TEXT: Luke 11:1-4
1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
3 Give us day by day our daily bread.
4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 165 messages in this series.
This is message #166 titled, Have You Been Taught to Pray? (Part 2)
In our last message, we examined the disciple’s request for Jesus to teach him and his fellow disciples how to pray. Like that disciple, we ought to admit that we are not as strong in prayer as we should be, we must ask God to give us a desire to pray better, and we must humble ourselves to the teaching of God, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit in the matter of prayer.
Today, we are going to examine Jesus’ response to His disciple’s request. It is 12 verses long, and we will work our way through each of the verses as we learn not just how to pray, but the nature of God as it relates to prayer. Today, we are going to focus on verses 2 thru 4, which are familiar to us as the lesser-known version of what is called “The Lord’s Prayer.”
The fact that Luke’s version is not an exact copy of Matthew’s tells us something important about this prayer. “The Lord’s Prayer” is not to be recited ritually as though there were power in the order and specificity of these words. As Rick Warren points out, in Matthew, Jesus literally told the disciples to “pray LIKE this” not to “pray this EXACTLY.”
Jesus said, “When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.”
Part of the power of this prayer is its simplicity. One would think that, of all people, Jesus Christ would be the one to give us the large terms that appropriately invoke God’s grandeur in our prayers. Instead, we find that we are to address God as “Our Father.” D.A. Carson said, “There is no evidence of anyone before Jesus using this term to address God.” The term “father” speaks of an intimacy that no other term can convey. We are His children; He is our Father. He cares for us just as a good father cares for his children.
Another thing that we notice about this prayer is its brevity. The shortness of this prayer would have impacted the disciples greatly because the Pharisees and other religious leaders of their day thought long prayers were always in order. Of course, these prayers were not sincere. Jesus Christ said that they were making them “for pretense” — they were just pretending, they were not really praying.
The wise preacher of Ecclesiastes tells us, “God is in heaven, and you are on earth; therefore let your words be few.” If you can say what you have to say in 5 minutes, there is no need to pray for 25 minutes. However, you should remain in the spirit of prayer all day long: you should be open to talk to God and for God to talk to you at any time.
Simply because we address God as “Father” and abstain from praying long prayers unnecessarily does not mean that we overlook any of God’s holiness or majesty. For when we say “Our Father,” we refer to Him as “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” God is in Heaven; we are on Earth. He is perfectly holy; we are striving to be holy. We must never neglect to acknowledge who He is.
By reminding ourselves of His holiness, we are also reminded of the fact that His reality is different from ours. Which is why we are told to pray, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.” Before we make any requests for ourselves, we must pray for the things which God desires. We must pray for His will to become a reality on earth. Some say that you can be so heavenly-minded that you are no earthly good, but, as C.S. Lewis said, it is the man or woman who is truly of a heavenly mind who has the best interests of earth at heart. If our hearts are aligned with Heaven in our prayers, we will always pray within the will of God.
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Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.