Message NotesLord Teach Us To Pray – Part 2 Page 1
Sunday July 14th 2013
Lord Teach Us To Pray
1). Mt 6:9 ¶ "In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your 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 forgive our debtors. 13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
a). We had begun our study on prayer last week by looking at what we call ‘the Lord’s prayer’ in the Book of Matthew – and we had started studying this prayer by concentrating on the first 4 words, ‘Our Father in Heaven’.
b). And we had seen that these are not words just to be parroted, but are rather to be seen as a profession of our complete acceptance of God exercising the role of Father in our lives – the validity of ‘our Father in heaven’ then being proven through our actions not our multiplication of words.
c). This of course is no small thing as it must demonstrate on our part our willingness to be subject to His Fatherly oversight in all areas of our life - Heb 12:5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: "My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6 For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives." 7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?
Pr 3:12 For whom the LORD loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.
d). But here is the thing that we must remember - Ro 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 ¶ and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
e). To be His son looks to adoption as a firstborn son and with that of course comes the promise of rulership as a joint heir with Christ in the age to come – to be received, to be taken alongside as an intimate companion –
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Ga 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
f). And within this glorious promise there are 2 things that we should note – firstly it is by the Spirit that we understand our adoption and by the Spirit that we that we may cry out ‘Abba, Father’ – this is neither something we can embrace or declare except by the Spirit. And secondly, the promise of adoption and rulership is accompanied by suffering, which for us could be summed up in Christ’s words to His Father in the Garden - Lu 22:42 saying, "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done."
g). And this is our constant struggle – not our will but the Lord’s will be done – this is the constant struggle between the man of the flesh and the man of the Spirit – this is our suffering as we die to self and live for Him – and this is accomplished only one way - Ga 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh [physical body] I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
h). This brings us to a place we have been many times before – ‘by faith’, it is by faith to the saving of the soul, by believing that which God has said and then putting it into practice on a continual and consistent basis that demonstrates our submission, that truly declares that He is our Father.
i). Ro 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
j). And again all of this is part of our process to maturity, brought about by the metamorphosis as our mind is renewed through the Word and we are transformed into the image of Christ.
2). A great example of this is found in - Mt 5:44 "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 "that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
a). Here in the Book of Matthew, within that which we know as the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ we will remember that we find the first use of the word ‘pray’ in the NT. And we see that it is used in a context showing that
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those who do that which these verses teach would be ‘sons of your Father in heaven’.
b). Now, there is no possible way that we can love our enemies, bless those who curse us, do good to those who hate us and pray for those who spitefully use us and persecute us except by faith – we must believe that which God has said and then by the Spirit, through God’s grace put it into practice. That which the Lord requires of us here may appear so extreme for the very reason of showing us how becoming a son of our Father in heaven cannot be accomplished in our own strength – Eph 6:10 ¶ Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
c). Life in the age to come is the whole of the issue here and there is nothing in our imagination that can come close to that which God has prepared for us if we should receive the salvation of our soul.
d). To make a connection with where we were a few weeks back –
1Co 2:9 But as it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him." 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 13 These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
e). We can’t see any of this except ‘through His Spirit’ – it is not found in ‘man’s wisdom’, but through that ‘which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual’.
f). This is why we were admonished in the Book of Hebrews –
Heb 2:1 ¶ Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away....
Heb 10:35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:
And as we had seen last week there is a direct correlation between our relationship to the Word of God and our relationship to God as our Father.
3). We had seen this correlation through God’s dealings with the priests of Israel as recorded in the Book of Malachi – and interestingly enough that
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recorded in Malachi is the last God spoke to the nation for some 400 years until Christ’s first advent when He began to speak again through John the Baptist.
a). Maybe in what He said to Israel before the Lord’s first advent we should find instruction as we await His second advent.
