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Mathew 1:17
Mathew 1: 18-25 Mathew 2: 1-23 Mathew 3: 1-17 Mathew 4: 1-11 Mathew 4: 12-25
Matthew 5:1-12 Part 1 Matthew 5:1-12 Part 2 Mathew 5:13-16 Mathew 5:17-26 Mathew 5:27-37 Mathew 5:38-48
Mathew 6:1-8, 16-18 Mathew 6: 7-15 Mathew 6:19-34 Mathew 6:25-34 Mathew 7:1-12 Mathew 7:15-23
Mathew 7: 24-29 Mathew 8: 1-17 Mathew 8: 18-34 Mathew 9: 1-13 Mathew 9:14-26 Mathew 9:27 - 10:31
Mathew 10:32-42 Mathew 11:1-31 Mathew 12:1-21 Mathew 12:22-50 Mathew 13:1-23 Mathew 13: 24-43
Mathew 13: 44-52 Mathew 13:54 -14:12 Mathew 14:13-21 Mathew 14:22-36 Mathew 15:1-20 Mathew 15:21-31
Mathew 15: 32-39 Mathew 16:13-23 Matthew 16:24-28 Matthew 17:1-13 Matthew 17:14-27 Matthew 18:1-14
Matthew 18:15-20 Matthew 18:21-35 Matthew 19:1-12 Matthew 19:13-30 Matthew 20:1-16 Matthew 20:17-34
Matthew 21: 1-11 Matthew 21:12-17 Matthew 21:18-22 Matthew 21:23-46 Matthew 22:1-14 Matthew 22:15-46
Matthew 23:1-39 Matthew 24:1-31 Matthew 24:32-44 Matthew 25:1-46 Matthew 26:1-13 Matthew 26:14-54
Matthew 26: 54-75 Matthew 27:1-26 Matthew 27:27-66 Matthew 28:1-20    
           

 

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Matthew 6:7-15

 

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do:  for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.  Be not ye therefore like unto them:  for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.  After this manner therefore pray ye:  Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil [i.e. the evil one]:  For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.  Amen.  For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:  but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” 

 

The Lord’s Prayer is an outline for prayer

 

We actually went through chapter 6, verses 1-8, 16-18.  Jesus has been dealing with the fact that this is all about an issue of heart here.  He’s showing us what a real Christian is, a blessed life, the Spirit-filled life, somebody who knows God and walks with God.  And then he’s talking to different hearts gathered around him that one particular day [probably was a nice sunny day on the mountainside].  Even here today there’s this real deal, there’s this religious whatever that isn’t real, just this religious experience where the heart isn’t there.  We were at the beginning of the chapter, and we then skipped to verses 16-18, we followed this thread of hypocrisy where he was dealing there just with hypocrisy.  He also went into the element of prayer, as far as people who pray publicly but not necessarily privately.  And if you’re somebody whose given to a lot of public prayer, but there’s never any private prayer in your life, you’re probably guilty of hypocritical prayer.  And then in the midst of all this, he gives us a teaching on prayer.  And it’s just a wonderful teaching about prayer, thinking of effective prayer and what it is and what it isn’t.  In Matthew chapter 6 Jesus shows there’s effective prayer, and there’s prayer that isn’t.  Somebody can say ‘I said a prayer,’ and maybe they did, and there are cases as far as God is concerned it meant nothing to him whatsoever.  They’ve prayed for sure, at least they had this thing of prayer, but it wasn’t something that he responded to.  Again, the prayers of religious hypocrites, as you study the verses we did last week, God even indicates that these prayers are an offense to him.  So there’s very clearly effective prayer and non-effective prayer.  Jesus goes on to say ‘Don’t pray like that, but when you pray, you go into the secret place, you go in and be alone, audience of one, you and me, and you talk to me.  You open your heart to me.  Now that’s what I respond to.’  Of course as we studied last week, it isn’t that Jesus is saying we should not have public prayer, but again the order is, if you were listening on the radio [or reading this here], or sitting here, there needs to be private prayer.  And when there’s private prayer, now we can pray publicly.  And the Church [Body of Christ] more than anything needs private prayer, you and I, in our prayer-closets at home.  That says that we have a heart that beseeches God and seeks the face of God.  And so now when we come together and pray corporately, there’s something going on in our prayers, because we truly are people who have a heart for prayer.  Well, effective prayer, prayer that God hears, non-effective prayer that God doesn’t hear, it’s important that you and I understand the difference.  A number of times we see in the Gospels Jesus says things like this, John chapter 14, verse 14 he says, “If any of you ask anything in my name I will do it.”   Now you can just sit and ponder that one for a little while, but that says to me, if I ask anything in his name he will do it.  Of course there’s parameters to that, we’ll get to that as we get into the description of what a proper prayer is here.  But when that is true in my life, man when the parameters are right, that’s amazing, ‘If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.’  That tells me that I need to discern and understand a lot about prayer, what effective prayer is, because prayer is incredibly powerful.

