Summary: The Lord's Prayer Is GOD Centered - The Lord's Prayer Is KINGDOM Centered - The Lord's Prayer is BASICS Centered - The Lord's Prayer is FORGIVENESS Centered - The Lord's Prayer is PROTECTION Centered
Lord - Teach Us To Pray
Today we are going to focus in on two texts. The first is found in the gospel of Luke. Please follow along as I read:
1 It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples." 2 And He said to them, "When you pray, say: 'Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. 3 'Give us each day our daily bread. 4 'And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.'" Luke 11:1-5 (NASB)
Our second text is found in the gospel of Matthew. It reads:
9 "Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 'Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. 11 'Give us this day our daily bread. 12 'And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 'And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.']
Matthew 6:9-13 (NASB)
Many people become frustrated and disappointed with praying. It does not seem to work for them. Maybe some of you are in that position? Today I offer you a lesson in praying from the expert of prayer. Some tips from Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. The disciples came to him asking: “Master, teach us to pray.” What He gave them was a sample prayer.
Today we are going to look at the Lord's Prayer. One of the things we find about the Lord's Prayer is that:
It is incredibly BRIEF - yet it is remarkably BROAD
Let me ask you a question - how many of you have been subject to a marathon prayer? I think most of you know what I am talking about. These are the type of prayers that go on and on and on. The person will pray from Genesis to Revelation and not skip a beat. I don't know who holds the record for the world's longest prayer - but I can tell you there have been times that I have felt that I have been an observer of it.
Now let me clarify myself here - I am not saying that a person should not pray for hours - in fact Paul said, "Pray without ceasing." and if you desire or are moved by God to pray for an extended period of time - by all means do so. God honors the prayers of those who pray to Him with a sincere heart no matter what the length. But what we find in our text today is a very brief prayer that has intense content. When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray - he covered the content in about 30 seconds - yet extreme depth was there. Today I would like to explore five aspects of the Lord's Prayer:
First: The Lord's Prayer Is GOD Centered
Most of us come to the Lord in prayer with a lot of “I - me - and my” but not this prayer. When Jesus taught his disciples to pray he starts out making 'The Father" the center of his prayer. Note how many times Jesus refers to the Father when he says, "your" in the beginning of the prayer. 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 'Your kingdom come. Your will be done..." In the first two sentences he uses "your" three times. Your kingdom - Your will - Your holiness. God is the first focus of the prayer and it is His kingdom - His will - and His holiness that is centered upon.
Over 70 different times in the New Testament, Jesus refers to God as "Father". As he is teaching this prayer - he teaches the disciples to address God as "Father". The term "Father" indicates a childlike trust in our heavenly Father. Our part to seek Him as a child would seek out a loving father. A loving father, in return, will not only hear his children but will intently listen to his children.
Did you know that when you become a Christian your relationships change?
Jesus becomes your Savior.
The church becomes your Family.
God becomes your Father.
In Romans 8:15 we find:
"For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" Romans 8:15 (NASB)
The word “Abba” means “daddy or papa”. God's desire is for us to have a close relationship with him. We need to strive for intimacy and nearness to God. God is not indifferent about His children and he desires for all of us to have a loving relationship with him. We don’t have to approach Him with big churchy words or formalities. He wants us to embrace Him as our Father, to come to Him without fear. He wants us to come boldly into His presence, having the confidence that He is eager to hear the prayers of His children.