The Weekend Word
9 Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name
- Do you need help with your prayer life? Go to the Christian bookstore and look at the volumes produced just to help you pray.
- But Jesus said, “pray like this” – why do we not do it the Jesus way?
- This prayer is not a special formula
- He could have said “Oh Great God, Creator of All – Oh Lord Almighty and Holder of All Power in your hands and who smote those in Sodom & Gomorra ….”
- It would have all been true – But he said “our Father…”
- Since he said “Our Father” – then who are we?
- Potential sons?? – one day to be to be children? No, we are present tense His Children – Present tense His Heirs.
- “Our” Father – is this prayer a group prayer and not an individual prayer?
- Do we do enough in community?
- Note the plurality of the prayer – the “our” the “us” – this is meant to be prayed in community – when the church gathers – how many refuse?
10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
- His Kingdom comes with or without us
- He wants his kingdom to come to us – that he will come to you in your life.
- Actually, the Kingdom is here already, consummated with his Good Friday sacrifice – resurrection and ascension
- How do we say “your will be done.”??
- Is it just an easy tagline of humble subservience or…
- Is it a cry against Satan? It should be.
- Is it “your will be done Lord” or “My will”? God, get in the backseat.
- When God keeps us faithful to his promise – his will is being done.
- When he gives us heaven– his will is being done.
- When Christ forgives sinners – his will is being done.
- When the old Adam is put to death by the law – his will is being done.
- Your will be done is a confession of who I am – I am at odds with God
- God’s will is being done in the 10 commandments
- God’s will is being done when we protect life
- God’s will is being done when we protect marriage
- God’s will is being done when we treat and protect our neighbor and his property rightly
- God’s will is being done when we use his name properly
- God’s will is being done when we don’t have any other Gods
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
- All of the “give us” – a little pushy? Or a claim to a promise?
- Daily bread = everything I need for daily existence
- God help me.
- I need help, support, guidance, food, clothes – good weather for good crops.
- And I trust you will provide.
- And this is not just about our need, but where everything comes from.
- This is like a confession of faith to God.
- The “give us” does not need to be for us – but for others
- Give to the Iraqi Christians …
12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
- “…as we also…” this is the 1st stumbling block in the prayer
- Sin is likened to debt because you now carry a debt towards God or the other person.
- We as a nation should understand what it means to be in debt
- This would be like China forgiving our national debt but we turn around and say “hey, Puerto Rico – pay up!” (The Unforgiving Servant of Matt 18)
- Think about forgiving others
- Our debt is forgiven through no deed of our own – but we always feel like our neighbor needs to work off his debt to us or at least be worthy of our forgiveness.
- How does a Christian act? We are to be generous and reckless with our forgiveness to others.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil
- God does not tempt anyone
- There is this unholy trinity – the world – the devil and our sinful flesh.
- It looks like God but it is not. Who did Adam blame? “God, you made me do it through this woman.
- Who tempted Adam & Eve? Who tempted Jesus?
14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,
15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
- Matthew 18:21-35 – the parable of the unmerciful servant.
- 14 is a YIKES
- 15 is a double YIKES
- You might take note – there is no sugar coating with this one.
- What are you going to do with forgiveness?
Fasting – So Jesus is still on the mountain, still talking in Red Letters – teaching with authority – continuing that ‘rabbis said – but I say.’
16 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
- When you fast – fasting was expected. Was fasting a Jewish thing?
- Do we ever see fasting taught to the Gentiles?
- Fasting is all about self denial – how important is eating to you?
- A friend of mine went to Cuba a couple of months ago and told me how poor they were.
- He said “they would rather eat than get paid.”
- I thought who would put food over money? Then I thought, Me! I eat several times a day but get paid only a couple of times a month.
17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
- Do what it takes to look healthy and alert.
- When you do something, anything for God, look good doing it!
18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
- What do you hope to get out of fasting?
- Who do you fast to?