 

Don’t Pray Using Vain Repetitions

 

So verses 7-13, “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do.  For they think that they will be heard for their many words.  Therefore do not be like them.  For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask him.  In this manner, therefore pray:

          Our Father in heaven,

          Hallowed be your name.

          Your kingdom come.

          Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

          Give us this day our daily bread.

          And forgive us our debts,

          as we forgive our debtors.

          And do not lead us into temptation,

          but deliver us from the evil one.

          For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory        forever.  Amen”

So, “when you pray”, multiple times, three times in just a couple verses Jesus says “when you pray”, and you get the sense, I mean, prayer is part of the Christian life, should be a part of it, it’s pretty important.  It should be an important part of our life.  There’s a phrase, “The more you pray, the more you want to pray, the less you pray, the harder it is to pray.”  Jesus, as I noted, he says, verses 9 to 13, we’re going to get there, he gives what we call “The Lord’s Prayer.”  It’s teaching for you and I, giving us a manner in which to pray.  One of the disciples, in Luke chapter 11, sees Jesus praying.  So he then comes to Jesus and he says, ‘Jesus, Lord, teach us to pray.’  In the Greek, it isn’t so much to teach us how to pray, but the Greek is “teach us to be prayers,” or “teach us to be people of prayer.”  ‘I’ve seen what you just did, and I want that in my life. Teach me how to be a person like that, that comes to the Father, and has that manner and way of life.  Teach me to be a prayer.’  That’s essentially what the disciple asked.  And so Jesus then in Luke chapter 11, just a few years later says the exact same prayer that we have in verses 9 to 13, there’s just some minor variations.  And so this in Matthew 6 it’s two years earlier.  So he says “when you pray”, prayer is important.  Initially, when he said that, “when you pray”, don’t be like the hypocrites, man, they’ve got this show, you know.  Don’t pray like that, make sure it’s something that is real in your heart and sincere in your heart.  And now he says “When you pray” verse 7, “don’t use the vain repetitions that the heathen do.”  Don’t be like the hypocrites when you pray, and now he says ‘don’t pray like the heathen do, where they just go on and on,  they have this little chant,’  maybe you can think of the different religions and groups, maybe this rote liturgical prayer, and they will go over and over and over and over and over it, and he says, ‘Don’t do that.’  [In one of the religions in India and that region, they would write their prayer on this little thing called a “prayer-wheel” and spin the wheel, and the prayer was supposed to go to their god each time the wheel went around.  And one time I heard of this humourous story of how some enterprising Indian put an electric motor on his prayer-wheel, I think he even started to sell them.  But you can see the foolishness of this.]  Don’t do that.  They think they need to do that in order to get God’s attention, but you don’t need to do that, you’re a child of God.  By the very nature of who you are, you are a child of God, you have his attention.  I mean, you’ve got this one-on-one audience, you’ve got his focus, his eyes, he’s listening, attentive to your prayer.  He says, ‘You don’t have to pray like that, just come, be confident, you’re a child of God, and by the very nature of being a child of God, he hears your prayers.’  He says ‘In fact, your Father even knows what you have need of before you even ask,’ it’s like he already knows what’s on your heart, or he knows the burden, or he knows the emotion, he even knows what you’re going to say before you say it.  So just come, and come with confidence.  You’ve got a one-on-one audience with God.  Now I don’t know how he does it, it’s amazing, all the people on the earth, all the Christians that are coming to God and praying.  But when I come to God, he’s there, man, and I open my heart.  I can whisper, and he hears me, I can think it, and he knows what I’m thinking.  I have this incredible thing of prayer as a child of God.  So don’t be like the heathen, you don’t have to go over and over and over and over, and try to get his attention, you’ve got his attention by the very nature that you are a child of God.  As he says, he already knows everything about you, he’s your Creator, he knows what you’re going through, he even knows it better than you do, and he knows what’s on your heart, he knows your need before you ask.  This happened in my life, at different times and maybe you have stories too, but there’s one particular time where I think of this verse here.  Where my wife and I, we were just getting started here so early on in ministry, there’s not a whole lot of finances, and there wasn’t in this phase of our life.  And so we were having one of these seasons, and it was a particular day where the refrigerator was essentially empty and there is no food and we’re not sure what we’re going to do here.  Because we’re working full-time to do this radio thing, and there’s a little church going, and there’s no money.  And my wife was struggling with it that particular day, and then I was struggling, and so it wasn’t really pretty that day in our house.  Hope our neighbours didn’t hear, just struggling.  Well, as afternoon wore on, and I was feeling convicted about our attitudes, mumbling and grumbling because the refrigerator’s empty, and this isn’t very pretty.  And I was realizing, God is good to me, it’s a faith issue I’m struggling with right now.  So we had an office up in the front of our house, by the front door, and I said to my wife, ‘Let’s go pray, what we need to do is just pray, OK, enough of this.’  So we went up into the office, and we have a futon couch, a little deal, and so we got on our knees, and I couldn’t even ask for food, I needed to get my heart right, so I began to pray ‘Lord,’ I even mentioned it to my wife as were getting ready to pray, this is it, ‘Lord, what we need is faith, and we know, forgive us, it’s a faith thing right now, we’re just not trusting you,’ and I’m just starting to pray and there’s a knock on the door, and I actually got irritated, you know, I’m trying to get my heart right, and now God’s letting me be interrupted, you know what I mean [laughter].  I finally got to this point, so I’m irritated, I walk over to the door, open the door, there’s this guy standing there with a box on his shoulder, I’ve never seen the guy before.  He hands me the box, I take this big box, he says ‘I got to go, van’s waiting.’  ‘OK, see yah.’  Got a box, I now go back to the office, I lay this box on the floor, and there’s my wife, and we open it up, and it’s filled with food.  Didn’t ever know who the guy was.  Well that man was Ron Millet, and later, probably a year or two later he started to come to our church, and then I learned his side of the story.  What happened was he was at another church at the time, and they were putting together boxes of food and just being a blessing for people in their church who were in need.  And they put these boxes together, got the van loaded, but then there was still stuff left over sitting on the floor, and he says ‘What shall I do with this, Lord?’  So he decided ‘I’m just going to put it in the box, and who knows, God will just lead us.’  So he puts it in the box, puts it in the van, they go around, they do all these deliveries, blessing different families in their church, get done.  I guess they were probably listening to the radio station at the time, and he’s talking to his wife, ‘What should we do with this?  Well, here’s the radio [this pastor’s Christian radio station he was running], let’s figure out who these people are and let’s go bless them, why not.’  I don’t know how they got our address, but at the very moment I’m down on my knees, we’ve got this issue of food, that very instant, God already knows what I was going to ask, they knocked on the door right at that instant.  And all the way God orchestrated that.  But you now that’s God, that’s who we’re going up before when we’re coming to him to pray.  He just knows, he loves you so much, you know, he wants you to draw near to him, and here he is.  You’ve got his attention as a child of God.  So, when you pray, you don’t need to do all the repetitive stuff, just come, come sincerely. 

