How to Pray

May 18, 2020

 Matthew 6:9–15

“This, then, is how you should 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 today our daily bread.

12 Forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from the evil one.’

14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

The first thing I am going to do this morning is begin with a question. How many of you are happy with your prayer life? How many people believe they pray enough?

The Lord’s Prayer, somebody has suggested, has probably the most familiar words in the English language. Probably more people have said the Lord’s Prayer more often … There is no other formula; there is no other set of words that have been spoken out loud by more people in the history of the world. What’s ironic is this is the secret to what you seek. At the core of our being, we need, we desperately want … We need and we desperately desire real soul experience.

In Luke 11, another place where Jesus taught the same prayer the disciples watched Jesus pray and they desired the same experience if intimacy and closeness to the Father. Jesus waits until they ask… because now it has more significance. Jesus teaches them and brings it to us in the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus says, “This is how to pray. This is the key. Look at it.” I think maybe that one of the reasons why we don’t know how to use it is because it’s so familiar. Right?

Sandy’s parents lived in Centralia Washington and their house was about 200 feet from the railroad track.  You’ve come to visit them for the first time, you’re sitting there talking to them, and the train comes by and shakes you off the couch. You look around. You think it’s something that’s coming right through the window. You say, “What was that?” They say, “What? What was what?” You say, “That train.” And they say, “Oh, the train. You know, we’ve gotten so used to it, we don’t even notice it anymore.” You say, “You’re kidding, right?”

Jesus Christ says, “Listen. Do you know why there is a lack of the awareness of the divine in your life? You don’t know how to pray. Wouldn’t you like to be able to come face to face with the Father and King of the universe every day, to pour out your heart to him and to sense him pouring out his heart to you? Wouldn’t you like to connect like that? Wouldn’t that fulfill you?”

The answer to all these questions is yes. This week we are going to look at the Lord’s Prayer. It’s so familiar. It’s a model. It’s a scaffold on which we’re supposed to build our prayer life. This model prayer tells you everything you need to know about communication with God. Have you prayed today? He is waiting…

 


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