Summary: We need to pray as Jesus instructed us.
TEACH US TO PRAY
Text: Matt. 6:9-13
1. Illustration: In his classic book With Christ In The School Of Prayer, author Andrew Murray says, “Jesus never taught His disciples how to preach, only how to pray.”
2. We have designated 2020 as a year of rest and reflection. During that time, we are resting from the outreach that we have done, but we are also taking a good hard look at everything we do as a church and asking God to show us how to do it better.
3. We are going to ask God to give us…
a. A new vision
b. A new focus
c. A new purpose
4. The key to hearing from God in all of those things is prayer. It is the key for us because it was the key for Jesus and his disciples.
a. Through their time with him the disciples knew that the secret to Jesus success in ministry was his up relationship with the Father.
b. Jesus also knew for his disciples to be successful in ministry it was going to take a strong up relationship.
c. For us to be successful it is going to take a strong up relationship.
5. So, this morning we are going to ask the Lord to teach us to pray! The Lord’s Prayer, or more appropriately, The Model Prayer, consists of six components…
6. Stand with me this morning, out of respect for the Word of God, as we read Matthew 6:9-13.
Proposition: We need to learn to pray as Jesus instructed us.
Transition: The first component of the model prayer is…
I. Character (9).
A. Our Father In Heaven
1. The first thing that Jesus teaches us in prayer is to recognize the otherness of God.
2. In v. 9, Jesus says, “Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy.”
a. Jesus begins with a simple word that demonstrates an important relational concept: Father.
b. Jesus uses the Aramaic word Abba, an informal name often translated Daddy.
c. It’s an intimate name for an intimate God!
d. Now, none of us would ever deny that Jesus has the right to address God the Father in this fashion.
e. However, what we sometimes fail to recognize is that Jesus is teaching us that we can have the same relationship with the Father as Jesus does.
f. This relationship also transcends barriers. God was just as much Jesus’ Father on earth as he was in heaven.
g. The same is true for us. He is just as much our Father now as he will be when we are in heaven.
3. The other thing we need to recognize is that even though we can have an intimate relationship with the Father, we also need to be aware that he is very different from us.
a. The greatest aspect of God’s character is his holiness.
b. We are to offer respect and reverence to God because he is holy, with no darkness or sin.
c. Christians, who bear the holy name of Christ, must be responsible to honor him in every aspect of their lives.
d. We pause to acknowledge that he is what we long to be. We long to be like God so that his glory will be revealed to the people we meet.
e. When we pray for God’s name to be honored, we pray that this world will honor his name, and we look forward to Christ’s return when that will be a reality.
B. Otherness of God
1. Illustration: R.C. Sproul tells us, transcendence means literally, "to climb across." It is defined as "exceeding the usual limits." When we speak of the transcendence of God, we are talking about that sense in which God is above and beyond us. He is higher than the world. He has absolute power over the world. The world has no power over Him. Transcendence describes God in His consuming majesty, His exalted loftiness. He is an infinite cut above everything else. [The Holiness of God p. 55]
2. First thing we do in prayer is acknowledge the “otherness” of God.
a. Isaiah 55:8-9 (NLT2)
8 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
b. God’s desire is for us to have an intimate relationship with him, but we must always recognize that He is almighty God and we are his creation.
c. We must acknowledge that he is everything we are not.
d. We must acknowledge that he is holy, and we are sinners in need of His grace.