Summary: In this message we look at the Lord's prayer which follows the request from the disciples for Jesus to teach them to pray. All of us should learn to pray like Jesus.
“Knocking on Heaven’s Door”
When Jesus set out to call 12 men to follow him, He gathered them together and began mentoring them, discipling them so that they in turn would be able to continue the process. So when Jesus started teaching them, since this was the first group of disciples it was critical that they get it right. Because this would be the basis for how every disciple would be trained for thousands of years.
So Jesus modeled many things for them:
• He sent them out to visit in pairs
• he showed them how to deal with temptation by using Scripture
• he never turned anyone away, including children, no matter how busy he might be
• and with every opportunity for ministry that came his way he also taught a lesson from Scripture with it.
In this passage today we find the only time that they came to Jesus and asked him to teach them something very specific. They could have said……
• Jesus show us how you healed that blind man when you spit in the dirt and put mud pies on his eyes.
• Jesus show us how you could simply tell a man who had been lying each day in the same spot for 38 years—tell us how you made him suddenly get up and walk.
So many things they could’ve asked Jesus. And if you had been one of the early disciples you might’ve had a different question you would’ve asked also. The disciples just had one request, Lord teach us to pray. Now why is that? Perhaps it has something to do with his teachings on the subject of prayer... Especially when he said things like….
• Ask and it shall be given to you
• if you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done
• whoever says to this mountain, be moved and does not doubt it will be done
• if you asked the father for anything in my name, he will give it to you.
They saw how powerful prayer was in the life of Jesus. They saw him model it on many occasions as he would pray and fast for days at a time and they saw the difference that it made. So when they had a chance to make a request of Jesus this was it... Lord teach us to pray. And this was his response. Would you read this prayer with me?
Lord’s Prayer on screen
If you grew up when I did you know that we used to say this prayer in school every morning right after we said the Pledge of Allegiance. Now neither one is being done.
So when Jesus gave his disciples this prayer what was he telling them? Was he giving us a prayer to memorize and say every day or was he giving us some guidelines as to how to pray? Well either way I want you to notice several things he includes in the model prayer. The model prayer includes (1) A time of worship. Father, hallowed be thy name. Hallowed means holy. There are many names used in Scripture that are given to Jesus to describe his power and his authority. I keep a list on my desk listed alphabetically of 124 names we give to Jesus. Names such as...
• Our advocate
• the branch
And all of these names remind us of who he is. In this prayer Jesus says use this name also when you speak to God. Hallowed. It means holy. Holy is the name of the Lord. Holy be your name.
Then there are 4 requests that he includes. (1) A request for his kingdom to come. Now we have to pause here and make certain we understand the usage of the word kingdom. Write this down. The kingdom of God is God’s redemptive rule. God has come into history in the person of Jesus Christ to break the power of death and Satan and the kingdom will come when Christ returns and the destruction of those enemies will then be complete. It is not complete yet but it will be. When we pray thy kingdom come, this is what we are praying for.
(2) A request for daily bread. Most of us do not fear for having enough to eat. But I would think that all of us have times when we have to stretch our dollars to cover food for our family. But this request is actually a request for our daily needs to be met. This prayer is meant to cover all of life. This is a prayer for our current needs. We are not to worry about the future but we are to pray for the present time that our physical needs will be met.