The Lord’s Prayer also commonly called the Our Father prayer by Catholics was never meant to be something that was just memorized and prayed as some kind of mantra or magical prayer. It was meant to be a teaching on how to pray. Jesus gave us prayer points to use as an outline in our prayers.
In this series I am going to teach these prayer points and we are going to learn the model prayer that Jesus gave and together maybe we will all learn better how to pray. In the end you will find yourself praying 1 hour a day with no problem.
You will learn.....
Let me give you just a little background. The disciples came to Jesus while He was praying and asked Him to teach them how to pray. Luke 11:1
I find this important because obviously it is implied that they wanted to learn to pray like Jesus prayed.
So the Lord’s Prayer is not just the way we are to pray, but it is also the way Jesus prayed! Remember that Jesus is our model on how we are to live our Christian life.
I am going to look at different parts of the prayer of the Lord and we are going to see some key prayer points that we all must have.
9 In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
This is probably the most important prayer point in the Lord’s prayer. It not only specifies who we are talking to, but it assumes that there is a relationship.
I know that in our world of deadbeat dads and missing parents, not always is a father known, but in the time of Jesus and in the mindset of the people of that day, everyone knew who their father was.
So the first thing to take out of this prayer is that Jesus was establishing that you personally had to have a relationship with the Heavenly Father. This is important because if you don’t then you are wasting your breath. You are talking to the ceiling.
If you do not know if you have a personal relationship with God, if you are not confident of that, and wonder if God even knows you exist, then please go to the Peace With God website and you can know for sure that you can call Almighty God, Our Father.
We do not use the word hallowed in common language anymore. The word means to honor and revere. To place it in a place of prominence.
The names of God in the Bible were used to describe His character. For instance, Abraham called Him The Lord who Provides, and Moses Called Him The Lord our Healer.
So to hallow the name of the Lord also means to respect and lift up all of who He is.
So this morning, as you start your prayers, begin by once again affirming your relationship with God, by calling Him your father and taking time to just meditate on the fact that He is your Heavenly Father, and that you are His child.
Think about what it means to have a good relationship with a father, and how how precious that relationship can be and then apply it to your conversation with God.
That is the definition of prayer by the way. Prayer is having a conversation with God. So apply how you would speak to a good father in your conversation with Him.
Then honor and revere His name.
In the second sentence of the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus starts of by praying for two things. He prays for the kingdom of God to come and for the will of God to be done.
In order for us to understand clearly what He is praying about, we must first understand what these terms mean. I will give you a basic understanding of these terms'
Some believe that it is synonymous with the church. That the church is the kingdom of God. We are citizens of the kingdom but not the kingdom.
Some believe it means heaven. The kingdom of God exists there, but it is not the kingdom of God.
Simply put the kingdom of heaven or the kingdom of God means the wherever the rule and reign of Jesus exists.
So when you are praying for the kingdom of God to come, you are praying that the rule and reign of Jesus would become manifest in a certain area of your life or the lives of others.
You see Jesus rules and reigns in people, not countries or situations. It is when the people in those countries or in those situations submit to the rule and reign of Jesus that then the kingdom of God becomes manifested in those things.
So the first thing you do is pray for the rule and reign of Jesus in your own life. If you are battling a spiritual battle, pray for His rule and reign. If you are dealing with an emotional struggle, pray for His rule and reign, or even a physical problem, again pray for His rule and reign.
He includes in this part of the prayer, the need to pray for His will to be done. Now you would think that a sovereign and all powerful God could impose His will upon us. And in theory He could, but He has chosen not too.
He has instead chosen to partner with us to make it a joint venture. He will only come as we submit to that will.
This is a part that many Christians miss. They want the privileges of living in the kingdom but do not want to surrender and truly make the King of that kingdom Lord.
Now notice what Jesus uses as the example of what both the kingdom coming and the will of God being done is. He said that we are to pray that it would come just like it looks like in heaven!
I could go on and on about the differences between how the kingdom of God in heaven looks like there, compared to our reality here.
The same goes for the will of God. If you want to know if you are praying according to the will of God, just think about what it is you are praying about, and ask yourself if it is like that in heaven.
When I pray for the sick, I do not just pray that they get well, I pray that they would have the kingdom and will of God manifested in their life just as if they were already in heaven.
So this morning, when you pray, try praying this way.
Pray that the rule and reign of Jesus would be manifested over you, your family, the people in your church and community and that His will would be done, that we would start to see a little of heaven on earth!
In this part of my teaching on the prayer points in the Lord’s Prayer we are going to deal with the issue of praying that God will provide. We are going to learn that truly God will provide for all of our needs.
Praying for God to provide is more than just a prayer for finances. As most of you can figure out by reading some of my other blog posts, I am not a fan of the prosperity gospel.
I believe it to be a gospel primarily designed to appeal to the lust of the flesh and the pride of life rather than one committed to seeking first the kingdom of God.
However that being said, God absolutely does care about your physical needs. He is not interested in seeing his kids starving and poor.
When Jesus prayed, and taught us to pray “give us this day our daily bread” He was showing that our heavenly Father is truly interested in our physical well-being.
So today, as you go to prayer, place your dependence back on your heavenly Father. Ask for today’s needs to be met. Place your faith in the fact that God will provide.
And if you have allowed Americanism to put you in the place of needing more than your needs, then I encourage you to have a long heart to heart with your heavenly Father, and ask Him for wisdom on how to get back to His priorities.
The importance of forgiveness cannot be overemphasized. Forgive us our debts is not just something to be memorized or prayed verbatim, but actually it is a prayer point in the outline on how to pray. Remember this is the same method of prayer that Jesus used.
This brings up a very interesting thought. If Jesus prayed this way, then He too had to practice the art of forgiveness. He was fully aware of the importance of forgiveness.
