Sermon # 14 Series: Matthew
Title: “LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY”
Text: Matthew 6:9-15
Subject: The Disciple’s Prayer
Date: Tuesday Evening – September 27, 1994
Tape: # Q-49
Volumes have been written about prayer. In fact, many volumes have been written about these few, brief words of instruction, which our Savior gave about prayer. I suppose that there are more of those silly “how to” books on prayer than on any other subject. But I fear they do more harm than good. Yet, I knew that there is need for clear, biblical instruction about prayer. Every believer feels like our Lord’s disciples at times, when they cried, “Lord, Teach Us To Pray.”
Tonight, I want to show you how the Lord Jesus taught his disciples to pray. Let me make just two or three statements by way of introduction. Then we will look at this prayer line by line.
NOTE: Never do we find the disciples reciting this prayer. In fact, the only other reference made to it is in Luke 11. And Luke studiously avoids giving us an exact replica of it.
In prayer believers simply spread before God, our heavenly Father, the great desires and needs of their hearts, trusting him to fulfil those desires and meet those needs by his grace for the glory of his name.
What are the great desires of the believer’s heart? What are the great needs we have, which cause us to wait in utter helplessness before God. Let’s look at this model prayer, by which our Lord teaches us how to pray, line by line.
I. “Our Father, which art in heaven.”
We are not to pray to saints or angels, but to God our Father, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God of glory, who is in heaven.
A. He is the Father of All Men as our Creator (Acts 17:28).
Because he is the God and Father of all men by creation, it is proper for all men to praise him and pray to him – We never forbid any to pray!
B. But, God is the Father of His Elect in A Very Distinct and Very Special Sense – (Col. 1:20-22).
We are the children of God by adoption, by election, by regeneration, and by faith. Do you trust the Lord Jesus Christ? If you do, it is right for you to call God Almighty your Father, and to come to him as such in prayer. (Heb. 4:16).
NOTE: Nothing unites hearts like mutual prayer! “Our Father!”
II. “Hallowed be Thy Name!”
The name of God represents all his attributes by which he reveals himself to us. His name represents his Being, all that he is! When we say, “Hallowed be thy name,” we are simply praying, like the Lord Jesus did, “Father, glorify thy name” (John 12:28).
A. God created the world for his glory (Rev. 4:11; Pro. 16:4).
B. All providence tends toward his glory (Rom. 11:36).
C. God’s object in saving sinners is his glory (Ps. 106:8).
D. The object of Christ in his death was, above all else, the glory of God (John 12:28).
E. It is the heart desire of every believer, above all else, that God’s name be honored, magnified, and glorified (Ps. 35:27; 40:16; Ps. 70:4; I Pet. 4:11).
III. “Thy Kingdom Come!”
Our first concern is and must be the glory of God himself. Our second concern is for the kingdom of God. We seek, in all our prayers, that the Lord God will be pleased to establish and enlarge his church and kingdom in this world. (Ps. 122:6-7). To pray “thy kingdom come” is simply to pray, “Lord, save your people, establish your kingdom in this world.”
A. We pray for the kingdom of grace to be filled (Rom. 11;26).
B. We pray for the kingdom of glory to be established (II Pet. 3:13).
NOTE: Our concern is for the kingdom of God, his sheep, his people, his elect, his church!
IV. “Thy Will Be Done in Earth as it is in Heaven!”
Prayer is not us trying to get God to do our will. Rather it is a voluntary leaving of our will to his will. “Our truest happiness.” Wrote J.C. Ryle, “is perfect submission to God’s will.”
A. We want to obey God’s revealed will.
B. We want all men everywhere to surrender to and obey God’s revealed will.
C. But here, our Lord is teaching us to sincerely and heartily surrender everything to and earnestly desire that God’s will be done in this world exactly as it is in heaven, knowing that it is! (Eph. 1:11).
NOTICE: In all that we have seen thus far, the concern of true prayer is altogether spiritual. Our Lord Jesus teaches us to pray for the glory of God, the people of God, and the will of God. He teaches us to submit all things to those things!
V. “Give us this day our Daily Bread.”
What an instructive word this is! We are to seek God’s providential supplies for ourselves and our brethren – “Give us” We seek our daily food as a gift from God, knowing that if we have bread to eat, we are fed by the hand of God.
Here we are taught to seek no more than is needful for us. “Bread,” not gold, just bread! And we are taught to seek no more than our daily provision of bread! “Give us this day,” or as Luke phrases it, “day by day our bread.”
NOTE: As we look to God to provide the needs of our bodies we must also look to him to give us daily bread for our souls.
VI. “Forgive us Our Debts!”
We must especially remember this. Our Lord here teaches us to constantly acknowledge our sinfulness and constantly seek forgiveness through his blood. We are to confess our sins continually, not in the ear of an earthly priest, but in the ear of our Father in heaven, seeking forgiveness by the merit of our great High Priest who is in heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ (I John 1:9).
Our sins are here described as debts, which we have incurred. They have made us debtors to God, who demands of us both righteousness and satisfaction.
A. Christ fully paid our debt!
B. God freely forgives our debts through the merits of Christ.
C. We constantly need forgiveness because we constantly sin; and we constantly have it through the infinite, perpetual merit of Christ’s blood!
VII. We must never forget the next of this sentence – “Forgive us our debts, As We Forgive Our Debtors.”
This is the only part of this prayer that our Lord expands and explains. He does so because this is the part we are most apt to overlook – (vv. 14-15). (5:23-24).
Our Lord is here teaching us that if we unforgiving, we are yet unforgiven. If we are not gracious, it is because we have not yet experienced grace.
“This yoke is easy. This burden is light. It may be a blessing to be wronged, since it affords us an opportunity of judging whether we are indeed the recipients of the pardon that comes from the throne of God. Very sweet it is to pass by other men’s offences against ourselves; for thus we learn how sweet it is to the Lord to pardon us.” – C.H. Spurgeon
Without brotherly love our prayers are nothing but noise, the hollow echoes of empty hearts! If we cannot forgive, we have not been forgiven!
VIII. “Lead us not into Temptation!”
As long as we are in this world we are liable to temptation. As long as we are in this body of flesh, we may be drawn away of our own lust, enticed by our own nature, tempted and overcome by the snare of satan. Here our Savior says, “You need to be constantly aware of your weakness and satan’s strength. You need to be constantly aware of your helplessness, so that you will constantly look to me for help.” Prayer, in its essence, is the conscious spreading out of my helplessness before God!
Illus: A child fallen into mud!
NOTE: Wise people seek to avoid danger. And we ask God who rules all things to keep us from the danger of temptation. May he who orders our steps order them away from temptation!
IX. Then, we are to pray, “Deliver Us From Evil.”
· The Evil That is In The World!
· The Evil That is In Our Hearts!
· The Evil On who Seeks to Destroy Us!
· All The Evil That is the Result of Sin!
Blessed be His Name, our God will Deliver us from Evil! (Jude 24-25).
· In this World (I Cor. 10:13).
· In Death (John 14:1-3).
· In The Resurrection (Eph. 5:25-27).
X. Finally, our Lord teaches us that all prayer is to be an ascription of praise to God – “For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, Forever. Amen.”
A. All The Kingdoms of the World belong to God!
B. All Power belongs to God!
C. All Glory belongs to God! Amen!
Songs of Grace #75 “Teach Me To Pray!”