Months and Years in the Koran

March 18, 2018 Leave a comment

This is another blog about the mathematical wonders of the Koran. I am going to illustrate some interesting details regarding the occurrences of the Arabic words for month and year in the Muslims’ holy book.

The Arabic word for month occurs seven times in the plural.

Nominative Plural Indefinite

ashhurun 2:197

Nominative Plural Definite

al-ashhuru 9:5

Genitive Plural Indefinite

ashhurin 2:226; 2:234; 9:2; 65:4

Genitive Plural Definite

al-shuhūri 9:36

The Arabic word for month occurs twice in the Koran in the genitive dual.

shahrayni 4:92; 58:4

The Arabic word for month occurs twelve times in the singular in the Koran.

Nominative Singular Indefinite

shahrun 34:12 (twice in this verse)

Nominative Singular Definite

shahru 2:185

al-shahru 2:194 (the definite article + shahru)

Accusative Singular Indefinite

shahran 9:36; 46:15

Accusative Singular Definite

al-shahra 2:185; 5:2 (the definite article + shahra)

wal-shahra 5:97 (the conjunction wa + the definite article + shahra)

Genitive Singular Indefinite

shahrin 97:3

Genitive Singular Definite

bil-shahri 2:194 (the preposition bi + the definite article + shahri)

al-shahri 2:217 (the definite article + shahri)

In Arabic, the singular form of a noun is used with numbers. We say in English five boxes. In Arabic, it would be five box, but using Arabic words of course.

The Arabic word for month occurs 12 times in the singular in the Koran. There are twelve months in the year. It occurs 7 times in the plural and 2 times in the dual. 12 + 7+ 2 = 21. It occurs 19 times in the singular and plural. 12 + 7 = 19. See$hr#(2:185:1).

The Arabic word for year occurs 12 times in the genitive plural and 7 times in the singular indefinite. 12 + 7 = 19

Genitive Plural Definite

bil-sinīna 7:130 (the preposition bi + the definite article + sinīna)

al-sinīna 10:5; 17:12 (the definite article + sinīna)

sinīna 12:42,47; 18:11,25; 20:40; 23:112; 26:18,205; 30:4

Accusative Singular Indefinite

sanatan 5:26; 46:15

Genitive Singular Indefinite

sanatin 2:96; 22:47; 29:14; 32:5; 70:4


So, the Arabic word for month occurs 21 times in all of its forms in the Koran and the Arabic word for year occurs 19 times in all of its forms.  The Arabic word for month occurs twice in the dual. The Arabic word for month occurs 12 times in the singular in the Koran and the Arabic word for year occurs 12 times in the plural. There are twelve months in the year. The Arabic word for month occurs 7 times in the plural and the Arabic word for year occurs 7 times in the singular.

The number of months, according to God, is twelve months — in the decree of God — since the Day He created the heavens and the earth, of which four are sacred. (Koran 9:36; ITANI)

Then after that will come seven hard years which will devour all that ye have prepared for them, save a little of that which ye have stored. (Koran 12:48, Pickthall)





A Popular Heresy

March 11, 2018 Leave a comment

There is a popular heresy. We can see it in the media and on the internet. It is the heresy that the heretic Marcion of Pontus used to teach in the second century. He did not believe that people will ever experience a bodily resurrection from the dead after death. Many people including Christian pastors believe and teach this heresy today.

Have you ever noticed how people often depict deceased loved ones as angels in sites built to commemorate them? Even in the movies, and I am here thinking of a particular one, Almost an Angel, the deceased are portrayed to have become angels.

Many who believe this heresy cite verses like these from the Bible in support of this notion.

For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven. (Matthew 22:30, NKJV)

It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. (I Corinthians 15:44, NKJV)

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. (I Corinthians 15:50, NKJV)

Ancient heretics used to quote these same verses in support of this heresy. The heresy is not new. It just has new people teaching it.

