[This sermon is one of a series entitled “Sermon on the Mount, Concentrating on the Beatitudes,” which is being preached on Sunday mornings by Pastor Tim Senter.]
In Matthew 6:8 we found prayer to be a spiritual event focusing upon God as God, and not upon ourselves controlling the prayer. We can be wrapped up in ourselves very easily and prayer is no exception. Trying to hide the things (skeletons) in our prayer closet from God is like trying to hide tons of gold from thieves, inside Fort Knox. Both already know what is in there. It is no secret at all. Face the truth, step up to your responsibilities and open up to God about your most private thoughts, concerns and sins. He already knows them, but as David said in Psalm 51 – you must acknowledge them (Ps 51:3). This is God. He is sovereign. He is omnipotent. He is omnipresent. Praying as though God has no concept of what you are really dealing with is blatantly dishonest, insults God and is blasphemous.
Last week we found that the entire Sermon on the Mount was a preparation for this section. Everything up to this point has to do with our heart and spirit dealing with God. From the first Beatitude (poor in spirit), to the last discussion (baring your spirit to God in prayer), the Christian finds himself exposed to a glorious God that will heal their wounds (Is 53:4-5).
This week we begin looking at the Lord’s Prayer as a unit. This is instruction within instruction. The Lord’s Prayer is not simply a pattern we should follow when talking to God, but a complete description of the relationship as it ought to be between God and man.
The Lord’s Prayer is in Matthew 6:9-13. We will read through this prayer and memorize these verses as we study them. There are a number of individuals who use this prayer as a prayer to God. It is good to pray scripture. In fact, it is probably one of the best things you can do; pray God’s Word back to Him. However, in this passage we find something more than just a set of verses we can pray to God. With what has come before we must consider how we will really respond to this teaching. Should this be a prayer at night just before we close our eyes and fall off to sleep? Conversely, is this simply a pattern we follow to properly worship God in prayer? Could it be both? We should work through this together and see what we can find. Continue reading