The Prayer Jesus Taught His Disciples
Hear my prayer, O Lord, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness. And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead.
Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate. I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands. I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah. Hear me speedily, O Lord: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee. Deliver me, O Lord, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me. Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. Quicken me, O Lord, for thy name’s sake: for thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble. And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant. AMEN.
Subject: “The Lord’s Prayer” (Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name) Part 2
Today, there are too many people declaring themselves as conservative in their theology, and therefore a part of the body of Christ, who live lives that despise the ethics of the Sermon on the Mount, the law of the kingdom. What a sad commentary it is on the cause we represent! If those same people would go to the top of the mountain, the scene of the Sermon on the Mount, and listen to the King, they could not look lightly upon sin. When an elderly gentleman who could not hear well was asked a question as to his ethics, not quite understanding, he replied, “I have traded my Essex for a Hudson.” And I fear that many today have traded in their ethics for something else. We have such low standards, and we need desperately to get back to some good, old-fashioned virtues of common honesty and integrity. If you and I are to reign with Him, dare we despise these things? When we stand in the revealing light of the Sermon on the Mount, how great is the need to reverence it. It is not a cover for sin—it condemns us. It is not a savior, for there is no mention of salvation, faith, or grace. It is a judge that looks at us as sinners and causes us to flee to the Savior for refuge. Law is justice, not mercy. When, in sorrow, I consider where I stand under the justice of that law, I can turn with rejoicing to the mercy of His grace, for it is “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us…” (Titus 3:5). Let us not despise the law of our King that shall one day prevail on this earth; rather, let us look at the gem nestled in the very heart of this great Sermon on the Mount. Seen in its proper perspective, the Lord’s Prayer will have a new meaning for you. It is a guide to prayer; we ought to reverence it and we ought to stand in awe and wonder before it. We dare not repeat it carelessly in a church service, for the time may appear when the praying of it will become the cry of our hearts.
But our question is, “Is the Lord’s Prayer for today?” I think the key to the answer is in the Gospel of Luke. There he writes that the disciples went to the Lord Jesus and said, “Teach us to pray” (see Luke 11:1). So He gave them this model prayer. Then He gave them a parable that, in my judgment, holds the placement of the Lord’s Prayer for us in this day. This parable is about a man who, having unexpected guests arrive during the night, knocked on the door of his neighbor and asked that he loan him a loaf of bread to feed his guests. The neighbor replied that the family was asleep and he did not wish to have the household disturbed, so the man would have to wait until the morning. But the man continued knocking until the neighbor got out of bed and let him have the bread, not because of feelings of friendship but because of the importunity of the person knocking. (See Luke 11:5-8.) In taking this parable as the key, we must remember that Luke gives us parables by contrast. The point, simply stated, is this: Do you think God slumbers? He does not: “Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121:4). Do you feel that you have to bang on the door to get Him to hear you? He is ready to hear and answer the prayers of those who come to Him. But He also says that, like this man, you are to go persistently and knock on the door:
So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (Luke 11:9) If you can pray the Lord’s Prayer as that man, standing at the door of his neighbor at midnight—knocking to gain something in the time of emergency—then I say to you, use the Lord’s Prayer. But do not make it a vain repetition. It was given to avoid vain repetition. When it becomes the cry of the human heart, then that person can say, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” knowing that God does not slumber and that He wants to hear and answer prayer. Have you prayed like that to God recently? Have you gone to Him persistently, knocking at midnight? Ask…seek…knock, and it will be opened to you!
Week # 3
Weekly Pattern: Praise
Prayers from the Bible:
1). What standards in our Christian life should we get back to?
2). What was the Sermon on the Mount?
3). What is the Lord’s Prayer to us?
4). Is the Lord’s Prayer for today?
5). Do we have to bang on the door to get God to hear us?
6). How is asking, seeking, knocking a part of worship?
7). The Lord’s Prayer was given to avoid what?
8). Have you prayed with persistency lately?
9). Since you started this study have anything in your prayer changed?
Weekly Song: (Matthew 26:30)
Weekly Praise: Praise King Jesus
Weekly Reading Assignment: (Acts 5-6)