God's Protection in Prayer

Faith Church January 31, 2010 Matthew 6:9-13

 

REVIEW: 

1.  This is our FINAL study of our NEW series:  Taking the Next Step: In Our Spiritual Growth of PRAYER!

- keep reminding yourself of this principle which goes along with our 2010 Church Theme:

If you’re going to make progress, you have to keep moving! . . .  keep taking steps to reach the goal of bringing glory to God by being like Jesus Christ (thinking & actions)

2.  We’re doing this because the Bible places a strong emphasis on the subject of PRAYER:

  • Jesus modeled this in His life – and if He prayed, we need to pray!

3.  The purpose of this series:

  1. To help us develop a more biblical understanding of God's purpose and goal in prayer
  2. To motivate individual believers to pray more and to pray in a more biblical manner
  3. To help us as a church family grow in our focus and practice of corporate prayer

4. So far, we studied:

  • God’s Precautions Regarding Prayer:  What to AVOID – v. 5 - 8
  • God’s Pattern for Prayer

Pattern:  “Our Father Who is in heaven”

Pattern:  “Hallowed be Thy Name”

Pattern: “Thy Kingdom Come

Pattern:  “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…”

ØGod’s Petition for Prayer: Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread:

#1  The Request Deals with the Necessity of Life

bread” = not only represents food --  but symbolic of ALL our physical needs

- but we still have to remember what Moses wrote:

  • Deuteronomy 8:3 ". . .  man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.”

-‘this request is under the umbrella of “THIS DAY” = one day at a time!

5.  Last week we studied v. 12 regarding the subject of FORGIVENESS

  • God’s Pardon inPrayer: Forgive us our Debts as we forgive our debtors

- One of the most important points in that study was:

I.  We Must Have God’s View of Forgiveness!

A.  God forgiveness is conditional upon repentance & confession

- that is clear in. . . :

  • Luke 13:3 "I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

- He later told the apostles:

  • Luke 17:3 "Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 "And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, 'I repent,' you shall forgive him."
  • repentance = a change of the mind (180 degrees opposite)
  • confession = to say the same thing (homo = same; logeo [lah-geh-o] = to speak]

Point:  There can be no TRUE confession without repentance AND there can be no TRUE repentance without confession!

B.  Forgiveness is a promise to not bring up that offense against them to the person’s hurt.

- the key words here are ‘promise’ and ‘to the person’s hurt’

- you may need to bring it up to REMIND them to be careful and don’t make the same mistake again . . . but the it’s not to beat them over the head or to humiliate them!

C.  Forgiveness does not equal ‘forgetting.’

 “Forgetting” is PASSIVE! (it occurs over time, depending on the severity of the offense, and even to some degree, how the situation was handled)

POINT:   We Need to PRAY for Forgiveness and GRANT Forgiveness because that is what God does and He commands us to do the same . . . .even while we are PRAYING!

6.  Today we’ will conclude our STUDY on prayer, but continue to “TAKE THE NEXT STEP” in our PRACTICE of prayer (individually, as couples as families, and as an ABF, and as a CHURCH!

[READ Matthew 6:5-15]

SPECIAL NOTE:  The last section is in (For yours …) or [ For yours… ] because “For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever, Amen” does NOT appear in some of the earlier manuscripts – so it’s questionable with regard to whether it should be included in the text!

> so we won’t be spending any time on that specific phrases

7.  The focus of our study this morning is:

  • God’s Protection inPrayer: Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”

-. Let’s begin our time for this study by asking this question:

Input:  In the natural (physical) world, give me an example of the evidences of the reality of sin and its consequences?

  • Volcanoes, earthquakes, fires, floods, etc.
  • The difficulty of having children (especially in the birth process!)
  • Death by sin – exactly what God said would happen

 

The intellectual world? 

  • Man seeks truth on his own, but can’t find it
  • Man’s judgments are partial and unfair
  • Logic is ruled by pride or lust or material gain

The emotional world?

  • Man’s inability to control his anger
  • Envy rules the day
  • Hate and bitterness destroys him
  • Greed eats away at his values and priorities
  • Love is self-centered and lazy

8. I think we’d all agree that the darkest part of man’s world is his SPIRITUAL LIFE!

  • Jer. 9:23  The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it?

- this verse clearly illustrates why we need the Word of God to help us (not just in temptation, but in EVERY area of life)

- our heart is deceitful – cursed by sin – so you can’t trust it

- that’s why we turn to the Word of God – it’s trustworthy and NEVER changes (unlike our hearts – vacillating back and forth from time to time!)

- God’s Word is sufficient, reliable, and it never changes!!

9.  One of the most obvious avenues of temptation is the world

  • 1 John 2:15Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

- in addition to being tempted by the ‘world’, we also need to recognize that ….

10.  We are attacked by our adversary, the devil:

  • 1 Peter 5:8Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.

Point:  No wonder Jesus included in His model prayer the words:  Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil!

