Summary: When we pray the Lord's Prayer is not only requests, but a recognition of our need to come closer to God and the closer we get the more we realize our need for God.
Key Text: Matthew 6:9
“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
Key Thought: Our Father God is a true Father figure that we can approach, trust and love.
Point #1 – The reason Jesus gives the model prayer
The background to the story is that Jesus tells the disciples how to pray. Don’t pray to be seen by men so that people think that you are so holy. Also, that they don’t pray using vain repetitions and babbling like the pagans. Babbling here refers to repeating words like a parrot just repeats but doesn’t think about what they are saying.
Do we have that problem here? I remember counting the number of times a person says “Lord” in their prayer. He repeated “Lord” 35 times in a 2-minute prayer. I couldn’t help but count the times. At an appropriate time I told the brother to count the times that he repeats “Lord” in his prayer. Usually those times are when we stop and are not sure what to say and we use the phrase until we are ready to say our next line. Sometimes it’s “Lord,” “Dear Lord,” “Lord Jesus,” “Heavenly Father,” etc.
How does one talk to a father? Do you go to your father and say, “Hey dad, you know dad, that dad, I need a new coat, dad, because dad, its getting cold outside dad.
So Jesus in this prayer that is so well known is telling us that the purpose for this prayer is to teach us to pray with understanding and not seeking to be heard so that we are like the pagans.
Point #2 – Jesus addresses God as Abba.
In recent times the role of dad’s had been downplayed to the point that I’ve heard women say that dad’s are not needed. Many times the reason for such conclusions is due to the lack of manhood in men, the lack of fatherhood in dads.
I love to hear my kids call me daddy. Especially when they say it with that voice of tenderness. Last night before going to bed my kids wanted to have me read them a Bible story before going to bed. We all laid on the bed, opened up one of the “Bible Stories” books and read the story of Joseph and the coat that his daddy had given him.
It wasn’t that difficult for me as daddy to read them the story. My kids were asking me for a favor and I was willing.
I understand that for many to hear the word “Father” brings up bad images of a man who instead of being loving, kind, affectionate among other things, was mean, violent, cold, short tempered, alcoholic, etc.
What do you do when your earthly father wasn’t the father the kind of father that every child needs to have? You only get one shot at it? Many people feel cheated because they were born into the wrong family, they didn’t have those moments with a father. My generation and the one before me was come to know what it means to live w/out dad because of so many divorces and it is even more prevalent today.
How has this affected our view of God as Father? Satan has been successful in destroying the family circle and it is usually dad that is absent.
If we look at healthy people, emotionally speaking and that can get along in life, you will find a home where dad was not only present physically but emotionally.
On the other side, when we look at people with ongoing problems in life, look at dad.
I don’t say this to make daddys here feel bad, but when I’m trying to show is the importance of Abba’s role in the family circle and the important role to have a healthy.
Abba is the Aramaic equivalent of our daddy.
Point #3 – Jesus recognizes the Father’s power
I don’t remember this myself, but I’ve heard others mention when they realized that their dads were not perfect. There came a day when they found out that there was something that daddy couldn’t do. I don’t know if you remember a day like that?
When Jesus calls His Father Heavenly Father He is saying that His Father transcends this earth and thus even though He is in Heaven He can make things happen here on earth. When we call on our heavenly Father we are calling on the All Powerful God who created the heavens and the earth.
Matthew 6:1 – Jesus speaks about the “Father in heaven” in the context of receiving “rewards”. See also vs. 4.
Point #4 – Jesus recognizes the holiness of the Father
When we pray and say that God is holy we are reminding ourselves of whom we are addressing. We are speaking with the all powerful all holy God of the universe. We are not just talking to our buddy at school or our dudes, or friends. We do open our hearts to God as you would to a friend, but recognizing that this Friend is holy and deserves our respect.