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Summary: God calls us to bring our prayer requests to Him in expectation, but not to take Him for granted. As such his model for prayer is to Ask Seek Knock

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http://www.nec.org.au/index.php/listen-to-a-sermon-series/the-lords-prayer/

Message:- Lord’s Prayer Series

Matthew 7:7-11

Our Father’s Gifts

From the moment God came to Abram … who will became Abraham … and God said to Abram “Leave Haran and go to the land of Canaan”; from that moment the Israelites became a special nation with many special privileges

Not because they were more powerful.

Not because they had the biggest population

But only because God wanted to show them His covenantal love.

And this love continued even when the nation of Israel continually turned their backs on God and rebelled against Him. Time and again God would have to forgive his people and draw them back to Himself and restore them.

It was a close relationship.

It was a powerful bond that stood any test.

God wanted to be near His people.

Like a family … isn’t it.

So it may come as a surprise to you to learn that, in the whole OT, God is only directly referred to as a Father 15 times (see Deut 32:6; 2 Sam 7:14; 1 Chron 17:13, 22:10, 28:6; Psalm 68:5, 89:26; Isaiah 63:16 (x2); 64:8; Jer 3:4, 19; 31:9; Mal 1:6, 2:10).

4 Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the Lord.

5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.

6 God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; out the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

Psalm 68:4-6

15 Look down from heaven and see, from your lofty throne, holy and glorious. Where are your zeal and your might? Your tenderness and compassion are withheld from us.

16 But you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us or Israel acknowledge us; you, Lord, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name.

Isaiah 63:15-16

14 I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands.

2 Samuel 7:14

That is a good example of how the Jews spoke about God as Father, or how God expressed His Fatherhood. Only 15 times in the Old testament does this happen. But in the New Testament God is described as Father 245 times. It is such a contrast. And nowhere is this contrast more evident than in the Lord’s Prayer.

Let’s read the prayer as it appears in the Scriptures

Read Matthew 6:9-13

How revolutionary! Jesus was teaching His disciples to start their prayers with the same word that was used by everyone in the culture to address their own Father.

Just so you are aware. Many people think that the Greek word for Father here is Abba.

This lead to a trend where people started their prayers with something like “Hi Daddy”.

That isn’t what is happening here. The Greek word is Pater.

It was the word used by everyone, young and old, to address their father.

To a Jew it is such a common everyday word that it almost seems irreverent. Yet Jesus is doing this so show us how to effectively communicate with God. You do it by knowing God as Father. Why do we need this relationship in prayer?

Let’s read another passage from Matthew which will be our focus this morning.

Matthew 7:7-11

Why do we need to know God as Father?

Such knowledge ignites child-like awe.

Such knowledge awakens our trust in God.

And, most importantly, such knowledge is the key to answered prayer – for God our Father will not refuse His children when we ask in faith.

Let’s read verses 7-8 again

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8)

The Father wants us to make requests from Him. Jesus hammers that truth home … twice.

God is Almighty. All powerful. All knowing. All seeing.

But not keeping Himself at a distance. Not unapproachable. Not stingy.

Our God takes pleasure in giving us things. Our God cares about our needs and concerns. Our heavenly Father wants to help us.

Ask … Seek … Knock … This is a license to come before your heavenly Father with your requests and expect them to be answered. It’s an open invitation from God to have access to God.

What this means is that we should not be hesitant to pray. So often we are slow to bring our prayers before God. Regularly we are quick with excuses for not coming to God in prayer.

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