Thursday, April 5, 2018

Matthew - The Lord's Prayer, Part 2

In today's study, we are still in Matthew 6:9-14, and are looking at the elements of submission and petition in the Lord's Prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer
vv.9-14 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.  (14)  For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

Now the Lord instructs the disciples on how to pray with what has been improperly titled “The Lord’s Prayer.” It is actually the “Disciples Prayer” for the Lord said, “After this manner therefore pray ye,” (v.9).   The “ye” would be them and not him.

I. Definition of Prayer
Prayer may best be defined as “having fellowship with God.” 

II. Elements of Prayer
Looking at the model prayer that was given here by Jesus, we find that prayer includes ten elements.

1. A Personal Relationship with God: “Our Father”
2. Faith: “in heaven”
3. Worship: “Hallowed by thy name”
4. Expectation: “Thy kingdom come”

5. Submission: “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven”

Jesus would later give the finest example of this element in the garden of Gethsemane. Matt. 26:39 “And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” We should always seek the Lord’s will to be done and not our own.

Prayer is surrender--surrender to the will of God and cooperation with that will.  If I throw out a boathook from the boat and catch hold of the shore and pull, do I pull the shore to me, or do I pull myself to the shore?  Prayer is not pulling God to my will, but the aligning of my will to the will of God.

6. Petition: “Give us this day our daily bread”

1 John 5:15 “And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” Notice that this is the first place in the Lord’s Prayer where personal needs are mentioned. Unfortunately, most of us go to God like we go to Santa Clause or a genie in a bottle. There is nothing wrong with praying that God would meet our personal needs as long as they are in His will.

While crossing the Atlantic on an ocean liner, F.B. Meyer was asked to address the first class passengers.  At the captain's request he spoke on "Answered Prayer."  An agnostic who was present at the service was asked by his friends, "What did you think of Dr. Meyer's sermon?"  He answered, "I didn't believe a word of it."  That afternoon Meyer went to speak to the steerage passengers. Many of the listeners at his morning address went along, including the agnostic, who claimed he just wanted to hear "what the babbler had to say."

Before starting for the service, the agnostic put two oranges in his pocket.  On his way he passed an elderly woman sitting in her deck chair fast asleep.  Her hands were open.  In the spirit of fun, the agnostic put the two oranges in her outstretched palms.  After the meeting, he saw the old lady happily eating one of the pieces of fruit.  "You seem to be enjoying that orange," he remarked with a smile.  "Yes, sir," she replied, "My Father is very good to me."  "Your father? Surely your father can't be still alive!"  "Praise God," she replied, "He is very much alive."  "What do you mean?" pressed the agnostic.  She explained, "I'll tell you, sir. I have been seasick for days.  I was asking God somehow to send me an orange.  I suppose I fell asleep while I was praying.  When I awoke, I found He had not only sent me one orange but two!"  The agnostic accepted Christ at the next service.

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