Summary: This sermon helps people connect with God through a simple act of praying the Lord’s prayer.
THE LORD’S PRAYER: PATH TO INNER PEACE
Have you ever taken the time to teach someone to pray?
For most of us are first prayer was: "Lord I lay me down to sleep I pray the Lord my soul to keep, if I die before I wake I pray the Lord my soul to take."
If you listen to that prayer, at a very casual level - it is kind of frightful. Who wants to think about dying - before we wake?
However, if you listen to it again - it is a prayer of reassurance. We can pray with full confidence that we can lay our heads to rest every day in sickness and in health with the full confidence that one day we will wake up in the presence of God.
Our sermon series this month is going to focus on 4 simple verses - commonly called the Lord’s Prayer.
This prayer is a model - that can be repeated or used an outline for effective communication with God.
If you pray the Lord’s Prayer you will:
* Connect with God
* Place appropriate boundaries around your relationships
* Stay focused and cleanse your life from unwanted distractions
You are probably wondering why I would want to take this prayer that most people know by heart and repeat it without even thinking. That’s the problem.
* The Bible tells us "to pray without ceasing."
* Most of us "pray without thinking."
Truth: Prayer is a behavior not a series of random thoughts.
Over the years people have understood this, and that is why many people:
* Get on their knees
* Find a prayer place
* Keep a prayer journal
My goal in this series is to get us to change our behavior in a very small area of our lives, with the hope that this one simple behavior will be the beginning of some positive life change for us.
Read: Matthew 6:5-13 (NIV)
"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.  But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.  And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
 "This, then, is how you should 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.’
1. PRAYER IS AN ACTION - NOT A THOUGHT
When Jesus starts this discussion on prayer the first thing that he does is criticize certain ways that people pray.
Hypocrite = Actor - someone playing a part, but not willfully engaged.
* Engaged their bodies (standing, kneeling, prostrate, tears)
* Engaged their mouths ("babbling...for they think they will be heard for their many words)
* Did not engage their heart, soul, mind and strength.
Matthew 6:6 (NIV)