We are taking a break for the summer until futher notice.

Monday (11-19-07) Prayer 36 - The Lord's Prayer

Read first:
Matthew 6:9-15

Hear It! Matthew 6

The “Lord’s Prayer” is part of the section of scripture we call the Sermon on the Mount. Here, in one place, is the longest discourse of Jesus. In this sermon, Jesus confronted the accepted spirituality of his day and challenged it to a purer and more perfect state. He penetrated custom and religious ritual to reveal the will of God and divine expectation for kingdom people.

The challenge to a purer and more perfect spirituality is just as demanding in his teaching on prayer. His teaching is contrasted to the practice of “hypocrites.” Sincerity, simplicity and honesty are the marks of this prayer. Deep faith in God is in the heart of one praying.

What Can We Learn?
1. Begin with praise. One way to do that is to hallow God’s name (or to give it the honor, respect, reverence it deserves. Cf. 6:9. Study the names of God and use them in prayer).
2. Pray with kingdom priorities in mind (cf 6:10. See Mt. 6:33).
3. Seek the provision of God (cf. 6:11. See Lk. 11:9; Jas 1:17; 1 Tim 6:8).
4. Pray for human relationships ( cf. 6:12. See Mt 6:14 -15; Mt. 18, Mk 11:25).
5. Pray for protection against temptation (cf. 6:13).
6. End in praise (cf. 6:13. Praise God’s sovereignty, authority, majesty, and eternal nature).
(Thanks to Don Stevens for the above ideas)

Questions to Ponder
1. Why should prayer begin with words that honor or revere the name of God?
2. How can praying “kingdom priorities” shape both our prayers and our actions?
3. What happens to the person who seeks daily provision from God?
4. Why is forgiveness such a major concern to Jesus? Why is our forgiveness dependent on our willingness to forgive?
5. Note the following six steps of temptation. How do they work, and how can prayer help?
---(I) Deceit
------(II) Delight
---------(III) Desire
------------(IV) Deliberation
---------------(V) Defeat
------------------(VI) Despair
6. What kind of God do you pray to?

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