Summary: Jesus got to the heart of the matter in regard to prayer, treasures and worry.
INTRO.- ILL.- Dr. Clarence Bass, professor at Bethel Theological Seminary, early in his ministry preached at a church in Los Angeles. He thought he had done quite well as he stood at the door greeting people as they left the church. The remarks about his preaching were complimentary. That is, until a little old man commented, "You preached too long."
Dr. Bass wasn’t fazed by the remark, especially in light of the many positive comments. And the old man said, "You didn’t preach loud enough.” Dr. Bass thought it strange that the man had come through the line twice, but when the same man came through the line a third time and exclaimed, "And you used too many big words,” he began to wonder.
Dr. Bass sought out a deacon who stood nearby and asked him, "Do you see that little old man over there? Who is he?" "Don’t pay any attention to him," the deacon replied. "All he does is go around and repeat everything he hears."
Dr. Bass preached too long, too softly, and used too many big words. Doesn’t sound good to me. I prefer to be short-winded, fairly loud and use down-to-earth language that people can understand.
ILL.- Mark Twain attended a Sunday morning church service one time. He met the preacher at the door afterward and told him that he had a book at home with every word he had preached that morning. The minister assured him that the sermon was an original. Twain still held his position. The preacher wanted to see this book so Twain said he would send it over in the morning. When the preacher unwrapped it he found a dictionary and in the flyleaf was written this: "Words, just words, just words."
I think perhaps a lot of preaching is just words. However, if those words are put together sensibly then they can do a great deal of good.
ILL.- Someone said, “Long-winded speakers exhaust their listeners long before the exhaust their subjects. Recognizing this danger, one speaker began his talk this way: "I understand that it’s my job to talk to you. Your job is to listen. If you quit before I do, I hope you’ll let me know."
This is why I’ve cut my sermons down, IN CASE YOU HAVEN’T NOTICED. I’d rather leave people wanting more rather than hurting or hollering.
ILL.- Someone said that some preachers preach "longhorn sermons." That is, a point here, a point there, and a lot of bull in between. BUT JESUS HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD EVERY TIME! Jesus didn’t talk long but He sure said a lot. Jesus said what we needed to hear. He is the giver of life and knows what life is all about and we would do well to pay attention to His Words.
PROP.- Jesus got to the heart of the matter in regard to prayer, treasures, and worries. Let’s think about what He said.
Matt. 5:9-13 "This, then, is how you should pray: " ’Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11Give us today our daily bread. 12Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’”
What is so important about prayer? And what is so important about the Lord’s prayer? Prayer is when we commune with God.
Prayer is when we get in touch with God and if there was ever anyone we needed to know and have a relationship with, it’s God! He is the one VIP with whom we need communication.
Prayer is a child crying out to His loving Father. Prayer is talking to the One person who truly cares for us regardless of who we are or how bad we’ve been in life. Prayer is talking things over with the all-wise, all-powerful, eternal Creator of the universe! WE NEED PRAYER!
Here is what Moses said to his people:
Deut. 4:7 “What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him?” God is always near to us, but He’s even nearer when we pray!
Now, what’s so important about the Lord’s Prayer? What can we learn from it? Several things.
We must pray to our hallowed Heavenly Father. This means to our Holy Heavenly Father. When we come before Him we should be humble because there is no one else like him.
ILL.- You can talk to me anyway you want and some of you do! But when we approach the Father we must be completely humble because we’ve never been in such a presence before!
Long ago, Isaiah saw the Lord on His throne and exclaimed, “Woe is me! I am a man of unclean lips…..” Isaiah was humbled before God so should we be in prayer.