Sermons & Sunday Schools

The Lord’s Prayer: A Model for Approaching God

In this sermon, Khaleef Crumbley teaches on the Lord’s Prayer found in the Gospel of Matthew. Comparing Matthew’s version of the Lord’s Prayer to the same prayer in Luke, Khaleef Crumbley explains how Jesus warned against hypocrisy in prayer, why prayer is meant to be worshipful communion with God, and how God should be approached in prayer as a loving Father. Khaleef Crumbley also discusses the several requests made in the Lord’s Prayer as models for believers. These requests include:

• To be more responsive to God
• To eagerly look for God’s will to be done
• To petition God for daily provisions

Full Transcript:

Good morning Calvary. As you may have seen in your bulletin, we are going to look at what is commonly known as the Lord’s Prayer. Let’s turn to Matthew 6:5. A couple of things we need to establish is that there is another passage in Luke 11 that has similar words and is also called the Lord’s Prayer. It’s actually a separate time in the ministry of Jesus when He gave that prayer. It’s not a parallel account. The lessons were given for two different purposes.

In Luke 11, Jesus is responding to a question about teaching the disciples to pray. Here, He gives this model in the middle of a sermon. So I want us to consider the context of this sermon and why the application of this prayer may sound a little different than if we consider it from Luke where the disciples want to know how to pray, which happened later on in the ministry. By the time they asked that question, He has preached this sermon already.

This Lord’s Prayer is part of a larger section in Matthew called the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew records five sermons that Jesus gives and this is the first of this five. It covers a lot and it’s probably the most famous sermon in and out of the church that Jesus preached. A lot of the words will be quoted by unbelievers even, or will just float around in society.

We get the Beatitudes in chapter 5, and we’re told to let our light shine before men. So He starts off in this sermon by giving an exposition in the law. He addresses a lot of what Israel was seeing at the time with the Pharisees and the Scribes. When He teaches on the law, He tells the audience that unless their righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees and the Scribes, they can’t see the Kingdom.

You have to understand that they were the most righteous people externally. They set up what it meant to be righteous. They took something from the Old Testament and built a whole system that went way beyond what the Old Testament required. Sometimes it actually circumvented what the Scriptures actually said and Jesus confronts those things. But in the mind of the Israelites, these were the most righteous people you could find. Everything they did outwardly made it appear as though they were the most godly. Then Jesus says that they have to be more righteous than them.

After explaining the heart behind the law, as we heard in about 20 sermons from Pastor, He says things like this in Matthew 5:27-28:

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

He corrects them and says that even though someone avoids the behavior, if the desire and impulse is there but just not acted upon where people can see, that’s still wicked and that’s what God is looking at. He says also in Matthew 5:21-22:

You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court.

And then He ends Matthew 5 with verse 48, which says:

Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Which of course now they are seeing how impossible that is. Then we see in chapter 6 how Jesus addresses a lot of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. Then in chapter 7 He ends it with what true salvation looks like. So in the middle of that we find our passage for today. Before we look into it, I’m just going to say a word of prayer.

God, help us to know how to pray and how to approach You. Help us to have the right mindset and heart and to see that it is much more than the words that come out of our mouths. Lord, we pray that we would not fall into the traps that the Pharisees fell into. We pray that we would be growing and learning in this every day. And I pray that as we look at Your Word together, You would bless this time and speak to each one of us and I ask this for the sake of Christ, Amen.

Let me just say straight up that for me the most conviction I could get is by studying and teaching on prayer. I always see where I’m lacking! I say to myself, “Look at what I do and how I treat God!” Every time I study a passage on prayer, I’m convicted and it’s no different with this one. When we look at Matthew 6, we start in verses 5-7, which say:

When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.

There’s a couple things He brings out. Earlier in verse 2 He says:

So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

I think we need to understand who a hypocrite was in the Bible. It’s not someone who was striving after holiness but ends up failing completely. It’s not someone who is trying to be like Christ but is imperfect. A lot of times we throw that word around about someone wants to live a godly life and we see them fail in some area and are quick to call them a hypocrite. That’s just an imperfect person who is not yet living in a glorified body.

The word actually goes back to the theater actually. A hypocrite during these times was someone who actually wore a mask. If you’re familiar with theater you’ll know that the symbol is two little masks. Instead of trying to play the part and look like a sad person, they would just put on a sad mask. That’s the word that the Bible uses to describe a hypocrite: someone who is one thing on the inside but wears a mask in front of others so they can appear to be what they are not. That’s what Jesus is talking about here.

