Archive for the ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ Category

A Family Prayer PT 2

August 12, 2007

In my first installment on the Lord’s prayer I proposed that this prayer of our Lord is a prayer for a people and not bare individuals.  That while Jesus is showing individuals how to pray those individuals are never alone…  Now let’s turn our attention to the Father who hears our prayers.

I.  He is no distant God. Now remember this is Jesus pointing us to communicate with His Father in the same manner He does. But, some may wonder at this…  Jesus is wholly different than us, they might say. He is a Son in a manner that I will never be. True enough, but what a glorious thing to not be a natural child of the King, to not share in His essence, yet to be plucked out while still in our sin and to be called His child.

    In the past we have had families with adopted children in our church and we have members now with adopted children. It is a marvelous thing to realize that when it comes to affection, love, possession, position, title, birthdays, beach parties, bed time prayers, tickle-fests, or kisses on the cheek there is no difference between a daughter born into the family and one brought in by way of adoption. We may not be His children in the same way Jesus is but after our adoption we are in every way a son or daughter of the King. That is why Paul could call us to look upon God with great affection in

Gal 4:6-7 6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba , Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

You may have heard that that word Abba is used by little children for daddy but that is not entirely true. While it is used by children it is also used by adults and it is really a term of endearment or affection. Jesus used this same term in the Garden of Gethsemane:

Mark 14:35-36 35 He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. 36 And He said, “Abba , Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”

In this prayer, Jesus is calling us to relate to His Father the way He relates to Him. To dearly love Him.  There are a few things to remember while you are addressing Him as Father.

a. First of all, He is our Savior. When God told Moses to go to Pharaoh and petition for the release of the people Israel he put it this way:

Ex 4:21-23 21 And the LORD said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. 22 Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD:”Israel is My son, My firstborn. 23 So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me. But if you refuse to let him go, indeed I will kill your son, your firstborn.”‘”

His first and primary purpose in having children is to lead them in an exodus. (more…)

A Family Prayer – Part I

July 15, 2007

Matthew 6:9-13

There are two reasons we pray this text back to God every Sunday. First, we believe that it is hard to go wrong with offering up to God a promise in a prayer. And this prayer is a promise. Matt 6:8-9 8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9 In this manner, therefore, pray…  God knows what we need before we ask and earlier Jesus said our Father knows and will answer us out of that secret place of His.

Secondly, it is good to establish a pattern for prayer. To pray this prayer regularly establishes a groove in our souls that all future prayer may follow. There are many paths in the woods. Some are cut out with tools others are there by way of simple use. The deer follow the same steps to the water every day and each day they do so the path is established until eventually the way to the water is easy and without obstacle. We desire our prayers to follow a well worn path and for that path to be without obstacle.

With that in mind let me point out two features of this prayer I want you to carry with you as we go through this series. First of all this is a family prayer and secondly it is the Father of the family who answers our prayers.

Family – When Jesus is teaching us to pray He is precise in His language. Though Jesus had told His disciples that they should pray without hypocrisy, locking themselves away if necessary, the communal aspect of their life is never to be forgotten. He is not simply my Father, though He is my Father. He is our Father.

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