Summary: A powerful part of prayer is telling God how much we "adore" Him. Have you ever done that? Do you know why it is important that you do do that?
(This was the first of two sermons preached by our Associate Minister Scott Jewell while I was in Israel)
OPEN: “I’d rather be able to pray than to be a great preacher; Jesus Christ never taught his disciples how to preach, but only how to pray.” -- D. L. Moody
We’re going to spend the next four weeks studying the prayer Jesus taught His disciples. To do so, we’re going to learn the ACTS of prayer. ACTS is an acronym that stands for the four components of Jesus’ prayer- Adoration Confession Thanksgiving Supplication
Before we pray this passage together, let me remind you of Jeff’s message last week
“But when God calls us to be still… He’s NOT asking us to do nothing. He’s NOT asking us to focus on nothing. You remember what God says we need to focus on????” (Jeff Strite)
“Be still… and know that I am God.” -- Psalm 46:10
I want to give you the opportunity to put this into practice. Allow this video to help you to be still and know that He is God and then we can pray the Lord’s prayer together.
Video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJzUS_YPlLc (from :03 to 2:54 Francis Chan, How Big is the Universe?)
That is the view if we were to reach a star 100 million light years away, we’ve reached the outer limits of our telescopes, and to think, our God is even bigger. Be still and know that I am God. With that in mind, let’s go to Him by praying the words Jesus taught His disciples together. I’ve got them on the screen so that we can speak in unison, I know some of us have learned it using different translations and that’s okay. Let’s pray.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
The disciples came to Jesus. I’m sure they saw Him praying many times before. Sometimes among the crowds, other times withdrawing to a private place. These men had seen enough to know that when Jesus prayed, things happened. When you’re trying to figure out how to do something well, the quickest way is to go to someone who already has it mastered. If you haven’t noticed yet, we have a new classroom where there used to be a stage. Now, trust me, when it was decided to build that room, no one came to me and asked how to design the room. That was probably a good thing- my initial idea was to take the pvc from the 9 square game Justin built and hang some sheets where that back wall was to create a temporary classroom. Instead, they went to Mark, who with some help from family members and a few others here in the church, built this much nicer looking, very usable room that has plenty of space for a large class, doors that will allow wheelchairs easy access, and a sound buffer so that the NT class doesn’t disrupt the teens during the Sunday school hour. Because they had seen the effectiveness of Jesus praying, the disciples asked Him to teach them.
As I mentioned earlier, we’re going to break down this lesson on prayer into four parts. Today, I’m going to talk about adoration. If you look again at verse 9:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed by Your name. -- Matthew 6:9
I took an unscientific poll on FB this week in preparation for this morning, simply asking friends, “What do you adore about God?” I had a little Super Steve fun with the answers, as you can see from the slide: (I have a graphic word cloud using the words given in answer on FB).
The answers ranged from things like His unfailing, unconditional love, His patience, His grace and His magnificent power to things like His sense of humor and His foolishness.
I believe all the answers given could be sorted into one of two categories:
1. The magnificence of God- Our Father in HEAVEN!
We’ve already watched a video showing the enormity of the universe- God is even bigger
The Psalmist depicts it this way:
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun,