George Methodist Church
24th July 2016
With Peter Veysie
8 am and 9.30 am
Jesus’ Teaching on Prayer
LUKE 11 : 1 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
2 He said to them, “When you pray, say:
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.[b]
3 Give us each day our daily bread.
4 Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.[c]
And lead us not into temptation.[d]’”
5 Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7 And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity[e] he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[f] a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
What are you listening to ? A journey into devotion and prayer.
Here are ten glimpses into the prayer life of Jesus.
1: Jesus believed that prayer works.
2: Praying did not make Jesus passive.
3: Jesus prayed alone.
4: Jesus prayed in community.
5: Jesus prayed before meals.
6: Jesus offered thanks.
7: Jesus sang some prayers.
8: Jesus prayed before making important decisions.
9: Jesus prayed for his disciples.
10: Jesus continues to pray for us.
Prayer is everything to Jesus and he showed how important it was to him and how important it is to us. The scripture reminds us today of persistent prayer with the story of the friend who needed bread in the late hours of the night and knocked on his friends door until he got it. How persistent are we with prayer? P.U.S.H. Pray Until Something Happens. Often we give up too soon.
The Lord’s Prayer is a difficult and honest prayer and not for beginners. It is a believers/ disciples prayer enabling us to reach a depth of honesty and authenticity when we pray. It can be said as a standard prayer but it is far more powerful when we pray it with meaning from our hearts and with deep attention to the words we are using.
1. Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be your name.
It starts with us needing to understand that in spite of the deep challenges of this world and all that we are facing that we are the children of Father/Abba God. He has got our backs and he is our Father/my Father.
We need to get to know Him as Father and to trust Him as our heavenly Father. Some of us may have challenges when thinking of a fatherly figure because we have been let down. We need to understand that God the Father is loving and kind and concerned for us as we pray in a very deep and intimate way.
2. Your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
As we move towards the elections and these trying times we have to pray all the more that the Lord will have his way on earth as it is in heaven. We need to trust that the Lord is in control and despite our concerns, that the outcome will be towards his purpose and plans. This is definitely not always easy to see. Pray kingdom prayers for justice and freedom and transformation.
3. Give us this day our daily bread.
This is not just the food that we need or provisions but a reminder that Jesus said “I am the bread of life. “ Are we finding time to feed on His word to discover His will for our lives in prayer. To spend time with Him so that he can speak to us and nurture our spiritual beings.
4. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
Forgiveness is such an important part of this prayer and it is not only important to ask the Lord to forgive us but also that we forgive ourselves. There are so many people walking around on this earth who have not been able to forgive themselves for doing wrong. It is so important for us to become vulnerable before the Lord and to ask him for forgiveness.
The harder part of this prayer is to forgive others for the hurt pain and anguish that they might have caused you or others to bear. When we forgive, we take away the power from them and this is why Jesus was able to say on the cross – “Father forgive them for they no not what they do.” There is huge power in forgiveness to release us from the stress of what it brings to our physical beings.
5. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
The Lord does not lead us into temptation as some might read this incorrectly, but rather we find ourselves moving towards being tempted to do something that will take our eyes off the Lord.
Illus : My friend Steve Brent killed on a motorbike by hijackers being chased by the police. I felt angry about this and part of me wanted to go and find those guys who had killed this friend who leaves his son and his wife. I felt tempted to do something silly to them, but asked the Lord to lead me away from those thoughts and towards praying for them which was not easy.
We may also struggle with temptations or things in our life that have to do with our fleshiness and we need to ask the Lord to help us with these temptations and to deliver us from evil.
As you, I’m sure, are gathering this is not an easy prayer, but it reminds us to be honest open and dependent on Our Father as we pray.
6. For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours.
Now and for ever. Amen
The prayer begins and ends in Glorifying the Lord and we need to always be aware of the importance of this. I am trusting that the next time you pray the Lord’s Prayer you will be doing it differently and with more heart and understanding.
Blessings and prayer.
So, again, the Lord’s Prayer is not a prayer we are to memorize and recite back to God. It is only an example of how we should be praying. Is there anything wrong with memorizing the Lord’s Prayer? Of course not! Is there anything wrong with praying the Lord’s Prayer back to God? Not if your heart is in it and you truly mean the words you say. Remember, in prayer, God is far more interested in our communicating with Him and speaking from our hearts than He is in the specific words we use. Philippians 4:6-7 declares, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”