LISTEN: The Lord’s Prayer: A Practical Guide, Part 1 (Praying Through the Bible #124 with Daniel Whyte III)

Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

Praying Through the Bible #124

    TEXT: Matthew 6:9-13

9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

We just wrapped up a mini-series titled 10 Prayer Principles of the Lord Jesus Christ. Those 10 principles which have led us and prepared us for the beginning of this mini-series are as follows:

1. Prayer should be a regular, everyday activity.
2. Prayer ought not to be done for the purpose of being seen by others.
3. Those who pray in a hypocritical manner — that is to be seen by men — will get their reward: they will be heard by men, and receive their praise from men, but they will not have their prayers answered by God.
4. Most prayer ought to be carried out faithfully in private before God alone.
5. Those who pray in secret before God will be heard by God and rewarded openly.
6. We should not use vain repetition in our prayers.
7. We ought to acknowledge God’s sovereignty and omniscience in our prayers.
8. We ought to follow the Lord’s Prayer as a model in our prayer life.
9. Our prayers do not have to be long in order to be effective.
10. Our prayers ought to encompass the six essential parts contained in the Lord’s Prayer.

In our last message, we talked about these six essential parts. Those parts are as follows:

1. We praise and recognize God.
2. We put God’s will before ours.
3. We ask for our daily needs.
4. We confess our sins and ask for forgiveness of sin.
5. We ask God to deliver us from temptation and evil.
6. We praise and recognize God’s glory once again.

In this message, we are going to look at the first part of this prayer in order that we might learn to pray better and be more effective in our prayer life.

In our prayers, we ought to praise and recognize God. Jesus says, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” When we acknowledge God as our Father, we are acknowledging Him as our “nourisher, protector, upholder.” That is what the Greek word for Father used here means – “nourisher, protector, upholder”.

Jesus draws us to notice what one writer called “the God-centeredness of prayer and indeed of all of life.” Many of us struggle with selfishness. It is easy to think that prayer is all about what God can do for us and what we can get from God. But prayer is an act of humility to God and a demonstration of childlike trust in God. Just as a young child depends on his parents for the supply of his every need, we ought to depend on God for the supply of our every need. J.I. Packer said, “If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God’s child, and having God as his Father. If this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and his whole outlook on life, it means that he does not understand Christianity very well at all. For everything that Christ taught is summed up in the knowledge of the Fatherhood of God. ‘Father’ is the Christian name for God.”

When we acknowledge God as our Father in our prayers, we are not only admitting that He is the One whom we are looking to for the answer of our prayers, but we are making the decision to put the things that concern God first. In our prayers, we ought to put His will and His purposes before any of our own temporal concerns. His name is hallowed — set apart, holy, and sanctified — above us and above everything and everyone else in the universe. No one is more important than He is. That is what it means to acknowledge God as our Father in Heaven whose name is holy.

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

But, even as we recognize God’s holiness in our prayers, this does not mean He is distant or removed from us. He is still “our Father who art in Heaven.” Just as a Father is eager and willing to provide for the needs and desires of his children, God is eager and willing to provide for our needs and desires as well. It is simply His nature as a Father. Ray Stedman said, “Someone has pointed out that this word father answers all the philosophical questions about the nature of God. A father is a person, therefore God is not a blind force behind the inscrutable machinery of the universe. A father is able to hear, and God is not simply an impersonal being, aloof from all our troubles and our problems. And above all, a father is predisposed by his love and relationship to give a careful, attentive ear to what his child says. This is the way God is. From a father, a child can surely expect a reply. God is interested in what we have to say. A father, therefore, may be expected to reply to us.”

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

What is our responsibility to our Father in Heaven? Our responsibility is to hallow or sanctify His name in every part of our life. It is not enough to acknowledge Him as holy with our mouths if we do not acknowledge Him as holy with our lives. Part of acknowledging Him as holy with our lives is obeying His commands and representing Him in a worthy manner on the Earth.

One of the reasons why our prayers are ineffective is because we go into prayer with unconfessed sin in our lives, and we expect God to still bless us. But if God is truly our Father, then just as an earthly father will not reward bad behavior in his children, likewise our Heavenly Father cannot and will not bless us if we are disobedient. We hallow God’s name not only by verbal affirmation, but by obeying the biblical command, “Be ye holy for I am holy.”

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

So, there is a two-pronged application to our praise, worship, and acknowledgement of God in our prayers. First, we acknowledge Him for who He is as our Father. When we acknowledge Him as Father, we are saying that we are totally dependent on Him for our needs and that we are trusting in Him to supply our needs. In addition to that, we acknowledge Him as a holy God who will not overlook evil conduct and who demands that we live holy lives as His children. If we live holy lives, we can be confident in prayer, knowing that our Heavenly Father is pleased with us and truly wants to hear and answer our prayers.

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. Please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve eternal punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…” This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell. That is the bad news.

The good news is found in John 3:16 which says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.