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Our main verses for this morning are: Matthew 6:5-15; Luke 11:1-13

Our main point is – “God wants us to spend time with Him in prayer”

Luke 5:16 – Jesus is our Lord and as His Disciples we are to be true followers. 

Since Jesus clearly demonstrated that Prayer is important to Him, is prayer not also of most importance to us?

Jesus had come to earth to bring the Kingdom of God to men.  Jesus made it clear that things in the Kingdom were very different than things in the world.  In the Kingdom of heaven, people who have nothing to offer God are accepted!

Just consider the Sermon on the Mount.  Those who are meek and peace loving, Jesus taught that those who long for forgiveness, who long for true fulfillment will be filled with life that just bubbles over.

He also taught from the mount that those who follow Him should not do good things just to call attention to themselves.  The good things they do should be done without any fan-fare – consider those things between God and you. (Mat. 6:4)

One of the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, (Lk. 11:1)

Does that seem odd to you that a disciple would ask such a question?

Haven’t they heard prayer after prayer in the synagogue?

Was Jesus’ prayers so unique that they drew the attention of the disciples?

Jesus said that prayer should not be a way to get attention and praise from people.  It should be done with a right heart toward God.  It is wrong to pray just to impress people! (Mat.6:5-6)

(Mat. 6:7-8)

The original word that Jesus uses here is (battalogeo), it means don’t say the same words over and over again (vain repetition).  Big fancy words do not impress God either!  Nor does repeating a memorized prayer over and over.

How can we say that?  Prayer is the time you spend being real with God. It is when you pour out your heart to God.  You can tell God anything and everything.  You can tell Him when you are angry or hurt or disappointed.  You can talk to Him about the good stuff that happened in your day.  Remember the words of Jesus; “I am with you always.”

It should be easier for us to talk to God than even our best friends or even our spouse, or our mom and dad.

Prayer is also a time to set in silence and just listen to His words. (Jn. 10:27)

Jesus gave the perfect example of how to pray.  We call it “The Lord’s Prayer.”  Lots of people can say this from memory, but remember, Jesus said not to repeat the same words over and over.  Reciting this prayer does not take the place of heart-felt conversations with our heavenly Father.

Jesus wanted to instruct and inform His disciples the type of prayer to pray.  These things are the type of things that God will honor in our prayers.

When asked to teach them how to pray, Jesus said, “This is how you should pray.” (Mat. 6:9-15)

  1. He began with saying, “Our father”, not just my Father, but OUR Father! If we have faith in God and have put our trust in Him, He is our Father.  We are adopted into God’s family!

Jesus was telling them that they to, can call God Father, that you are now part of His family.

  1. Then Jesus praised the Father’s name.  Praise honors God, and this reminds us that God can do anything and that God is Holy and sovern.
  2. Next Jesus asked the Father that the Kingdom breakout on earth.  We see in this prayer example from our Lord that God and His Kingdom come first.  Without it we are all lost and abandoned.  Left to grope in the darkness and stumble through life with no hope
  3. Then Jesus asks for the daily needs to be met.  It is completely ok to pray for our needs.  The bible says that every good and perfect gift comes from your heavenly Father (Jms. 1:17)
  4. Next Jesus says to ask for forgiveness and to forgive others as well.  Jesus explained that if we are not willing to forgive others, God will not forgive us! May we never forget that it is our sins that sent Jesus to the cross.  He forgave us our transgressions that deserved the punishment that He paid on our behalf. 
  5. If we are to be true followers, true disciples of Jesus we must emulate Him.  Jesus forgave therefore we must forgive. 
  6. Finally Jesus said to ask God to keep us from sinning, this comes only by God’s GRACE (Titus 2:11-12)

Jesus wants us to recognize that it is the grace and power of God that can keep us from sinning.  We are not strong enough in and of ourselves to always withstand those firery darts.  The words of Paul, “When I am week then I am strong” another words, when I rely on God because I know that I am not strong enough on my own then God’s power and grace is free to take control. 

When Jesus gave this model prayer He wasn’t meaning that this is all our prayers should consist of. 

Consider this: (Mat. 10:30) “even the hairs of your head are numbered” I take this to mean that God knows each one of us better than anyone! And prayer tells me that God wants to spend time with each one of us every day!

(Mat. 7:10) – God promises to reward us when we come to Him in prayer.  He ears our prayers and will answer.  This does not mean that God will give us everything we ask for.  But we can be certain that He will hear our prayer and will answer in the way that is best for us.

Jesus led by example.  We read how often He took the time to pray. 

(Jn.11:41-42) He prayed out loud in front of the people so they would see God’s hand at work right before their eyes.  They could see that God answers prayer.

(Lk. 5:16) – Jesus also would slip away for quiet time in prayer with His and our Father.

(Lk. 6:12) – He even spent nights in prayer

(Lk. 9:18) - Most of the time the disciples knew exactly what He was doing.   He was near enough that His close friends the disciples could see Him.  This was a great example for the disciples to follow.  Perhaps this is why they asked Jesus to teach them how to pray.  They longed for the same closeness with the Father that Jesus has!

Why did Jesus take the time out of His short ministry to pray?  He was no doubt a busy man.  He could of reasoned that since He had so much to accomplish in such a short time that He doesn’t have the time to pray.  An excuse we often use.

Jesus had left His Father’s side in heaven, so as often as possible He would slip away from people so He could go talk to His Father once again.  In these quiet places, Jesus could simply be real with God.  He could talk to His Father about everything that was going on.  He could give God praise, seek God’s perfect will, and ask for the strength He needed to accomplish the amazing task of healing, teaching, and ultimately paying the price for our sins!

Jesus was a lot like a son on a mission trip.  He left His Father to come to us, to make the way for us to enter the Kingdom.

Using modern day language, prayer is like a phone call.  Prayer gives us an avenue to speak to God and Jesus is the phone.

Let me end with this: All of us are on a Kingdom mission.  Our Father in Heaven is waiting for our “phone call.” The awesome part is that there is no limit on the time we can go to the Lord in prayer.

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