 

Balance Scripture, it’s OK to repeat a prayer

 

Although we need to balance Scripture too.  He’s not saying that you should never repeat a prayer either.  Some will read this text and say ‘You know, you say it once, say it in faith.  If you come back and say it again, you’re not praying in faith…You’ve said it once, you’re done.’  But there is a place to repeat prayers.  Jesus did it in the Garden of Gethsemane, he says the same prayer over again three times.  [And that was an hour-long prayer each time he prayed it.]  Paul said to the church of God in Corinth, he says, ‘Three times I asked God to take away this thorn.’  I mean, three times he repeated the prayer.  You can repeat prayers.  But he’s speaking of the heart.  There’s vain repetition where you’re just trying to get God’s attention.  In fact, later when Jesus teaches this very same prayer outline we’re going to look at, you know, the Lord’s Prayer, to the disciples two years later, in Luke chapter 11 he shares this prayer, and the very next point he makes, is that story, the parable of the man with the persistent neighbour.  He says, going on about prayer, you know, ‘You know, if your neighbour comes over, knocks on the door in the middle of the night and he needed some bread, you know, you’re probably going to go ‘Leave me alone, dude.’  But, if the guy keeps knocking and banging on the door, you’re eventually, you want to go to sleep, you’re gonna get some bread and go ‘Here!  Here’s the bread!’.  And then Jesus says, ‘When you’re persistent in prayer, God responds.’  So he’s not saying not to repeat a prayer.  There may be prayers you’ve been praying about for a long time, I’ve been praying for certain members of my family to come to Christ forever.  You know, it seems like forever, but kind of an exaggeration, but over and over, I’ve prayed it so many times, and I’m not going to stop [me neither].  And that’s not what he’s referring to here.  But it’s the vain repetition.  What’s amazing to me, is we’re going to come to the Lord’s prayer, is there are some who will take this prayer, and they’ll do exactly what Jesus is saying here in Matthew not to do.  They’ll repeat it over and over and over and over.  You know, I got the deal, I’m going to do it twenty times [like doing the rosary], and they’ll say it twenty times.  And that’s not what it’s about, it’s about a heart that draws near to God, and talks to God. 

 

“Pray in this manner”---this is a template for prayer

 

In verse 9 he says “In this manner”, “In this manner therefore pray…”  so it’s the manner, it’s a sense of, this is the heart, this is the spirit, this is the way you approach your Father, the way you approach God in prayer.  What the Lord’s Prayer really is, is it’s an outline for prayer, giving specific subjects to pray about when you pray.  But it’s this manner, there’s more to it than just praying this word for word here. 

