TEXT – Matt. 6: 5 – 14
INTRO. – The passage before us is best known as the Lord’s Prayer but in reality the High Priestly Prayer of John 17 is the Lord’s Prayer. This prayer would be better titled The Disciple’s Prayer. I call this message “Let’s Pray the Lord’s Prayer” because more prayers (and especially this one) are said than prayed. Saying a prayer is not praying a prayer. Matt.6:6 says, “When thou prayest…PRAY”. Having your eyes closed and hearing a prayer is praying. What is prayer? ASKING GOD IS PRAYER! – vs.8
God expects all Christians to pray. He assumes that they pray. In vs. 6 and 7 we find “when thou prayest” and “when ye pray” not “if ye pray”. A person cannot be saved who has never prayed – see Rom.10:13
Prayer is communion with God. It is the life breath of the believer. It is one of the channels of power to God. Heaven moves when we pray. Fervent, secret, believing prayer is at the root of all personal godliness. Prayer is a battle and never easy. Hell trembles when it sees the weakest saint upon his knees. John Wesley said that God does nothing for his people apart from pray for if he did, then that in itself would show that prayer was unimportant. The title “Man of God” is found 75 times in the Bible but never is the title “Man of prayer”. There is a old poem which goes like this:
The victories won by prayer By prayer must still be held The foe retreats but only when By prayer he is compelled
Look for a few minutes at the great pattern of prayer given to us by our Lord and see the lessons for us today.
I. AFTER THIS MANNER THEREFORE PRAY YE – vs. 9
Notice that no body positions are given as to how to pray. Nowhere in the Bible do you find praying with closed eyes to be found. It may be good at times to ward off distraction but for many it leads to drowsiness. The Bible also shows us that most Bible prayers were prayed in a standing position. Jesus knelt in the garden and Daniel knelt toward Jerusalem but those are the exception. Kneeling may indicate or symbolize homage but for many up in age it is near impossible and for others it limits them as to when and where they can pray. The main thing is to pray! Prayer is hard enough without worrying about the position. Jesus never mentions the position to take.
II. OUR FATHER – vs. 9
Prayer is limited to those who can call God their “Father”. God hears the prayer of His people. See John 14:6 and I Jn.2:23. God will hear the sinner call upon him for salvation and once saved, he will hear all his prayers. But God is not obligated to hear the prayers of the lost though he may do so if he so chooses. Prayer to any member of the Godhead is alright but the general pattern of the New Testament is:
Prayer is prayed to the Father – as seen here Through the Holy Spirit – See Jude vs.20 In Jesus’ Name – See John 14:13 and John 16:23
III. HALLOWED BE THY NAME – vs. 9
Here we see reverence in prayer. A name indicates reputation. A name often indicates rank, who a person
is, what he has done, and what he is worth. My name on a $1000 check would not pass the bank but if you had a
check with a certain Kennedy or Rockerfeller name on it, it would be worth millions. God’s Name is very important
especially when you pray to him and through him. Hallowed means Holy.
IV. THY KINGDOM COME, THY WILL BE DONE – vs. 10
This is to pray for the will of God to be done. All prayer should have this attitude behind it. according to this verse, nobody can pray and have their prayers answered who does not want the will of God to be done in all things. James 4:2 speaks about praying amiss. We cannot live in any known sin and expect to have our prayers answered. His will must be my will. To say “thy will” is to say no to “my will”. Notice the verse says we are to pray for obedience like the angels of heaven obey. What an example, what a holy calling.
The first 3 partitions contain “thy”. Now we find 4 petitions which contain “us”.
V. GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD – vs. 11
This partition is not listed first where many of us put it. We should put God’s honor first and the will of God second then prayer of our personal necessities third. The Bible says in Matt. 6:33 to “seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.
Notice another great truth here. You have to pray every day. See Matt. 6:34 Proof given here that we sin if we do not pray daily. Daily prayer would solve many problems of many people.
Notice something else also here. When you pray for your needs, you are also to pray for mine. When I pray for my needs, I am also to pray for your needs. It says “give us this day our daily bread”.
VI. AND FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS AS WE FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS
– vs. 12
The word “debts” here is translated “sins” in Luke 11. This may be a big revelation to many people. God will
forgive us only as we are willing to forgive others. Is there anyone whom you cannot forgive? Murder is anger in
seed form – Matt. 5: 21-22. You cannot go to heaven with hatred and an unforgiving spirit in your heart. See Eph.
4:32 If I am not willingly on speaking terms with anyone then I am not on speaking terms with God.
VII. AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION BUT DELIVER US FROM
EVIL – vs. 13
We see here that prayer is definitely a weapon in our battle with temptation. If you are not able to overcome
temptation, 99 out of a 100 times you have not overcome in prayer!
We find here the truth that God has not promised nor will he hear the prayer to remove the temptation. He did
not say to take away the temptation but “lead us not into temptation. God allows temptation – to angels, to Lucifer, to Adam and Eve, and to our Lord.