Looking at the Model Prayer
The Focus of the Prayer
Matt 6:9-13

9 "Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. 10 'Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. 11 'Give us this day our daily bread. 12 'And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 'And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.]' (NAS)

Introduction
Have you noticed this model prayer says nothing about the posture of prayer. Along that line I found this poem humorous.

"The proper way for a man to pray," Said Deacon Lemuel Keys,
"And the only proper attitude Is down upon his knees."

"No, I should say the way to pray," Said Reverend Doctor Wise,
"Is standing straight with outstretched arms And rapt and upturned eyes."

"Oh, no, no, no, said Elder Slow, "Such posture is too proud,
A man should pray with eyes fast-closed And head completely bowed."

"It seems to me his hands should be Austerely clasped in front,
With both thumbs pointing toward the ground," Said Reverend Doctor Blunt.

"Last year I fell in Hidgekin's well Headfirst," said Cyrus Brown,
With both my heels a-stickin' up And my head a-pointin' down.

"And I made a prayer right then and there, The best prayer I ever said,
The prayingest prayer I ever prayed, A-standin' on my head!"

In this day when violence is all around we need to be even more a people of prayer. Let us consider the Focus of the Model Prayer.
 
 

1.    The Prayers First Focus Is On God. v 9-10


9 "Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. 10 'Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.

A.    Our Father in Heaven Hallowed be Thy Name. v 9
        1.    The Position of the Father.
The position of a Father should be an elevated position. God has the qualities of a good Father.

It is better to say good Fathers have godly qualities.

        2.    The Place of the Father.
He is in the heavens. He is above all earthly fathers.
 

Illustration    The Names of God  http://www.bobbysoft.freeserve.co.uk/namesof.htm
I have put the following information in a bulletin insert. I encourage you to include one or more of these in your prayer times this week.

Elohim : This Name is used in the Bible over 2,700 times. It occurs in Genesis 1, 32 times. It means one who is great, mighty and dreadful. Elohim is a plural word and therefore suggests more than one and speaks of the Trinity. Gen 1:1 n.b. v 26

El Shaddai : Shaddai occurs in the O.T. 48 times and is always translated, ' Almighty '. In Greek the Name Shaddai is rendered by the Greek word Ikanos which means "all sufficient" Gen 17:1 ( a name given by God )

Adonai : Occurs 300 times in the O.T. When referring to God this Name is plural and refers to God's ownership and rulership of everything that is. Often translated as Lord. Gen 15:8 ( a name given by Abram )

Illustration
On one trip to Israel while out on the sea of Galilee Rose Lightfoot sang the song El-Shaddai that was very popular a few years ago. Amy Grant made the famous rendition.

Words of the Song.

Through Your love and through the ram, You saved the son of Abraham. Through the power of Your hand, You turned the sea into dry land.
To the outcast on her knees, You were the God who really sees
And by Your light You set Your children free.

---------------- chorus ----------------

El-Shaddai, El-Shaddai, El-El-yon-na Adoni,
Age to age Your still the same, by the power of Your name,
El-Shaddai, El-Shaddai, er-kam-ka-ne Adonai,
We will praise and lift Your Name on high, El-Shaddai

Through the years you made it clear, that the time of Christ was near,
Though the people couldn't see, what Messiah ought to be
Though Your words contained the plan, they just could not understand.
You most awesome work was done through the frailty of Your Son.

---------------- chorus ----------------

El-Shaddai, El-Shaddai, El-El-yon-na Adoni,
Age to age Your still the same, by the power of Your name,
El-Shaddai, El-Shaddai, er-kam-ka-ne Adonai,
We will praise and lift Your Name on high, El-Shaddai

As she sang the captain of the ship came down to the lower deck and listened. I saw several tears fall from his eyes. Our tour guide talked with him after ward but he did not respond to the gospel message.

I encourage you to include these thoughts in your prayers.
God is Almighty, He is Lord.

Jehovah : This is the most used Name for God in the Bible. It is used more than 6,800 times. All the Names of God derive from His works except this one, it simply means 'to be'. In Ex 3:14 in answer to Moses question God said " tell them I AM sent you ". That is the essence of the Name Jehovah. He is self existent, dependent on no one, or nothing outside Himself.

* Yaweh . The Name Jehovah is given in Ex 3:15,16.

I encourage you to include this thought in your prayers.
God is the Self Existent One.

