Summary: A few weeks ago we began a series on one of the most crucial practices of every Christian – that of prayer. And we stated then that the action of prayer should not be looked upon as an option but as an obligation.
A few weeks ago we began a series on one of the most crucial practices of every Christian – that of prayer. And we stated then that the action of prayer should not be looked upon as an option but as an obligation.
Because prayer is so powerful and so persuasive, it should not be seen as a passing fancy but as a personal privilege. Prayer was never designed to change the heart or mind of God, as the late Dr. E. K. Bailey once stated, but it will change the mind and heart of the one doing the praying - prayer.
In our first message entitled Prayer and Fellowship, we looked at what is often called The Lord’s Prayer as our guide. And while looking at that prayer we discovered that it is ‘more-or-less’ a pattern on how to pray and not necessarily a way on what to say.
Biblical scholars suggest to us, in their study of Matthew 6:9-13, that this one prayer can be divided into two sets of three requests. The first set of request recognizes God and His glory. While the other set of requests refer to man and his needs. Notice the order – God first and then man (us).
And in using this modeled prayer as our guide, we’re using the acrostic A-C-T-S to help us recognize the proper way to fellowship with God in prayer. The first thing Jesus advised his disciples to do, when fellowshipping with God in prayer, is to set forth Adoration.
In the Old Testament priests would prepare themselves prior to entering into God’s presence. They would wash their bodies; put on their priestly attire and offer sacrifices before they entered into God’s presence.
Well, our adoration of God is likened to the act of the priests’ preparation. As we prepare ourselves to meet with our God intimately, we first of all need to recognize and adore His,
Remembering that we are talking to God! We adore Him because of who He is. He is great and He is greatly to be praised! He’s all of that and a bag of chips!
The text reads, “Our Father who art in heaven…” He is our heavenly Father.
The text says, “Hallowed be thy name.” And we discovered that hallowed means holy. Holy is his name. His name is perfect!
d)His will should be our Pursuit
Verse 10 says, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
A- Stands for adoration.
That’s what we covered in our first message entitled, Prayer and Fellowship.
In our next installment we talked about, Prayer and Forgiveness. And using the second letter of our A-C-T-S acrostic, we focused on the letter C. C- Stands for confession.
In that message we began with the stance that when you and I pray, after we approach God with adoration, we need to open up with confession. Confession is the act of inner cleansing and it’s also the prelude to forgiveness- confession. As some of us have faithfully memorized 1 John 1:9, it tells us, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and also cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” But the qualifier for forgiveness is confession.
The word “confess” in the original New Testament Greek language, homologeo is a compound Greek word (two words that equate the meaning of this one word). The first word homo means ‘together or the same’. While the second word logos means ‘word’. So in essence the word “confess” simply means to “say the same words” as God says. It also has a connotative meaning to it that says, “To see it just as God sees it”.
For too long, we’ve been minimizing sin, the very things that God wants us to recognize and maximize. For too long there has been some sugar coating and some skating over our sins; in essence treating them as if they’re just minor issues in the big scheme of life. Listen to our conversations as we walk and talk by the way. By the mere fact of what some individuals say ought to tell us that we don’t view sin or call it the same as what God calls it. For example,
We say Exaggerates - God says - Liar
We say Always tipsy - God says - Drunkard
We say Sticky fingers - God says - Thief
Paul declares in 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10 that such as these shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven. So when you and I confess sin, it’s imperative that we call sin just what God calls it!
So looking at our text of Matthew 6:12, we discovered that confession of sin is an essential principle for the Christian. And we noticed that it’s essential in order to continue our,