Pray Like This….
“Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. ‘Give us this day our daily bread. ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]’ Matthew 6:9-13
This is possibly the most well known pray in the world. People have said this single prayer, possibly every day since Jesus instructed them in it 2000 years ago. But instead of simply memorizing and repeat it, what if we were to cut it apart into its simple statements and examine them?
There are 9 distinct thoughts expressed here:
1. Our Father in Heaven
2. Hallowed be Your Name
3. Your Kingdom Come
4. Your Will be Done
5. On Earth as it is in Heaven
6. Daily Bread
Now obviously it would be a very long post if we looked at each one of these, so instead I want to divide it into sections. With that being said, let’s start right at the beginning.
OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN:
When Jesus was teaching His disciples about prayer, he began with the phrase, “Our Father, who is in heaven.” Why is this a key to our prayer life? Well first, This phrase tells us who we are praying to. We pray to Our Father, This is a big key, because There are really two fathers. Our father is YHVH, the Lord of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He is the father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Paul tells us in Romans 8:15 that we as Christians, “…have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” But, is this concept truly a New Testament Idea as some might suppose? No, in fact Isaiah said it in His book.
For you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us, and Israel does not acknowledge us; you, O Lord, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name. Isaiah 63:16
By the blood of Christ we have been reconciled to God and can call Him “Our Father” However, not everyone can say this, look at the words of Jesus in John 8:44 “You Are of Your Father, THE DEVIL” In this passage, he is having a discussion with the pharisees, and saying, If you were of God the Father, you would receive me, but you didn’t so I know you aren’t (I am paraphrasing of course.)
Why is it important to recognize Our Father? Well because not everyone shares our Father, and when we gather and we pray, we need to pray with people who share our father. Amos 3:3 asks a simple question, “How can two walk together if they do not agree.” If someone is not praying to OUR FATHER, we can’t agree. It doesn’t matter how they call it, they could be praying to Allah, Buddah, Dead Relatives, Aliens, Long Passed Saints, just about anything, but if they are not with Our Father, we are not together and we will not see our goals accomplished.
It’s also important to Pray to ‘Our Father” because of the unique relationship of a Father and son. Listen to the words of Jesus from Luke 11:11-13 “Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
There is a benefit to having YHVH as your father, and Jesus wants you to remember that when you pray. That is why it is the first thing we begin our prayers with.
Be looking this week as we will continue to discuss the Model for Prayer we find in Matthew.