Summary: Prayer is total confidence in God's planned purpose for you.
A. WHAT IS PRAYER? MATTHEW 6:5-15
1. Prayer is relationship with your heavenly Father. “For your Father knows” (6:8). “Our Father in heaven” (6:9).
2. Prayer is not getting God to do what you desire, but you changing to God’s desire.
3. Prayer is total confidence in God’s planned purpose for you. “Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask” (6:8).
B. SEVEN THINGS NOT TO DO IN PRAYER
1. Don’t pray for human praise. “You shall not be like the hypocrites” (6:5).
2. Don’t call attention to your prayers. “They love to pray, studying in the synagogues and . . . streets” (6:5).
3. Don’t repeat prayers for human attention. “That they may be seen of man” (6:5).
4. Don’t misuse prayer in public places. “Standing in the synagogues . . . street corners” (6:5).
Where The Early Church Prayed
• Prayed together – Acts 2:42
• Prayed out loud – Acts 4:24-31
• Prayed privately – Matt. 6:6
• Two prayed – Acts 16:25
• Prayed outside – Acts 3;6
• Prayed in homes – Acts 12:12
• Prayed in persecution – Acts 7:55-60
5. Don’t make a show of prayer. “Enter into thy closet” (6:6).
6. Don’t pray without thinking or meaning. “Use not vain repetitions” (6:7). Repetition is battalogeo, i.e., speaking without thinking.
7. Don’t measure the effectiveness of your prayer by its length. “Think that they will be heard for their many words” (6:7).
C. INTRODUCTION TO THE LORD’S PRAYER
1. Technically the apostles’ prayer, because Jesus’ prayer is in John 17.
2. Why doesn’t it begin or end with “In Jesus’ name?” It does, “Our” means “Jesus and me.”
3. Jesus teaches us that the powerful Elohim-Yahewh of the Old Testament is an intimate Father.
4. The 62 words of the Lord’s Prayer contain everything we need to know about God and ask of Him. Just as an entire oak tree is in one acorn, so all of Christianity is hidden in the Lord’s Prayer.
D. THE SEVEN PETITIONS OF THE LORD’S PRAYER
THE THREE “THY” PETITIONS
1. Thy Name be holy. (a) The word hallowed means Holy which is purity, (b) Holy tells us to show reverence in His presence, (c) Holy demands our worship.
Worship is giving the worthship to God that belongs to Him.
2. Thy Kingdom come. Kingdom represents God’s effective rule in our life on earth, as He rules Heaven.
God has a plan to rule this earth.
3. Thy will be done. This is a prayer of yieldedness.
God has a plan for my life. I must pray to find it and do it.
A SEMI-CONCLUSION – “ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN”
4. The Hinge Petition: give us provision and strength for today. (a) Bread is a symbol word that stands for what it gives; life, strength and satisfaction, (b) Now, one day at a time.
THE THREE “US” PETITIONS
5. Forgive us our debts. (a) Sins have human consequences that are our debt, (b) We are not perfect, neither are others; so they will forgive you, if you forgive them: but you go first.
6. Lead us not into temptation. (a) Reminds us of our daily struggle with sin, (b) Since the Shepherd leads His sheep, pray for a path out of temptation.
7. Deliver us from the evil one. (a) Reminds us of our mortal enemy, (b) A prayer for protection.
• For Thine is the kingdom – Lord, you rule.
• For Thine is the power – Lord, you can do what I ask.
• For Thine is the glory – Lord, get all the credit.
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, God heard you and saved you. I personally want to welcome you to the family of God and rejoice with you.
All PBC lessons are available online at trbc.org/pbc. Go to www.Hopenow.tv for the current program schedule.
Dr. Towns' email is ELTowns@liberty.edu
Dr. Towns’ web address is www.elmertowns.com