Teach Us to Pray
How is everyone doing tonight. It is good to see you all.
Tonight I am going to speak to you on the Lord’s Prayer. It was something that came to mind while I was preparing the teaching on The Armor of God. If we remember Paul saying,
Ephesians 6:18 “ praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.”
It brought to mind the Disciples of Jesus when they saw Him praying in Luke 11, and asked Jesus “Lord teach us to pray, as John (referring to John the Baptist) also taught his disciples.”
Referencing Ephesians 6:18, “To pray at all times” means we need to know how to pray, and know why we pray.
Now with this bunch here, all of you who are regularly a part of The Furnace; I know that you pray. But for many Christians today, consistent prayer is an issue, because many do not see the need for being consistent. They are not taught it, nor do they see it.
Prayer is a lost ideal in the church, with very few self-professed followers actually praying other than when they need something. We look at God as the “go to guy” when things are not right or we need something that we can’t get on our own. But do let me say, He is the “go to guy” for those things, as He wants to be, and He wants us to go to Him when we have needs, but He is much more than that as we all here know.
Reading what Jesus said, along with the writers of the New Testament, we are able to put together what Jesus was implying with the Lord’s Prayer, and its effects on our daily Christian walk.
It is easy to throw prayers up to God when you need something, but we should know the God of all creation first so when we pray, we know why we pray, how to pray, and what to expect from our prayers.
To know God is to spend time with God, but what is the motivation to do so? It’s not just to get stuff, or feel cozy because we do not like feeling uncomfortable, “ever”, but it is knowing God, to love God for He who is.
Jesus said in His most important commandments to love God.
Mark 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord; 30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength." This is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.
And it is interesting in verse 32 what a scribe said.
32 And the scribe said to Him, Right, Teacher, according to truth You have spoken, that God is one, and there is no other besides Him. 33 And to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love the neighbor as himself, is more than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices.
He got it. God is worthy to be praised, and most worthy to know.
So to love God, you must know God, to know God you must spend time with God, to spend time with God, you need to make time with God, and the time with God must be consistent (Jesus is our example). Talking to God is praying. Prayer is an act of worship to God. And God honors our worship of Him, and relationship is built from the times of worship/prayer we have with God.
To have relationship is the key to opening up the door to a spirit led knowledge of God so that our prayers are prayers of purpose. First because of the relationship we have with God; to satisfy the yearning of the soul to be in the presence of God, we must pray.
Because as we consistently are in prayer with God, intimacy with God builds, and He in His love and mercy, pours Himself out on us.
He brings us into His presence, and as the Word says, “There is fullness of joy in His presence.” So we enter His presence by praying, worshipping, and we in the supernatural, step into the throne room of God and are consumed in His Glory.
In addition, prayers may rise up to satisfy a yearning that is put there by God because of that relationship and it may cause us to intercede. Intercession is the act of intervening on behalf of another. So that intercession may be through the laying on of hands for healing or a prayer of restoration, prayer for the breaking of strongholds, or praying to build up someone up in the Spirit.
Lastly, our prayers may be a yearning in the heart placed there by God so that you pray for a personal need. God does not leave us out, but I will tell you, He knows your need, and when you are spending time with Him in worship, or sending out Kingdom prayers, many times He is taking care of your needs.
So to begin even to ask how to pray, we must begin by being connected intimately to whom we are praying to, so we know His heart, and can hear His voice. But, that shouldn’t keep us from praying because we may think we are not in that place of intimacy we think we should be. Praying and having intimacy with God can be a process as His Spirit draws us in and teaches us. It is different for all.
At the beginning of our Christian walk as well as times during it, we may ask, “Lord teach me to pray right.” And it may happen because we just don’t know how to, but also it may pop up when we believe our prayers are not effective, or we believe God does not hear us.
God does hear us; how ever we speak to Him. I believe we speak to God like we would have conversation with anyone else. I am not even going to get into posture. Yes, there is reverence in the conversation because He is our Father, and He is God, but God I believe cares more that you are taking time with Him more than how the words come out of your mouth.
The Disciples of Jesus who had been with Him for some time saw that He took time to pray. They heard him pray. They knew that He had a relationship with His Father in Heaven. Jesus talked about that relationship all the time.
