Summary: God alone is worthy of our praise and our adoration.
Cornerstone Church February 26, 2006
“Prayer 101 - Lord, Teach Us To Pray” Series
LESSON 2: “PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME”
Last week we started a short series on the subject of prayer.
“Lord, Teach Us to Pray.”
Was anyone bold enough last week to make that commitment and pray to the LORD Jesus Christ this prayer:
LORD, TEACH ME TO PRAY?
If you did not, I hope that some of you will sincerely ask the LORD to teach you how to pray.
We cannot just simply make a decision that we are going to pray more. If we make that decision in the flesh – we will fail.
The LORD Jesus Christ desires to teach us how to pray just as much as He was willing to teach His disciples how to pray. We learn prayer best by allowing the LORD to take us through trials and hardships.
As Christians we should not look at prayer as a burden. A something that we must do to get brownie points with God. Prayer is vital to knowing God and learning to understand His will and His ways.
We should never view prayer as how fast can I get this over so I can get on to other things. It should be the other way around. We should be thinking, how fast can I get other things done so that I might have more time to fellowship with God?
From Matthew 7:7-12 we understand that the LORD Jesus Christ wants us to ask Him for our needs.
Each of those are imperative commands that are in the perfect tense. What it means is we are to: Keep on asking, Keep on seeking and Keep on knocking!
Ask and you Receive!
Seek and you Find!
Knock and the Door will be opened!
Our verse this morning starts off with these words:
“This, then, is how you should pray:
Matt. 6:9a NIV
Did you notice that it didn’t say this is what you ought to pray!
WE ARE TO PRAY:
“along these lines”
“in the following manner”
WHAT THIS MEANS IS:
This prayer is a blueprint for us to follow.
This prayer is a map for us to follow.
This prayer is pattern for us to follow.
When we pray, we want our prayers to honor God and to be as productive as possible. It is my desire that this series on prayer will help us to have a clearer understanding of God’s great purpose behind prayer.
We do not want to be like the lumberjack who was fired because he was too busy to sharpen his axe! Sure he was active and sweating, but he was less productive then he would have been had he taken the time to sharpen his axe!
We need to blade of our prayer lives sharpened!
Learning how to pray and practicing the presence of Christ in our lives:
Will give us greater joy each day as we face life.
Will give us greater joy each day as we serve Him.
Will teach us to wake up each day saying: “not my will, but your will be done!”
Will teach us to walk through the day sacrificing selfishness to be filled with the Holy Spirit!
If Jesus has a right pattern to follow then there must be a wrong example to follow. Just before Jesus gave this model prayer He taught about the improper ways to pray.
Look back to Matthew 6:5-8
JESUS ISSUES TWO WARNINGS!
Don’t pray like the hypocrites – Matthew 6:5-6
Don’t pray like the pagans – Matthew 6:7-8
Jesus would say to us this morning, don’t follow their bad example!
DON’T PRAY LIKE THE HYPOCRITES – Matthew 6:5-6
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Matt. 6:5-6 NIV
Hypocrite = “actors who wear a mask”
Those praying to be seen, who did not have a life of prayer when people weren’t looking were playing a part like an actor.
JEWISH PRAYER LIFE
At morning and evening they would recite the Shema
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.
Deut. 6:4 NIV
Throughout the day: 9:00 AM, Noon and 3:00 PM they would recite the Shemoneh Esreh (18 Benedictions). I get the picture that many who were wanting to fulfill the outward trappings of their faith without the inward reality timed their prayer times to be in key places where many would get to see them praying.