The Lord's Prayer

March 27, 2020 Series: Sunday Sermons

Topic: Default Scripture: Luke 11:1–11:13

The Lords Prayer

Over the past few weeks, we have borne witness through the Gospel of Luke our Lord Jesus touch and heal the sick, walk across the waves of a stormy sea, and we heard Him teach the multitudes as he walked across Galilee.

But what if you were able to transport yourself over two thousand years ago and find yourself by Jesus’ side, walking with Him, listening mesmerized as He explained the meanings of His teachings to you and the small group of disciples walking with Him?

I wonder if you were able to ask Jesus any question, what would you ask Him?

Well, consider His disciples.  They were with Him, close to Him.  They saw every miraculous act, every great teaching, and they saw multitudes of people come from far and wide: Jews, Gentiles the wealthy, the poor, the strong – the weak.  All gathering to be in His shadow or at least for one – to touch the hem of his garment to be healed.

Yet, at no time in the gospels did any of them ask their Master: “Lord teach us to teach like you!”  or “Lord, teach us to do miracles as you did!”

Of all the things they could have asked Him, the one thing that captured their attention was hearing Him pray.  It is written:

“He was praying in a certain pace, and when He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught His disciples.”

And teach them, He did…

In this very short version of the Lord’s prayer, the Matthian version being longer and more familiar with what we say each Sunday, there are five important components to prayer that delights God TO NO END

In the very first verse of the Lukan prayer we find the first component - PRAISE

Jesus tells us:

“When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be Your name.”

Have you ever found beginning prayer by first praising God hard to do? 

Let’s be honest, when you are suffering, or just preoccupied with the worries of this world, is prayer the first thing on your mind?  Probably not. 

Instead we cut to the chase and get to the point of our problem. 

But why does Jesus insist that we first Praise the Father? 

It is because this is what true love really is.  No matter we are experience the highest heights of joy or the depths of our most profound sorrow, love cuts through and is thankful for all things – giving praise for all things. 

1 Thessalonians 5:18

18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Every time we go to our Father in prayer we enter into worship.  And if worship is an act of love, then the first words expressing our love are praises for our beloved.

You know what star-crossed lovers say: “I worship the ground you walk on!”   Well, where do you think we get this saying?  This is hallowed ground isn’t it?  If your answer is yes, then you are in the correct place, because this is a place of great love.

We praise the Father as our God of consolation and mercy

I believe I mentioned last week there is no difference between our praises and the praise of the Saints in heaven.  We Praise God for every good thing and yes, even our suffering

Psalm 150
Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!

 

The second component of the perfect prayer is a promise:  Your Kingdom Come”

Because of who Jesus is, we are called to proclaim the Good News of His Kingdom.

As Jesus was determined to go to Jerusalem to fulfil the prophesies concerning His death and resurrection, we are called to fix our eyes on Christ and the Kingdom of which we are heirs!

“No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Speaking about Himself: “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also because that is why I was sent.”

It’s easy to forget we have a responsibility to fulfil God’s purpose in this world.  We are or should be a people on a mission, and we should be mindful and sensitive about the work of His Kingdom.  While we still have breath to breath, we are to be busy doing proclaiming the Kingdom of God.

The Third Component of the Lord’s Prayer is praying for our physical needs:

Give us this day our daily bread”

One of the promises that should give us hope for each day is that God indeed supplies our needs.

I know very well that sometimes it may wonder how we will get past the rigors of the day.   This is why we ask the Father for the things that we need to make it through each day. 

2 Corinthians 9:8

And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.

Philippians 4:19

19 And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

I was speaking with a number of brothers this week, and as we shared with each other something of our lives and how when we have found ourselves in utter hopelessness, God always provided for our needs.  Whether it’s the loss of a job, our personal illness or the illness of a loved one – or in spite of our personal attempts at destruction, that one plea of desperation, God, I need you!  I can’t get through this myself!  Is more than enough for God to act on our behalf.

Fourthly, we pray for our Spiritual Needs (Verse 4)

And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves al forgive everyone in debt to us

There should never be a day when we are not mindful of the forgiveness, grace, and compassion of God.

Think of it like this, you being here is like a meeting of Sinners Anonymous.  No matter who you are, we are here today, in this house of worship to be healed, freed from the earth cares that you may have been carrying throughout the week. 

The angelic hymn of the ancient church before the faithful would receive the Lord’s Supper is based on the book of Isaiah 6:1-3

Let us now lay aside all earthly cares

that we may receive the King of all,

escorted invisibly by the angelic orders.

Alleluia[6]

If you are here today, burdened by your sin, or burdened by a life of pain and abuse, rejoice because the God of the Universe has paid the debt of sin and has set you free. 

He has made it possible to not just exist in this world, but to live abundantly and joyfully – to close the door on the pain and hurt of the past and look forward to that wonderful promise that there is in God’s house many mansions and He has gone to prepare one for you.  

Fifth, we pray for our Protection (Verse 4)

And do not bring us into temptation

In Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians, 10:13 it says: “No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.”

This is a comforting passage for many of us, and it is especially helpful when we are going through great trial or difficult times when we may want to give up.

What God is saying to you today is: “You can get through this. You have My strength to overcome.  You will not be tested beyond your ability to overcome.”

As simple and as perfect as this prayer is, it may be sometimes difficult to accept or believe much less pray.  To help us understand, Jesus, as He always does gives us a parable: 

Tucked into this brief passage but important passage of scripture, Jesus gives us a parable.  (Read the Parable)

I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

In the parable of the Persistent Widow in Luke 18:1-8, we have a woman who seeks justice from a corrupt judge.  He wouldn’t hear her, but she remained persistent until he could no longer stand her shouts for justice and relents. 

If this judge who is corrupt will finally listen to the widow, how much more will our loving and just God listen to us and provide all we need in our persistence and boldness?

So I say to you:  Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

We are invited into relationship with a loving God who wants to give us life, and who continues to work tirelessly for our redemption and that of all creation.

We dare to be shameless and bold in our prayers, to keep bringing our needs and hopes to our heavenly Father, because Jesus tells us to do so, trusting in God’s loving purpose for us.

Not everything that happens is God’s will. But we can affirm with St. Paul, “in all things God works for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).