b). Let’s just remind ourselves of that which the Lord said –
Mal 1:6 ¶ "A son honors his father, And a servant his master. If then I am the Father, Where is My honor? And if I am a Master, Where is My reverence? Says the LORD of hosts To you priests who despise My name. Yet you say, 'In what way have we despised Your name?' 7 "You offer defiled food on My altar. But say, 'In what way have we defiled You?' By saying, 'The table of the LORD is contemptible.' 8 And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, Is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, Is it not evil? Offer it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you favorably?" Says the LORD of hosts.
c). God had given through the Law of Moses specific instructions concerning sacrifices – His word was very clear as to what He expected –
De 15:21 "But if there is a defect in it, if it is lame or blind or has any serious defect, you shall not sacrifice it to the LORD your God.
d). And yet here we find the priests of Israel doing exactly what the Lord said they were not to do – in so doing they despised His name and said through their actions that ‘the table of the Lord is contemptible’.
e). Then in v8 it is implied that they would not give the lame and the sick to their governor, meaning that they would give the best to an earthly ruler, but God would get whatever old scraggy, diseased thing they had to hand.
f). Doing that which the Lord required of them became in their eyes tedious - Mal 1:13 You also say, 'Oh, what a weariness!' And you sneer at it," Says the LORD of hosts. "And you bring the stolen, the lame, and the sick; Thus you bring an offering! Should I accept this from your hand?" Says the LORD.
14 "But cursed be the deceiver Who has in his flock a male, And takes a vow, But sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished-For I am a great King," Says the LORD of hosts, "And My name is to be feared among the nations.
g). And of course serious consequences were to follow - Mal 2:1 ¶ "And now, O priests, this commandment is for you. 2 If you will not hear, And if you will not take it to heart, To give glory to My name," Says the LORD of hosts, "I will send a curse upon you, And I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have cursed them already, Because you do not take it to heart.
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h). Now, for ourselves then - Re 1:6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
We are kings and priests in waiting as it were and with respect to this role the Lord has made very clear to us what He expects from us with regards to sacrifice – Ro 12:1 ¶ I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
i). Here is our continual process of dying to self, here again is the constant battle between the flesh and the spirit and that which is acceptable to God here must be our best, and in needing to continually give our best we can be in danger of it becoming ‘a weariness’ - Ga 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
j). And in this next verse we find the way our living sacrifice is made –
Ro 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
k). It is ‘by the Spirit’ that we are to ‘put to death the deeds of the body’ –this is our faithful obedience to the Word of God – we are back to where we were earlier, not our will but His will be done.
l). A refusal on our part to engage with the word correctly, or to not take it seriously, or make excuses for ourselves, or rationalize our behavior so that we may avoid putting to death the deeds of the body is to offer to Him the lame and the sick, and should we continue with this unabated then our blessings will be cursed –Heb 2:1 ¶ Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation,
Mt 25:30 'And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
m). To be adopted as a firstborn son is a most extraordinary privilege, but with that privilege also comes responsibility.
4). Ro 8:23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
a). Our adoption as a firstborn son remains yet future, but even so we now have the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of its certainty - 2Co 5:4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who has
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prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
b). Because it is yet future declaring that God is ‘our Father in heaven’ is much more than a statement of celestial geography – it is in heaven that our salvation, the salvation of our soul, is reserved for us - 1Pe 1:3 ¶ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
c). It is on that which is to be found in heaven that our focus must concentrate - Col 3:1 ¶ If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
Eph 1:3 ¶ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
d). And it is in heaven where we will stand before Christ’s Judgment Seat to receive either commendation and reward or rebuke and punishment from the Lord.
e). ‘Our Father in heaven’ then, not only deals with our relationship and our submission in faithful obedience, but also where our heart and mind need to be - Php 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
f). If Christ’s coming Kingdom is our focus then we will embrace God as our Father as we allow Him to train us for positions of rulership and we will in our present be preparing for the coming meeting we shall have with Him, and part of that preparation as we would clearly see here is prayer.
g). 1Pe 5:6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,
5). This focus on the future is exactly where the next part of our ‘Lord’s Prayer’ verse takes us - Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
a). Hallowed = Greek - hagiazo, hag-ee-ad'-zo = to make holy, i.e. (ceremonially) purify or consecrate; (mentally) to venerate:--hallow, be holy, sanctify.
b). We will I hope notice straight away that the Lord says, ‘Hallowed be’ and not ‘Hallowed is Your name’.
