Summary: Continuing the series on the Lord's Prayer, this sermon looks at the heart or foundation of all our prayers ... Our Father in Heaven.
"Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen " (Matthew 6:9-13, NLT)
A new missionary travelled to Venezuela for the first time. He was struggling with the language and didn’t understand a whole lot of what was going on. Being a Sunday, he intending to visit one of the local churches. Unfortunately he got lost. Eventually he found the Church. Having arrived late, the church was already packed and the service had started. The only seat he could find was in the front row. Being conscious that he was in front of everyone and not wanting to make a fool of himself, he decided to follow the man sitting next to him on the front pew. As they sang, the man clapped his hands, so the missionary clapped as well. When the man stood up to pray, the missionary stood up to pray. When the man sat down, he sat down. When the man held the cup and bread for the Lord’s Supper, he held the cup and bread. During the preaching, the recruit didn’t understand a thing. He just sat there and tried to look as if he understood all that was going on. After the message he realized that the preacher was giving announcements. People clapped, so he looked to see if the man was clapping. He was, and so the missionary clapped too. Then the preacher said some words that he didn’t understand and he saw the man next to him stand up. So he stood up as well. Suddenly a hush fell over the entire congregation. A few people gasped. He looked around and saw that nobody else was standing. So he sat down.
After the service ended, the preacher stood at the door greeting those who were leaving. When the missionary stretched out his hand to greet the preacher, the preacher said, in English: “I take it you don’t speak Spanish.” The missionary replied: “No unfortunately I don’t. But is it that obvious?” “Well, yes,” responded the preacher, “When you stood up, I had just announced that the Acosta family had a newborn baby boy and asked the proud father of the child to please stand up!”
Jesus said “Pray like this: Our Father in heaven…”
In introducing us to this PATTERN OF PRAYER, Jesus points us right at the start to the very heart of all our prayers, our relationship with the God of the Universe. Our prayers are built upon our relationship with God. Jesus at the outset teaches us that God is OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN.
“The knowledge of God’s Father-love is the first and simplest, but also the last and highest lesson in the school of prayer.” (Andrew Murray)
BEFORE ADDRESSING GOD ABOUT
• HIS PERSON - may your name be kept holy