Celebrating 76 Years Of Ministry
To God Be The Glory
This Weeks' Message:
March 29th: “The Humility of Jesus”
Read: Matthew 11:28-30. Please join us at 10:45 AM.
Each Sunday we have a program for children
K through 5th grade, from 6:00-7:00 PM.
Exercise Class on Wednesdays at 10:30 AM. For men and women of all ages. Handicapped accessible.
Each Saturday - Men's Bible Study at 9:00 AM
Third Saturday of each month at 10:00 AM - The Food Pantry is open to all who are in need.
Fourth Saturday of each month at 10:00 AM - Our Clothes Closet is open to the community.
The Lord’s Prayer
Today I want to talk about the Lord’s Prayer. This is the prayer that the Lord Jesus gave to his disciples for them to pray. That’s why some people call it the disciple’s prayer. But I still call it the Lord’s Prayer, since that is the traditional title and since it was the Lord himself who gave us this prayer. The Lord’s Prayer is found twice in the New Testament, in Matthew and also in Luke. We will be looking at the version in Matthew 6.9-15.
The Lord’s Prayer is a model prayer. It shows us how to pray and what to pray for. This prayer can be memorized and prayed verbatim. There’s nothing wrong with that, and actually it’s a good thing. I sometimes end my prayers with the Lord’s Prayer to cover anything I left out. An early Christian book called the Didache tells Christians to pray this prayer three times a day. This is fine, yet I think this is more than a memorized prayer; it’s a model prayer. It teaches us how to pray. For instance, our prayers should be God-focused (“Our Father in heaven”). Our prayers should ask for God’s will to be done (see 1 John 5.14-15). Our prayers should impact our lives and transform us. For instance, if we pray for God to forgive our sins, then we must be willing to forgive those who have sinned against us (vv. 14-15; see Col 3.13).
This is a corporate prayer. This prayer is permeated with plural pronouns: Our Father, our daily bread, our debts, lead us not into temptation, deliver us from the evil one. This is not simply a prayer for our individual needs to be met. This is a prayer for God to meet the needs of all his family. This is one of the reasons a prayer like this is often prayed in unison at church. It’s a corporate prayer. It makes us think of other people and their needs and not just our own. I’m not only praying for my daily bread, but for yours as well. And this leads me to ask how I can let God use me to provide you with daily bread if you need it (see 1 John 3.17-18). This is a corporate prayer. I’m not only praying for God to forgive me, but to forgive you as well. Prayer is not only petition; it is also intercession. We are to intercede on behalf of others.
This is a daily prayer. Prayer is to be a regular part of our life. We are to pray daily and throughout the day. Paul admonished us to pray without ceasing (see 1 Thess 5.17). We see this in the Lord’s Prayer. We are to pray for “our daily bread,” which implies that we pray daily. In Jesus’ day, many people financially lived from day to day. If they didn’t get paid on a given day, they might not have anything to eat that day. So each day they were to pray for daily bread. We should pray regularly ourselves (see Col 4.2). If prayer is communicating with God in the context of a relationship with God, this should happen every day of our lives. If we love God, we will want to talk with him and hear from him. That’s why we should pray each day (see Ps 55.16-17).
This is a balanced prayer. The more I study this prayer the more it amazes me. It’s rather simple in a way and it’s not that long, but it is incredibly profound. It’s a very balanced and comprehensive prayer. We begin with God’s agenda and then move to our needs. We begin with God’s name, God’s kingdom, and God’s will, and then move to our bread, our debts, and our temptations. God’s agenda comes first, but our needs are important to him as well. We pray about spiritual things and physical things. We pray for forgiveness of sins and protection from the devil (“the evil one”), but we also pray for our material needs. Both are important to God. We pray for forgiveness but also deliverance. We not only want God to forgive us, but also to protect us from falling in the future (see 1 Cor 10.13; 2 Thess 3.3). This is a very balanced and powerful prayer. It is a prayer that we should pray and a prayer that teaches us how to pray.
For more devotions by Pastor Mark, visit his blog at drmarkjackson.wordpress.com.