I. Learn The Basic Principles Of Prayer
1Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
2So He said to them, When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your Kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 3Give us day by day our daily bread 4And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation But deliver us from the evil one. 5And He said to them, Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, Friend, lend me three loaves; 6for
a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him¡ 7and he will answer from within and say, Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you¡ 8I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs. 9So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!¡¨A. There must first be a desire to learn what you think you already know. (vs. 1)
1. The disciples had prayed previous to asking Jesus to teach them the power and serenity of prayer.
2. But as they circled around Jesus that day, they realized that there was something different about the way He prayed.
3. He would not give them that day a sacred formula to be repeated over and over but He would give them a consistent pattern for prayer.
B. I am convinced that most Christians learned to pray in one of these ways:
1. By some other person¡¦s example.
2. By our own definition.
C. Now! Look at the principles Jesus laid out for powerful prayer.
1. “Our Father” I find it interesting here that Jesus would teach us this phrase because Jesus Himself never uses that form. He is heard referring to God as, “The Father”, “My Father”, or “Your Father” because He is the true Son of God but you and I are to refer to Him at least as “Father” and at best as “Our Father” since we are adopted into that royal family. It is a term likened to daddy or poppa.
Principle No.1 We are instructed to approach Him with tenderness.
2. “In heaven” Jesus reminds us here that we are not approaching an earthly father that is limited in his capabilities or his presence. We are approaching the very Father of all creation. He is our heavenly Father and because of that we are created in His image (Gen 1:26).
Principle 2 We are instructed to approach Him with reverence.
3. “Hallowed be Your name” Not many could claim this title although it is given to us the task of being set apart (sanctification) for service to the glory of God. Jesus is certain to remind us that our Father is free from all impurities. He is totally separated from all evil.
Principle 3 We are instructed to approach Him with respect.
4. “Your kingdom come” It is a difficult thing to go to God in prayer knowing that you are at odds with the ministry of the kingdom. We are then simply laying before Him a monstrous hypocrisy if every day of our lives we are hindering and thwarting the advance of His kingdom.
Principle 4 We are instructed to approach Him with devotion.
5. “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” In one sense the will of God is done whether we like it or not. Yet in another real sense, all believers do not always carry out the will of God. The interesting fact is that we cannot see His will done without first letting Him rule in our day-to-day lives. He must be Lord and King and we must seek to enlarge His kingdom. The whole concept then, seems to be one that is quite foreign to us. It is an appeal for us to voluntarily give up our wills here on earth so that His heavenly will might be accomplished. Philippians 2:5 ¡§Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus¡¨