Today is the third Sunday of Lent — the Sunday of the Holy Cross. On this day we Orthodox commemorate the Cross on which our Lord Jesus Christ died. One thing that is integral to the theology of the Orthodox faith is the resurrection of Christ. Whenever we think of the Cross, we also think of His resurrection from the dead. The purpose of the Cross was to effect the resurrection, not only for Him but also for everyone else who follows Him.  The resurrection of the dead and the hope of one day being immortal is what Easter is all about.

The soul is already immortal. Our bodies are mortal. To be truly immortal is to have not only an immortal soul, but also an immortal body.

I am going to use some other passages in the Bible to illustrate how stupid this heresy actually is. In the Gospels, we can read about Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you. (Matthew 28:7, NKJV)

In the Book of Revelation, it says:

And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire. When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. (Revelation 11:3-12, NKJV)

The two witnesses in this passage have been interpreted by many as being Elijah and another prophet. The other prophet is possibly Enoch, since he was translated, that is, he never died, but ascended bodily into Heaven.

So, then, if there is no resurrection of the dead on the Last Day, we have a bunch of bodiless spirits and three resurrected men who have immortal bodies. Of course, there is Lazarus also. His sister, Martha, said to Jesus:

“I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” (John 11:24, NKJV)

Lazarus was resurrected by Jesus, but he eventually died again. The belief that Martha had was that her brother would be resurrected on the last day of this present age. Jesus did not “correct” her and say, “You are mistaken. Your brother is destined to be an angel forever and will not always have a body.”

So, anyway,  in order to continue to show the absurdity of this heresy. We will say the Lazarus along with the two prophets will have immortal bodies while everyone else will be bodiless spirits. We have four immortal men with bodies now.

There is another verse we need to look at that will increase the number of immortals with bodies even more. It is the same chapter of I Corinthians that the heretics have found verses in support of this heresy.

Some people will be alive when Jesus returns. What will happen to believers who are alive?

Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed — in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. (I Corinthians 15:51,52, NKJV)

So, then, everyone who is alive and is a believer at Christ’s Second Coming will have immortal bodies. Then, there will be many with immortal bodies and not just the four men mentioned earlier in this blog post. Everyone else who has died will, according to the heretics, be angels. This sounds like such a strange and odd belief to me.

Now,  let us look at more of this passage.

For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” (I Corinthians 15:52-54,NKJV)

It says that the dead will be raised incorruptible. If the souls of the righteous are in heaven now, then what part of them will be raised? Their bodies. The Orthodox Christian doctrine is that the dead bodies of the righteous will be resurrected and changed into incorruptible ones. Jesus said:

Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth — those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. (John 5:28,29, NKJV)

He also said:

Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:54, NKJV)

Jesus will call all of the dead out of the graves on the last day.

In the Book of Daniel, it says:

And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. (Daniel 12:2, NKJV)

The resurrection of the body is one of the most basic Christian doctrines. So, many professing Christians are ignorant of some these fundamental teachings and have ignorantly adopted an ancient heresy.

Jesus had flesh and bones on the day of His resurrection.

Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have. (Luke 24:39, NKJV)

He also had blood coursing through His veins on the day of His resurrection.

Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. (I Peter 1:18,19, NKJV)

His blood is incorruptible. It is not corruptible like silver and gold.

Corruptible flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. It must be changed into incorruptible flesh and blood. Resurrected and changed. That is the correct doctrine.

The hope of all Christians is to one day be immortal in body as well as in soul. The heretics are teaching a false gospel and proclaiming a false hope. Let us look forward to the eternal day when death will be no more — only immortality and eternal joy.

Have You Been Deceived?

February 25, 2018 Leave a comment

Our society tends to promote some things that are spiritually harmful and result in our society becoming more decadent. One of the things that is promoted in TV shows and movies is sexual immorality. Fornication is portrayed as something normal and acceptable. People become brainwashed by the media and the messages generated through TV shows and the media into accepting something that is spiritually detrimental — sexual immorality.

