Summary: As believers we go to God in prayer all the time, but is our prayer what it should be? Do we pray like we should? Jesus taught His disciples how to pray so that they would please God! Let's look at what He taught them...
Date Written: June 27, 2013
Date Preached: June 30, 2013
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Series Title: Miscellaneous
Sermon Title: What Is True Prayer?
Sermon Text: Matt 6:9-15 [NLT]
Over the past several weeks we have studied stewardship & learned that true stewardship has a very basic foundational truth, that is–God Owns it All!
God owns it all… & for those of us who have surrendered our hearts to Christ in repentance… For those of us who have professed our faith in Christ as our Savior, we must understand that God Owns US! If You feel that NO-ONE owns you, then you have issued out on God & you're not a part of His family!
If God owns it all… and God owns all of whom He has saved… What does this mean for ME as a believer? What does this mean for us as a fellowship? What does this mean for the church as a whole?
If God owns it all and we are called to serve Him, we must honor Him and place Him in the right place in our lives! When we pray correctly, we put God in the right place! So when someone asks you 2 pray 4 them or w/them about something, Do YOU know how to pray?
The disciples recognized that they did NOT understand how to pray! they did not fully understand how to put Jesus in the right place in their lives. They knew they needed to pray, but were confused on HOW they should pray.
In Matt 6 Jesus is teaching what we know as “The Sermon on the Mount” where He taught how we are to live in respect to God & in respect to all of humanity. Part of Jesus taught was a focus on how we should pray…and that is our focus for this morning! What is TRUE prayer? Turn to Matt 6:9-15 [NLT]:
9Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may Your name be kept holy. 10May Your kingdom come soon. May Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. 11Give us today the food we need, 12and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. 13And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one. 14“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heaven Father will forgive you. 15But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
In this passage Jesus was teaching on prayer at the beginning of this chapter and he starts out his teaching by laying down a few ground rules prior to teaching about HOW to pray…1st he tells them how NOT to pray:
First Jesus tells His disciples that they are NOT to pray so that they can be seen & noticed by others!
What Jesus is saying here is NOT that we cannot pray in public, but rather that prayer is not spiritual demonstration OR some measuring stick of how spiritual someone is… Prayer should never be used to ‘impress’ or show up others…
Next Jesus teaches His disciples that prayer is NOT how God finds out about your needs… Prayer is an intimate moment between you & God; Prayer is for YOU to draw YOU closer to Him! Your can ask for things but the focus of the prayer must always be on God not yourself or your desires!
The 3rd thing Jesus teaches is that Prayer is NOT smoothing talking… Jesus says that flowery words and repetitious phrases are not what God pleases God. His desire for prayer is a heart yielded to HIM and is repentant over its sin!
But what I believe happened here was that as Jesus was teaching that He may have seen some confusion in the eyes of His disciples and those listening to Him.
Up to this point, prayer by the Pharisees had become a public spectacle & because they prayed like that, many believed that was the right way to pray!
So HERE Jesus teaches the right way on how to pray to God and it was NOT like the Pharisees! Instead Jesus lays out a template for how to pray…What Jesus was saying here was basically, “Hey don’t be confused, I will show you how 2 pray to please God!”
So as we take a quick look at the model prayer that Jesus shares… We need to understand Jesus was NOT saying USE these words… There is NOTHING magical about the words Jesus uses here!
The words that Jesus uses are powerful words BUT His focus is not on the words, but the principle of prayer…
What Jesus said was, “Pray LIKE this…” Jesus was laying out a template for a pleasing prayer to God…
OR basically a formula OR faithful pattern we apply to our prayer regarding the situations of our lives!