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Summary: Understanding Prayer through the teaching of Christ’s model prayer

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THE PURPOSE OF PRAYER

Matthew 6:9-13

I love the prayers of children. They are so honest and thoughtful. Maybe you’ve heard some of these letters written to God by children.

Dear GOD, Instead of letting people die and having to make new ones, why don’t you just keep the ones you have? -Jane

Dear GOD, Maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much if they had their own rooms. It works with my brother. -Larry

Dear GOD, If You watch me in church on Sunday, I’ll show you my new shoes. -Mickey

Dear GOD, I bet it is very hard for you to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only 4 people in our family and I can never do it. –Nan

Dear GOD, Are you really invisible or is it just a trick? -Lucy

Dear GOD, Is it true my father won’t get in Heaven if he uses his golfing words in the house? -Anita

Dear GOD, Did You mean for the giraffe to look like that or was it an accident? -Norma

Dear GOD, I went to this wedding and they kissed right in church. Is that okay? -Neil

Dear GOD, Did you really mean "do unto others as they do unto you"? Because if you did, then I’m going to fix my brother. -Darla

Prayer is a vital part of our Christian experience. God is not afraid of our honesty. In fact, He desires it. He desires us to be more child-like in our faith than we are. Jesus said “Do not forbid the children to come to me, for such is the kingdom of God.” Paul encouraged the Ephesians church to “Be imitators of God as little children” (Eph 5:1)

Last week I talked to you about the Process of Prayer, that is, how prayer is not an action as much as it is a process OF SHAMELESS PERSISTENCE BASED ON FAITH IN GOD’S NATURE THAT RELEASES THE POWER OF GOD’S KINGDOM. However, the PURPOSE of PRAYER is even broader than that. Prayer affects us on many levels.

In our passage today, Jesus gives us what many call “The Lord’s Prayer” or “The Model Prayer”. I think it is important to remember that Jesus does not say “Now pray these words”, but rather “Pray in this way”. The elements of the Model Prayer give us real insight into the purpose of prayer. Today I would like to share with you FIVE purposes of prayer.

I. TO HONOR GOD’S NAME – 9

A. The first and primary purpose of prayer is to bring “holiness” to the name of God. “hallowed by Your name”

1. “Hallowed” means to “make holy”

2. “Name” is equivalent to His character and reputation

3. Therefore, prayer should have the reputation of God’s name as its highest goal.

B. Honoring God’s name is part of the worship of prayer.

1. Too often we race into the throne room of God and dump our shopping list of needs at His feet, but never linger to long enough to acknowledge His presence.

2. We must have a sense of the “Otherness” of God.

a. He is “IN HEAVEN” while we are on earth

b. We are the PETITIONER, while He is the PETITION GRANTER.

Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman had been holding meetings in England, but the attendance had been disappointingly small. Then he received word that John Hyde, who became known to the world as Praying Hyde, a Presbyterian missionary to India, was going to pray down God’s blessing upon him and his work. As a result of Hyde’s powerful praying, the tide soon turned and the meeting hall became packed with people. At Chapman’s first public invitation, fifty men received Christ as their Savior.


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