 

God is our Father, Abba, Daddy

 

“In this manner therefore:  Our Father…”  As we have noted before, in the Sermon on the Mount with Jesus, he continues to communicate that to you, when you come to God the Father, Abba, he’s your heavenly Father.  And the Jew would not think that way, he would just view God as the Father of Israel, but never as his personal Father.  So he says ‘When you pray, say Abba, Daddy.’  And that says this is a personal deal.  My kids come to me, ‘Daddy, Daddy!’ it’s this one-on-one thing, person-to-person communication.  I mean this is the beautiful thing we get to be part of.  He says, ‘Our Father, our Abba, our Dad.’  Maybe prayer hasn’t been like that for you, you know, maybe for different reasons it’s been more of a ‘I do this because there’s this guy up there I need to please.’  And the Lord wants to show you that ‘No, it isn’t that, it’s this relationship, and you come and you say ‘My Dad, Daddy, here’s the thing, here’s my heart, and I want to talk to you.’  And just as I want to hear my kids, I could be downstairs, and I am really focused, but if somehow my brain unfocuses for a moment, I can be downstairs and there’d be all these kids running around, and if my kids say ‘Daddy, Daddy’ in the midst of all of that, down the hall, and if I’m not focused on something else and I hear that, I know it’s my child, they’re my children, in the midst of all the noise, I’ll tune in right there.  I love them and I want to listen to them, and they have my attention.  So he says ‘In this manner, come and say Father, our Father.’

 

We’re Part Of A Heavenly Family

 

So, another thing to note there is the word “our”.  And in fact, throughout this prayer, everything is in the plural, the pronouns are plural, not singular.  When I come to God there should be a sense in my heart that I am part of a heavenly family, I’m not just the only child of God, we’re part of a family, the Church, Body of Christ, incredible thing that God is doing, Church, all kinds of churches around here with Christian believers within them, we’re part of this family.  So I’m not going to pray selfishly, in the sense that I might pray something that may actually in the end take away from another part of the Body of Christ, another believer, so I might be prospered in a way that maybe hinders somebody else in the Church, another child of God.  There’s that sense of ‘We are part of a family.’  And my prayers are going to be prayed in that sense, that yes, I have personal needs, and we’ll get to that, and I’ll lift my very personal needs to the Lord, but I’m praying in such a way that, ‘Lord, bless my life, but in a way that others get blessed too, and do good to me so that I can be a blessing to others.’  That’s the sense, our Father, our, us, all the way through it.  There is this family that we are a part of, our Father in heaven, in heaven, he’s my Daddy, but he’s in heaven, and I’m not quite sure what heaven is like.  [One of the main purposes of this site is to promote the understanding that no matter what part of the Body of Christ you hail from, we’re part of one body of believers, with One Spirit who indwells us, making us part and parcel with God, part of his family.] 

 

1. First thing when we start our prayer is Praise

 

Include praise and worship in your prayer.  When you come to God, I don’t know if you do this, but just come and praise him a little bit, before you even go on.  Just praise him for who he is, praise him for what he does, not just thanksgiving for things he’s done for you in particular, but just for his very character and his very nature.  That’s what he’s saying.  “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed by your name.”  So, effective prayer includes praise for the Creator of heaven and the earth.  I should understand who I am drawing before.  I believe the one who thinks is the one who believes, and if you’re really logical, you’ll come to the conclusion that God created the heavens and the earth.  It’s illogical to say that it just happened by accident, it’s so designed.  [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/Does/Does%20God%20Exist.html]  ‘So, Lord, you did it, and Lord it blows me away, thinking about it right now, that you actually spoke and it existed.  How did you do that, Lord?  How did you speak, and I’m thinking of Jupiter right now, that’s a big thing out there [one tenth solar mass], and you just spoke, you blow my mind, Lord.  I’m looking out the window, that tree’s so tall, and how’d you come up with that idea, a tree, what made you think of it?  Water, I’m mostly made of water, water is a different deal, how’d you think of water?’  It’s very easy to pray for the things that follow in this outline for prayer Jesus is giving us.  He’s so awesome.  So Jesus is saying, when you approach the Father in prayer, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name” “hallow” means “to make holy” or “to treat as holy,” it’s a sense of reverence.  He’s my Dad, but he’s Holy in that he’s a consuming fire, and he’s so pure.  And when I draw near to him, I acknowledge, “Oh, Lord, Father, I praise you, man, you’re incredible.”  And there’s that sense of his Holiness.  And that’s good to have that sense of his Holiness, because it has an effect upon me.  Because I’m not very holy.  And if there’s anything about me and my life right now that’s definitely not holy, there’s now this sense that I need to have a heart-change there, you know, he’s Holy.  He’s a consuming fire.  [It is said in the Bible that ordinary man cannot look upon God in all his glory, i.e. in his glorified state, and live.  God radiates light, brighter than the sun.  Well here’s a little solar physics for you.  When photons of light originate in the center or core of the sun’s thermonuclear furnace, those photons are at the energy level that makes them photons of gamma rays, the brightest and most intense rays of the light spectrum.  A person exposed to a lot of gamma rays would melt from the intensity of them.  God’s light is like or even more intense than gamma rays.  But a gamma ray may take thousands of years to work its way to the sun’s surface, shedding a lot of its energy, so it emerges at the sun’s surface as ordinary visible light.  God’s radiance is more intense than gamma rays, just imagine, a consuming fire.]  Then too that statement, I mean, you draw near to the Lord in prayer, people of prayer are people who are growing in holiness.  If you find in your life, if there’s a lot of sin that just keeps mastering you and you haven’t grown much in the Lord, it’s probably because you haven’t been seeking the Lord in secret in prayer.  But when you grow in prayer, ‘Hallowed be your name,’ and that has an effect upon me.  As I start this day, ‘let me be holy, you are Holy, holiness, I want that more in my life, Lord, I want to be more like you.’