- there are 2 very important principles that we can learn & apply about prayer from this passage:

1.  The Petition Speaks of God's Protection.

- It seems simple enough:  We ask God to keep us out of trouble!

- The interpretation is keyed on one word:  ‘temptation’

temptation’ = deals with a testing or a proving

Note: From that meaning are derived the related meanings of ‘trial’ or ‘temptation’

- Here is it seems to parallel the term ‘evil’

> indicating that it has in view enticement to sin instead of facing a particular type of ‘trials’ or ‘testing of one’s faith’ (like suffering because of what someone did to you, it could be persecution, or finding out you have cancer)

A.  The Interpretative Challenge

- God's holiness and goodness will not allow His leading anyone (esp. His children) into a place or experience in which they would purposely be enticed to commit sin!

  • James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted  by God; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt any man.

- Yet James tells us to “count it all joy when we fall into various trials” (same word)

Q:  Should the Greek word in Matthew 6 be translated ‘temptation’ or ‘trial’?

- Since God doesn’t tempt, why even ask Him to do something He would never do?

- Yet James says to rejoice when trials come – so why should we ask:  Do not lead us into temptation?

B.  The Paradoxical Solution

- Chrysostom (an early church father) – made the point that Jesus is NOT dealing with logic or theology, but with a natural appeal of human weakness as it faces danger

“We all desire to avoid the danger and trouble that sin creates.  This petition is thus the expression of the redeemed soul that so despises and fears sin that it wants to escape all prospects of falling into it, choosing to avoid rather than having to defeat temptation.” – MacArthur, Alone with God, p. 113

- Here’s another paradox of Scripture: 

>  We know trials are a way to grow spiritually – YET, they tend to reveal our weaknesses, and we don’t like to be put in that situation where it can lead to sin!

- We want to GROW – but we don’t want to SIN! [Point of James 1:13 ‘Everyone is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust (strong desire) and enticed (lit. to bait a hook) . . . ]

- but keep in mind, there are elements of being tempted to sin even during times of trials

Q: What are some of the elements of being tempted to sin even during times of trials and/or suffering?

> your faith has to remain strong and you have to respond to your trial in a way consistent with God’s Word if God is going to be glorified in the PROCESS or as a result of your TRIAL

> you can think selfishly – I don’t deserve this

> I want to get even with the person who did this to me

Point:  The petition is another plea for God to provide what we in ourselves do not have!

- It is a plea for God to put a watch over our eyes, ears, mouths, feet and hands

- When we are tempted:  Remember

  • James 1:17  Every good gift  and every perfect gift is from above . . .

Lesson:  There is a direct connection between contentment and giving into one’s lust!

- the next principle is equally important to remember:

2.  The Petition Doesn’t Remove Our Responsibility.

- Every trial God allows can turn into a temptation [ILL:  Joseph in Egypt – Gen. 50:20]

- Every struggle and trial we experience is allowed by God to test us – to exercise our spiritual muscles

1 Peter 5:10

- In essence, this prayer illustrates the desire of the person prayer for God to do what He said He would do in 1 Corinthians 10:13 – quote

A.  The petition is a safeguard against presumption and a false sense of security and self-sufficiency.

- we know that we will never have arrived spiritually

- we will never be free of the danger of sin until heaven

- so we pray as the Lord did in John 17:15 – to be kept from the evil one

B.  The petition also declares our submission to His Word.

- James makes a clear statement about this issue:

  • James 4:7 gives us a simple command:  Submit therefore to God, resist the devil . . .

- Submission to God is submission to His word:

  • Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against thee.

-  So the believer prays to be kept from overwhelming solicitation to sin, and if he falls into it, to be rescued from it.

[Read p. 116 paragraph #1 – from Alone With God]

  • I cannot say ‘our’ if I live only for myself in a spiritual, watertight compartment.
  • I cannot say ‘Father’ if I do not endeavor each day to act like His child.
  • I cannot say ‘who art in heaven’ if I am laying up no treasure there.
  • I cannot say ‘hallowed be Thy name’ if I am not striving for holiness.
  • I cannot say ‘Thy kingdom come’ if I am not doing all in my power to hasten that wonderful day.
  • I cannot say ‘Thy will be done’ if I am disobedient to His word.
  • I cannot say ‘on earth as it is in heaven’ if I will not serve Him here and now.
  • I cannot say ‘give us our daily bread’ if I am dishonest or an ‘under-the-counter’ shopper.
  • I cannot say ‘forgive us our debts’ if I harbor a grudge against anyone.
  • I cannot say ‘lead us not into temptation’ if I deliberately place myself in its path.
  • I cannot say ‘deliver us from evil’ if I do not put on the whole armor of God.

1. Let’s put some of our principles into practice TODAY [James 1:22 – be DOERS of the Word]

2.  I want to lay out some specific prayers requests for our church this year and pray for each one!

General requests:  Since it is God's will . . .

Faith Church