Next week, I am going to meet with some of my preK teachers and do a lesson with them on prayer. We meet a couple of times a month to build our team by studying God’s Word together. If we want to be a genuine team that works together to impact the lives of others for the Gospel, we must spend time in God’s Word together. This is how we fellowship.
Our previous lesson was very eye opening on the power of an effective prayer life. If you missed that lesson, you can read it here.
This lesson will focus on the Lord’s Model prayer for us. I want to divide the lesson up, based on the model prayer that Jesus prays to teach His disciples how to pray. According to Luke 11:1, the disciples wanted to know how to pray powerfully effective prayers and they did not know how to do it. They turned to Jesus and asked Him to teach them how to pray, just like John the Baptist taught his disciples how to pray. Jesus’ response was what we call the Lord’s Prayer. We know that this prayer is a model, not just a prayer to be memorized and repeated back to God over and over again, because, just before sharing the Model Prayer with His disciples, Jesus told them in Matthew 6:7 that when they pray, they are not to use meaningless repetition like the pagans do. The pagans worked themselves up into a chant thinking that God would hear them if they did so. The Lord’s Prayer is not just something that we recite. It is a model, full of titles that trigger a subject for us to cover when we pray.
In this article, I would like to examine the subjects covered in the Lord’s Model Prayer.
I. Father – Son Relationship to God
The model prayer begins with “Our Father who is in heaven”. Prayer is a privilege only for the children of God. Anyone can pray but God hears and answers the prayers of His children. If you are not a follower of Jesus Christ then first you need to confess your sins and dedicate your life to Christ and then you will begin the first steps toward having God hear and answer your prayers. Once God is your Father then you are ready for the next step in the process.
II. Worship God
The 2nd point in the model prayer is “Hallowed be Your name”. This is a sign of worship. We hallow (praise/worship) the name of God. As you know the idea of “name” in the Bible is the idea of one’s character and ways. When you know God’s character and ways from the Word of God then the natural outflow of that knowledge is worship (giving God His worth). As you begin to worship God that leads to the next point in the model prayer which is . . .
III. Total allegiance to God
The 3rd point of the model prayer is “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.” We are not here to promote our kingdoms and our wills. That is what our life was like before we became children of God. We were selfish and wanted to build our kingdoms (lives). Now that we follow Christ and worship God then we give our total allegiance to God. We are no longer living for ourselves and we live for God’s agenda as outlined in His Word. We live for Him on a daily basis, seeking to do His will and enlarge His kingdom here on earth. This is what it means to be submissive to God and His will. As you live for God that leads us to the next point in the model prayer, which is . . .
IV. Petitions to God and Intercession on behalf of others
The 4th point of the model prayer is “Give us this day our daily bread.” Notice that God wants us to depend on Him even for the simple things like daily bread. He wants us to depend on Him daily instead of every once in a while. Also we are to pray for each others’ needs instead of just our own needs. It is not “I gotta get mine” but instead I think of my fellow brothers and sisters who are in need and I pray that God will meet their needs as well. This keeps us humbly dependent on God. As we learn to depend on God daily then that leads us to the next point of the model prayer which is . . .
V. Confession of sins and Forgiveness
The 5th point of the model prayer is “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” There is a simple way of understanding the point that Jesus is making here. Just remember that forgiven = forgiveness. If you have been forgiven by God for your sins and disobedience and reconciled to a personal relationship with Him then you should do the same for others. If you cannot forgive others for doing wrong to you then you have not been forgiven by God. God is in the business of forgiving and reconciling relationships and that will be our way of life when we are following Him. So before deliverance can take place there must be forgiveness and reconciliation. Where do you stand with God? How do you view others? Are you ready to forgive them and be reconciled? This leads us to the final point in the model prayer which is . . .
VI. Deliverance from temptation
The 6th point of the model prayer is “‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil”. There are 3 things that we must learn about the need for deliverance from temptation and they are . . .
1. Temptation, evil, and Satan are a reality in this world in which we live.
For some reason many Christians as well as nonChristians do not live in the real world when it comes to temptation, evil, and Satan. Many just act like those 3 do not exist (usually nonChristians) while many Christians seem to be blinded to the reality of the 3 as well. God speaks very clearly on this subject and lets us know that temptation, evil, and Satan are real and alive in well in our world today. Jesus said the following words to His disciples (and all His disciples to come) “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.“ (Matthew 26:41). Temptation is a reality even for believers. Temptation is dangerous because even though our spirits are willing to do the right thing our flesh is weak and easily falls into the trap of temptation. One of Christ’s disciples, the Apostle Peter, shares the following about Satan “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) Satan is real and he is on the prowl. He is our adversary and he is seeking to destroy us. He is like a lion which slowly stalks its prey until the prey relaxes and then he (the lion) strikes hard and fast. Satan circles us waiting for us to relax and then he strikes. Since we have a living enemy then we must know that . . .
2. God has given us a way of escape in the midst of every temptation.
Jesus and Peter both give us advice on what to do when Satan attacks us with temptation. Here is what they say “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (Matthew 26:41, I Peter 5:8) Since Satan attacks when we relax and take a break from fighting against the enemy then we must keep watching, praying, and being on the alert. The Apostle Paul has something to say about this subject and here is what he says “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” (I Corinthians 10:13) First of all we will all be tempted every single day. If you say that you are not tempted then either you are not living in reality or you are just lying. All of us are tempted every single day. When we are tempted God is faithful and will not allow us to be tempted more than we can handle. We can never say that the temptation is too much for us to handle. God always provides a way of escape in every situation.
3. God has given us a practical example in the Scriptures to show us how to handle temptation, use the Word of God to fight against temptation.
Jesus Christ was tempted and He overcame it every time by using the Word of God. Matthew 4:1-11 teaches us how Jesus used the Word of God in order to have victory. God has given us that same Word so that we can know It and use It to defend ourselves against temptation and fight against the enemy, Satan. How much time do you spend studying the Word of God on a daily basis? Do you realize that the Word is your way of escape in every situation? Please, take your Bible and begin to study It for all that It is and apply It to every temptation in order to have victory on a daily basis. God bless.