And they through their experience with Jesus knew the connection between the miracles they had been seeing over their time with Jesus was connected to the relationship Jesus had with The Father.
I am surprised that they had never asked before. They may have, but it is not recorded. But I believe they were getting it. They saw, and experienced the power in the prayers and from the prayer time that Jesus was having.
When we look at Luke 11, we see Jesus teaching His Disciples about how to pray, and you may think this is really in short order, for us just a couple verses, but these men had been with Jesus for some time now, so what He was saying to them, they knew what He meant.
So let’s read The Lord’s Prayer in Luke chapter 11, and I am going to first read it in the New King James because it closely lines up to how many of us have learned the Lord’s Prayer.
Now it came to pass, as He (Jesus) 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.”
There were two disciples of John the Baptist that followed Jesus. One was Andrew the brother of Simon Peter.
John 1:40, “One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.”
The other disciple is in question. Some believe it was the Apostle John. Others believe it was Philip because he was from the same town as Andrew and Peter and Jesus added him as the third disciple.
So both of these disciples who followed John the Baptist must have been taught by John how to pray, and they now wanted Jesus to teach them all. So Jesus said:
2 So He said to them, “When you pray, say: (Speak it out.)
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation,
Most manuscripts end there. So this is what we will focus on.
Jesus begins teaching His Disciples, by saying Father or our Father. Our Father, plural to the men. He was dad to all of us. Jesus personalized God the Father. They were to go to God in this prayer as you would go to your father like here on earth. Jesus was preparing the men to see God not as like the destroyer of armies though he could, or a judge just as He could be, but as a loving father. One who cared about what they had to say to Him.
These men would be in a sense humbling themselves to move into the presence of God like a small child going to their daddy for something. Knowing that dad would have an attentive ear to their needs, or questions, or whatever the child was coming to them for.
So when the men went to the Father like Jesus did, they had confidence that their Father in Heaven would be attentive to them like He was to His Son.
This goes back to Jesus and His first commandment to love the Lord thy God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. To love someone at that level, your relationship with them must be at a place that you are totally content and rest in the knowledge of your relationship, because it is grounded in confidence because you know that person always has your best needs and purposes in mind.
The next thing Jesus says to His Disciples is “Hallowed be your Name”, or Holy is your Name.
Yes, God is our loving Father, but He is Holy, and great, and greatly to be praised, and worshipped above all others, above all things. We should come to the Father in worship. Worship humbles us before the Father and we show reverence and adoration to Him.
Worship in the Greek is the word proskynéō (prós, "towards" and kyneo, "to kiss") – properly, to kiss the ground when prostrating, ready "to fall down/prostrate oneself to adore on one's knees"
When we are in that prostrated position of the heart, our hearts are open toward the Lord. When you look at that for the future, Jesus would have the disciples and new believers wait for the Helper He would send, the Holy Spirit this adoration to God would go to another level. In our worship, we would be connecting to Him, Spirit to Spirit in a completely different dimension then what they even were aware of. It would not be praying up to this God who up in the air somewhere, it would be praying to a God who was in us.
Jesus then says, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven.”
Jesus is saying, God’s kingdom. “Your kingdom Lord!” The word for kingdom in the Greek is Basileia which means royalty and realm. Basileia’s root word is basilues “basil e oos. Basically a walking foundation of power. So God’s kingdom is a realm of power. So Jesus is saying, “God, let your realm of power come.”
Jesus’ disciples knew what He was talking about when he was talking about the kingdom. They saw it in Jesus. He manifested the kingdom. They manifested it too, but after the death and resurrection of Jesus, and the coming of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2, Kingdom power was spread by the followers of Christ. They were activated, and they brought the Kingdom anywhere and everywhere they went.
“Your will be done.” God determines for Your good pleasure to be willing for it to come to pass. Meaning the kingdom coming in the present and future tense.
So our Father in Heaven, let your realm of power come now and in the future, as You determine for your good pleasure.
My belief is, it is not just for the past, it is not just for the time Jesus was on the earth, nor just the time of the Apostles as some would teach, that it was during Jesus time, and the Apostles, but it is for us who believe now all the way until the church age ends in Revelation 14:14.
“Your will be done!” God’s will is what Jesus preached. “The kingdom of heaven is like” with all of His examples.
