In truth, it is a most sublime prayer. I've taken much comfort in actually praying this prayer meditatively. But... what about times of day? How often could I, or should I, pray more focused prayer?

I began to study various Scriptures on prayer and I found one that was very interesting to me in the context of this study. It is found in the Psalms, it reads:
Psalm 55:17
Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.
In this psalm, the psalmist expresses a spiritual reality that I found rather beautiful. The psalmist states that, "evening, and morning, and at noon", he will pray and cry aloud to the LORD. And it comes with an expectant promise... "and he shall hear my voice". Evening, morning, and at noon. Three times a day. My inspiration is leading me to try this. To dedicate time to pray the Our Father prayer and lay my petitions before the LORD three times a day... in the evening, in the morning, and at noon. The way I will gauge this is in the morning, I will ensure that the sun has risen and in the light of the new day I will approach the LORD in prayer and supplication. At noon, when the sun is highest in the sky, I desire to once again take the time to stop and pray to my LORD. And lastly, after the sun has set and the evening has commenced, I will find time to pray. I wonder how this will affect my spirituality? I wonder if it will draw me nearer to God? Will it show me a greater dimension to my prayer wherein I'll discover a combination with which to ensure that the LORD will indeed hear my pleas and answer my prayers in more profound ways?

So, this is one of several things that I've learned and perhaps even gained from my study of Islam. I thought I'd share it here.

May God richly bless and keep you and yours through the grace affording through Jesus Christ our LORD and Savior.
Our family prays at 9 am, 12 pm, and 3 pm everyday. Well, I confess there have been a few times we have missed an hour of prayer here and there, usually due to the fact we have only just recently (last month or so) begun to keep the hours of prayer.

Our inspiration for this came from Psalm 55 (as you noted), followed up with a study of the prayer habits of the church, both old covenant and new covenant. Which revealed the usual 'hours of prayer' were at or around 9 am, noon, and 3 pm. So we have been implementing that in our lives.

I personally have found it to be a MAJOR blessing to me personally.

As for the disciples' prayer (the 'Our Father' aka 'Lord's Prayer'), we have been praying that (as written, including the 'doxology') as a family primarily as a method of teaching the younger children to memorize it. Often though we use it as a pattern for prayer. Sometimes, when I am alone at work, I will skip the Our Father altogether and just talk to God about whatever is on my heart.

Our family has also rediscovered the importance of prostration (bowing) in prayer as well. We have always knelt in prayer (usually bed time prayer and almost always before 'church meeting'). However, I have recently been studying and become convinced that bowing in prayer (as well as full prostration, ie laying upon your face before God) is more than just a 'whenever I feel led to do it' attitude of worship and prayer. There seems to be evidence that the church, old covenant and new, practiced corporate kneeling and prostration at certain times. We have begun to incorporate this into our worship and so far have been blessed by it as well.

As for your question, about 'how many times a day', Seems to me there are at least 5 scriptural times to pray - the 3 hours of prayer 9am, 12 noon, and 3 pm, as well as 'upon rising' and 'upon retiring' or 'in bed'.

Which give at least 5 distinct times a day for prayer. The purpose of course is not to have rote times of rote prayer for their own sake (much less for the sake of impressing ourselves with our own 'spirituality'), but rather as an opportunity to bring ourselves more fully under the discipline of the Lord. A disciple is, after all, one who submits to the discipline of Jesus Christ. (Not discipline in the sense of corrective chastisement, necessarily, but in the sense of training, as a student submits to the discipline or 'rule' of their Teacher.)

As for the actual 'times' of prayer, while it is true Israel and the early church generally prayed at 9 am, noon, and 3 pm (which corresponded with certain actions in the Temple), I would say the pattern you are suggesting - sunrise, noon, and right after sunset - would certainly be in keeping with the spirit of the Psalmist as well.

Regular prayer time is always a benefit, in my opinion, as I have seen too often in my own life and in others that having the attitude of 'I have freedom, and therefore will only do as led by an internal impulse' tends to lead to doing nothing at all. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak and all that.
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  #53  
Old 11-02-2013, 07:55 PM
Walks_in_islam Walks_in_islam is offline
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Re: What I'm Learning From Islam:

Prayer times for Muslims are: Before sunrise, anytime after high noon (midday), mid-afternoon, just before sunset, and after sunset. Some teach that

In order to set the Muslims apart/separate them from the pagans these times are forbidden for OBLIGATORY prayers:

From the time the sun cracks the skyline until it is fully up (during actual sunrise), at the point in the day when the sun is at its peak (high noon) and from the time the sun hits the horizon until it disappears (during sunset)

It is permissive to combine the midday and mid-afternoon prayers and it is permissive to combine the evening and nighttime prayers. Most teachers say that there should be a legitimate reason for doing it or it becomes a sin.

Last edited by Walks_in_islam; 11-02-2013 at 07:59 PM.
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  #54  
Old 11-02-2013, 08:36 PM
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Dordrecht Dordrecht is offline
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Re: What I'm Learning From Islam:

Designing certain prayer times is men made legalism.
In March of 2002, BBC news told of a shocking event in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi religious police prevented the fire department from rescuing 15 of the 800 girls trapped inside their burning school. Their reason for blocking the rescue?

