Summary: Part 1 in a series on the Lord’s Prayer
The Key to the Kingdom of God
Intro. – The foundation of understanding the kingdom of God is an absolute trust in the Heavenly Father’s goodness toward us.
The key to unlocking the kingdom of God is understanding the Lord’s Prayer because in this prayer are the ingredients necessary to unlock for us the treasures of the kingdom of God.
Jesus said in Matthew 16:19, And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Illustration – Use illustration with doorknob and keys.
We have talked a lot about the Kingdom of God. However, I think that we have not experienced fully the blessing of the kingdom here on this earth. I have searched diligently in the Scriptures for the key to unlocking for us the kingdom of God and I believe that it can be found right here in the Lord’s Prayer.
The great promise of knowing the realities of the kingdom of God is found in Matthew 6:33, But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
One of the most beautiful prayers in the bible is what, has been titled, The Lord’s Prayer. Jesus taught this prayer to his disciples after they asked him to teach them how to pray. There is one other passage that records this prayer found in Matthew 6:9-13. It does seem to be given at a different time than the one Luke recorded perhaps indicating that they were two different teachings that Jesus gave on this subject.
What is important to remember about the Lord’s Prayer is its content. It does not use an individualized checklist of specific wants and needs as we often hear at prayer meetings.
The prayer is focused like a laser beam on expressing a dependent approach to God, on the quality of our life with him. It expresses a desire for holiness, for God’s ruling presence, for a life of forgiveness, and it recognizes that provision and spiritual protection come from God. It asks God to work on the heart and seeks to be submissive to his will.
The prayer’s structure is simple: one address, two statements and three requests. What I want to do is give an overview of the prayer and then in the coming weeks go back and dissect this prayer and its relation to the kingdom of God and the reality of that kingdom in our lives.
I. The Address
Our Father which art in heaven…
A. The address of God as Father is important, because it focuses on the relationship God has with his children.
1. What is perhaps unusual here, given the culture of the time that Jesus spoke these words, is that in the context of prayer that Jesus describes the relationship that God has with his children.
2. He concludes this teaching in verses 5-13 with an interesting story about fathers.
II. The Two Statements
A. First Statement: Hallowed be thy name.
1. The disciple approaches God’s person with the recognition that God is holy – that is, he is set apart and unique. There is none like him, and no one has the authority he possesses.
2. To sanctify God’s name means not only that God is set apart, but also that his uniqueness should be made know.
B. Second Statement: Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
1. This hope centers on the full realization of God’s promise. More is meant here than eternal life. The disciple desires that the creation be restored to its fullness and that sin, injustice and chaos be banished.
2. This hope also centers on a spiritual reign of God in the hearts of men. And, that we would come to know of the realities of God’s spiritual reign and blessings in our lives as well.
Transition: With God’s character and authority established, Jesus turns to the matter of requests.
III. The Three Requests
A. First Request: Give us day by day our daily bread.
1. Jesus starts with the most basic material needs – food.
2. As important as the request is, the attitude it reflects is even more important: the disciples know that God cares daily for his own.
3. The recognition of God’s continual presence and care is encouragement for the disciples life.
B. Second Request: And forgive us our sins: for we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us.
1. Forgiveness is not a right but comes by God’s grace. This is recognized in the phrase that follows: in order to ask for forgiveness, one should be ready to give it as well.