Summary: Jesus gives us the model prayer, we need to pray it, not just recite it.
5"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. 6But 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. 7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9"This, then, is how you should pray
A THOUGHT ON VISION. OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF MONTHS I HAVE SHARED
WITH YOU SEVERAL THOUGHTS ON VISION. I HAVE BEEN DOING THIS, B/C, I BELIEVE THAT WE MUST SEE WHAT GOD IS DOING IN OUR CHURCH, AND WE MUST UNDERSTAND WHAT GOD WANTS TO DO IN OUR CHURCH, THRU US. WE MUST AS RICK WARREN SUGGESTS, SEE THE WAVE AND CATCH IT. TODAY, AS WE CONSIDER THIS THOUGHT ON VISION, LET ME SHARE WITH YOU WHAT GOD SAID; PROV 29;18 KJV "Where there is no vision, the people perish" AND FROM THE MESSAGE BIBLE, "If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves;
But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed." WE MUST SEE WHAT GOD IS DOING. OPEN YOUR EYES TO HIS LEADING, OPEN YOUR EARS TO HIS VOICE. PAY ATTENTION TO GOD.
HOW DO WE DO THIS? QUITE SIMPLY, THRU PRAYER. THIS IS A CHURCH THAT BELIEVES IN THE POWER OF PRAYER. WE BELIEVE THAT GOD ANSWERS PRAYER. THIS IS A CHURCH ON ITS KNEES. IF YOUR BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF PRAYER, YOU WILL NEVER REALLY EXPERIENCE POWER. PRAYER IS OUR PIPELINE TO GOD. PRAYER IS ONE OF THE MOST, IF NOT THE MOST, IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF OUR CHRISTIAN WALK.
MUCH IS WRITTEN IN SCRIPTURE CONCERNING THIS MATTER OF PRAYER.
THIS MORNING WE WILL TURN OUR ATTENTION TO PROBABLY THE BEST KNOWN PRAYER EVER RECORDED. BEFORE WE GET THERE, LET ME REMIND YOU THAT THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT, IS FILLED WITH COMPARISONS OF THE OLD WITH THE NEW/ BETTER. ONCE AGAIN, WE SEE JESUS DRAW THE COMPARISON.
VS5, IS THE FIRST OF THESE, DON’T BE LIKE THIS; DON’T DO AS THE HYPOCRITES DO; THEY STAND IN SYNAGOGUES, OR STREET CORNERS, THEY PRAY IN PUBLIC PLACES –> TO BE SEEN OF MAN. ONCE AGAIN,
ACTION-ATTITUDE. IS THERE ANYTHING WRONG WITH PUBLIC PRAYER? NO, OF COURSE NOT. HOWEVER, YOU WONT PRAY THE SAME WAY IN PUBLIC AS YOU DO IN PRIVATE. YOU MOST LIKELY WILL NOT SHARE THE DEEP PART OF YOUR HEART IN A PUBLIC PRAYER. THE ISSUE HERE IS NOT THE ACT OF PRAYING, IT IS THE ATTITUDE WHEN PRAYING. IF YOU PRAY PUBLICALLY TO GET MENS ATTENTION/ APPROVAL, JESUS SAYS THAT IS THE REWARD YOU WILL GET.
DON’T BE LIKE THAT PERSON. RATHER HERE IS THE NEW/BETTER WAY. GO IN YOUR ROOM, CLOSE THE DOOR, PRAY TO YOUR UNSEEN FATHER, WHO SEES ALL THINGS. KJV SAYS, CLOSET, THIS IS NOT LITERAL- RATHER, FIND THE QUIET PLACE, AVOID THE DISTRACTIONS, SHUT OUT THE WORLD, KIDS, SHUT OFF THE PHONE, ANYTHING THAT HINDERS YOUR ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE WITH GOD.
I KNOW A PASTOR, WHO BOUGHT A CHEAP PHONE, PUT IT IN HIS CAR, AND WHEN HE STOPS, HE PICKS IT UP AND PRAYS. PEOPLE THINK HE IS TALKING ON HIS CELL PHONE, BUT HE IS PRAYING. THAT IS HIS QUIET PLACE. WHERE EVER THAT QUIET PLACE FOR YOU IS, FIND IT, AND USE IT.