Summary: In short, Jesus is teaching us how to pray. Jesus said, “After this manner therefore pray ye.” The word “manner” simply means “in this way.” Jesus was saying that this is the way we ought to pray.
“Our Father which art in heaven”
I read about a soldier who was caught one night returning to his quarters from the nearby woods, and he was charged with holding communications with the enemy. The soldier pleaded that he had gone into the woods to pray. The commanding officer skeptical of his defense shouted at him, "Then down on your knees and pray now. It may be your last” The soldier knelt down and prayed so fervently and sincerely that even the skeptical commanding officer was touched. When the soldier had finished praying the officer said, "You may go, I believe you. If you hadn’t drilled so often, you couldn’t have done so well at review."
If our prayer life was placed under review, how would we do? Perhaps of all areas of our Christian life, the one we struggle in the most is our prayer life. It is the one area that is most neglected and ineffective. In the section of the Sermon on the Mount that we are looking at now Jesus teaches us how to pray. This section, often called “The Lord’s Prayer,” is one of the most familiar of all the Bible. Many can quote it by memory. Actually it should be called the “Model Prayer” because it gives us a structure and guidelines to how we should pray.
In short, Jesus is teaching us how to pray. Jesus said, “After this manner therefore pray ye.” The word “manner” simply means “in this way.” Jesus was saying that this is the way we ought to pray. In Luke’s account of the Model Prayer (11) the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Again, Jesus is teaching us how to pray.
I am calling it HOW TO PRAY 101. Jesus gives us all the essential principles of prayer necessary to make our prayer life effective. He is giving us lessons on what should be involved in our prayer time. I want us to look at this model prayer learn and consider what Jesus teaches us about how we should pray.
Let us begin by noticingg the emphasis on God in the first three petitions: Thy name, Thy kingdom, Thy will. Then notice the second part of the prayer and its emphasis on the poverty of man: Give us, forgive us. deliver us. Then observe how the prayer comes full circle by ending with a tight focus on God
once more: Thy kingdom, Thy power, and Thy glory.
You and I have all the needs, all the wants, and all the poverty ; He’s got everything else; we have nothing.
It’s wonderful to come with empty hands to the One who is able to give us everything we need. That’s what this prayer is all about and what it will teach us if we strive to learn its secrets.
The model prayer is a roadmap for us to use when we pray. E. M. Bounds said of this model prayer, “the outline and from are complete, yet it is but an outline, with many a blank, which needs our needs and convictions are to fill in.” I want to deal with several aspects of the opening phrase “Our Father which art in heaven” tonight.
I. “Our father” speaks of relationship
We need to understand that the basis of all praying is built upon a relationship. Our Lord began the model prayer with the assumption that the one praying is in a family relationship of a son with a Father.