Thursday, September 13, 2012, Part 1
“In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name” (Matthew 6:9).
IDEA: Perhaps the most important result of our prayers is that it helps us honor God.
PURPOSE: To help listeners pray with greater thought.
If you were around a scholar whose books you have read, what might you ask her to teach you?
If you were with a professional golfer and you played golf, what might you ask from him?
If you were with a fly fisherman, what might you ask him to give you?
In Luke 11:1 the disciples asked Jesus for the best He could give: “And it came to pass as Jesus was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, that one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.’ ”
Would you ask Jesus for that today?
I. Why might you ask our Lord, “Teach us to pray”?
Is that genuine need or just a pious question?
II. Have you ever discovered that your prayers can be dangerously close to blasphemy?
We pray as though God were stupid and we have to explain matters to Him.
We say obligatory prayers at a meal or church meeting to “get God out of the way.”
We pray as though God is calloused and we have to cajole Him to respond.
We may not express in prayer how we really feel because we don’t think God would know, and He would dislike us if we did.
III. We sometimes reveal in our prayers that there are names on earth more significant to us than the name of God in heaven.
We can be more in awe of an employer, a professor, a loved one, a friend or an enemy, or a government official than the God in heaven to whom we pray.
We discover that we tell God what He owes us or we treat Him as a servant of some sort who should do our will.
IV. There is much we can learn about prayer and much that the Lord has taught us about it.
We often pray only because we want something from God.
The first petitions are really prayers of submission. They remind me that God and His kingdom are more important than my everyday desires.
The order of the requests reminds me that I am here to serve God. He does not exist to serve me.