It is not only just us mere mortals that have to go to God for help in forgiving others, Jesus had to go to our heavenly Father and release those that did him wrong.
Forgiveness is not easy. Trust me, there have been plenty of times in my life that I have struggled with releasing somebody of the emotional debt caused by the wounds they inflicted upon my heart.
Just yesterday I had to walk out this principle. I ended up speaking with someone who in my mind’s eye, had done me wrong. I had to let it go, release it, and call it resolved.
It is not easy, especially with the deep wounds caused by some relationships. Yet this is how Jesus taught us to pray.
A long time ago, a good friend of mine named Rick Trimble, said to me that he had been struggling with forgiveness until he had come to understand that if you look at forgiveness like you would a financial debt, it makes it a whole lot easier.
He explained that just like in the financial world, the debt in our emotional world needs to be charged off. It needs to be written off as unable to pay. Just like the bank writes off bad debt that is unsecured, as a charge off, so we too must write off the emotional debts people owe us as unable to pay and charge it off.
Too many times we try to foreclose on the debt, or become the bill collector. It was an unsecured debt, you cannot foreclose, it is impossible and in doing so we set ourselves on a course that puts us in a futile attempt to collect on something that is unable to be collected.
Our debt to God was unable to be paid. There was no way we could make up for the sin that we committed against His heart. Our Father’s heart was broken by the actions we did. Our debt was so huge, that we could not have paid it in a thousand lifetimes, yet we came to Him, and we asked for His forgiveness, and what did He do? Of course silly! He forgave us!
This clear teaching in the scriptures gives us the key to unlocking the door of forgiveness. If we consider how much we have been forgiven for. (Remember to think of it as a charge off.) Then how much easier is it for us to forgive someone who had only did a much smaller thing?
In the Big picture, their debt was 20 bucks, and our debt was millions. It is much easier to be gracious when we look at it that way isn’t it?
So this morning I encourage you when you pray, take a second to think of the people you still might be trying to emotionally foreclose on, and charge it off. That way you will receive the joy of understanding how fully your heavenly Father has forgiven you.
He has already done it at the cross of Calvary, but you will not experience the knowledge of that forgiveness until you learn what it is to really forgive.
There is more in this verse than the casual observation leads us to believe. It is not a prayer point asking the Lord to keep us from sinning. In fact that is only a secondary point to the real emphasis of the verse. The real points to this verse are...
So my dear friends, When you pray this morning, ask God for guidance. Ask him to lead you around those temptations and trials that would get you off course in your Christian life.
Ask Him to reveal to you what He is doing and what the Evil one is doing.
Ask Him to protect you from those traps and set you free of the ones you may have already fallen into. Life already brings enough to your plate without Satan dishing out his delicacies. Aren’t you tired of stewed stewing or strife al a mode? I know I am.
In this last prayer point from the Lord’s Prayer we will be looking at having faith in your heavenly Father. Jesus ends this teaching on how to pray with the acknowledgement of 3 things.
These three things encompass the entirety of all the things that we have no control over.
It is the releasing of control in our lives that He ends this prayer with.
How appropriate that He would, as the example of how we are to live, would end this prayer with the ultimate exercise of true faith. You see many confuse faith with feeling positive, or believing beyond reason, or actually having faith in faith.
Jesus shows that true faith is not about believing for something, but believing in someone! He shows this with these 3 key things
Here Jesus is acknowledging the sovereignty of God. His lordship, His reign, His authority.
He is saying that God is the one in charge, not him.
One of the hardest things about true faith, is the relinquishing of control of our lives to the heavenly Father. Placing our lives and destiny into His hands.
Yet if we are to have both an effective prayer life, and victory and kingdom rule here on earth, we must release control into His hands. We must no longer be the one that drives the car. God cannot be just the co-pilot, but the pilot.
Here Jesus is acknowledging the omnipotence of God. He is saying, that only our heavenly Father has the power to change things.
Once again this is an example of true faith. It is one thing to pray and then go and try to do something in your own power, it is quite another to pray and wait for God to actually move and change things.
We usually pray and ask God to bless our plans, but it takes real faith to pray and wait for God’s to show and work His plans.
It also takes faith to realize that our power is so small compared to an all-powerful God. To let God actually be God in our lives. Not just some exercise in rationality.
Here Jesus shows humility by declaring that all glory goes to our heavenly Father. He models the example that when all is said and done, we do not get the glory, but He does.
Many times the reason God does not move in our lives is because we have set things up that we will get the glory and not God.
We will be praised for our intelligence, or our hard work, or our good fortune even.
God has declared that He will not share His glory with another. We must remember not to make it look like we will get the glory. It is His glory and His glory alone that is to be shown.
Take a moment to end your prayer time with God by surrendering to him. Place everything you have prayed into His more than capable hands. He is the one that is the King. He is the one with the power. He is the one that deserves all the glory.
As you can see dear reader, The Lord’s Prayer is not just something to be memorized and prayed as an incantation or catch all prayer in and of itself. It is meant to be a outline on how to pray.
If you want to know how Jesus prayed, this is how. If you want to know how Jesus wants you to pray, this is how.
I want to encourage you. Open that Bible up to Matt 6:9-13 and start using this prayer as your model to learn how to pray. Use the Lord's prayer as your prayer points.
You will find that as you do this, your 5 or 10 minute prayer time will be transformed into a wonderful and intimate experience with your heavenly Father. Your prayer life will be relational and not just a habit or duty.
Pastor Duke Taber is the Senior Pastor at The Vineyard Church in San Carlos Ca. He is an alumnus from Life Pacific College and Multnomah Biblical Seminary. He is a husband, father, and grandfather.
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