 

2. “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done”

 

Verse 10, “Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  Then we acknowledge his purpose, “Your kingdom come, your will be done.”  Jesus is teaching his disciples to pray, he says, ‘You pray that God’s kingdom come.’  [Comment: Praying “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” is none other than praying for God’s kingdom to be brought to this earth.  But Jesus gave his disciples, and us believers in Jesus a mammoth job to do before his kingdom can be brought to this earth literally at Jesus Christ’s 2nd coming.  He stated in Matthew 24:14, “And this gospel [i.e. the Gospel of salvation] shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”  Taken in context with the entire text of Matthew 24, that “end” culminates in the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ and the “end” of man’s and Satan’s rule over the earth.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/kingdomofgod/mkg1.htm for a more complete description of that coming kingdom which Jesus told us to be praying for its arrival on earth.  So praying for “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” also, by extrapolation, includes praying for worldwide evangelism.  It would be praying for the discipling of more people to come to Christ, so that they in turn will go out and evangelize more.   This concept of praying for God’s kingdom to come via evangelism is explained in this short article.  It is another way we are to pray for God’s kingdom to come to earth, one person at a time.

 

The First Prayer-Request In The Lord’s Prayer

 

What is one way we can and should be praying this, Matthew 6:10, “Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” ?  The initial answer, God’s answer (and what we can and should be praying for) is the calling of sons and daughters into God’s family on earth, via the receiving of his Holy Spirit upon conversion.  Those individuals, those receiving God’s calling and Holy Spirit, start living according to God’s will---“thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”---as they grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.  The calling and drawing of a people to God is the first primary way this verse is being fulfilled right now, before Jesus Christ’s 2nd coming.  It is bringing God’s Kingdom, spiritually speaking, into individuals one at a time.  They become living examples of God’s Kingdom on earth spiritually, demonstrating God’s laws and way of life to a dying, decaying world.  We are walking, talking representatives of God’s Kingdom right here on earth.  So let this be the first major part of our prayers, that God start drawing a people, more people to himself through conversion.  Who?  Our family members who are still in the world should be our first priority.  Why?  God wants Godly seed, Malachi 2:15, “And did not he make one?  Yet had he the residue of the spirit.  And wherefore one?  That he might seek a godly seed.  Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.”  The apostle Paul continues this thought and theme in 1st Corinthians 7:12-14, “But to the rest speak I, not the Lord:  If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.”  i.e, as the LORD said through Malachi, “let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.”  Paul continues the thought, “And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.  For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband:  else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.”  And then we have the very clear statement in Acts 2:38-39, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost [i.e., the Holy Spirit].  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” This shows we should be praying for 1) “and to our children”, and then 2) “all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God should call.” So secondly, after praying for the calling of our unconverted family members, we should be praying for our close friends and business acquaintances for starters.  Most people, it’s been statistically proven, come to Christ through our personal examples and witnessing, and not through literature or telecasts.  We should also be praying daily for the Church’s telecasts, magazines and booklets, that God uses them to draw a people to himself.  When people come to Christ, receiving the Holy Spirit through conversion, it is bringing a very important element of God’s Kingdom right down to earth within these people, right in the here and now.  Jesus at his 2nd coming will bring the literal physical aspect of the Kingdom of God to earth, as we all know and have been taught.  But those God calls now are the spiritual example of the Kingdom of God as it will be on earth after Jesus’ 2nd coming.  So this is I’d say the first and one of the more important ways we can be praying ‘Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’  Up until now, I don’t believe we have fully realized the significance of this first instruction about what we should be praying for.  Do you want to see the church grow?  Do you want to see your family members in church with you?  Would you like to see the church bursting at the seams with new members?  Then start to pray for this daily.

