Praying Through the Bible #123
- 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.
In the first seven messages in this series, we have looked at seven principles or instructions that Jesus gave regarding prayer. Those seven instructions on prayer, which came in the midst of a message regarding hypocrisy in doing good deeds and in fasting, lay the groundwork for the next thing Jesus shares — and that is what is commonly called “The Lord’s Prayer.” The first seven principles are:
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.
So, first Jesus taught by instruction, and now He is teaching by example — by actually showing us what to do.
Strictly speaking, this prayer should actually be called “The Disciples’ Prayer,” as it was not a prayer Jesus himself prayed. For example, Jesus Christ would have no need to ask for forgiveness of sins in His own prayers. He said that for our sakes.
Today, we are going to look at the value of this prayer as a model prayer. Jesus Christ said, “after this manner therefore pray ye.” The word “manner” means pattern or guide. Jesus is laying out the framework of prayer for the Christian. We can look at this prayer as a structure upon which we can build our own prayers. There is nothing wrong with praying this prayer as you see fit, however it was not intended to be a prayer that we recite ritualistically. Nor is it intended to be the only prayer that we pray.
Charles Spurgeon said, “It seems to me that Christ gave [the Lord’s Prayer] as a model, whereby we are to fashion all our prayers, and I think we may use it to edification, and with great sincerity and earnestness, at certain times and seasons.”
There are two components to the value of this prayer as a model for all our other prayers.
1. The size or length of the prayer. Jesus did not give us a long prayer to pray nor did He give us a series of statements to repeat over and over again. It only takes a minute to prayer the Lord’s prayer itself. The length of this prayer is in keeping with Jesus’ instructions in previous verses to not use vain repetitions or mindless utterings in our prayers. Brother Lawrence wrote about the value of praying short prayers, and one of the benefits to praying short prayers is that it keeps our minds from wandering to other topics.
2. The second component of the Lord’s prayer is the structure of the prayer. When we look closely, we see a pattern in how Jesus organizes the model prayer.
First, we are to praise and recognize God. “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.”
Second, we are to put God’s will before ours. “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”
Third, we are to ask for our daily needs. “Give us this day our daily bread.”
Fourth, we are to confess our sins and ask for forgiveness of sin. “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”
Fifth, we are to ask God to deliver us from temptation and sin. “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
Sixth, we praise and recognize God’s glory once again. “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”
All of our prayers can be modeled around this basic, six-point pattern. At times, it may appear to be too simplistic, but it is not. D.A. Carson said, “The words of Christ, like the works of God, are inexhaustible. Their depth is concealed beneath an apparent simplicity which the child and the savage can understand. But as we gaze upon them and try to fathom all their meaning, they open as the skies above us do when we look steadily into their blue chambers, or as the sea at our feet does when we bend over to pierce its clear obscure. The poorest and weakest learns from them the lesson of divine love and a mighty helper; the reverent, loving contemplation of the profoundest souls, and the experience of all the ages discern ever new depths in them and feel that much remains unlearned. This is especially true about the Lord’s Prayer. We teach it to our children, and its divine simplicity becomes their lisping tongues and little folded hands. But the more we ponder it, and try to make it the model of our prayers, the more wonderful does its fulness of meaning appear, the more hard does it become to pray ‘after this manner.’ There is everything in it: the loftiest revelation of God in His relations to us and in His purposes with the world; the setting forth of all our relations to Him, to His purposes, and to one another; the grandest vision of the future for mankind; the care for the smallest wants of each day.
When Jesus says, “in this manner therefore pray ye,” He is speaking in the present imperative tense. This is a command calling for us to make prayer the habit of our lives. Prayer is not to be an occasional occurrence in our lives, but a lifestyle. It is sometimes a difficult task, but by following the example of Jesus Christ, we can be successful and consistent in our prayer life.
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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.