Summary: Anyone who is serious about Jesus will want to grow in prayer. One of the quickest ways to check the health of your spiritual life is to answer this question: How’s your prayer life?
Every faith has some form of prayer. Muslims stop whatever they’re doing five times a day to pray as you’ll hear the wailing cries of prayer callers in many Asian cities. Incas and Aztecs went so far as to sacrifice humans in order to attract their gods’ attention. And millions of people who attend AA meetings pray to a Higher Power to stop their addictions. More people this week will pray than will drive a car or go to work according to Gallup polls.
Today, we being a study on the Lord’s Prayer, called Eleven: Two – it’s taken from the Scripture address of the Lord’s Prayer in the gospel of Luke. The Lord’s Prayer is designed to change our priorities and to reverse our thinking. The words of this prayer are beautiful like a finished work of art. They are plain yet majestic. The words of the prayer has a serenity and tranquility to them that is unequaled. The prayer is short and simple so it can be quickly learned. As a matter of fact, we’ll close each worship service during this series by reciting the Lord’s Prayer from Matthew.
Anyone who is serious about Jesus will want to grow in prayer. One of the quickest ways to check the health of your spiritual life is to answer this question: How’s your prayer life? We’re devoting six weeks to the Lord’s Prayer and here’s why: 1) I want to help all of us develop a powerful prayer life by offering you a tuning fork where you’ll know when your prayers are on the right pitch. 2) And I want to encourage by showing you that God hears prayer. Think of it: what prayer can have greater power with God the Father that a prayer the comes directly from the lips of Jesus.
Let’s jump right in…
Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” 2 And he said to them, “When you pray, say:
“Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
3 Give us each day our daily bread,
4 and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.”
5 And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, 6 for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7 and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? 8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. 9 And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:1-13)
Now, most of us are less familiar with Luke’s version and more familiar with the longer version of the same prayer in Matthew’s gospel:
“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.