Jehovah - Jireh : Gen 22:14. This Name means the Lord provides. Jireh means to see. Our word provide is taken from two Latin words 'pro' meaning first or before, and 'vide' meaning to see. In this compound Name for God we see that He is the One who "sees to everything - beforehand". We can never have a need that is not, as far as God is concerned, already met.

I encourage you to include this thought in your prayers.
God is the All Knowing Provider.

Jehovah - Rophe : Ex 15:26. Unlike the Name Jehovah Jireh which was given God by Abraham, this Name is given by god Himself. I AM Jehovah - Rophe, the Lord who heals you. The word rophe means to heal, restore or cure. God did not promise to heal He said more than that He said He is healing !

I encourage you to include this thought in your prayers.
God is Healing.

Jehovah - Nissi : Ex 17:15. Nissi means banner. God is our banner, our identity. People in these days would often have a pole or flag, a banner or standard, that they would gather around, it would proclaim their identity to all who came by. In battle we read of in Ex 17, Moses when he saw the relationship between the holding up of the rod o f God, and victory in the valley below him, realized that God is the standard or banner, that all of His people must gather to. He proclaimed that God is our banner, Jehovah - Nissi.

I encourage you to include this thought in your prayers.
God is the Banner over us, and His Banner is Love.

Jehovah - M'Kaddesh : Lev 20:7. This Name means, I AM the God who makes you holy. It refers to sanctification and is used 700 times in the Old Testament.

I encourage you to include this thought in your prayers.
God is the Sanctifier, He makes Holy.

Jehovah - Shalom : Judges 6:24. God not only gives us peace He is peace, shalom can also be translated, full, complete, finished or perfected.

I encourage you to include this thought in your prayers.
God is Peace, Think on Him and you will have peace.

Jehovah - Rohi : Psalm 23:1. Rohi means Shepherd, God is our Shepherd the one who cares and guides and protects. Rev 7:17. The Lamb is also the Shepherd.

Jehovah - Tsidkenu : The Lord our righteousness. Jer 23:5, 6. & 1 Cor 1:30.

I encourage you to include these thoughts in your prayers.
God is A Righteous Shepherd.

Jehovah - Shammah : Ez 48:35. The Lord is here, He is our glory, He is present in us. 1 Cor 3:16. don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple, that God's Holy Spirit lives in you.

I encourage you to include this thought in your prayers.
God's Presence is in us who believe.

B.    Thy Kingdom Come. v 10 a". . .
            'Thy kingdom come.. . . "

        1.    This means for us to desire the Kingdom of God to come on this earth.
                It is an evangelistic prayer.

        2. Every once in a while some News Item catches my attention and I say
            that can't happen in America. This story illustrates a need for us to be
            diligently praying for the Kingdom of God to come

Illustration
A woman was forced off a Seattle bus for having a private conversation about God. Michelle Shocks was traveling on a city bus April 2 when a man embarked and, thankful to be out of the rain, said, "Praise the Lord." Shocks and the man reportedly began to discuss their churches, their Christian faith, and other religions.

...The driver called Shocks to the front of the bus and told her she could not talk about religion because other passengers might be offended, the Rutherford Institute said. The rights group is considering a lawsuit on Shocks' behalf.

...Shocks moved closer to the man so she could speak more quietly, but was again called to the front of the bus and ordered to get off. Shocks, who is five months pregnant, reportedly had to walk along a highway during rush hour in the rain for about a mile.

...Rosa Parks was told to sit at the back of a bus in 1955 because of her race, the Rutherford Institute's John Whitehead noted. More than 40 years later, "it doesn't look as if we have come very far in our efforts toward a society of tolerance and diversity."
 

C.    Thy will be done. v 10 b
        ". . . Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. "

Illustration
Recently at the Fellowship for those who have finished the Experiencing God Class Rea Weaver reminded us of a prayer suggestion J. R. Duncan gave. He said pray over your body.

Head, Mind, Eyes, Ears, Nose, Mouth, Neck, Shoulders,

Heart, Chest, Loins, Feet. Give each to the Lord.

Most every Morning I have been praying like that. I ask God to touch my head and I think of the brain and ask God to allow the blood to flow freely and correctly in my brain. You know I have a sister who had a stroke. I don't want one and I am sure you don't either. I have told God what I desire but then said "Thy Will be Done" I then ask to have the mind of Christ that day and to think like He wants me to think.

