Prayer #4

Steve Viars January 18, 1992

- we're studying Bible Basics, this is our fourth week on
   prayer
- have you taken steps of growth in this critical area of
    life?

- today we're going to continue to study Jesus' instructions
  to his disciples on how to pray


I. How not to pray - vs. 5-8.

  (A. As a means of bragging on your own spirituality-v.  5.)

        3. What is the solution?

           a. Private prayer - v. 6.

           b. Result of correct understanding of prayer.

       4. Does not rule out public prayer, but remember these
          rules when praying in public.

           1) Pray for things common to the group.

           2) Don't be "preachy" in prayers - they must be
               directed to the Lord

               - cf. the "exception"

           3) Pray loud enough so everyone can say "Amen" -
               I Cor. 14:16

           4) Keep it short

    B. Repetitious, ritual prayers - v. 7.

        INPUT - according to the verse - what is the reason
                a person might develop the habit of
                repetitious praying?  (the wrong belief that
                God will be obligated to answer if I pray
                enough)

             - or the wrong belief that long prayers make you
               spiritual.

- these are people that liken praying to receiving a
   government grant
      - where you make the presentation as "slick" sounding
        as possible
      - you want to impress them so they'll pick you and
        grant your request
      - you know the resources are limited so much is
        dependent on you
      - you may even want to beat everyone out by sending a
        video!
            - point - your success is dependent on your
                 ability to package the request in an eye
                 catching way
     contrast that to 2nd verse from "Rock of Ages" -
         Could my tears forever flow,
         Could my zeal, no langour know
         These for sin could not atone
         Thou must save, and thou alone
         In my hands, no price I bring
         Simply to thy cross I cling


        INPUT - what is the difference between this and
                praying for the same person every day?
                (focus of repetitious praying is on
                 one praying - focus of latter is one being
                 prayed for.)

    C. Simply reciting this one

       "After this manner," in this way - Not simply
        repetition of the Lord's Prayer.
      - these are the guidelines or principles to use in
        praying.

II.    How to pray - vs. 9-15.

    A. Addressed to God.

        1. Our Father - Significance?

            a. When we believers talk to God we are talking
               to our Father.

            b. Has your best interest at heart.

               - Knows your needs, cares, difficulties,
                  desires.
               - More concerned for you than you are your
                 children.
               - Will do only what is best for you.
               - too good to do wrong, too wise to make a
                  mistake.

                  - Ps. 31:19.

        2. Which art in heaven - Significance?

            - "Our Father" indicates His willingness and
               eagerness to hear our praises and petitions.
            - "Which art in heaven" shows His power and
               sovereign right to answer our requests.

               - cf. Eph. 3:20

    B. Adoration.

        1. Hallowed by thy name.

            a. May your name be revered, honored, glorified,
               exalted.


                1) God used various names to reveal Himself
                   to the children of Israel.

                    - Jehovah - the self-existent One.
                    - Elohim - the strong One.
                    - Adonai - the Lord
                    - El Elyon - the Most High
                    - El Shaddai - the Almighty God
                    - Jehovah Jireh - The Lord will provide
                    - Jehovah Sabbaoth - the Lord of Hosts

                2) All these reveal his nature and being, His
                   character and attributes to mankind.


               - INPUT - Why does the prayer start with this?

                   - To help us realize we are talking to the
                     blessed, eternal, absolute, almighty
                     God.

                   - We are to desire that the whole world
                     bow before God in adoration, in
                     reverence, in praise, in worship, in
                     honor, and in thanksgiving.

                        - Prov. 9:10 - read
                        - Ps. 19:1; 8:1 (read), 3, 4, 9;
                               34:3; 96:1-9, 1 Tim.  1:17;
                               Rom.  15:6.

        2. Thy kingdom come.

                a. Mt. 6:33.

                   Seek first the kingdom of God - God the
                   king in His domain.

                b. Rom. 14:11 gives understanding of the
                   ultimate goal of this kingdom.

                INPUT - What are we really requesting with
                         this part of the prayer?
                            - The success of the gospel, the
                              conversion of men and women.

                            - that we, as individual
                              believers, SS class members,
                              church members, will be found
                              submissive to God's rule in our live
                            - God's kingdom ruling in the
                              hearts and lives of men through
                              salvation. - An all-inclusive
                              missionary prayer.

                     cf. Phil 2:10-11


        3. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

                a. May Your will be done on earth just like
                   it is in heaven.

                b. Example of Jesus.

                    - Jn. 6:38; 8:29.

                    - 2 Cor. 5:9; 1 Th. 4:1; Phil. 2:13. -
                        - Our obedience to God honors Him and
                          demonstrates that His kingdom is
                          the focus of our life.
                        - God's will being done on earth
                          honors Him.

Robert Law - "Prayer is a mighty instrument, not for getting
    man's will done in heaven, but in getting God's will done
    on earth"

Note - Focus of these 1st 3 parts of the prayer.

     - Directed toward God, pertain to Him.

     - INPUT - Significance?  (Focus of our prayers should be
                 on God and His concerns.  - Should begin
                 praying with attention to Him.)

    C. Petitions.

       1. Give us this day our daily bread.

          a) What about to Rom. 14: 17? (Read)

             cf Rom. 14:18

             - We have a physical body created by God.
             - We are to be good stewards of the body as of
               everything else God gives us.
             - Must feed and care for the body as good
               stewards.

          b) How reconcile with Phil.  4: 19; Isa.  65:24;
              Ps. 145:15,16?
               - God enjoys our prayer, praise and petitions.
               - This part of the prayer helps us realize our
                 utter dependence on Him.
               - It reminds us that our times, our health,
                 our very existence are in His hands.

               - Does not remove our responsibility.  -
                  1 Thess. 3:10.

       2. Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

           - Proof you are forgiven is that you forgive
             others.
           - If you refuse to forgive, it may be because you
             are not forgiven.
           - If you are holding bitterness toward someone, it
             is evidence you are not forgiven.
              - Mt. 6:14,15; Mk. 11:25,26.
        3.  Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from
             evil.

             - we know that the Lord does not tempt us to sin
               James 1:13

             - but we also recognize that staying away from
               temptation to sin can only be accomplished by
               co-operating with the Spirit of God

                - it's just like the previous request for
                  food
                   - prayer for food doesn't absolve us from
                     our responsibility to work
                   - prayer to be kept from temptation
                     doesn't absolve us from our
                     responsibility to do our part


                INPUT - If this is to be a part of our prayer
                   life, what does that require of us?

                   - We do everything we can to avoid
                      temptation.

                      INPUT - List some ways.


                     Point - God is so concerned we avoid
                      temptation he tells us to make it a
                      part of our prayer requests.


    D. Thine is Kingdom, power and glory for ever.

        1. Must end as begun, by praising Him.

        2. Ends on a note of thanksgiving for Who God is.

        3. Proper after considering our needs, our dependence
            on Him and our relationship to Him.

Steve Viars

B.S. - Bible, Baptist Bible College
M.Div. - Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min. - Westminster Theological Seminary

Pastor Steve Viars has served at Faith Church since 1987.  He and his wife Kris were married in 1982 and they have three children. Pastor Viars’ gifted teaching ministry, enthusiasm for the Word of God, and organizational skills are instrumental in equipping Faith Church.  He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith ministries and serves on the boards of Vision of Hope and the Faith Community Development Corporation.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video