He is not talking about someone who strives for holiness and then fails because they are human or because their is some lesson they didn’t learn yet. He is talking about someone who is rotten on the inside but wants to look good on the outside. It’s a white-washed tomb that is filled with a dead man’s bones on the inside.

Why does He say not to pray like the hypocrites? One reason they pray is so they can be seen by men. He says that they stand in the synagogues and pray and go into street corners and pray. In the Greek, a street corner is the widest possible intersection. It’s almost like they go into the town square and pray. It’s not like standing on the street corner where only three cars drive by. This is an intersection that is seen by the most amount of people.

If the purpose behind your prayers is to be seen by men, then Jesus says you have your reward already. That person wasn’t seeking whatever they were praying about, but the attention that came from their wonderful, flowery prayers. Jesus says not to pray like these kinds of people! He says that we should pray in secret instead.

I remember working at a call center a long time ago answering phones. We found out through talking that there were several Christians there. So we decided to have a Bible study one day and a prayer group another. I remember talking to a lady there who at the time was probably a generation ahead of me. She said she wasn’t going to join the prayer because it was out in the open. We just stood outside under a tree during part of our lunch to pray, but she said that it was out in the open and against the Bible.

While I appreciated her concern and conviction, it’s more about the attitude behind the prayer. Jesus prayed in public! It’s not the idea of physically doing it public but the purpose behind it. In verse 7 He even says that they pray in meaningless repetition:

For they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.

You can have a prayer closet that is public. You don’t have to say that you can’t have anyone like your spouse or kids near you. Now, that may be wise so you don’t get distracted. But praying in private when no one is looking isn’t the only time you can pray. It’s not like once three people join your group during prayer meeting it becomes too many. He’s really talking about the attitude here.

So Jesus talks about meaningless repetition in verse 7. Many of us understand what He is talking about because there are a lot who come from a Catholic background. There is repetition in Catholic prayers. You can sin and a priest will tell you how many times to repeat the same prayer to forgive you from your sin.

Even in Islam people will repeat the same prayer five times a day and even facing the same direction and doing the same hand gestures when they pray. I used to watch when my uncles and relatives would pray. Back then, I could do every movement that they would do even though I didn’t know what it meant. But it was just a repetitious prayer. Even though they took it seriously and did it in private, it was something that was meaningless.

Now this doesn’t mean that you can’t persist in prayer about an issue. In fact Luke 11 gives a parable that talks about a friend that keeps going on his neighbor’s house asking for bread. Because he kept persisting, the neighbor responded. Jesus says this is how we should be in prayer, continually approaching God. But in that case, it’s not meaningless or vain repetition. But instead you’re going to God pouring out your heart.

So He gives us these warnings and it’s good to understand that this instruction comes from them. Earlier He says not to give to the poor in a way that the Pharisees do. He says not to pray or fast like them either. They have been the model for holiness for hundreds of years in Israel, but they’re doing it wrong because their motive is to be seen and to get power. In Matthew 6:9 Jesus talks about praying correctly. But verse we’ll see what He says in verse 8:

So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

This is so important to understand. You might ask why would even pray then, God already knows what we need. The first thing we realize about prayer is that it’s not about informing God of something He doesn’t know. We’re not giving God new information so that He can do something about it. It’s about worship. It’s about coming to God and being able to commune with Him, something they didn’t know how to do. Let’s look at the model prayer starting in verse 9:

Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven.’

Let’s just stop there right now. If I had my way, I would probably preach a separate sermon on each line. But we don’t’ have enough time, unless we just stay here all day. There is so much to say about this line. It’s important to address God as Father, so that we get out of our minds that God is just a Judge or Creator, or the Man Upstairs as my grandfather used to call Him.

Today people just address the universe rather than God. I don’t know how the universe does anything for people but they say things like, “The universe will hear when I speak things into the atmosphere and will line things up for me!” Christians are starting to adopt this language to describe what happens when we pray to God.

But that’s not what Jesus does here! He says to call Him Father, and that was something expressed in the Old Testament before the analogy of a father-child relationship was actually taken to heart for the whole nation. This is so important that we are coming to our Father. Before salvation, He was our Creator. Every human is made in the image of God. But not every human is a child of God, which is why the Bible talks about us being adopted. In Galatians 4:4-6, it says:

But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

That’s beautiful that we have been adopted because of what Christ did when He came to live this life for us. It’s not just that we were made free, which would be great just in itself! He not only frees us, but moves us from the Kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light and calls us part of the family. Instead of being enemies, we sit at the table with Him.