I watch some shows on Netflix and see this subtle promotion of sexual immorality. I like to watch the shows to see how the protagonists win in the end, but I do not like the promotion of sin.

Superheroes, like Supergirl, the Flash, and Arrow, fornicate with unmarried partners. They are heroes. If heroes can fornicate, then it is OK for anyone else who is not married to fornicate, too. That is the subtle message being transmitted. Children watch such shows and end up believing the lie which is being communicated through the show’s plot.

In Orthodox Christian theology, sin is viewed as a subtraction from one’s humanity and not an addition to it. Therefore, the superheroes who fornicate are less human. The Flash is less of a man when he fornicates with a woman police detective. Arrow is less than a man when he fornicates with Shadow, Sarah, Laurel, and the Huntress. Supergirl is not from this world, but the moral standard still applies and even she loses some of her supergirlness when she fornicates with Mon-El.

St. Paul wrote two letters to the Christians in Corinth in the first century. He told the Corinthian Christians in his First Epistle:

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. (I Corinthians 6:9,10, NKJV)

Notice that fornicators and adulterers are among those whom he mentions as not inheriting the kingdom of God. These are people who have sex with someone who is not their spouse. In other words, they have sex out of wedlock.

The Koran, likewise, teaches that people who practice sexual immorality will go to Hell and not Paradise. In Surah 17, it says:

And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way. (Koran 17:32, Sahih International)

Satan enjoins sexual immorality. Those who practice sexual immorality are following the footsteps of the devil.

O you who have believed, do not follow the footsteps of Satan. And whoever follows the footsteps of Satan — indeed, he enjoins immorality and wrongdoing. (Koran 24:21, Sahih International)

Satan summons people to Hell.

Lo! the devil is an enemy for you, so treat him as an enemy. He only summoneth his faction to be owners of the flaming Fire. (Koran 35:6, Pickthall)

Satan deceives them.

Satan promiseth them only to deceive. (Koran 17:64, Pickthall)

Therefore, those who practice fornication and adultery are  deceived. Once again the Koran confirms the teachings of the Bible. (Koran 5:48)

So, just because the media and the movie-makers say in subtle ways that fornication and adultery are OK, does not mean that sexual immorality is OK. Do not be deceived.

Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil. (Exodus 23:2, KJV)

Just because everyone else is practicing sexual immorality, does not mean that you should do it, too. Most people in the world are going to Hell.

Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13,14, NKJV)

If most of the people in the world are following Satan into Hell, that does not mean that you should do the same? If you are practicing sexual immorality, ask yourself, “Have I been deceived?”


Two Eternal Sacraments

February 11, 2018 Leave a comment

The older one gets, the more one begins to think about what happens next, that is, after death. I think about the afterlife from time to time. One of the things that has occurred to me after reading and reflecting on the Bible is that there are two Sacraments in the Church which will continue on into the next life. They are the Sacrament of the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

It is clear to us Orthodox that we will continue to celebrate the Eucharist in the afterlife. In Paschal Matins, we sing:

O Christ, Thou great and most sacred Pascha!
O Wisdom, Word and power of God!
Grant us to partake of Thee more fully
in the unwaning day
of Thy kingdom.
(Fifth Troparion of the Ninth Ode of Paschal Matins)

We understand that the Resurrected Jesus Christ is present both mystically and really in  the Eucharist. So, whenever we partake of the Eucharist we partake of Christ. He is ever eaten and never consumed. He does not cease to exist after we partake of Him. This is a mystery. We call the Sacraments the Holy Mysteries.

The Bible teaches that there will be a Eucharist in the kingdom of God after the resurrection of the dead. In Genesis, we read about Melchizedec, King of Salem and Priest to the Most High God.