 

For some ideas on supporting major non-denomination evangelistic organizations, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/missionstatement.htm.  What is the Gospel we’re supposed to preach?  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/misc/WhatIsTheGospel%20.htm.  Therefore, seeing that we’re living right before the time of the end Jesus described in Matthew 24, praying for God’s kingdom to come involves some knowledge of what we must do, in God’s power, before that kingdom will and can come to earth.  God’s kingdom also comes to earth with each and every individual God places his Holy Spirit in.  That is a concept we must not forget.  We should also be praying for the intelligence and ability to preach the Gospel to the world through worldwide evangelism at all levels, personal, church-wide, city-wide, nation-wide, worldwide.  A lot to grasp there, but it’s important.]  But on a personal level, ‘Your kingdom come, Lord I want you to rule in my own life, Lord I want your will, principles, your kingdom, all that goes on, the laws of that kingdom, I want them to be true and real to me today, your kingdom come in my own life.’  And saying that too, I mean, the kingdom, the kingdom of God, the Gospel goes out and the kingdom grows and is expanded [on that individual, one-by-one basis just explained.  See, http://www.unityinchrist.com/wwcofg/IsItGodsWillFor.htm].

 

3.  “Give us this day our daily bread”

 

Then, with that heart, now we come to the next verse, our personal needs.  And so we pray for his provision, we acknowledge it, “Give us this day our daily bread” (verse 11).  So then, “Give us this day our daily bread.”  In Luke  when Jesus shares this same prayer, he words it slightly differently, different tense.  Here it’s “Give us this day our daily bread”, so that is in the aris tense, so it’s in the sense of giving it now, meaning, right now instantly.  In Luke he says “give us day by day our daily bread”, in the continual present tense.  ‘I have needs, I come to you Lord, I don’t call my Grandma, I don’t go looking at the church down the road, I seek you, I just say, Lord, God please, here’s my need.’  And that’s what I do first, ‘and if you lead me to do something after that, that’s what I do.  But I go to you first, I come to you first, give us this day our daily bread.’  So there’s an understanding, he’s ultimately my provider.  I have people in my family, you do too, I have people like my in-laws, they are such giving people.  And once I married into this family, I get blessed a lot.  My father-in-law and my mother-in-law are that way, they look at their daughter as a little princess even to this day, they just treat her like one.  And so man, we get boxes and we get blessings.  They come out, it’s like, we look forward to it.  Man, all this stuff’s going to get fixed in the house, praise God.  We got this list, you know, [laughter] and the refrigerator, it’s filled with the best goodies, and they even leave a whole other refrigerator full of stuff, they just bless our life, man.  But I look to God, I say God uses people to accomplish his purposes.  But I look to God, I say ‘God, thank you for being so kind to us.’  “Give us this day our daily bread,”  we are to pray for our personal needs, not in a selfish way, very clearly as we stated.  Not to my own gain, but I come honestly ‘Lord, this is the deal, I need a job, Lord,’ or ‘Oh Lord, the rent needs to be paid, Lord, the electric bill needs to be paid,’ whatever it is, “Give us this day our daily bread.”  But it’s not just the physical, too, it’s ‘Lord, the daily bread’ in the sense ‘I need your strength, Oh Lord, I need the wisdom for what I’m going to encounter today, I need to know what to do.’  All of that, ‘Give us our needs, I have these needs, I come to you, and you are my provider in every sense of that word.  I don’t look anywhere else, I look to you.’  And you know, there may be a loan I”ll go for, car loan or whatever, sit down and apply for some funds or whatever, that happens, but yet I’m looking to God ultimately, and allowing him to lead me.  So, his provision.

 

4. “Forgive us our debts”

 