That picture is who the Father is! The rest of Galatians 4:6 says:

Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”

This term, “Abba,” is in certain dialects Arabic is pronounced differently. But it basically means “daddy.” It shows a different level of intimacy. It doesn’t mean that one time, my dad and my mom came together one night and that’s it. It has this intimacy and trust that we can have in our God. You can call Him Dad or Daddy and all the sweetness of that relationship is poured into this world. Romans 8:15 also talks about this when it talks about adoption.

Jesus is saying that when we pray, we need to understand what we are going through. This is a model of prayer; we take it and do different things with it. Everybody doesn’t just pray these exact words. There’s nothing wrong if you do that, but Jesus doesn’t say these are the only words allowed in your prayer time. He isn’t even saying that we have to use any of these words. It’s okay to pray and not say “Lord,” or “God.” He isn’t going to be confused by who you are talking to. You can say those words a hundred times, not know Christ, and your prayers will not have any effect. Or you can pray your prayers as simplistic as you want, and God will hear them.

But understand that when you come to Him, He is your Father. Your relationship has changed when you become a believer. But Jesus doesn’t just describe Him as our Father, otherwise we might try to model this relationship after one with an earthly father. He also says, “Who is in Heaven.” So there is a clear distinction here. In the next chapter, but part of the same sermon it says in Matthew 7:9-11:

Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

How many people here are parents? I’m seeing some, but I don’t know everybody’s business. Now how many of you are willing to stand up and say that you are an evil parent? For the most part we are not willing to consider that. When Jesus says the word evil, He is trying to compare the parent with the perfect Father. It’s like when you find a substance that is sweeter than honey. You describe it as being so sweet that it makes honey taste like a lemon.

The point that He is driving home here is that God is not a human parent and the love that a human parent shows to their child is nothing in comparison to what our Heavenly Father shows to us. This is specifically talking about answering prayer. He is in Heaven and this shows us that He is still the Creator of the universe and should be worshipped as majestic and holy.

Ecclesiastes 5:2 says:

Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few.

We still have to come to God with reverence even though there is intimacy. We see that even on a human level where there are people in positions of power and have children that have different relationships with them. But they still are the king or president or whatever, even though they are a mother or father too. So they have an authority that needs to be respected even though there is a parent-child relationship there. Even though we can approach God with confidence, and boldness as it says in Hebrews 4:16, we are still to do so in a manner of reverence and respect. I won’t even stretch this sermon out by telling you all the disrespectful things I’ve heard people say because they feel like they have an intimate relationship with God.

This also means that He is powerful. He is in Heaven and not on earth. It is great to have relationships with people on earth because if you have issues or problems you can get counsel and prayer from them. But humans still have limitations. While I can pour my heart out to one of you, you’re most likely not going to be able to do anything about what I told you. The difference is that our God is sovereign and can do whatever He wishes. We get this combination of this intimate, beautiful love combined with this unlimited power. As we’ll see in a little while, what we pray for still has to be according to God’s will. But know that you’re praying to a God who can actually do something about the situation.

You’re not just praying to a glorified therapist or cosmic counselor, rather someone who can actually move. So if you need more faith, go to God! He can help you grow your faith. If you need a stronger marriage, don’t complain to your friends about your spouse. Go to God! God is someone who can actually act and change hearts. Many of us here know people who are not believers; well lift them up in prayer because God can draw them like He drew you and me and He can save them.

Now we get to these requests. This is opening up the idea we should have before we come to God. Some people will say there are six things and some will there are seven. From a practical standpoint, it doesn’t really matter.

The first thing you should pray for is the second part of Matthew 6:9:

Hallowed be Your name.

This comes from a Greek word to be set apart or treat something as holy. We’re praying that God’s name would be holier. It’s not possible for God to grow in holiness or righteousness. But we’re praying that we would be more aware and responsive to His holiness. It’s just like the psalmist says in Psalm 34:3:

O magnify the Lord with me.