And Melchisedec king of Salem brought forth loaves and wine, and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed Abram, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, who made heaven and earth, and blessed be the most high God who delivered thine enemies into thy power. And Abram gave him the tithe of all. (Genesis 14:18-20, LXX)

Melchisedec used bread and wine in his priestly office. Jesus likewise used bread and wine.

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:26-28, NKJV)

For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” (I Corinthians 11:23-25, NKJV)

St. Paul points out that one of the Old Testament prophecies about Jesus in the Psalms says that He will be a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec.

And inasmuch as He was not made priest without an oath (for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him who said to Him: “The Lord has sworn and will not relent, ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek’”). (Hebrews 7:20,21, NKJV)

So, if the priesthood according to the order of Melchisec continues forever. That which is offered by this priesthood will continue forever, too. The Bread and the Wine of the Eucharist will continue to be offered in the afterlife on into eternity for all perpetuity.

The Melchisedec priesthood consists of not only Jesus and King Melchisedec of Salem, but also His apostles and the successors of the apostles and those given authority by the successors of the apostles to handle the Holy Mysteries, that is, the priests.

Not everyone may handle the Holy Mysteries. St. Paul wrote:

Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. (I Corinthians 4:1, NKJV)

The apostles were stewards of the Mysteries of God. They were responsible for safeguarding their administration to the faithful. Those who were ordained bishops by the apostles received this stewardship at their ordination. The presbyters, or priests, were given authority by the bishops to administer the Sacraments to the faithful within their local congregations.

Further evidence of the existence of this stewardship among the apostles can be seen in the Book of Acts. The St. Philip the Deacon baptized men and women in Samaria, but he never laid on hands on them so that they could become sealed with the Holy Spirit.

But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. (Acts 8:12, NKJV)

Two of the apostles, Sts. Peter and John, laid hands on the baptized Samaritans.

Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. (Acts 8:14-17, NKJV)

One must be one of the Twelve Apostles or a successor of the apostles, that is, a bishop, in order to have the authority to do this. St. Philip the Deacon did not have the authority to do this. Therefore, Sts. Peter and John laid hands on them so that the Samaritans would be sealed with the Holy Spirit.

If there is a Eucharist in the afterlife, there will also be Holy Orders. Bishops, Priests, Deacons, Subdeacons, and Readers will be there, too. Two Sacraments which will continue on after the general resurrection of the dead and the Last Judgment are Holy Orders and the Eucharist.


Chromosomes and the Koran

February 5, 2018 Leave a comment

Human beings have 46 chromosomes. When a man and woman procreate together, the man contributes 23 chromosomes to their child and the woman contributes 23 chromosomes to the child as well. There are some interesting mathematical wonders pertaining to the number 46 in the Koran.

The title of Surah 76 in the Koran is “The Human.” In Arabic, it is Al-Insān. Here are all of the places where this Arabic word occurs in the Koran.