Then I ask God to touch my eyes and I think of the ability to see and how I think it is needful for me. I don't want to be blind or have serious sight problems. I have told God what I desire but then said "Thy Will be Done" I continue to pray like that over my body.

This is a very personal way to pray for the will of our Lord. Tonight the Search Committee will present a person for the position of Associate Pastor. We want the will of the Lord to be done.

On my recent trip to San Francisco I asked for a safe journey. I give thanks when the plan lands safely. But yield to the Lord if that's the best way for me to die.

Application

The First Focus of the Model Prayer Is Toward God. His Name, His Kingdom, and His Will.
 
 

2. The Prayers Second Focus Is On Man. v 11-13


11 'Give us this day our daily bread. 12 'And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 'And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.]'

A.    Give us this day our Daily Bread. v 11 a
        1.    This relates to Primarily to . . Physical Needs

Illustration
Chuck Swindoll tells this story.   When my wife and I were at Dallas Seminary back in the early 1960s, we lived in a little apartment that was part of a small group of apartments that have since then been destroyed, I am happy to say. Hot and cold running rats--all the joys of home were there. In the summer the weather came inside, and it was hot. Hot? Hotter than you can imagine. Like a desert.

That hot fall we began to pray for an air-conditioned; we didn't have one. I remember through the cold blowing winter we were praying for an air-conditioner. Through December, January, and February, we told nobody, made no announcement, we wrote no letter; we just prayed.

The following spring, before we were to have another summer there, we visited my wife's parents in Houston. While there, one morning, the phone rang. We hadn't announced our coming; it was for a brief visit with her folks and mine before we went back to seminary. The phone rang, and on the other end of the line was a man I hadn't talked to in months. His name happened to be Richard.

I said, "How are you." He said, "Great! Do you need an air conditioner?" I almost dropped the phone. "Uh, yes."   "Well, we have just put in central air conditioning here, and we've got this little three-quarter ton air conditioner that we thought you might like to have. We'll bring it over and stick it in your trunk and let you take it back, if that's okay."

"That'll be fine, Richard. Bring it on over." We put that thing in the window, and we froze summer and winter in that little place! Charles Swindoll, "Reasons to be Thankful" pp. 112-3.

B.    Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. v 12 a
        1.    This relates to Mental and Spiritual Needs.

Illustration
A pastor had just finished preaching on forgiveness our of the Lord's Prayer. It was Communion Sunday and we always include a time of sharing with the Lord's Supper. I barely asked if anyone had something to share when one of our deacons, an 87 year old man stood up. He began, "For eighty four years." His wife grabbed her mouth with her hand and clenched closed her eyes in praise. "For eighty four years I have hated a little boy. Eighty four years ago this little boy came riding up to me on his bike and said, 'Ha ha ha ha, your mother is dead.' And this is how I learned my mother had died. Today I want to forgive that boy."

No one in the congregation moved. Breathing almost stopped. Tears broke loose. The only response I could utter was, "This is a holy moment." Another stood up and forgave someone else. And a third. And a spirit of revival awakened.

C.    Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from Evil. v 13 a
        1.    This relates to Primarily to . . Spiritual Needs.

Illustration
As a kid, I saw a movie in which some shipwrecked men are left drifting aimlessly on the ocean in a lifeboat. As the days pass under the scorching sun, their rations of food and fresh water give out. The men grow deliriously thirsty. One night, while the others are asleep, one man ignores all previous warnings and gulps down some salt water. He quickly dies.

Ocean water contains seven times more salt than the human body can safely ingest. Drinking it, a person dehydrates because the kidneys demand extra water to flush the overload of salt. The more salt water someone drinks, the thirstier he gets. He actually dies of thirst.

This illustrates uncontrolled lust. We can become like this man. We thirst desperately for something that looks like what we want. We don't realize, however, that it is precisely the opposite of what we really need. In fact, it can kill us. This is why we should pray deliver us from evil or the evil one.

Application

Martin Luther, when the devil came to him and asked him to open the door of his heart so that he could come in and discuss some very important matters with Him, said "I don't have the keys to the door; God has them. Ask Him if you wish."
 
 

Looking at the Model Prayer The Focus of the Prayer

The Prayer's First Focus Is On God.
 

The Prayer's Second Focus Is On Man.
 



 
 


 
 


 

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And Beyond.    Amen?    Amen!