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Faithlife

Prayer, First Petitions

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How should we read this passage?

Matthew 6:9–10 ESV
Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Notice it has 3 imperative verbs.
Hallowed
Come
Done
So there are three petitions right here.
Notice who these commands are being given to?
Your name
Your kingdom
Your will.
The your is the Father. The one recognized already as transcendent and close by.

What does the first petition ask for?

Hallowed - means to dedicate, sanctify, make holy, or honor as holy.
It is the same word used in where it says that Christ sanctifies the church, having cleansed her with the washing of the water of the word.
it is also used in where it says honor Christ the Lord has holy, being prepared to give a defense for the hope that is in you.
Now what is to be treated as holy>? God’s name. Why his name?
This stands for the whole who God is.
So what are praying for? We are praying that God would be glorified, treated as holy in us, in our family and friends, in our life and in our world.
Application:
Principle - this petition rules the other petitions. So when we are praying for the salvation of the souls of our loved ones we are not praying simply for our own selfish ends, (I want them in heaven with me) or for our own comfort (I cannot stand it if my child dies an unbeliever) but instead we are praying for their salvation under the authority of this first petition - God that you may be exalted.
When we come to God, says our Lord, in effect, even though you may be in desperate conditions and circumstances, it may be with some great concern on your mind and in your heart; even then, He says, stop for a moment and just recollect and realize this, that your greatest desire of all should be that this wonderful God, who has become your Father in and through me, should be honored, should be worshipped, should be magnified amongst the people. (Lloyd-Jones)
This is a request that we cane become very specific with.
As parents you can pray for God to glorified in your parenting, in your kids, in the way you discipline your kids, in your vacations as a family, in how your kids treat others, in how others treat your kids.
As a member of this community you can pray: God be treated as holy by my neighbor’s kids, by the police, by the city council. Lord be treated as holy even among those who believe themselves to be atheists.
What would it sound like: Lord - be treated as holy, let your name be honored and exalted. Lord, come and display and magnify your greatness in the eyes and by the lives of those in this church body.

What does the Second Petition ask for?

Your kingdom come - should remind us that God is not exalted among the nations. It should remind us that God’s elect are still out there. It should remind us that God is not finished with the task of winning and saving his people to the ends of the earth.
What do we understand by kingdom of God
it was a present reality
It has a law
It has subjects
because Jesus Christ was here on earth
It has a realm in which it is established.
Matthew 12:28 ESV
But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
So this prayer is Lord let your kingdom come.
It is present now in the hearts of believers
1 Corinthians 4:19–20 ESV
But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power. For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.
Hebrews 12:28 ESV
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe,
Hebrews 12:28–29 ESV
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.
It is yet to come
1 Corinthians 15:50–53 ESV
I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.
So when we pray for God’s kingdom to come, what are we praying for?
1 Corinthians 15:24 ESV
Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.
the Baptist Catechism says this:
we pray that satan's kingdom may be destroyed, and that the kingdom of grace may be advanced; ourselves and others brought into it, and kept in it, and that the kingdom of glory may be hastened.
we pray that satan's kingdom may be destroyed, and that the kingdom of grace may be advanced; ourselves and others brought into it, and kept in it, and that the kingdom of glory may be hastened
Application:
We are praying here in this request for God to save, for God to advance his gospel into the dark regions of the enemies territory and win over defectors who will abandon their life of darkness and come and join the light. We are praying for God’s rule to have an ever deepening hold over our own hearts that the rule of Christ becomes our standard.

What does the third Petition ask for?

Matthew 6:10 ESV
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
the As in heaven is not the petition. We know what this means right? The angels of God are perched and ready. Think about it this way: an angel with massive mighty wings, unfurled, and stretched out, looking over his shoulder waiting for the word “Go” and off the jump soaring off to do their Master’s bidding. This is God’s will being don in heaven. God spoke to Gabriel and said go to Mary and tell her, all Gabriel needed was go. There was no hesitation.
So Jesus is teaching us to pray moving from the Exalting of God’s name in all things, to attacking of the kingdom of darkness and rescuing the people of God from the slavery into which they have been enslaved since before their own birth, and now that we are rescued, now that we are redeemed people we are concerned to pray God let your will be done on earth as in heaven. Poise our hearts in a perched and ready to jump and soar.
And this looks forward to one day, when God’s kingdom and God’s will on earth will be one. IN the new Heavens and the New Earth we will have a place and time when God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven will be perfectly so, because heaven will be joined to earth and the evil of this kingdom here will be burned out and nothing left but the will of God and his glory.
Again the Catechism says it very simply:
we pray that God by His grace, would make us able and willing to know, obey, and submit to His will in all things, as the angels do in heaven.
we pray that God by His grace, would make us able and willing to know, obey, and submit to His will in all things, as the angels do in heaven.
God help us obey you.
how this is needed in our marriages, parenting, outreach, in dealing with suffering, and trials. IN our worship. God help us obey, Help us not be subject to our sin and enslaved by the world’s ways

Conclusion:

I just want to quote form Martyn Lloyd Jones concerning these 3 requests:
In these words we are taught how to begin to pray. Those are the petitions with which we must always start. We can summarize them again in this way. Our innermost and greatest desire should be the desire for God’s honor and glory. At the risk of being misunderstood I suggest that our desire for this should be even greater than our desire for the salvation of souls....Does it not make us feel in a sense that we have never prayed at all?
Does it not make us feel in a sense that we have never prayed at all?

Discussion:

How has this challenged your own practice of praying?
Attempt to summarize what these three petitions mean for us to pray for:
Hallowed be your name
Your kingdom come
Your will be done (on earth as it is in heaven)
How has this challenged your practice of prayer?
What changes need to be made in your prayer life to pray this way?
How would you pray for these changes?
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