PRAY LIKE THIS: The Lord’s Prayer
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 6:9-13
THE POINT: Understand the pattern for prayer given by Jesus.
After Jesus had done yet another outstanding miracle, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord teach us to pray." Obviously the disciple felt that by knowing how to pray, they too would be able to do miracles. Jesus then told them the prayer which we now call The Lord's Prayer. Most Christians memorize the prayer in the King James Version. "Our Father, who art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory. Forever and ever Amen."
A contemporary translation of the prayer would go like this: "Our Daddy, who is in heaven. Let your name be praised and kept holy. Let your kingdom come. Let your will be done on earth as it is done in heaven. Provide for us today. Forgive us our sins because we forgive those who sin against us. And don't allow us to be tempted. But deliver us from all evil inside and outside of us. For you are the powerful king who rules over everything. And we see your glory and power everywhere. Forever. It's done."
But Jesus did not say “Say this prayer.” What He said was, “Pray in this manner of this prayer” or “Pray like this.” So The Lord’s Prayer is not only a prayer, but it is a pattern for prayer. Let us examine what this pattern teaches us about true prayer.
The first thing to realize is that the prayer is a very intimate prayer. Jesus is encouraging us to speak to God in Heaven as if you were a child in God's family.
OUR FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN:
This first part of the prayer reminds us that even though we are praying alone, we are part of a family of believers. God is also the father of our friends, enemies, neighbors and strangers. Only Jesus used the word “abba”which means “Daddy” to show our relationship to God.
LET YOUR NAME BE PRAISED:
The main purpose for all prayer is always that Jesus be glorified. If we pray for blessing, healing, or salvation, all these prayers will glorify Jesus’s name. Jesus's death and resurrection will be declared among believers and unbelievers everywhere. The Psalms tell us that we enter God's gates with thanksgiving in our hearts and into His courts with praise. It might be hard to pray to God with a thankful heart. Some people think it’s lying to praise God. Or they feel they are bribing Him. But if we realize that God is always working in the lives of His children, commanding the sun to shine, upholding us and caring for us as a Good Shepherd, then are able to praise. After considering God’s goodness in their lives, the children of God are able to truly give God heartfelt and joyous praise.
LET YOUR KINGDOM COME:
Here, we pray for the kingdom of God to come. The Kingdom of God is within us by the power of God’s Holy Spirit. But it is also in heaven and in the world to come. By showing our concern for God’s kingdom, and inviting the kingdom in all its forms to come to earth, we intercede for the world and pray that nothing block the power of God’s kingdom. God's kingdom is truth, healing, love, peace, joy and holiness. The kingdom of God is working to bring all unsaved people to God and to perfect those already in God's kingdom.
LET YOUR WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN:
Oh that everything on earth was like everything in heaven! In heaven, there is no disobedience, no error, no cruelty, no sickness. God’s perfect will is always being accomplished in Heaven. We are praying that life on earth reflect God’s will. In addition, we are surrendering our will to God's will. Usually God’s will for us is better than we could imagine or wish for ourselves. But we don't know that because we often judge our lives by human wisdom. By saying for God’s will, we are asking God to close all doors that should be closed to us and to open those doors that should be opened to us. It is a great invitation to God Who Knows Better.
GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD:
When we pray this part of the prayer, we should be aware that all things come from God. Everything. The money we get from our paycheck, the joyous conversations with good friends, the health we have which enables us to work, the beauty of nature, and all our talents. But bread can also be spiritual. The Word of God in the Bible and the word of God in our heart that guides us. Everything comes from God. There is nothing we have that is not from Him. Although God always provides for His children, Jesus reminds us to ask God for your daily bread nevertheless. The Bible tells us that often we have not because we ask not. In reminding us to ask for something that God already gives, Jesus makes us remember that God cares about us. Note also that Jesus tells us to ask for our daily bread, not our monthly or weekly or yearly bread. He tells us not to fret: the day has enough trouble of its own.
FORGIVE US OUR SINS AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO SIN AGAINST US:
This is one of the hardest part of the prayer pattern. Jesus told his disciples that when they were praying, they should forgive. In addition, he also told us that when we pray we must also be forgiven by others. “If you go to the altar and there remember that someone has something against us, leave the altar, go and speak with your friend, then come back to the altar to pray.” As you can see, forgiveness is very important. God is loving but unforgiveness in our heart often blocks our prayer. The Bible tells us that faith works by love.
AND DON'T ALLOW US TO BE TEMPTED, BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL AND THE EVIL ONE:
Here, we ask God to intercede for us and our friends against sins of the flesh such as anger; against the temptations in the world, such as the love of money or racial hatred, and against the evil plans the devil has prepared for us. It’s easy to understand that the world tempts us. We also understand lustful desires created by hormones and the moonlight. But we really need spiritual discernment to avoid a trap. Some temptations appear “good and lovely in our eyes.” Remember, Eve wanted so much to be like God. But God can guide us.
We also pray for protection against danger, and the many kinds of physical, emotional, psychological, demonic, and financial trouble that can attack us.
FOR YOURS IS THE KINGDOM, THE POWER, AND THE GLORY FOREVER
Here we acknowledge that God alone has power. Many Christians say they believe that God alone has power. But often, they say worldly things such as "Money makes the world go round.” Or “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Or they say they have no power over their family genes, or “bad luck.” But here Jesus reminds us that there is no authority above us but God. Earthly and spiritual authorities cannot overwhelm us because God is the supreme ruler.
This word means “True and Faithful!” “So be it!” “It's done!” “Truly, truly!” And Jesus’s use of it at the end of the prayer was as His use of Daddy in the beginning of the prayer. By saying “AMEN!,” we are acknowledging that God has heard and answered our prayer. When we pray, we are not supposed to leave in doubt. When we pray to God, we are to be sure of God’s power and love. We are also to thank Him because we know He is doing His work for us. As we study God’s word, we learn God’s will and we can feel confident about what we pray for unless God gives us a clear “no” or a clear “wait” we should have peace that God has heard our prayer.
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Even as a christian praying daily, i do not ask God for my daily bread according to the Lords prayer. However i will strive to do so from now on. Thank you for your insight and writing job well done, glory to God.
Carole...an excellent job! - Jay Cookingham