#358 - YOU DO NOT HAVE BECAUSE YOU DO NOT ASK… (26/5/21)
For the rest of this week, we will be learning to pray through the four major themes of The Lord’s Prayer: Praise, Petitions, Peace-making and Protection.
“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread…” (Matthew 6:10-11)
In the first section of Jesus’ prayer, we saw that we normally begin with praise. Today, we see that after we have allowed our worship to lift our eyes and faith to the Father, He also wants us to bring our requests - our petitions to Him. James shows us the importance of our motives when we make our petitions,
‘You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.’ (James 4:2-3)
Your kingdom and will
Jesus teaches us to begin this section by praying ‘Your kingdom come, your will be done’. Not my kingdom and my will! The Father will not answer prayers for your Kingdom and will.
Praying for God’s Kingdom includes many things. Firstly, it’s a moment to reflect and submit ourselves again to the Father. Having realigned ourselves, we are in a position to pray for His -the King’s- will to be done in our lives and our various areas of concern.
Secondly, praying for God’s Kingdom and will is a prayer that more people enter the Kingdom through salvation. As one receives Jesus as Lord and Saviour, they are transferred into ‘the kingdom of light’. At this point, it might be good to pray for the church’s mission. Pray for your involvement. Pray for your community.
Thirdly, this is also a moment when we are looking and praying for our hope - the coming of the Kingdom when Jesus returns. This puts our lives into perspective. This reminds us to pray for things that are of eternal worth.
This is a good time to also pray for the various issues - maybe you have a prayer list - that you are persevering in praying for.
Our daily bread
After praying for God’s Kingdom and will to be done, we turn to our needs. We are to pray for our ‘daily bread’- pray for the things that we need and Pray for other people’s needs also.
The Father is interested in all of our needs no matter how small. Like the Israelites who were to go out daily to collect the Manna in the wilderness, we are to pray every day for our daily needs.
If we go through life on autopilot, we will move toward seeking our kingdom and our will. We may worry, hoard and become greedy. We may presume on God’s provision.
The simple application is to practice including these kinds of petitions in our prayer-time.
Perhaps you’d like to pray something like this now,
“Father, I thank you for bringing me into your family and Kingdom. I thank you that you have a will that is ‘good, pleasing and perfect’. Today, I choose to pray for your Kingdom and your will to be done. I choose to pray for my needs knowing that you have promised that you have promised that if I ‘seek first your kingdom and your righteousness, and all these things will be given to me as well.’”
COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY - THIS THEN IS HOW YOU SHOULD PRAY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
Do you have any encouraging stories of answered prayer that you'd like to share?
Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group
On Sunday we continued with our series on discipleship from The Sermon on the Mount. This week we continue to learn from Jesus about prayer from The Lord’s Prayer.
Please read Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:1.
Let’s briefly look at The Lord’s prayer together. We're going to break this prayer into 4 themes. I don’t believe that Jesus is teaching us to repeat this prayer as a kind of mantra. Rather, He is teaching us the themes that should regularly feature in a healthy and well-rounded prayer-life. They are like the ingredients to a healthy diet.
1. PRAISE - WORSHIP
“…Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…”
Prayer begins with looking up and recalling who God is. He’s our Father. He loves us. He’s with us. He’s for us. He ‘in heaven’. This speaks of His almighty power. He’s imminent and transcendent. He’s Abba Father and Holy, Holy, Holy.
“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread…”
Prayer also includes asking for things. Please prayers. Jesus teaches us to begin this section by praying ‘Your kingdom come, your will be done’. Not my kingdom and my will! We are to find out what God wants from His word and pray for that.
After praying for God’s Kingdom and will to be done, we turn to our needs. We are to pray for our ‘daily bread’, pray for the things that we need. Pray for other people’s needs.
3. PEACE - MAKING (RECEIVING AND GIVING FORGIVENESS)
“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors…”
Penitence is a vital part of prayer as is forgiving others. I think that this is often overlooked in corporate and personal prayer. Many people change their friends and change their church because of unmet expectations. It’s easy to walk away, it’s Christ-like to forgive and love.
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
We are to regularly pray for protection and pray for others to be protected from dark forces. Too many are unaware of his schemes. Too many of us don’t realise that we are in a war zone. We are not in peacetime.
Peter tells us that we are to be,
‘Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him,’ (1 Peter 5:8-9).