Summary: This prayer is often wrongly used, however. We are not to just mindlessly repeat it from rote memory, but we are to use it as a framework upon which we can build a prayer life that is offered to God, heard and answered by Him, and one that glorifies His
Illustration: A little boy was saying his bedtime prayers with his mother:
"Lord, bless Mommy and Daddy, and God, GIVE ME A NEW BICYCLE!!!"
Mom: "God’s not deaf, son.
Boy: "I know, Mom, but Grandma’s in the next room, and she’s hard of hearing!
Read: Matthew 6: 5 -15
Introduction: This passage is often referred to as the Lord’s Prayer. In reality, it is the Disciple’s Prayer. It was given to them as a pattern for them to follow when they prayed. Therefore, we could rightly call this prayer the Model Prayer. This prayer is often wrongly used, however. We are not to just mindlessly repeat it from rote memory, but we are to use it as a framework upon which we can build a prayer life that is offered to God, heard and answered by Him, and one that glorifies His Name. Jesus does not end the teaching on how to pray but proceeds beyond prayer going to a higher level i.e. Fasting. The teaching on prayer by Jesus is preceded and followed by giving to the needy in their time of need. This shows Christ’s concern for those who are poor. Prayer without caring for the needy has no meaning at all. This is guideline on how to pray to God, pray for His works, pray for our daily needs, pray for forgiveness and pray for help in our daily struggles.
I. HOW to Pray? (V5 – 8) - Some people, especially the religious leaders, wanted to be seen as “holy,” and public prayer was one way to get attention. Jesus saw through their self-righteous acts, however, and taught that the essence of prayer is not public style but private communication with God. There is a place for public prayer, but to pray only where others will notice you indicates that your real audience is not God. Repeating the same words over and over like a magic incantation is no way to ensure that God will hear your prayer. It is not wrong to come to God many times with the same requests – Jesus encourages persistent prayer. But He condemns the shallow repetition of words that are not offered with a sincere heart. We can never pray too much if our prayers are honest and sincere. Before we start to pray, make sure you mean what you say.
Illustration: (a) Muslims praying all over the Islamic World. (b) Hindus praying loudly in street temples in India.
II. (a) WHO to Pray? (V9 – 10) - praying to someone specific (not some unidentified force or ……… deception of Satan)
Father - Implies a relationship. The new birth is required for answered prayer - John 14:13.
Our - Speaks of the community of faith. Our prayer life should encompass the entire family of God. [Ill. Too often, we are guilty of selfish praying! Ill. Me and my needs first and only! - Philippians 2:4!]
(b) V9b WHERE? - Heaven! Speaks of God’s position as Sovereign. He is on Heaven’s throne and is worthy of our faith. He is an able God! Faithlessness has no place in our prayer lives - Hebrews 11:6; James 1:16-17; Romans 14:23. (Ill. We can pray on His promises - John 16:23; 1 John 5:14-15)
© V9c HOW? (2 things to remember as we come before His presence!)