Because those 15 girls were not wearing correct Islamic dress. The religious police warned the rescuers that "it would be sinful to approach them." Fifteen girls died because they were not wearing the headscarves and black robes required by the kingdom's strict interpretation of the false religion of Islam.

While this is an extreme example, this incident shows the mindset of legalism. This is what can happen when man-made rules are put before the laws of God. And that mindset is not restricted to Islam.

Legalism exists in every religion, including Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and most certainly Christianity. Legalism consists of man-made rules with self-appointed judges who induce guilt and oppress normal life. Because legalists place their laws above God's laws, legalism leads to slavery.

Jesus fought legalism all through His ministry. True faith in Christ leads to the ultimate freedom: freedom to follow God and know God; freedom from captivity of legalism and sin. Legalism leads to spiritual death, while true faith in Christ is about abundant living in Him.
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  #55  
Old 11-02-2013, 09:01 PM
Walks_in_islam Walks_in_islam is offline
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Re: What I'm Learning From Islam:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dordrecht View Post
Designing certain prayer times is men made legalism.
In March of 2002, BBC news told of a shocking event in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi religious police prevented the fire department from rescuing 15 of the 800 girls trapped inside their burning school. Their reason for blocking the rescue?

Because those 15 girls were not wearing correct Islamic dress. The religious police warned the rescuers that "it would be sinful to approach them." Fifteen girls died because they were not wearing the headscarves and black robes required by the kingdom's strict interpretation of the false religion of Islam.

While this is an extreme example, this incident shows the mindset of legalism. This is what can happen when man-made rules are put before the laws of God. And that mindset is not restricted to Islam.

Legalism exists in every religion, including Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and most certainly Christianity. Legalism consists of man-made rules with self-appointed judges who induce guilt and oppress normal life. Because legalists place their laws above God's laws, legalism leads to slavery.

Jesus fought legalism all through His ministry. True faith in Christ leads to the ultimate freedom: freedom to follow God and know God; freedom from captivity of legalism and sin. Legalism leads to spiritual death, while true faith in Christ is about abundant living in Him.
Legalism indeed. Daily prayers are obligatory and failure to follow them is a robbery of God.

Do you actually realize how many times the morning, midday, and evening prayers are referenced in the bible?

The New Testament
"Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the HOUR OF PRAYER, being the ninth hour" (Acts 3:1)

The Old Testament

Daniel 6:10: Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, [a]as he had been doing previously.

There are more. Do you need to see them? Excellent. Crack that book and get started.

Last edited by Walks_in_islam; 11-02-2013 at 09:13 PM.
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  #56  
Old 11-02-2013, 09:17 PM
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Praxeas Praxeas is offline
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Re: What I'm Learning From Islam:

Did they pray out of obligation?
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  #57  
Old 11-02-2013, 11:23 PM
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FlamingZword FlamingZword is offline
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Re: What I'm Learning From Islam:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquila View Post
I don't think anyone is understanding what anyone is actually trying to say.

No one is saying that the Bible requires that Christians kill people. However, what is being said is that verses of the Bible have been taken out of their context as "evidence" that the Bible does command believers to kill their enemies. The over all point is that the same is often done with the Qur'an.

Now, to get a little deeper here it should be advised that there is a Christian movement in the United States known as Christian Recontructionism. Reconstructionists advocate a "Christian Government" and would execute criminals for breaking laws in the OT that required a death sentence under Moses. They also believe in a "cultural mandate" that would require a "Christianized Government" to conquer godless nations and subject them to the authority of Christ's Kingdom. A study of this group might shock you. Many big name Evangelicals are a part of this movement.

On the Islamic front we have groups like al-Qaeda and others that are equally as extreme. However they are advancing a radical form of Islam that doesn't necessarily fit the common interpretations of the Qur'an.

For the most part, today the differences between America and the Muslim world are primarily political, not religious. So both Muslims and Christians who throw mud out of religious bigotry should cool their jets.
Look at the fruits of Islam, nothing but backwardness, ignorance, and hatred.
If it wasn't for the Oil in their land they would be a basket case.
suicide Bombers, head decapitations, jihad and all kinds of violence.
Open your eyes at the actual results of that religion.
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  #58  
Old 11-03-2013, 05:34 AM
Walks_in_islam Walks_in_islam is offline
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Re: What I'm Learning From Islam:

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlamingZword View Post
Look at the fruits of Islam, nothing but backwardness, ignorance, and hatred.
If it wasn't for the Oil in their land they would be a basket case.
suicide Bombers, head decapitations, jihad and all kinds of violence.
Open your eyes at the actual results of that religion.
Your backwardness, ignorance, and hatred are showing. Open your own eyes.
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  #59  
Old 11-03-2013, 07:15 AM
Walks_in_islam Walks_in_islam is offline
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Re: What I'm Learning From Islam:

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Originally Posted by Praxeas View Post
Did they pray out of obligation?
Did they? I would think Prax that you would be in a better position to answer this.

Where does the term "the hour of prayer" come from? What was the orgin of Shacharit, Minchah, and Maariv prayer times and why were regular prayer times practiced and referenced in both the Old and New Testaments?

With that said I suppose everyone has the freedom of choice and may choose not to pray. I do not understand why one would choose to search for justification not to.
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  #60  
Old 11-03-2013, 07:52 AM
seekerman seekerman is offline
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Re: What I'm Learning From Islam:

1Th 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
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