Summary: Are you praying according to how Jesus has taught us to pray?
Do You Know How To Pray?
Good morning brothers and sisters!
It is such a joy to come together as a body of Christ. Today, I would share with you about a very familiar topic from a very familiar passage. The topic for today is prayer and the text is Matthew 6:9-13.
Let us pray before we begin, shall we?
There may be no more familiar prayer in the entire world than the Lord's Prayer. Wherever you go in the world; if you were to invite people to repeat those words with you the vast majority of people could say them. The Lord's Prayer has become like the Pledge of Allegiance or the words of the national anthem; words that we speak without really listening to or considering what we are saying?
I believe that the words of the Lord's Prayer are among the most revolutionary words ever spoken. If you should decided to live out your life in accordance with what those words actually say, your whole life would begin to move in an entirely different direction.
According to the prayer taught by our Lord Jesus in Matthew 6:9-13, we should include four elements in our prayer. I’ve put them in an acronym – A.C.T.S.
A – Adoration
C – Confession
T – Thanksgiving
S – Supplication
Let us look at these four elements and learn how to pray according to how the Lord Himself has taught us in His word.
1. Adoration: Who God is For Us.
V.9 Our father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name
In this first line we are reminded that no matter what we may face in this world, we have someone to turn to who is big enough, and wise enough and strong enough to help us face and conquer anything. We have a father in heaven that is watching over us and guiding and directing our steps. We have a father in heaven who reminds us that there is a power and a purpose at work in the world and in our lives. This prayer automatically causes us to lift up our eyes and lift up our heads and lift up our hearts beyond the problems we face in this world.
Hallowed be thy name. We need to understand the holiness of God, which includes his majesty, his power, his wisdom, his timelessness and his unchanging nature and character all at the same time. God is holy, meaning that God is unlike us in every way possible.
2. C – Confession: Who We Are Before God.
v.12-13a forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors.
We are sinners and we have so much to pay back to God for what we have done, which we cannot afford to pay. So the only way of getting rid of those debts is to confess our sins and ask for forgiveness. Realizing our sins and confessing it to God brings forgiveness.
When we really listen to the Lord's Prayer we discover that forgiveness is a two-way transaction. God is willing to forgive us of our sins, but only when he sees that we are willing to forgive the sins - debts - trespasses that others have done against us. All of us want God to forgive us, and let there be no doubt that God is able and willing to do so. However, that forgiveness is conditional and not automatic; it comes to those who are willing to hold no grudges, harbor no resentments, cling to no hatreds and withhold no love from others because of what they may have done to us in the past. Confession should be the key aspect of our prayers where we can cry out to God for forgiveness for our sins. And at the same time, it is the time to forgive others who have sinned against us. Now listen to what Jesus said as soon as the cross had been raised into position; "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."