• Matt Beaney

#660. OUR FATHER…HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME (3/10/22)

Updated: Oct 3

This week, following on from Sunday’s final message in our Devoted, vision series, we are considering how we can learn to be devoted to prayer by studying what Jesus teaches us in ‘The Lord’s Prayer’.

Summary: Jesus teaches us to begin our praying by lifting our minds, hearts and faith to God in worship.

‘They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.’ (Acts 2:42-47)
“This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” (Matthew 6:9-13)

The Lord’s Prayer is Jesus’ summary of how we are to pray. Each phrase provides a theme on which we are to expand. Each theme of this prayer model provides a healthy well-rounded diet that will keep us spiritually healthy; if you look at The Lord’s Prayer, you’ll see that it can be broken into 4 major themes of Praise (6:9) , Petitions (6:10-11), Peace-making (Matthew 6:12) and Protection (Matthew 6:13). Today we are looking at the first phrase and theme:


PRAISE - “This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name”.


When we pray, we begin with worship or praise. We speak out, sing or silently meditate on who God is and His great worth. To pray “Hallowed be your name” is to express that God is holy (perfectly good); it is also a desire that more people honour Him as holy (perfectly good).


Praise or worship sets our minds and hearts on who God is and who we are in relation to Him. Specifically, He is our Father and we are His adopted child. In worship, our problems and needs are put into perspective and faith rises for prayer. In worship, we are reminded of how God has saved us in Jesus. Rushing into petitions without worship is like trying to take off in a plane that has not got up to speed. It’s like trying to rise in a deflated hot air balloon. Jesus teaches us to reflect on the Father and His worth; likewise, let’s begin corporate or personal prayer with a period of praise. Terry Virgo has written,

‘Believers gathering to pray need to begin by acknowledging the greatness of their God and their access to Him. It is not wise to begin a prayer meeting by completely focusing on the problem or challenges that we face. Like the early believers, we need a big view of God.’ (Virgo, Terry. The Spirit-Filled Church)

PRAISE USING THE BIBLE

It’s good to praise God for who He is and what He’s done for us from what we already know. However, I encourage you to use the Bible as fuel for your worship. I encourage you to choose a text - maybe something that you’ve read in your devotions and praise God from it by asking:

  • What does this text teach about God - about His name for which I can praise Him?

  • What does it teach about the gospel for which I can give thanks?

  • Is there a good song that I could sing or could I make a new song from the words of this text?

EXAMPLE USING JOHN 1:1-4

Here is an example of using John 1:1-4 to praise God:

'That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.' (1 John 1:1-4)

From this text, we could praise God for:

  • ‘That which was from the beginning’ - Jesus is eternal. He was with God (and is God) in the beginning.

  • ‘The life appeared’ - Life and salvation (new life) are found in Jesus. He is creator. He was God in the flesh come amongst us.

  • Jesus so loved this fallen world, that He came into it to save it.

  • ‘The Eternal life’ - through Jesus we receive eternal life.

  • ‘Was with the Father’ - Jesus was with the Father. He’s one with, but is not the Father or the Spirit.

  • God is a Father to us. We’re adopted into His family.

  • The Father wants our ‘joy to be complete’. He works all things together for our good. He’s for our happiness.

  • Etc.

RESPONSE

Choose a text of scripture and use it to praise God using the questions above. Mine it for all the glory of God that the text speaks of.

If you need help, try using Ephesians 1:3-14.


Here is a great song on the theme of prayer:


 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY

1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

 

2. Icebreaker

It's been a while since most of our groups have met and some will be new to your groups. I encourage you to spend time catching up and praying for one another. Perhaps you might want to discuss things that you can celebrate and things for which you would like God's help.

 

3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group


On Sunday, we finished our vision series, Devoted. This series has been based upon what we see modelled in the early church from Acts 2:


‘They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.’ (Acts 2:42-47)

We have considered how God wants us to be a church that is devoted to:

i. The apostles teaching (devoted to learning from scripture).

ii. Fellowship (devoted to being 'family on purpose' which requires dedication and time).

iii. Breaking bread (Eating together and remembering the gospel through Communion).

iv. Prayer (Devoted to being a praying community).


This is God's vision for any local church and He wants all of us to be devoted to this.

On Sunday we were encouraged that 'prayer is taught and caught'.


i. PRAYER IS TAUGHT

We learn to pray through teaching, reading good books, and, most importantly, by reading what the Bible has to say about prayer.


ii. PRAYER IS CAUGHT

We learn to pray and teach others to pray by praying together. In a family, in a Community Group, in church prayer meetings... we learn from others.


RESPONSE

  1. I encourage you to read the blogs this week. These are focussed on learning to pray by using The Lord's Prayer as a model.

  2. Let's, all of us, be as devoted to the church prayer meeting on Sunday evening as we can be. You will not regret the benefit that comes from this.


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

i) Did you feel that God spoke to you from any particular aspect of Sunday's message?

ii) Which of the four aspects of devotion from Acts 2 do you find most difficult and why?

iii) Our reading from Acts 2:42-47 speaks of church growth. Why will the church grow if we are devoted to these things?


SIV - Do you have any encouraging stories of sharing your faith with your friends?

SIV - How do you plan to 'serve, invest and invite' into your friendships?

SIV - Let's pray for the Spirit to lead us in reaching our community.





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