(This message may be used as an individual sermon or as part of the series.)
Matthew 6:9 – OUR FATHER
Part #1 of 8 – The Lord’s Prayer
This passage is called The Lord’s Prayer.
It is called The Lord’s Prayer, because the Lord gave it.
However it is not a prayer that Jesus had to pray, but a prayer that Jesus’ disciples should use as a model for their own prayers.
The value of the Lord’s Prayer is not found in the repetition of prayer in church services, but in using it as a model. The Lord’s Prayer is a skeleton, when we pray, elaborating on each phrase, we put “meat” on that skeleton to produce a prayer that is pleasing to God.
Over the next several weeks, I hope to share with you the various phrases found in the Lord’s Prayer and teach you how to pray them in your prayer times.
We begin by thinking of our approach to God in Prayer. It is so easy to rush into his presence, forgetting to whom we are speaking. When we approach God in prayer, we need to pause and to focus on just whom we are conversing with. When we come to Him and say, “Our Father which art in Heaven,” we are reminding ourselves of three things:
PRAYER IS PERSONAL
The words “Our Father” are personal words.
They imply a personal relationship with God.
Oh you might ask “Isn’t God everyone’s Father?”
In the sense of God being creator, yes he is.
Malachi 2:10 says in part, Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?
But there is another sense in which God is not the Father of all.
When Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating the wrong fruit in the Garden of Eden, there was a separation that took place between man and God.
Israel was told in Isaiah 59:2, “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”
God is righteous and just.
Somebody had to pay for our sins. The logical choice would be ourselves. We deserve to be punished.
However, God in his love sent His Son to die in our place! Isaiah 53:5
When a person realizes that he is a sinner without hope and turns in faith to Jesus Christ as the one who died for his sins, many wonderful things happen. Let me mention two of these things:
First, he or she is no longer at war with God because of sin. Romans 5:1
Second, he or she becomes a child of God. John 1:12
As a child of God, you have just as much right to come and talk to your Heavenly Father, as you do your earthly father. The only difference is, your Heavenly Father is a better listener and more available!
When we come to our Heavenly Father, we must realize that we only have access into God’s presence because of what the Lord Jesus has done for us. Therefore, we are to pray in Jesus’ name. John 14:13-14
When I come to God in prayer, calling him “Father”, I am on speaking terms with the God of the Universe! And to show you how personal my relationship with God in prayer really is, consider the words of Romans 8:15-16: “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:”
The word Abba is Aramaic for “Daddy”. How tender, we are coming to our Heavenly Daddy! This does mean that we should show respect for him, but it also means that we are coming to someone who loves us personally as His own child.
As you begin your prayers, approach God in Jesus’ name as your loving, Heavenly Father.
You are coming to someone who cares.
You are coming to someone who wants to listen.
You are coming to someone who knows you and understands you better than anyone else in this whole world!
PRAYER IS PRACTICAL
When you pray, you pray to “Our Father”. He is not just your Father, but the Father of all those who know the Lord Jesus as Savior.
You are coming to pray with and for others!
You are not the only one at the throne of grace!
And although you are there to talk to God about your own needs, you are also there to talk to God for the needs of others as well.
The whole Lord’s Prayer is in the plural, therefore you are also praying for others!
And we are told to pray for others. Ephesians 5:18, James 5:16
But more important than praying for others, you are praying for the glory of God! You are not to come to God to get Him to do your bidding. God is not a genie in a bottle. You don’t rub the bottle of “prayer”, so God, the Genie will grant you 3 or more wishes.
You are coming to God to accomplish His program.
That’s why the words, “Hallowed be Thy name,” “Thy Kingdom Come,” “Thy Will Be Done,” and “Thine is the kingdom.”
Think of being contracted to build a house.
The man who is purchasing this house simply says to you, “When you need something, ask. I’ll provide it.”
You need a bulldozer and other equipment to get the ground ready and to dig a hole for the basement. You ask, and the equipment and operators show up.
You need cement for footers for a foundation. So you ask. The cement truck arrives.
You need lumber, you ask, and it arrives.
You need carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and ask for them. They arrive.
And so it goes through the whole building process.
When something was needed, the man building the house was asked, and whatever was needed in materials or laborers was provided.
Why was the man so cooperative? You were building his house! He’ll have the glory of living there and enjoying the finished product.
So it is with your prayer life. Jesus is building a Church, but He’s using you. And He says to you, whatever you need, ask and I will provide. 1 John 5:14-15
Prayer is practical. You are coming to “our father” with countless other Christians.
You are coming to pray for others, as well as yourself.
But most of all, you are coming to bring glory to God in your prayers and to accomplish His work.
PRAYER IS POWERFUL
“Our Father, which art in Heaven…”
As well as having a Heavenly Father, I still have an earthly father.
When I was little and Dad was in the prime of his life, I viewed him as fairly powerful. He could do things that I couldn’t do, and he could provide things that I couldn’t provide.
I saw my Dad this week. With all due respect, my Dad is now a little old man. Lord willing, he’ll be 80 in August. He has been fully retired for years. His health is not the greatest, and things that he used to be able to do with no sweat, he struggles to do now. I love my Dad and respect him greatly, but my Dad is limited in his power.
But when I pray, “Our Father, which art in Heaven”, I am reminding myself that my Heavenly Father is in charge of the throne room of the universe! It is God who sits on the Heavenly Throne and runs the show!
Think for a moment of the power of the one with whom you have the privilege to speak.
Our Father is all-knowing. Psalm 139:1-4
Our Heavenly Father is also present everywhere. He’s always here! Psalm 139:7-10
Our Heavenly Father also understands us because, he is the one who made us! Psalm 139:14, Psalm 103:13-14
Our Heavenly Father is also all-powerful. There is nothing too hard for Him to do! Jeremiah 32:17
My earthly Dad is a pretty generous guy. He’d do anything for his children that is good for them, if he could. Especially now, he can’t.
However, my Heavenly Father will also do that which is good for me.
And He has the power to do it!
So when you approach God in prayer, don’t rush into His presence, unless of course, it’s an emergency!
Come before him as Our Father
Come as His child in Jesus name.
Come to pray for His glory and the needs of yourself and others.
Come, realizing that your all-powerful Heavenly Father has the power and the desire to answer your prayers.