Derek Berry, pastor
Tabernacle Baptist Church, Hiram
This prayer is most commonly known as “The Lord’s Prayer.” Jesus did not give us this prayer for you and me to memorize and then pray it over and over again. Jesus said in verse 9, “After this manner therefore pray ye.” In other words, Jesus is telling us, "Use this prayer that I am giving you as a pattern for your personal prayer life." Prayers are not meant to be said; they are meant to be prayed.
What? Is there a difference? Prayer is talking with God, not merely repeating words. Here in our text we see a guide to show us how to pray. Now there may be times when these words here or other prayers we read in the Bible fit our need perfectly. Then I may want to repeat word-for-word. But, I am not merely repeating words; I am praying out of my heart to our God using His words.
If you truly want your prayer life transformed, then use this prayer as a pattern for praying rather than a replacement for your prayers. For many believers the major failure in life is failing to learn to pray. That is why it is so important that we look at the model prayer here and let Jesus tell us how to pray.
Verse 9 shows us the persons of prayer.
Who are the persons in this prayer? Verse 9 says “Our Father.” We are coming to God and speaking to God as our Father. It is important to understand this because real, powerful prayer is for the children of God. Not everyone is a child of the King.
Jesus said to the unsaved Pharisees in John8:44, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
So who are the true children of God? Jesus said in John 1:12, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” Only believers are true children of God!
The persons in this prayer is a child and his Father.
You don’t have to be a good public speaker to pray. You can just talk to God out of your heart. The way a child talks to their father. When my kids talk to me or when they need something; they say “Daddy I need this or I need that.” Galatians 4:6 “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” The word “Abba” is a Aramaic word and the best translation is “Daddy” have you ever thought about calling Him, “Daddy”? Would that be irreverent? NO.
You can go directly to God, your Father, if you are born again by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord. Verse 10 shows us the purpose of prayer “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done…”
Robert Law has said, “Prayer is a mighty instrument, not for getting man’s will done in heaven, but for getting God’s will on earth.”
Prayer is not where we bend God’s will and make it fit our will. Too many people have the idea that prayer is talking God into doing something that they think needs to happen. Prayer is seeking the will of God and following it. Prayer is the way of getting the will of God done on earth. Prayers that gets to heaven are the prayers that started in heaven.
Verse 11 shows us the provision of prayer.
A provision is a supply of something provided. In verse 11 the Lord is telling us that in a practical way He will provide for our needs. I love Philippians 4:19: “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” It doesn’t say, "My God shall supply all my wants." Because there are times that we want things we don’t need.
There are also times when we need things we don’t want. God shall supply all your needs according to his riches. A millionaire may give you $100 out of his riches, that’s not necessarily according to his riches. But my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. We can come and say, “Father, give me today my daily bread”
Verse 12-15 shows us the pardon of prayer.
Have you ever prayed something that didn’t get answered? Have you ever wondered why? Sometimes prayers are not answered because there is unconfessed sin in our lives. Along with asking for what we need, we need to remember that one thing we may need is forgiveness.
I want to end by giving you a prayer promise. Psalm 66:18: “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:” It’s not that He cannot hear; it is that sin has come between you and a Holy God. If we regard iniquity in our hearts, the Lord will not hear us.
You can forgive someone without an apology! I have had to do it many times. Maybe it’s time you forgive someone in your heart!