     2:60 unāsin (indefinite genitive plural)
1)  4:28 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
     7:82 unāsun (indefinite nominative plural)
     7:160 unāsin (indefinite genitive plural)
2) 10:12 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
3) 11:9 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
4) 12:5 lil’insāni (definite genitive singular prefixed by the preposition, lām)
5) 14:34 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
6) 15:26 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
7) 16:4 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
8) 17:11 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
9) 17:11 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
    17:13 insānin (indefinite genitive singular)
10) 17:53 lil’insāni (definite genitive singular prefixed by the preposition, lām)
11) 17:67 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
      17:71 unāsin (indefinite genitive plural)
12) 17:83 al-insāni (definite genitive singular)
13) 17:100 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
14) 18:54 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
15) 19:66 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
16) 19:67 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
17) 21:37 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
18) 22:66 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
19) 23:12 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
20) 25:29 lil’insāni (definite genitive singular prefixed by the preposition, lām)
      25:49 wa-anāsiyya (definite accusative plural prefixed by the conjunction, wa)
      27:56 unāsun (indefinite nominative plural)
21) 29:8 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
22) 31:14 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
23) 32:7 al-insāni (definite genitive singular)
24) 33:72 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
25) 36:77 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
26) 39:8 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
27) 39:49 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
28) 41:49 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
29) 41:51 al-insāni (definite genitive singular)
30) 42:48 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
31) 42:48 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
32) 43:15 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
33) 46:15 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
34) 50:16 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
35) 53:24 lil’insāni (definite genitive singular prefixed by the preposition, lām)
36) 53:39 lil’insāni (definite genitive singular prefixed by the preposition, lām)
37) 55:3 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
38) 55:14 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
39) 59:16 lil’insāni (definite genitive singular prefixed by the preposition, lām)
40) 70:19 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
41) 75:3 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
42) 75:5 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
43) 75:10 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
44) 75:13 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
45) 75:14 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
46) 75:36 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
47) 76:1 al-insāni (definite genitive singular)
48) 76:2 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
49) 79:35 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
50) 80:17 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
51) 80:24 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
52) 82:6 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
53) 84:6 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
54) 86:5 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
55) 89:15 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
56) 89:23 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
57) 90:4 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
58) 95:4 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
59) 96:2 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
60) 96:5 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
61) 96:6 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
62) 99:3 al-insānu (definite nominative singular)
63) 100:6 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)
64) 103:2 al-insāna (definite accusative singular)


The definite singular of this word occurs 46 times before Surah 76 – The Human. The 46th verse in the Koran to contain the definite singular of this word is Koran 76:1. (It occurs twice in Koran 17:11.) This word occurs 64 times in the definite singular and once in the indefinite singular (Koran 17:13). So, in the singular form this word occurs 65 times in the Koran. 65 is the 46th composite number. (Composite numbers are numbers divisible by numbers other than themselves. Prime numbers are divisible only by themselves and 1.) Here are the composite numbers up to 65. I grouped them in fives. You can count them.


If you add the numbers of all of the chapters preceding Surah 76 which have the definite singular form of this word, you will get 961.

4 + 10 + 11 + 12 + 14 + 15 + 16 + 17+ 18 + 19 + 21 + 22 + 23 + 25 +  29 = 256
31 + 32 + 33 + 36 + 39 + 41 + 42 + 43 + 46 + 50 + 53 + 55 + 59 = 560
70 + 75 = 145

256 + 560 + 145 = 961

961 = 31 x 31

46 is the 31st composite number.

The haploid chromosome number of humans is 23 — the number contributed by each parent in procreation. The 23rd occurrence of the singular form of this Arabic word is in Koran 31:14. (Count the occurrence in Koran 17:13 where it occurs in the indefinite singular.) Remember that 46 is the 31st composite number. The 23rd occurrence of the singular form is in the 31st chapter of the Koran.

If you count all of the occurrences of this word in all of its forms, you will get 71. 71 is the 36th odd number. 36 = 6 x 6. According to Genesis, God created man on the sixth day. (Genesis 1:26-31)

These are just a few interesting mathematical wonders in the Koran.

The Language of Prayer

December 26, 2017 Leave a comment

I have discovered through my web browsing sessions on the internet that Muslims pray in Arabic and many non-Arab Muslims do not even know what they are praying. This seems very similar to what has been going on with Roman Catholics in the past. They go to a Latin Mass and unless they have studied and learned to understand Latin, they really do not know what is being said during the service. (A lot of Masses nowadays are in the language spoken by the people and not Latin.) I have attended Divine Liturgy in a Greek Orthodox church before and heard half of the Liturgy in Greek and the rest in English. There needs to be some common sense here. I will talk about that now.

In the Koran, it says:

O men, you are the ones that have need of God; He is the All-sufficient, the All-laudable. (Koran 35:15, Arberry)

God is All-sufficient. He does not need us. He does not need our prayers. God already knows what we need before we ask Him. Jesus said:

Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. (Matthew 6:8, NKJV)

Prayer is really for our own spiritual benefit, not for God.