Jesus healed the sick. Healed the lame. Cast out demons. Raised the dead. Preached repentance. Taught the Kingdom. Showed the Kingdom, and reconciled people back to His Father in Heaven.
That is the will of God. That is the will of God for us who follow Christ and believe. Jesus showed us, He was the example, we are now to do the same.
“On earth as it is in heaven.”
Well we know what earth is. We know the good and the bad. We know how the sin of man has devastated it. The earth cries out for release, but that release will not come until the earth passes away and a new earth is created as is said in the scriptures. The earth may have peace during the millennial reign, but what happens when Satan is released again? Our earth needs Jesus, and it needs those who call themselves followers, sons and daughters of God to do the will of God on the earth.
What is heaven?
You can look up on the internet and find a hundred descriptions by people of what heaven is like. Some who had seen heaven. I am not going to give examples, but all I know is that heaven is where God’s throne is. So where God’s throne is, there must be perfection. God is perfect, and I would imagine that is what He would expect to be around Him. I don’t think we can in our human minds conceive what the perfection of God is. Because of our sin nature, we can only fathom what it is. All we know is, those who are there are in the Presence of God. How much more perfect is that?
Heaven is what Eden was supposed to be. A paradise. The difference was this heaven paradise was supposed to be on His creation, earth. Earth was supposed to be a replica of heaven, where all God’s creation would live in perfection having fellowship with God for eternity. It will come someday. God in His Word said it will, but until then, Jesus His Son is saying to His future Bride, I want you to show the rest of creation on this earth who do not know my Father like you or I, the Kingdom of Heaven. I want you to show them that it is real. A kingdom life is one that overcomes the sin nature of this fallen hurting world.
You my Bride Jesus says will allow people to experience the Kingdom by healing them. By setting them free from evil spirits. By leading them to me, so I can reconcile them back to our Father in Heaven, so they will know Him like we do and they will truly experience the freedom of the relationship with the Father and look to be with Him in the perfection that is yet to come when all things are restored. Amen!
We may not see the perfection of heaven here on earth in its totality, but we can bring heaven into life giving situations to restore people and save them from a future of eternal wrath.
3 Give us day by day our daily bread.
Didomi, “Grant to us”, or “have power to hand down to us”, Katah, exceedingly more or more excellent, or mightily, Hemera over time, or through the age, Epiousios our sustenance or what we need daily.
So it is a prayer to God for our daily needs, for him to sustain us with no end point. It is continuous. 4 And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
Probably the most important part of the prayer. We must pray for the forgiveness of our sins with repentance. It says at the end of verse 4 that we should forgive those who are indebted or owe us do to a moral failure. We are also in debt or owe the Lord for our sins, and we pray for mercy through confession and repentance to have our slate wiped clean of all and any wrong doing.
But it is contingent on the fact that we forgive others who are in debt to us. God has given us mercy by His grace to forgive us no matter what we have done against Him or others. When we come to Him humbly and with a repentant heart, He forgives.
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
We must do the same for others. If they ask for forgiveness, we must forgive them.
Luke 17:3-4 “So watch yourselves. “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says , ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”
If they have not come to us humbly with a repentant heart, we still forgive. The unforgiveness is on them. We can say “Not Fair!”, but we do not make the rules. Jesus said:
Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Pretty blunt I would say, but to the point, and Jesus does not say if they asked forgiveness or not. We are to forgive no matter what the sin was against us. We must remember that God is the one who avenges us. It says in Romans 12:19, He will repay those who sins against us.
I believe there have been many who call themselves Christians that thought they were cool with God, and when they died, they weren’t accepted into heaven because of this point.
And do not lead us into temptation,
Likewise, Jesus is saying, protect us from evil. In some texts it says protect from the evil one. God does protect us from the evil one. He covers us from evil.
This prayer outline was meant to be used not only individually, but in groups. It was to be used to help direct and expand prayer, because it first brought you into worship, and into the presence of God, then lead you to pray for what the Spirit led you to pray while in the presence.
You pray for your needs and the needs of others, but your biggest need was to clean yourself before the Lord and not have any grudges with others, so really you were in true freedom before the Lord. Lastly, it was a prayer for protection for the day, against forces of evil that would be against you.
Jesus in a small paragraph of words, brought the whole Kingdom of God to be daily entered into by His current and future followers. He knew this would change the world while it would totally change us by bringing us into the presence of God.