Next, when we pray, he says, ‘Praise him, pray considering his plan, bringing his kingdom to the earth, his purpose, acknowledge that…pray for his provision, and also now, pray for his pardon.’  When the disciples say in Luke 11, ‘Teach us how to pray,’ right in the midst of that he says ‘When you pray, come to your Father and say ‘Father, forgive me of my sin.’’  When you pray you need to understand who you are, you need to come and get your heart right with God, admit that you’re a sinner, and you need to ask God to forgive you.  He’s saying, as Christians and Messianic Jewish believers in Jesus it’s important that we are concerned about our sin and that we need to do something about it, so we need to confess it, and then our lives need to show that we’ve repented of it, and turned the other way.  ‘This is how I want you to pray,’ meaning, ‘Come and get right with me right now.  Father…’ we acknowledge his pardon, ‘Lord, forgive me of my sins.’  That’s a beautiful thing, that’s a powerful statement.  I was meeting with somebody this week, and they were telling me how early on in their Christian life they had a lot of peace, they become Christians, never experienced anything like that in their lives, and they were telling people, “I’ve got this peace, I’ve got peace, I never felt anything like that, there’s this incredible peace in my heart.”  And for various reasons they’ve gone on, and now it’s years later, and they don’t have that peace.  And so we’re sitting down and talking, and as we’re talking about this, they bring out other things they’re struggling with in their life, and they don’t have the peace.  And there was this sense, as I was talking with this person, that, ‘Boy, that’s the old days.’  And I said to them, “You can have that peace tonight, you can have that peace tonight, and this is what you do, right here, this is a part of the Lord’s Prayer.  You go home, go home and get right with the Lord, and you start confessing your sin, and you ask God to reveal your sin to you in areas where it’s maybe a lack of trust, or a thing of unforgiveness, you just get your heart right with God and confess your sin and be willing to repent of your sin.  And I guarantee you, you will have the peace of God tonight, because the fruit of the Spirit is peace.”  Man, I know when I don’t have peace, that’s where I go, and you’ve probably heard me say it before, I go and say ‘Lord, forgive me, what is hindering my fellowship with you, Lord, and the work of the Spirit?  Show me Lord.’  And I go through and start to confess my sin.  And I don’t leave until I know that I have the peace, and it is great, the peace of God.  Isn’t it?  To have the peace of God in your life, there’s nothing like it, is there?  Maybe you have been a Christian, you lack that peace, you can get there by getting your heart right.  And that’s what he’s saying, ‘Forgive me of my sin, here’s my sins, I confess them to you Lord.  I acknowledge them and I repent.’

 

5. “Forgive us of our debts, as we forgive our debtors”

 

Now, “Forgive us of our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (verse 12), and go to verses 14 and 15, because they connect right there.  “Forgive us of our debts, as we forgive our debtors” and then he says, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (verses 14-15).  He’s saying that if you have unforgiveness in your life and you’re a Christian you will not be forgiven.  Is that what he’s saying?  Well when you balance all the Scriptures [adding like Scriptural passage to like Scriptural passage] I understand that Jesus Christ died on the cross, and I’m going to be with the Lord when I die, because I’m saved.  And I’ve got all kinds of issues (in this life, none of us are perfect, and we won’t be when we die, that’s just reality folks).  So I have to put all the Scriptures together, but there’s clearly a statement that he’s making about fellowship.  And my prayer-life is hindered if I don’t have communion with the Lord.  In Isaiah 59 God says ‘I can’t hear you because there’s sin.  My ears work great, but I’m a Holy God and you’re not.’  And so if there’s a life-style of sin, habitual sin, and here I am a Christian, it’s really hindering my fellowship with God.  And so I believe that statement is about fellowship, and if I get my heart right with the Lord, that’s going to include, if I want to be able to have really effective prayer, man, what’s also hindering my walk with God at times is issues that I have horizontally with other people.  I mean, I’ve got this issue here, this guy’s done something to me and I’m angry and now I have got this terrible heart.  And then I come to God, and God’s like ‘I’m a Holy God, we’ve got a problem here.’  [Comment:  Jesus talked about this earlier in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:21-24, “You have heard it was said to those of old, You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.  But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.  And whoever says to his brother Raca! Shall be in danger of the council.  But whoever says You fool! shall be in danger of hell fire.  Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way.  First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”]  You think of the parable in Matthew chapter 18, Jesus gave the parable of the unmerciful servant, here’s this guy, he’s got a master, he owes this guy a ton of loot, and the master, it’s payday time, and the master comes to the servant and says ‘You owe me a ton of loot, and you’re gonna pay.’  And he says ‘I can’t do it, and he says ‘Well, you’re going to jail, you can’t pay, you go to jail.’  And then the servant says ‘Oh please, please, just be gracious to me, man.  I don’t have it.’  And the master, Jesus says in the parable, had compassion for his servant, he said, ‘Alright, I forgive you the debt, you don’t have to pay me.’  The story goes on, that servant goes out the door, walks down the street, here’s a little guy friend he sees, the guy owes him like two bucks, and he sees him and says ‘Hey you owe me two dollars, man, pay up.’  And the guy says ‘I don’t have the two dollars with me.’  And this servant who has just been forgiven of a big debt, grabs his friend and says ‘You’d better pay me!’ and drags him off to the jail to make sure he gets his two bucks.  Well word gets out, back to the master, and you know the story, the master gets pretty angry and deals with that situation, and says ‘I forgave you of so much, and you can’t forgive that little deal?’  And that’s the principle here, is if I really am seeking forgiveness, and I know the grace of God, man, my heart is going to be changed, and I should be ‘Oh man, I forgive you, I forgive you, no sweat, man.  Hey man, that hurt, but I forgive you, I have the grace of God in my life.  I have been forgiven of so much.  Well, as you forgive me Lord, I also have forgiven others.’  Effective prayer acknowledges his pardon by our forgiveness of others.   