St. Paul said:

So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air… For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. (I Corinthians 14:9,14,15, NKJV)

If the religious leaders who are responsible for shepherding me require me to pray in a language that I do not understand, they are having me do something that is not spiritually beneficial to me. If I pray in Latin and do not understand Latin, I am uttering words into the air and “my understanding is unfruitful.” Whenever one prays liturgically, one must unite his heart to his mouth. This is a spiritual discipline. I cannot do that if I pray in a language that I do not understand. Therefore, “I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding.”

King David prayed in Hebrew. Jesus and His disciples prayed in Aramaic. First century Christians converted from among the Gentiles prayed in Greek and Latin. Muhammad prayed in Arabic and not Greek because he understood Arabic. He accepted the teachings from the New Testament that I have just cited. (Koran 29:46) To my Muslim readers I say, if you believe that it is all right to pray without understanding what you have prayed, then you are disobeying the Koran. (Koran 4:136,137)

So, pray in a language that you understand. That is better for you.

God desires ease for you, and desires not hardship for you. (Koran 2:185, Arberry)

Why Pray?

December 24, 2017 Leave a comment

God does not need us, but we need Him. God created us to be loved by Him. He created us for Himself. He created us to glorify Him. Prayer is one of the activities that we need to engage in. Prayer, however, is for our own spiritual benefit and not for God who needs nothing at all from us. I am going to discourse on the reasons and purposes for prayer in this blog post.

In the Psalms, it says:

I will take no bullocks out of thine house, nor he-goats out of thy flocks. For all the wild beasts of the thicket are Mine, the cattle on the mountains, and oxen. I know all the birds of the sky; and the beauty of the field is Mine. If I should be hungry, I will not tell thee: for the world is Mine, and the fullness of it. Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? (Psalm 49:9-13; Psalm 50:9-13, Hebrew)

Animal sacrifices were part of ancient Jewish worship. This passage from the Psalms in effect says that God does not need those sacrifices. God does not need worship from anyone. The Koran, in several places, says that God is All-Sufficient.

As for the unbeliever, God is All-sufficient nor needs any being. (Koran 3:97, Arberry)

Whosoever struggles, struggles only to his own gain; surely God is All-sufficient nor needs any being. (Koran 29:6, Arberry)

Indeed, We gave Lokman wisdom: ‘Give thanks to God. Whosoever gives thanks gives thanks only for his own soul’s good, and whosoever is ungrateful — surely God is All-sufficient, All-laudable.’ (Koran 31:12, Arberry)

To God belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth; surely God — He is the All-sufficient, the All-laudable. (Koran 31:26, Arberry)

O men, you are the ones that have need of God; He is the All-sufficient, the All-laudable. (Koran 35:15, Arberry)

God is the All-sufficient; you are the needy ones. (Koran 47:38, Arberry)

Although God does not need us, He still loves us. He created us to be loved by Him. He never created anything to be hated.

For Thou lovest all the things that are, and abhorrest nothing which Thou hast made: for never wouldest Thou have made any thing, if Thou hadst hated it. (Wisdom 11:24, KJV)

God created everything for Himself. (Colossians 1:16) God established everything for His glory. He created us to glorify Him.

The Lord hath not given power to the saints to declare all His marvellous works, which the Almighty Lord firmly settled, that whatsoever is might be established for His glory. (Sirach 42:17, KJV)

Even all who are called by My name: for I have prepared him for My glory, and I have formed him, and have made him. (Isaiah 43:7, LXX)

The chief goal for which we should strive in all of our actions is to glorify God.

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (I Corinthians 10:31, NKJV)

One of the purposes for prayer, therefore, is to glorify God.

In the 49th Psalm, it says:

The sacrifice of praise will glorify Me: and that is the way wherein I will shew to him the salvation of God. (Psalm 49:23, LXX; Psalm 50:23, Hebrew)

Sincere worship glorifies God. Jesus said:

By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. (John 15:8, NKJV. See also Philippians 1:11.)

