Tuesday, August 7, 2012, Part 1
The Lord’s Prayer:
“In this manner, therefore, 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 this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours in the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen” (Matthew 6:9-13).
IDEA: The Lord’s Prayer can guide us as we pray.
PURPOSE: To help listeners see how the outline of the prayer can make prayer more meaningful.
Do you find it difficult to keep your relationship with your spouse fresh and vital?
Do you find that your relationship with God in prayer can get dulled?
How can you avoid that?
I. Some Christians use the Lord’s Prayer as a model to follow when they pray. How? (The injunction of Jesus is interpreted as “pray like this.”)
It can serve as an “outline” to keep in mind as we pray. It is a way to pray not these particular words, but these basic requests.
We can work with its broad outline.
Its broad divisions can guide us:
In the first half of the prayer we talk with the Father about the Father. We pray about His honor, His kingdom, and His purpose. In the second half of the prayer we talk with the Father about the needs of the Family—for provision, pardon, and protection.
The first section involves worship. It associates the praying community with God’s purpose in the world. The prayer seeks God’s glory before our needs or wants. The prayer asks for the Father’s person before asking for our neighbor’s needs.
The prayer resembles the Ten Commandments. The first four deal with God’s glory and the last six with humanity’s well-being.
II. What is the value of using the Lord’s Prayer as an outline for prayer?
It helps us vary how we pray.
It helps us focus on particular requests.
III. Are there difficulties in restricting yourself to this model?
Some elements that are often part of prayer seem to be left out.
There is no explicit confession of sin in the model.
There is no thanksgiving for blessings that God has already given us.
There is no intercession for the needs of the world or for leaders of our country or others.
There is no prayer for persecutors (Matthew 5:44).
Like any model it can suffer from being used too often.