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c). That God’s name is holy is without question – God is holy therefore His name is holy, but this is not where our verse is taking us – although God’s name is holy we have already seen in Malachi that His chosen people ‘despised’ His name and therefore within the camp of Israel His name was not hallowed and this is a state of affairs that exists even to today.
d). However, through the prophet Isaiah the Lord spoke of a future Day when His name would be hallowed amongst His chosen people –
Isa 29:22 Therefore thus says the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob: "Jacob shall not now be ashamed, Nor shall his face now grow pale; 23 But when he sees his children, The work of My hands, in his midst, They will hallow My name, And hallow the Holy One of Jacob, And fear the God of Israel. 24 These also who erred in spirit will come to understanding, And those who complained will learn doctrine."
e). These verses in Isaiah would no doubt be uppermost in the Lord’s mind as He phrased the words, ‘Hallowed be Your Name’ – so then not only does this place us in the future, but most specifically places us at the time when Israel has passed through the Great Tribulation, has come to repentance, has been restored and is now at the head of the nations – and where would this place us? In the Millennial Kingdom.
f). Looking for and praying for the Day His name will be hallowed within the camp of Israel would I think be the same as that which we see in –
Ps 122:6 ¶ Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.
g). It is a prayer for Israel’s deliverance and the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and David the King.
h). Now please note that Israel will be restored whether we pray or not, but Israel’s restoration, having passed through the Tribulation, is a matter for our faith. Outside of the scriptures there is nothing concrete we can look at to prove this to be so. Praying for it and reminding the Lord of His promises is then a statement of our faith with regards for His plan for His chosen people, it is an act of righteousness on our part.
i). Prayer for Israel within the context God has given us should be high on our agenda given that all we have and all that we are promised has come through that nation.
j). Then within a wider context we can see again from Malachi this promise from the Lord - Mal 1:11 For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; In every place incense shall be offered to My name, And a pure offering; For My name shall be great among the nations," Says the LORD of hosts.
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k). Well clearly at present the Lord’s name is not great among the Gentiles and incense is not offered in every place to His name, but we know that the day is coming when this will be a reality - Php 2:9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Re 5:13 And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: "Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!"
Zec 8:23 "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, "Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you."'"
6). Not surprisingly then the next verse in ‘the Lord’s prayer’ takes us directly to that future Day - 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.
a). This is our focus then – that Day when His Kingdom shall come and the certainty of it – Re 11:15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!"
Isa 2:2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD'S house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. 3 Many people shall come and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
b). The present situation with regards to rulership is described for us in- Heb 2:6 But one testified in a certain place, saying: "What is man that You are mindful of him, Or the son of man that You take care of him? 7 You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands. 8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet." For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him.
c). ‘All things’ are not yet under our feet, but with the coming of the Kingdom and the manifestation of the sons of God they will be. There will be a new order of rulers in the heavenly realm of the Kingdom and as a
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consequence the will of the Lord will pass through the new order of rulers to the earth – His will then being done on earth as a result of His will being done in heaven.
d). Again this section of the prayer demonstrates faith to the saving of the soul – looking for, praying for and believing God for that Day when Satan and His angels will be replaced by Christ and His Bride, with justice and righteousness manifested in the earth with all things being brought into subjection to the will of the Lord - Re 2:26 "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations-- 27 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels' --as I also have received from My Father;
7). So far then we have seen in the structure of ‘the Lord’s prayer’ the necessity of our right relationship with the One who is our Father in heaven; we have seen a focus on those things which are above, the inheritance reserved in heaven as we look to and long for that future Day when the Lord’s name will be hallowed, when His Kingdom will come and His will, will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
a). And having established all of this we will realize that this is the foundation upon which the remainder of the prayer is to rest. Having set this in place the rest of the prayer deals with us in the present race of the faith that we might make certain our participation in these future events that are our foundation - 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.
b). But this will have to wait until next time, if the Lord is willing.