Prayer #3

Faith Church January 11, 1991

- we're studying Bible Basics, this is our third week on
   prayer
- let me ask you - did you use the cards we prepared to pray
    for on our SS teams?
- have you taken steps of growth in this critical area of
    life?

- today we're going to look at Jesus' instructions on how to
    pray

Introduction

    - Several occasions in Scripture where the disciples had
      the opportunity to observe Jesus praying.

        a. Mk. 1:35.

        b. Lk. 5:15,16; 6:12; 9:18.

    - It's not surprising that, on several occasions, the
      disciples asked the Lord for instructions on how to
      pray.  The question grew out of their observation.  One
      occasion is:

        - Lk. 11:1.

    - There are several passages (spoken on different
      occasions) where Jesus answered that question.  The one
      we're going to look at today is from the Sermon on the
      Mount in Matt. 6:9-15.

- one other thing I'd like to mention in an introductory way
   is that there are a lot of ideas about prayer that the
   Lord did not discuss:

    (see Pastor's transparency)

- please turn to Matt. 6

- One of the things the Lord addresses in these verses is
   "How not to pray".
- INPUT - even before we read the verses, what are some ideas
    that come to your minds on the subject of "how not to
    pray."

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

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

       1. Concentration on the one who is praying rather than
          on the One to whom the prayer is offered.

          a. Anxious to give impression he is very spiritual.

          b. Wants the respect he thinks such a condition
             deserves.


          c. More concerned with what people think of him
             than what he is doing.

          d. Calls attention to himself.

             - Rather than turn attention of others to the
               God of prayer.

        2. What is the result of this kind of praying?

            a. They have their reward.

               - "My what a spiritual giant he is."

            b. Relate to 2 Cor. 5:10, & 1 Cor.  3:12-15.

               - Temporary, worthless reward.

            c. Using a godly action for selfish sinful
                motives.


        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

           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.

        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 - strength, power.
                    - The Lord will provide.
                    - The Lord our Righteousness.

                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
                              lives

                            - 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.

 

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.

             - note the significance of the order of the 2
                 aspects of this request.

                1) The first step in being delivered from
                   evil is to avoid the temptation.


                2) Asks to be kept from temptation first.

                   Don't put us in the place of temptation.


                3) 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.

Faith Church