Sitting with Jesus – The Lord’s Prayer
Reading Matthew 6:5-13 (Including the content contained in later manuscripts of the Bible v13) “For Yours is the The Kingdom and The Power and The Glory forever, Amen.”
(Luke 11:1) “One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When He finished, one of the Disciples said to Him, Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught His disciples.”
I suspect that we have all found ourselves asking The Lord, “Teach me how to pray”….. Sometimes words fail us, situations confuse us, dilemmas distract us, opportunities give us several options.
How do we pray?
In the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book 2018 written by Luigi Gioia entitled “Say It To God – In Search of Prayer.” (p100) he writes, “Jesus does not pray in caves. At the strategic moments in His life He climbs mountains. Instead of descending into caves of anxiety, filled with human representations of The Divine, Jesus rises above them, above the whirlwind of events, above anxieties and fears, to a place where He can get a larger picture. These mountains are no higher than hills! One does not need to climb the Himalayas to pray. It is the movement that counts – not sinking but Rising!”
This morning as we come around The Word of God it is as if we join the crowds, sitting on the mountain- side listening to Jesus delivering what was known as His “Sermon on The Mount” – The Magna Carta of Christian Faith.
Jesus introduced the subject of Prayer – which was an important part of Jewish religious life. Devout Jews prayed three times each day – at dawn, midday and dusk.
(Matthew 5:5) Jesus says, “Don’t pray to impress.”
(Matthew 5:6) Jesus says, “Prayers prayed in secret to Father, will be rewarded by Him.”
(Matthew 5:7) Jesus says, “Don’t babble on.”
(Matthew 5:8) Jesus says, “We don’t have to summon Father’s attention, He knows what we need before we ask Him.”
(Matthew 5:9a) “This, then, is how you should pray.”……
This prayer is known as “The Lord’s Prayer.” It is so powerfully concise and precise! It is the Prayer that Jesus taught us to pray – and we should pray it!
- Source: “Our Father.” (Matthew 6:9b)
Most prayers in the Bible begin with an address to God. Jesus does the same here. He addresses, and tells us to address God as, “Father” – “Abba” – Daddy. This is because He has a close relationship with us. We are adopted into His Family. We are “Children of God!” So, we can approach Him as His child – with Intimacy, Informality, Freedom and Respect.
- Station: “Who Art In Heaven.” (Matthew 6:9c)
Father is on The Throne of Heaven. He has All Authority, Dominion, Power. He is above all Powers, above all Thrones…. As we pray we need to lift our eyes and our thinking up – remembering where Father sits – On The Throne of Heaven…..
- Solemnity: “Hallowed Be Your Name.” (Matthew 6:9d)
Father’s Name must always be held in The Highest Honour. His name is Holy, to be reverenced, held in Awe. Never as a swear word or an exclamation mark. Nor misused or mis-stated to get our own way. We cannot wind “our Father, who art in Heaven,” around our finger. That’s why we pray…..
- Submission: “Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven!” (Matthew 6:10)
To pray this prayer is also to pray, “My kingdom go, my will be gone, from earth as it has in heaven. Sometimes we don’t know the fine details of The Will of God for us, we battle with it. Come at it from different angles. The best thing to do with it is: Pray – “Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven!” And it will! In His Perfect Timing, Will and Way, as only Abba Father can!
- Sustenance: “Give us today our daily bread.” (Matthew 6:11)
I grew up in a Christian family. Mum and Dad are Christians. Grandparents are in Glory with The Lord. I appreciate now, more than ever, the heritage. Their incarnational faith and their declaration, “The Lord will Provide!” At the moment when I was writing this message I wrote Prov.. and my pen ran out…. I opened a new pack of pens and praised Father for His Provision. As Nan Yates always said, “He’s never early, never late, His provision is always right on time.”
Carey – The Pioneer Missionary always said, “What The Lord orders He pays for!”
Father meets our material needs and, sometimes, our wants. One key to Father’s Provision is that we hold on to it lightly. We are Stewards. Sometimes we are asked to pass it on. We are “Blessed To
Be A Blessing!”
- Shrive: “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12)
Shrive, in Thesaurus, means “To repent, atone, pray, confess, pardon, excuse, forgive.”
Forgiveness has awesome power. I don’t use the word “Awesome” very often believing that only God is Awesome. However the effect of forgiveness – the releasing from soul ties and bondage into freedom that forgiveness brings is – Awesome.
In Matthew 18:21- 35 Jesus shares the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant. He had been forgiven a huge debt, financially, that he could never repay to the King. He was forgiven it. Coming out on the street, moments later, he met a man who owed him only a few coins in comparison. He grabbed him and choked his saying, “Pay back what you owe me!” He couldn’t repay him and was put into prison. The King heard what he had done, re-arrested him and imprisoned him and his family.
Through the parable we are told to remember how much we have been forgiven by The King and to live with an attitude of forgiveness to others. “Forgive, as we have been forgiven by God” – Totally. Resentments, wilful sins and their effects.
Forgiveness is the key for us to move in God and to become all that He purposes us to become!
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15) This does not affect our Salvation but when we do not forgive we are a prisoner of the situation and person.
- Strategy “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil/the evil one.” (Matthew 6:13a)
God does not tempt anyone! But Satan tempts us, wanting us to sin and fall as followers of Jesus. In praying this we commit our future to God asking for His guidance away from temptation and Satan and his schemes.
- Sovereignty of God “For Yours is The Kingdom, and The Power and The Glory forever, Amen.” (Matthew 6:13b)
- Stanley Jones, in his book: A Song of Ascents, quoted in Charles Swindoll’s Ultimate Book of Illustrations & Quotes says:-
“Prayer is surrender – surrender to the Will of God and co-operation with that Will. If I throw out boat hook from a boat and catch hold of the shore and pull, do I pull the shore to me, or do I pull myself to the shore? Prayer is not pulling God to my will, but the aligning of my will to the Will of God!”
Will you join with me in praying The Prayer that Jesus taught us to pray?
“Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be Your Name!
Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the Kingdom and The Power and The Glory.