How to Pray like Jesus: Jesus gave thanks
To pray like Jesus you will need to change your attitude TO BE thankful.
1. If you remember your parents saying it all about your attitude, if you change your attitude nothing will be impossible to do.
a. It starts with the attitude, Chuck Swindoll
i. The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.
And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes
b. You are in control of the 90%, isn’t that fascinating, it doesn’t matter how life has come at you. Ultimately you are responsible of how you react to it.
2. Our text found in Matthew 11:25-27 points to the attitude possessed by Jesus during his earthly life. No matter how the circumstances played out in his life he was in total control of his attitude.
a. At that time Jesus said, “Father, Lord of heaven and earth! I thank you because you have shown to the unlearned what you have hidden from the wise and learned. Yes, Father, this was how you wanted it to happen.“My Father has given me all things. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
b. Looking at verses 25-27 these verses are sandwiched between chapters 11:1-12:50. If you or I had those circumstances which faced Jesus I wonder if our prayer would begin “I thank you Father…”
i. Jesus is facing opposition from his enemies, that’s always been there, but now the heat has been turned up even more.
ii. Growing tidal waves of pharisaical opposition is crashing down on Him.
iii. reaching the lost sheep of Israel has been changed to reaching out to the Gentiles, which causes even more problems.
iv. Jesus was facing some very tough times, times of persecution, hatred, and being hunted down to be murdered. All of these events were diverging together creating an overwhelming tidal wave of events. Tsunami’s are devastating and ravage everything in its path.
v. Jesus ministry was encountering a Tsunami, attracting common folk needing a healing touch and repelling the religious bigots to the point of heated controversy.
c. Tsunami’s of doubt and opposition confronting Jesus
i. 11:3 the forerunner of Jesus, John the Baptist is in prison and had been riddled with doubts of whether Jesus is the Messiah. Why such doubt? He believed Jesus was going to King and WOULD HAVE ESTABLISHED HIS REIGN. Thus opening the prison doors of his cell and freeing him. He was looking for a physical kingdom with a king. That’s why John says “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?”
ii. 11:18, 19 Israel rejects not only John as the forerunner but they also reject the Messiah. “To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another,‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn. For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, ‘He is possessed by a demon. The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is vindicated by her works.”
1. John came to Israel calling for repentance and Jesus came in celebrating the kingdom like a wedding feast. Instead of Israel repenting for their sins they charged John of having a demon- a familiar spirit such as those that belonged to magicians. Likewise instead of receiving Jesus as their King and rejoicing in the coming Kingdom they charged him as a glutton and a drunkard.
2. Some people are so capricious, you simply can’t please them. They don’t like this or that no matter what is done. Like Dad would say to me when I complained “You would complain if you where hung with a new rope.” Well Jesus and John had people who they couldn’t please at all.
iii. V.20 Then he began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented. Another Tsunami Israel’s hardness of heart toward the miracles of Jesus.
1. Jesus did not denounced these cities for vicious opposition but despite the fact that most of his miracles took place there- miracles that attested his messianic mission-they had not repented
2. What a privilege these people had, witnessing the miracles of Jesus but they were not moved to repent and accept the kingdom of heaven.
3. They were spiritually callous, are we like this as believers. We are so familiar with the Gospel, that it no longer moves us.
iv. Now turn to Matthew 12 where the oppositions of the Pharisee’s are relentless.
1. Jesus vindicates his disciples’ plucking grain on the Sabbath. “When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the Sabbath.” V.2 pick, pick ,and pick again
2. Jesus had to move again when he heard of PLOT coming against him. V15-21
3. He refutes the Pharisees claim that he drives out demons by the power of Beelzebub. Vv.22-32
4. Jesus speaks out against his enemies after their attacks by say “You brood of vipers, how can you say good things when you are evil? For from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks”
5. He refuses to do any more miracles for a “wicked and adulterous people” “An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.”
d. Look at verse 25 “At that time…” The mounting opposition against Jesus the Son of God was strong but what was Jesus mindset, he had a spirit of celebration. He was full of joy.
i. I give praise to you, Father –He worshipped the Father with the attitude of thanks/praise.
ii. If we are going to pray like Jesus we will have to learn that our circumstance cannot dictate our attitude. Jesus still worshipped the Father in a spirit of Joy even though his enemies were plotting and scheming ways to KILL him.
iii. Certainly no one would have faulted Him for complaining and he did not but He did not allow these circumstances to diminish His prayer with His Father.
iv. The prayer Jesus prayed during these times are given here 25-27
1. He remained thankful… “I will give you praise”
a. Interesting word in the Greek “I will give you praise” can be used in the sense of “I will confess my sins” the basic meaning is acknowledgement. Sins acknowledge are sins confessed. When the verb is used with respect to God, the person praying ‘ACKNOWLEDGES” WHO God is, the propriety of his ways and the excellence of His character
b. Never forget to thank the Father. Romans 1:21
i. When you’re finding the pressures of life’s circumstances bearing down on you don’t give in and start complaining
ii. Turn your attention back to the Father, surely he wants to hear all of your troubles but don’t forget to worship Him like Jesus did.
iii. Your circumstances should not draw you away from the Father but rather because of His great love for you should draw you closer.
2. He confessed the Sovereignty of the Lord. “The Lord of heaven and earth…” what a perspective to hold on to when facing opposition.
a. Jesus was saying “You can do whatever pleases you” “You have all rights to do as you want”
b. What did the Father do which Jesus praised Him for?
i. Hide his words and miracles from the proud, the arrogant. Those who think they can save themselves. Prov. 26:5; Rom 11;25
ii. Revealed them to the childlike- His disciples.
iii. Those who know they only can be saved by grace alone.
c. Never forget that your heavenly Father is Sovereign ‘The Lord of Heaven and Earth’.
i. Nothing ever comes your way that your Father doesn’t already know.
ii. Jesus said My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.”
iii. God has you and from His perspective “I can be Thankful”
3. He affirmed the Father’s will. “Your gracious will.”
a. Notice how Jesus describes the Father’s will “gracious” some translations say “it was well pleasing in your sight”
i. Isn’t God’s will about what He wants!
b. Never forget to affirm the FATHER’S WILL. Affirm it like Jesus did “it is well pleasing in your sight. It will bring Him glory and praise
c. Like Jesus said in the garden before His beating and death on the cross he said. “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
d. Affirming his will in your life enables you to be thankful for whatever circumstances you’re in or going to be in. To say along with Jesus “ it is well pleasing in thy sight”