Fruit, in the Bible, is offspring (Psalm 126:3, LXX; Psalm 127:3, Hebrew) and new converts (John 4:34-38).  Fruit is also the qualities that God produces in us as we continue to cooperate with Him in our salvation.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22,23, NKJV)

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. (Romans 8:14, NKJV)

Fruit is good works. (II Corinthians 9:10; Colossians 1:10) So, one of the purposes of prayer is to become people who glorify God by manifesting in our lives those qualities enumerated in Galatians 5:22,23. Another purpose of prayer is to obtain from God mercy to help those who do not know God or who go through life ignoring Him to come to Him in repentance. Of course, one should pray for one’s children to inherit the Kingdom of God on the Day of Judgment, that is, obtain a home in Jannah. Another reason to pray is to obtain assistance from God in doing good works.

New converts, godly children, and good works glorify God. So, does worship. In the Bible, worship is called fruit, too.

Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. (Hebrews 13:15, NKJV)

As we go through life we are often tempted to do and say things that we should not do or say. One of the goals to be achieved in prayer is to obtain victory over temptation.

Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41, NKJV)

The Koran says:

Recite that which hath been inspired in thee of the Scripture, and establish worship. Lo! worship preserveth from lewdness and iniquity, but verily remembrance of Allah is more important. And Allah knoweth what ye do. (Koran 29:45, Pickthall)

The Koran says the same thing that Jesus said but in different words.

St. Paul gives us another purpose for prayer in his First Epistle to Timothy.

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. (I Timothy 2:1,2, NKJV)

The lack of peace in a region of the world might caused by a lack of prayer by its inhabitants. The Koran says:

God will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. (Koran 13:11)

So, in order to obtain peace, we should pray for everyone. That is what St. Paul was saying.

Another reason to pray is to obtain mercy from God and help in time of need.

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16, NKJV)

St. James, Jesus’ stepbrother, said:

Yet you do not have because you do not ask. (James 4:2, NKJV)

People do not have what they need because they never ask God. God already knows what we need before we ask Him. Jesus said:

Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. (Matthew 6:8, NKJV)

So, although God already knows what we need, He still requires us to ask Him to meet our needs. Prayer is really for our own spiritual benefit.

The Koran says:

So be patient over what they say and exalt [Allah] with praise of your Lord before the rising of the sun and before its setting; and during periods of the night [exalt Him] and at the ends of the day, that you may be satisfied. (Koran 20:130, Sahih International)

We all have spiritual needs. Prayer is a means of meeting those spiritual needs. Jesus said:

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. (Matthew 5:6, NKJV)

If you want to achieve a high level of sanctity, pray for righteousness. Pray that God will continually change you into that kind of person that He wants you to become. Finally, another reason for prayer is to remember God. King David said:

I remembered Thy name, O Lord, in the night, and kept Thy law. (Psalm 118:55, LXX; Psalm 119:55, Hebrew)

The Koran says:

Surely I am Allah, there is no god but I, therefore serve Me and keep up prayer for My remembrance. (Koran 20:14, Shakir)

Whenever we go through life ignoring our omnipresent Creator, that is not good. Praying at regular intervals helps us to remember God — the One for whom we were created.

To summarize, we were created for God to glorify Him and to be loved by Him. God does not need our prayers. He is All-Sufficient. He already knows what we need before we ask. If we do not have what we need, it is because we have not asked Him for it. He still requires us to ask. We need to pray so that we become the kind of people God wants us to be and manifest in our lives those qualities listed by St. Paul in Galatians 5:22,23. We need to pray for the conversion of those who do not walk with God in their daily lives. We need to pray so that we will live a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. We need to pray for the salvation of our children, relatives, and friends. We need to pray in order to obtain victory over temptations. We need to pray so that we remember God. We need to pray because the sacrifice of praise glorifies God. That is why we are here — to glorify Him.