“The Christian’s Prayer: A Prayer for Life”
Every year, along with exercise, weight loss and savings, the issue of prayer emerges in the Christian’s world. There is a fine line between religious activity: going to church, saying prayers, giving, acts of service….and relationship with God. I think it’s fair to say you can have religious activity without relationship, but you can’t have relationship without activity. Christians pray.
In the Gospel of Matthew we discover a sermon of Jesus on Prayer. Luke records that the Disciples had asked Jesus how to pray. Here in Matthew 6 we find His full discourse. What is most striking about this is what He views as acceptable and unacceptable “acts of righteousness.”
I believe by the power of the Holy Spirit we can meet the standard that Jesus set for His disciples.
The Message this morning is entitled: “The Christian’s Prayer: A Prayer for Life”
1. Christian Praying is Done With Humility 6: 1-8
And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
What a confidence is ours in prayer to know before we even speak that we have an audience with the Creator of the World. There is a difference for believers who have been changed by the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. We don’t pray to satisfy an observance or check a block, we pray because we are communicating with a real Person. We pray to One who already knows all about it.s
2. Christian Praying is Focused on the Right Direction 6:9-10
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“ ‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
He is in Heaven! Far above the problems in this world, In Heaven! Not affected or deterred by the challenges of this society…..Our Father, who is in Heaven! Seated on His Throne.
Hallowed be YOUR NAME……Here the focus is On His Name that is Hallowed.
John saw in His Revelation veil of Heaven pulled back, there with the 24 elders he observed:
Revelation 5:13 (NIV)
13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”
Hallowed be YOUR NAME
3. Christian Praying is focused on the Right Purpose 6:10
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Here is the acknowledgement that it is not about me, or us, it’s about His Kingdom…..Your Kingdom Come
Then Jesus tells His disciples not just who but how. On Earth as it is in Heaven….
Think about it! In Heaven, is there ever a hesitation as to whether or not God’s will is done? NO , In Heaven every system moves according to His high purpose. In Heaven, evil has not input.
Your will be done ON EARTH as it is in HEAVEN! God’s purpose is what needs to prevail, God’s Kingdom is what needs to perpetuate.
4. Christian Praying has the Assurance of Provision and Protection 6:11-13
11 Give us today our daily bread. A REMINDER THAT HE ALWAYS DOES
12 Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors. A REMINDER THAT HE ALWAYS DOE
13 And lead us not into temptation, A REMINDER THAT HE DOESN’T LEAD US IN, BUT DELIVERS US OUT
but deliver us from the evil one.a
Other Manuscripts and the King James declares
For Yours is the Kingdom, and the Power, and Glory Forever!
14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV)
3 ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’
 The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.
a Or from evil; some late manuscripts one, / for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
The Holy Bible : New International Version, electronic ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984), Mt 6:5-13.