Summary: A prayer from protection from tempation.
are asking for? Do we really know what it will require? Do we take it seriously? Do we even know how to do it? Or does our prayer life sometimes look a little too much like the one in this clip.
TIM HAWKINS “BEDTIME PRAYER”
Obviously when we pray, we don’t pray like that and hopefully our prayers are more effective than that. We’ve been working our way through the Lord’s Prayer as a model for how we should pray. When Jesus said, “This then is how you should pray” it wasn’t that He meant these exact words but these attitudes. When we pray these are the area’s that we should cover and the attitudes that we should have. We’ve been looking at the Lords prayer for that last few weeks, so please stand with me and let’s read it together one final time for the series.
Matthew 6:9-13, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
The Lord’s prayer is a model for us. It’s not that we’re supposed to pray these words every time but that we are supposed to pray with these attitudes. The Jewish people believed that just like you have physical arteries you have spiritual arteries. If your physical arteries get clogged your life suffers. If your spiritual arteries get clogged, your spiritual life suffers and by the way, your whole life suffers, because they are connected. So as Jesus works His way through the model prayer He works through each artery that should be cleared.
He began with “Our Father.” These words deal with our relationship with God. The one relationship that we have to get right. God wants to have a relationship with us. He is the perfect father that all the best of us can be is a dim, imperfect reflection of.
Then He said, “Hallowed by thy name.” This is the artery of worship. Even though God desires a relationship with us, we must never take Him for granted. He is still God, we still are not, and we never will be. We need to keep that in proper perspective.
Next was the artery of priority. Jesus taught us to pray for the kingdom of God to come. In life we learn that we can’t do everything so we have to learn what we can do and prioritize that. So Jesus told us to put the kingdom of God first and to pray for that first as a reminder that the kingdom of God needs to be our priority. But there is a pay off for that. Matthew 6:33, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” Jesus says, “If you make my kingdom your first priority then I’ll take care of all the rest of the stuff that you need.” It may not be everything you desire, but you will end up with a better life then you would ever have without Him.
But when we think about that we tend to worry, so He addressed that, “Give us this day our daily bread.” This was the artery of provision. Now Jesus was talking to people who knew what it was to have to work everyday just to get the food to eat that day. We don’t know that but we still worry about things. God says, “Don’t worry about that, put my kingdom first and I’ll take care of you. If you need something ask me and I’ll provide it.”
Then as discussed last week we get to one of the most personal arteries, the artery of forgiveness. It’s personal because when Jesus said, “forgive us our debts” he was implying that we need forgiveness. Sometimes we don’t like to admit that we need forgiveness, but we do. God is perfect, we are not. But then He said, “As we forgive our debtors.” In other words if we want to be forgiven then we have to forgive others. That’s personal but it’s for our own good. We need God’s forgiveness to flow to us and through us to others.
And now today we come to the final section, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” This section is concerned with the artery of protection. The world is a bad place, we need protection in it. The ruler of the world is our enemy, his name is Satan, we can joke about him, we can try and marginalize or ignore him, some people will even try to deny him. But he is very real and very dangerous. The Bible describes him as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. We need protection from the world, we need protection from Satan, and we need protection from ourselves. Let’s just be honest here, we can do bad all by ourselves. I don’t need Satan whispering in my ear to make a wrong choice, I can do that by myself. We need God’s help and protection in overcoming temptation.