TEACHER:  Ken Hicks 

SCRIPTURES: Luke 1:1-4;  Matthew 6:9-13

BOTTOM LINE:  For many people, the Lord’s PRAYER is simply a PRAYER to recite. But as we discover this PRAYER, we can find this model PRAYER to be a life-changing experience.     .

QUESTION: How can we pray like Jesus?

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Most people now days will find themselves scrolling thru the Social Media stuff pretty quickly after getting up, and as we’re scrolling, all of a sudden we find ourselves looking at a Friend on Facebook seeking PRAYER.

Next thing you know, we’re feeling a little overwhelmed.  Perhaps under-qualified, and yet this burden to PRAY just grows deep within us, and yet we’re not sure where to begin. Words don’t seem to have the power to convey the deep feeling of empathy my heart truly feels in the moment, and sometimes it’s literally painful for me.

Words seem challenging to articulate, and yet one of my favorite things about The PRAYERs of Jesus is how He shows us the Power of PRAYERs that overflow from a place of Raw Emotion.

Jesus totally understood this place.  He prayed some of His most passionate PRAYERs in the hardest moments … and it’s through these PRAYERS, we find the examples and encouragement that we need in our own seasons facing the Mountains and Giants in our lives.

Sometimes we find Jesus …

  1. Praying PRAYERS of Gratitude through Sorrow and Grief.
    1. “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” John 11:4
  1. Praying for God’s Will to Prevail.
    1. He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, ‘My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Matthew 26:39
  1. Praying for those who have hurt Him, literally granting Forgiveness.
    1. “Jesus said, Father forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34

Jesus prayed in earnest, but His focus also remained constant.  I hope we can remember the passionate The PRAYERs of Jesus, even when we stumble through our words, we can know God hears.

And let me address quickly here.   Why Did Jesus Pray Anyway? I mean Jesus is God, so why did He need to Pray to talk to God?

And I think for me, at least what I can find in diving into God’s Word … and commentaries … and talking w/ others who truly have a heart for PRAYER …

  1. Jesus Prayed as an example for His Followers … and we continue to learn from that example.
  1. Jesus was both Divine and Human … and from His human nature, it was completely natural for a Jewish believer to pray.
  1. The nature of the Trinity allows for communication between its members. As God the Son, Jesus could pray to God the Father.

Luke 11:1-4 … “1 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.  Give us each day our daily bread.  Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’”

And it hit me as I was preparing … how only 1 of the guys actually had the courage to vocally ask … and how even as a church in this culture, we can fall in that same rhythm?   We read about PRAYER … get in groups and study about PRAYER … we say our PRAYERs … but How often am I fallen before God and seeking earnestly, asking Him to teach me to Pray?

PRAYER is a Spiritual Discipline.  At times, it can be strenuous and frustrating, mentally & physically demanding, and again, I think the Disciples may have struggled w/ the art and portrait of PRAYER too.   Notice they didn’t ask Jesus How to Preach or Teach … but How Do We Pray?

PRAYER is to impress us w/ God way more than it is to impress God with us and our needs. In fact, if we never gain anything from PRAYER but the opportunity to commune w/ God, that should be sufficient for us.

Some people think of PRAYER as a Parachute … they’re glad it’s there, but they hope they never have to use it! In PRAYER … we rely on God … PRAYER is our Steering Wheel … not our Spare Tire! And when we choose not to PRAY … we’re trusting in our own Strength … and in our own Limited Resources.

 

APPLICATION:  

PRAYER may not change our situation … but it changes us! If our request is wrong, God says ‘NO!’ … if our timing is wrong, God says ‘SLOW!’ … if we are wrong, God says ‘GROW!’ … and if our request is right … and our timing is right … and we are right … God usually says ‘GO!’

And there’s a couple things to take note of here as we really dive into the personal meaning of this prayer:

ONE … notice that Jesus doesn’t discuss the POSTURE of PRAYER … in the Bible, people prayed kneeling, sitting, standing, laying face-down … there’s no magical way.

TWO … He doesn’t dictate the PLACE of PRAYER … we can PRAY anywhere!   The whole world is a Temple!

THIRD … He doesn’t discuss the MANNER of PRAYER. PRAYER isn’t getting some serious look on our faces or adopting a certain tone of voice.

FOURTH … Jesus doesn’t specify the TIMEs of PRAYER … some people organize their lives in such a way that they have very specific times and rhythms for PRAYER … and that’s totally ok!   But PRAYER is ok ANY time … and under ANY circumstance.

I cannot say “Our” if I’m living only for myself.

I cannot say “Father” if I don’t try to act like His child.

I cannot say “Who are in Heaven” if I’m laying up no treasure there.

I cannot say “hallowed be Thy Name” if I’m not striving for holiness.

I cannot say “Thy Kingdom come” if I’m not doing my part to hasten that day.

I cannot say “Thy will be done” if I’m disobedient to His Word.

I cannot say “on earth as it is in Heaven” if I’m unwilling to serve Him here and now.

I cannot say “give us this day our daily bread” if I’m not relying on Him to provide.

I cannot say “forgive us our debts” if I harbor a grudge against someone.

I cannot say “lead us not into temptation” if I deliberately place myself in its path.

I cannot say “deliver us from evil” if I haven’t put on the whole armor of God.

I cannot say “Thine is the Kingdom” if I am not loyal to the King as His faithful servant.

I cannot attribute to Him “the Power” if I fear what people may do.

I cannot ascribe to Him “the Glory” if I’m seeking honor only for myself.

I cannot say “Forever” if my life is bounded completely by the things of time.

 

And I think we all have to get to that place in our own lives … where we spend a few moments sort of searching and asking … What is it that I rely on day in and day out?

Because here’s the deal …

  • If we relay on our EDUCATION … we get what EDUCATION can do;
  • If we rely upon SKILL … we get what SKILL can do;
  • If we rely upon TECHNOLOGY, we get what TECHNOLOGY can do;
  • If we relay upon ORGANIZATION, we get what ORGANIZATION can do;

BUT … when we rely upon PRAYER, we get what GOD can do!