Summary: We need to make God's kingdom the first priority in our lives.
New York Stockbroker had just purchased a brand new porsche. He parked it in front of his office to show it off to his colleagues. As he’s getting out of the car, an SUV comes speeding along too close to the curb and takes off the door before driving off. The man gets very upset. He grabs his cell phone and calls the police. It takes them five minutes to show up.
Before the office has a chance to ask any questions the man starts scream hysterically, “My Porsche, my beautiful silver Porsche is ruined. No matter how long it’s at the body shop it’ll simply never be the same again!
When the man finally finishes his rant, the policeman shakes his head in disgust. “I can’t believe how materialistic you are,” He says, “You are so focused on your possessions that you don’t notice anything else in your life.”
“How can you say such a thing at a time like this,” sobbed the Porsche owner.
The policeman replied. “Didn’t you realize that your right arm went with the door.”
The stockbroker looked down in horror and screamed, “My rolex!”
So many people are like that stockbroker, they’re priorities are out of whack. But God’s desire for us to to have balance in our lives and to know which things are important and which things are more important. When Jesus gave us a model for prayer, one of the things that He addressed was priority.
Let’s stand and read the Lord’s prayer together.
Matthew 6:9-13, “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’”
We are continuing today to look at the Lord’s Prayer and how this model applies to our lives. See prayer is more then just making requests to God. Last week we talked about how the Jewish people compared your spiritual life to the circulatory system. They felt that there were spiritual arteries, just like the ones in our bodies, and just like the ones in our bodies when your spiritual arteries are clogged your spiritual life suffers.
Last week we talked about the beginning of this prayer. “Our Father which art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.” That section dealt with the artery of relationship. We are invited to have a personal relationship with God. He chooses to call us His children because of His love and His grace. He paid the price for our sins so that we can have a relationship with Him. But it is a relationship that we have to accept and we have participate in. God is always here, but we don’t always live as if He is. But we also need to remember who He is. God desires a relationship with us, but He is the exalted one, He is the One who is high and lifted up. It is a blessing to know Him. We have a relationship with God and we need to take it seriously.
Today we are looking at those words, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” This section is concerned with the artery of priority. Let me ask you this question what are your priorities in life. Here’s a simple quiz to see if your priorities are in line.
How often do you feel rushed?
Do you feel the pressure to get more done in less time and with fewer resources?
Do you feel there are multiple things competing for your attention?
Does the word overwhelmed seem synonymous with your life?
Do you find some really important things remain undone?
Do you ever find yourself feeling you are working hard but not sure its worth the efforts?
Do you struggle with keeping first things first?
How did you answer those questions? The answer should help to reveal how you are doing with your priorities. The reality that all of us face in life is that we simply can’t do everything. There just isn’t enough time in a day. What we do reveals what our real priorities are.
Life is a Matter of Priorities
Life is a matter of priorities, and our real priorities will come through in every area of our lives. This includes the area of prayer. When we pray we need to understand that the purpose of prayer is to change us, not God. Think about the normal prayer, in it we follow the instruction of Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God.” We’re allowed to bring our requests to God, and He listens to our request. But you realize God doesn’t change. God knows the end from the beginning.