The Lord’s Prayer
Learning to pray like Jesus
Amazon has over 13,000 books listed on prayer. It surprised many people in our country a few years ago when a small little book, Prayer of Jabez, knocked Harry Potter from the #1 spot on the NY Times bestseller list.
Over 50% of American’s have said they pray daily…and Every Sunday Christians across the world recite the Lord’s Prayer…
A few points I want to share about the Lord’s prayer…found in Luke 11:1 and in Matt 6:9
Look at Luke 11:1—
The disciples saw Jesus praying, and asked him to teach them how to pray… Jesus didn’t give Lord’s Prayer as a formula or incantation to recite…but as a model…Not here’s what to pray, but here’s how to pray. Matthew says it plainly… ‘pray like this.’
#1 Prayer is learned.
- How many have studied foreign languages? What languages?
Many know…read books, listen to tapes…nothing replaces practicing speaking the language. Same with Prayer…it takes practice. There are times when I have prayed when my mind wanders or I repeat myself and have to apologize to God for not being as focused. Times when the words won’t come…
- Do you want to grow in prayer…learn it…pray with others. Read books on prayer, watch how Jesus prayed…how the heroes of the Bible prayed…frequent and often.
#2 God is to be approached as a loving Father…not a distant Diety.
- of the 66 words in the prayer…24 focus on the Father, who He is…28 focus on our needs and issues. It often seems that a much higher focus of Christian prayers focus on our needs instead of who God is…Prayer is also a time to praise God…
ILLUS: Practice try this week…on way to work practice praising God the entire way until your destination…It is hard…but it’s worth trying… Remember I first tried it, I realized that I don’t just need to practice praying, but practice praising God…
-Father is a term of intimacy…God is close to you…Jesus did not pray “Oh great and mighty omniscient designer outside the realm of time and space..” No. “Our Father.”
This was a new concept in Jewish thinking…They believed that God’s name could not be spoken…The Unpronounceable name…
As David Jeremiah writes in “Prayer, the Great Adventure”.. "The writers of the Old Testament had a much different concept of their relationship to God than we do today. When the scribes who copied the Old Testament scriptures wrote the word for God, Yahweh, they would throw away their pen, never to use it again. They reasoned that once it had written the word, Yahweh, the pen was disqualified to write anything else."
ILLUS:--God is Father…but his name is hallowed. Did you hear the one about the little boy who recited the Lord’s Prayer, saying, “Our Father who art in heaven, how’d you know my name? Hallowed means holy, reverent. Treat God’s name and the things of God as holy.
-"When John F. Kennedy was President of the United States, Life magazine published photos of his children, John Jr. and Caroline, playing with their toys on the floor of the Oval Office. Those images captured the hearts of the American people like nothing before or since. Why? I think it’s because it bridged a gap between two thoughts: Kennedy was the President of the United States, but he was also a father. He held ultimate political power in the Free World, but playing at his feet were two little kids who called him Daddy.