Summary: There are only 66 words in the Lord’s Prayer, but it can teach us how to pray a perfect prayer. 1. Focus on your Father. 2. Focus on your family. 3. Focus on your faith. 4. Focus on your forgiveness. 5. Focus on your future.

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How to Pray a Perfect Prayer

Matthew 6:9-13

Sermon by Rick Crandall

McClendon Baptist Church - Feb. 24, 2008

*Do you ever wish you could learn how to pray better? You’re not the only one.

-In Luke 11:1, one of the disciples saw Jesus praying, and when the Lord finished that disciple said: “Lord, teach us to pray.”

*That’s when the Lord gave us this model prayer. And He kept it simple. Aren’t you glad! There are only 66 words in the Lord’s Prayer, but it can teach us how to pray a perfect prayer.

1. First, focus on your Father.

*Jesus said to pray this way: “Our FATHER in Heaven.” That’s the way we can pray, if we have received Jesus as Savior and Lord. Christians, God is our Father, our Father who provides for us and watches over us.

*Think of a little baby just learning to walk. He staggers and stumbles around all over the place. And there’s Dad, following right behind to catch him when he falls. That’s the way I see our Heavenly Father. We’re not always paying attention to Him, but He is always paying attention to us.

*He wants to hear from us. He promises to listen to us, even though He knows what we need, before we ask. And He will meet every need we have according to His perfect will. Believers, we can fully trust in our Heavenly Father!

*Gene Appel tells one of my favorite Dad stories. It’s about a family who went to the lake for vacation one summer. Dad was fiddling around by the boat house, while his 12-year-old and 3-year-old sons played on the dock. Older brother was supposed to be watching little brother, but he got distracted just when little Billy decided to check out the fishing boat at the end of the dock.

*Billy put his foot in the boat, but it shifted and he fell in. His older brother screamed and Dad came running. But when he jumped in, he couldn’t find Billy. Sick with panic, Dad took another gulp of air, and went back down in the murky water, feeling around everywhere.

*Finally, on his way back up the 2nd time, Dad felt Billy's arms locked in a death grip around one of the posts under the dock. He was about 4 ft under the water. Dad pried the boy's fingers loose and they popped up together for a breath of air.

*When everybody calmed down a little bit, Dad asked his son: “What on earth were you doing down there hanging onto the post so far under the water?”

-Billy answered, “I was just waiting for you dad, -- just waiting for you.” (1)

*That little boy trusted His dad! And that’s the way we should trust our Heavenly Father. But is He your Father? Tom Rothhaar asks: “On a scale of 0 to 10, how would you describe your relationship with God?”

0 -- If God exists, I haven’t met Him.

5 -- We’re on speaking terms, at least sometimes.

Or 10 -- I am a child of God. He is my Heavenly Father. (2)

*God wants to be your Heavenly Father. And He will be, if you will receive His Son Jesus as Savior and Lord. Then you can pray, “Our Father in Heaven.”

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