(This message may be used as an individual sermon or as part of the series.)
Matthew 6:9-15 – PRAYER PRIMER
#17 – SERMON ON THE MOUNT
We know that God wants to hear from us every day.
We know that we should pray every day.
We know that prayer is important.
However we often fail to pray, and when we do pray, we often fail to pray properly.
When the Lord Jesus taught the Sermon on the Mount He knew that his disciples would need help with prayer. One of the things Jesus knew we would need is a pattern for prayer.
The Lord knew that we would need help knowing exactly how to pray. So, in Matthew 6:9-15 our Lord gives us what we call “The Lord’s Prayer”.
Our Lord begins by saying in Matthew 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye:
Jesus was not giving the only way to pray. He was not suggesting even that the same words had to be used in the prayer. Instead he was giving a model. He was giving an outline. He was giving the skeleton and expecting you and I to put the meat on the bones. Jesus was saying, “Follow this pattern!”
PERSON – Our Father which art in Heaven
As we come to pray we are to think about who we are talking to. So often our minds are cluttered with thoughts on things which have happened or will happen. So often we are burdened with worries and plans. We need to pause and focus on the object of our prayers.
We are talking to our Father in Heaven!
Not everyone can come to God with that confidence.
To call God, “Father”, we must be members of His family.
We were born once into a human family.
We must be “born again” into God’s family. John 3:3, 6-7
The first time you were born, you were born a sinner.
Not only were you born a sinner, but you quickly became a sinner by practice.
God is a righteous God. God demands punishment for your sins.
Jesus took the punishment for your sins upon his own sinless body on the cross. 2 Corinthians 5:21
Jesus rose again the third day from the dead.
Now you have a choice to make. You can pay for your own sins in hell for all eternity. Or, you can accept by faith, the payment for sins that Christ already made for you on the cross.
You accept that payment by faith. And when you accept that payment by faith you become “born again” and are then able to call, God father. John 1:12-13
Now, if you have been born again you can come to God in quiet, reverent confidence, calling Him Father, and praying to Him in the name of His Son. John 14:13-14
PRAISE – HALLOWED BE THY NAME
The word Hallowed means holy.
My coming to God should be in an attitude of praise, adoration and worship.
Because God is holy, I am to set Him apart in my life and thinking as holy. Before I ask Him for anything, unless it’s an emergency, I should worship Him.
How can I worship Him?
I can sing hymns and worship choruses to Him. Psalm 100:1-2
How can I worship Him?
I can tell Him specific ways that He is wonderful.
How can I worship Him?
I can give thanks to Him for all that He’s done for me and others.
PRIORITIES – Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Let’s face it. When we go to the Lord in prayer we often have our priorities out of order.
We are concerned about what concerns us more than we are with what concerns God.
Before any other request is made concerning our needs, we are to be concerned about two things that center around God.
We are to be concerned about God’s Kingdom.
We are to be concerned about God’s will.
Thy kingdom come – As Christians, when we think of God’s Kingdom coming, we think naturally of looking for the second coming of our Lord Jesus.
We should be praying for and looking for the soon return of the Lord Jesus. Luke 12:40, 1 Peter 4:7
Another way I should be praying Thy kingdom come has to do with my own attitude. I should be praying that God through His Son would have total rule in my life.
This has to do with Jesus being the Lord of my life.
If I allow Him to be in total control and to have total authority in my life, then indeed His Kingdom has come to my life.
There’s another way to pray Thy kingdom come.
I can pray for every unsaved person that he or she will come into the Kingdom through faith in Christ.
I can pray for every saved person that he or she will allow Jesus to be Lord of their lives.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven
Another priority is that God’s will be done in all situations.
When I know what God’s will is, I can ask for it, and God promises to answer. 1 John 5:14-15
I know that it’s not God’s will that any should perish, so I can pray for the salvation of souls.
I know that it’s God’s will that my friends and I live Godly lives, so I can pray that we will live Godly lives.
I know it’s God’s will that parents raise Godly children, so I can pray that they will.
I know it’s God’s will that we rejoice evermore. I can pray for the joy of believers.
When I do not know what God’s will is, I can ask God for guidance, and He will show me His will.
And when we are not sure of God’s will in a specific situation, the best thing to pray concerning it, is Thy will be done
How fast is God’s will performed in Heaven? Right away.
We should pray that God’s will is performed just as quickly here on earth.
PROVISION – Give us this day our daily bread.
Does God care that you are fed?
Does God care that you have something to drink?
Does God care that you are clothed?
You can read Matthew 6:26-30 and find that the answer to each of these questions is “yes”. Yes, God does care that we are fed, have something to drink and that we are clothed.
God encourages us to ask for those things as “daily bread”.
Martin Luther – “Everything necessary for the preservation of this life is “bread”. This includes food, a healthy body, good weather, a house, a wife, children, good government and peace.”
Praying for daily bread in our country seems to be something we forget to do. Food is so abundant. Prosperity has ruled, even when we have been in economic slumps.
Yet, we are missing something.
Because of our prosperity we often forget to depend on God for these things. How less hassled and frustrated would we be if we trusted God daily concerning such physical things as:
Paying the bills
Solving a disagreement
Getting the car fixed
Having the right clothes
Finances for education
PENITENCE – And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Matthew 6:14-15 – For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
First of all, please remember that God is talking to born again Christians, those who can truly pray “Our Father”.
If you are truly a Christian, all your sins were paid for on the cross. You will be immediately ushered into the presence of Jesus in Heaven when you die.
God has designed Christians to have fellowship with Him.
God has designed Christians to live in the power of the Holy Spirit and produce the “Fruit of the Spirit”.
Our Heavenly Father does not boot Christians out of the “family” when they sin.
But God is grieved when we sin. Ephesians 4:30
God will not answer our prayers when we sin. Psalm 66:18
But, when we are penitent, we find that God does forgive our sins. 1 John 1:9
As we pray we should continually be examining our lives for sin and confessing our sins. And as we confess our sins we should take time to forgive anyone who has sinned against us.
Jesus makes it very clear to the Christian in the verses which I read a moment ago that if we fail to forgive someone else, we are not forgiven. If we want God to forgive us, we must forgive others.
PRESERVATION – And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
Do not think that Jesus is implying that God entices us to sin or tempts us. James 1:13-14
When we are told to pray And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil we are asking God to keep us as far away from sin and the devil as possible.
Actually, when we pray “deliver us from evil”, it seems to mean “the evil one”. We should be praying for God’s help so we can obey the command of 1 Peter 5:8
And remember this. The closer I am to God the further away I am from the devil and temptation. Also the closer I am to God, the easier it is to resist Satan’s temptations. James 4:7
PREEMINENCE – For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
We should end our prayers the exact way we began them, with praise to our God. We should recognize His preeminence.
We should end our prayers by admitting to God that the Kingdom is His.
We should end our prayers by admitting to God that all the power is His.
We should end our prayers by admitting to God that all the glory is His.
It is God who is worthy of worship, not us.
It is God who is worthy to reign, not us.
It is God who is all-powerful, not us.
It is God who worthy of all glory, not us.