Summary: This sermon presents Jesus’ teaching on right praying that is characterised by right motives and right priorities.
JESUS ON RIGHT PRAYING
Matthew 6:5-15; 7:7-12
Kingdom Life Series #18
Several truths stand out from Jesus words:
§ Jesus expects every follower of His to pray. “When” not “if.”
§ Jesus tells us how to pray. There is a right way and a wrong way to pray.
§ Jesus also tells us what to pray for. These are God’s prayer priorities for His people.
I. RIGHT PRAYING IS GOD-CENTERED (6:5-8)
A. Right praying is not a religious duty for display. It is not self-honour. It is for God. We pray because we love and trust God.
B. Right praying is not being involved in meaningless chatter – babbling. It is not repetition of prayer items that Jesus warns but meaningless and thoughtless talk. Right praying is objective, intelligent, and coming from the heart.
C. Application: Being Asians coming from a predominantly Roman Catholic background, we are to be careful that we do not revert back to our “rosary type” of praying.
II. RIGHT PRAYING IS TO COME NEAR TO GOD (6:5-9; secret)
A. Prayer is God’s gift to man, especially the community of faith.
B. Prayer is often thought as prayer to an unreachable, far, hidden God. Jesus says, “When you pray say, ‘Our Father, who is in heaven.’ To pray “Our Father who is in heaven” does not mean, “Our Father who is far and unreachable.” It actually means, “Our Father, who is near.” “Heavens” is a biblical expressing referring to God’s abode, which is right here – interspersed with our own world.
Prayer is entering God’s presence. It is the door that opens which leads a child of God into his Father’s presence.
“Through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God” Romans 5:2 (NIV)
C. Application: God is only a prayer away is true.
III. RIGHT PRAYING IS CONCERNED FOR THE RIGHT PRIORITIES
A. Kingdom Prayer Priorities begin with God’s name, kingdom, and will.
1. May your name be sanctified (better: loved and treasured).
2. May your Kingdom come.
3. May your will be done on earth as it is (true and happening) in heaven
B. Kingdom Prayer Priorities moves on with personal needs.
1. Give us today our “bread for today”
2. Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors
3. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one
1. Taking of God’s business takes top priority in prayer.
2. If you take care of God’s business, He will take care of your personal business.
3. Someone here needs to start praying. You need God. You need to pray.
4. Some of us who are learning to pray ought to make this critical adjustment: be mindful of God’s kingdom.
Conclusion: Prayer, someone said, is like breathing. You breathe to live. The Follower of Christ ought to pray. Right praying is like learning a more efficient way to breath. Breath that relaxes, empowers, and helps one live better.