 

6.  “Do not lead us into temptation”

 

“And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one (verse 13a).  He says in verse 13 to pray that, I don’t know if you pray that.  That’s a good one, I like it man.  ‘Do no lead me into temptation, Lord.’  Man, I like that.  ‘I need help, Lord,’ that’s what prayer says to me.  That prayer says to me ‘I am weak, I am feeble, and man, I don’t stand a chance.’  In fact, he goes on to say, “but deliver us from the evil one.”  Depending on the Greek you might get “evil,” “evil one,” same thing.  ‘There is a lot of evil out there, there’s a devil, he’s after me, and Lord, I’m just acknowledging now in my prayer, I know I can’t do this alone.  If I’m left alone I’m in trouble Lord, I want your protection, Lord, I’m just acknowledging now in my prayer, I know I can’t do this alone.  If I’m left alone I’m in trouble Lord.  I need your grace, I need your Spirit, I need your protection, lead me not into temptation.’  That’s the heart of what he’s saying, there’s a prayer there for protection, you know, ‘Don’t let me be overwhelmed, Lord.  Help me to stand, help me to walk in that victory, help me to just walk in the power of the Holy Spirit.  I acknowledge that there’s this battle.’  I’m not just this foolish guy that thinks there’s no battle, there’s a battle and I know it, and I want to be equipped.  [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/memphisbelle.htm and http://www.unityinchrist.com/ephesians/eph6armour.htm for some enlightening studies about spiritual warfare that exists between believers and Satan and his demonic realm.  Know your enemy, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/Satan/satan.htm]  ‘I want to be equipped, I can’t stand apart from your grace.’  You know Jesus told his disciples later, Luke 22, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”  In other words, temptation speaks especially of trial.  God does not tempt us, but he allows temptations and trials into our lives.  And so I’m praying here for his protection and his grace to stand, and for protection from whatever it might be, there’s all this stuff going on.  ‘Oh Lord, lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from the evil one.’

 

7.  Closing with praise and worship

 

And lastly, as he shows us here in concluding the prayer, it’s a statement to me of worship.  I start in worship and praise, I come to the end of my prayer, I worship and praise and I thank him for all the great things he does.  “But yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever, Amen” (verse 13b)  So I just worship him, and I praise him again, there’s a statement about his power there.  ‘I recognize, Lord, your sovereign control over my life, your power.  And Lord, man, I recognize your ability to do anything in my life, your power.  And Lord, man, I give you all the credit, it’s all about you, your glory.  Everything good comes from you, Lord.  Your kingdom, Lord, I want it to rule in my life.’  Now that doxology there, if you have the NIV or the American Standard, it’s not there.  And that is just because some of the old transcripts, there are many of the old ones that have it, but the most reliable ones, the ones that people tend to look to, the scholars, in a good many instances it’s absent in those.  And so many scholars have concluded that this little doxology maybe was added, something that was part of the [early] Church and they just added it there.  But maybe it is part of the original thing that Jesus taught, it certainly fits, because Solomon when he prayed in Chronicles for the Temple, he has a very similar statement here, as he says in his prayer there.  Well, “Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever”, I think it’s beautiful.  So, pray, prayer is important.  Effective prayer, when we pray effectively, we come acknowledging God as our Father, and that we are his children, when we pray this way we come and we state to him that he is our God, and as worshippers we say ‘Hallowed be your name, you are my God, I am a worshipper of you.’  When I come in prayer, I acknowledge his, you know, ‘Your kingdom come, you are my King and I am the subject, Lord.  Your will be done, you are my Master and I am your servant.  Lord, give us our bread, you are my provider, we are the recipients.  Lord, forgive me, you are my Saviour, I’m a sinner Lord.  Lead us Lord, lead us, you are my guide, I am the follower.  Oh Lord, protect us.  For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, you are sovereign and I am one of your citizens, it’s all about you.’  That’s what prayer’s all about.  Let’s stand together…[condensed notes taken from an expository sermon on Matthew 6:7-15, given somewhere in New England.]

 

related links: 

 

God’s creative power, see

http://www.unityinchrist.com/Does/Does%20God%20Exist.html

 

God’s coming Kingdom, see

http://www.unityinchrist.com/kingdomofgod/mkg1.htm and

http://www.unityinchrist.com/wwcofg/IsItGodsWillFor.htm

 

“Do not lead us into temptation, but protect us from the evil one.” see

http://www.unityinchrist.com/Satan/satan.htm

and

http://www.unityinchrist.com/ephesians/eph6armour.htm

and

http://www.unityinchrist.com/memphisbelle.htm

 

Section on prayer:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/prayer/bibleway.htm

 

content Editor Peter Benson -- no copyright, except where noted.  Please feel free to use this material for instruction and edification
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