You’re not actually making the Lord bigger in His own view, but your own! The more you praise God, talk about Him, and live a godly life and give people the gospel, you are making God’s Name holier. If you have been any place that needs high security, you’ll see a lot of signs that warn you about an electric fence they might have. Those signs do nothing to increase the voltage that’s running through the fence. They make you aware of the power that’s in the fence so you know to approach it carefully. That’s what we do when we pray for God’s Name to be holy.

In Matthew 6:10 we get another petition:

Your kingdom come.

While I can’t go into huge detail about every verse here, I’ll do a little advertising for the Calvary website. There was a Sunday School lesson on June 3, 2012 and the title was “Your Kingdom Come,” and it was about this very topic. It’s me teaching, I don’t know if that matters or not. We also did a series that summer going through the Lord’s Prayer. We get at the end of Matthew 6, verse 33, to seek first His Kingdom. And we’re praying here that His Kingdom would come. So whatever it is, it has to be a high priority. Before we worry about what we’re going to eat or wear, we should seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness.

There are several things here and the first one is expansion. We’re praying that God’s Kingdom will come by growing physically. The gospel will go out, people will be saved, and they will be added to the Kingdom. We pray for our evangelistic efforts, those who are lost that we know, and those who go out as Kingdom workers.

We are also praying for maturation, for saints who have come into the Kingdom to grow and mature and conform to the image of Christ. Next we are praying for consummation. We are praying that Christ would come and establish an actual kingdom on earth. So there’s an element where we’re looking forward and longing. In Revelation 22:20 says:

He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

In Titus 2:13 we are told that we are:

Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.

We’re praying for God’s Kingdom to come in these ways in our lives today and also our future for us to see the Kingdom we’ll be in. The next petition is in the rest of Matthew 6:10:

Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

As I mentioned earlier, prayer is not a way to bend God’s heart to our will. It’s not us giving Him information and then just acting in any way we want to act. It’s a way to submit our desires to God’s will and also be a part of God carrying out His will on earth.

So there’s a couple of things here. When it says that Your will be done, it’s not just like giving up or seeing our situation as hopeless. Like when Samuel went to Eli and told him God was going to remove him from being priest because of what his sons were doing that were wrong. And Eli just kind of accepted it as God’s will. It seems like he gave up. Prayer is a way for us to be a part of God carrying out His will. Whether we pray about it or not, God can still act.

God’s not waiting for us to bring something to Him or else He can’t do anything. But think about how glorious it is for us to pray and then see God answer the prayer! We can see the prayer list and praise God for answering things we brought to Him. There are people sitting in the pews now who are answers to prayer! Whatever it was, we lifted up prayers of salvation, healing, change in schedule so someone can come to work, etc. and God was faithful to answer. And we should be praising God for that because we get to be part of His will carried out.

One thing this prayer mentions is God’s will being done on earth as it is in Heaven. Well how is it carried out in Heaven? Perfectly. When He sends an angel to do something, the angel doesn’t say that he’s too tired because he’s had a long day. The point is that they don’t have these limitations that we do in our sinful bodies. Even we want to, sometimes we just physically can’t do something. It isn’t always a sinful thing that stops us, sometimes it’s jut because we’re human and limited.

So when we carry out God’s will with full obedience, joy, urgency, and sinful motivation, then we’re doing God’s will as it is done in Heaven. But also there’s a sense in which we long for God’s Kingdom to come, for a time when we can carry out His will perfectly, we are fully redeemed, we are in glorified bodies, and we can do anything without limitation.

Until that day when we can carry out His will perfectly, we are still to be faithful which God will bless when we minister to somebody. We don’t have to be perfect for God to use us, but we have to be willing and faithful.

Now come the quicker petitions about our provision. The first one is Matthew 6:11 which is:

Give us this day our daily bread.

What makes this a little hard if you’re studying it, is that this word for daily is only used here. Nowhere else in Greek literature does this word exist. So we have to guess what it means because it is a compound Greek word. Here we just have to figure out what it is. Daily is a good approximation of what it means. It can be literally translated as longing for tomorrow. We get this idea of our provision only coming when we need it. There is a quote by D.L. Moody which says:

“A man can no more take in a supply of grace for the future than he can eat enough for the next six months, or take sufficient air into his lungs at one time to sustain life for a week. We must draw upon God’s boundless store of grace from day to day as we need it.”

This is actually a beautiful thing because it allows us to continually rely on God and our dependence on Him. So we ask Him to supply all of the things we need for the day ahead. God provides everything, but He also provides the physical. Nothing is too small or mundane to ask God for. I’m still learning that myself. We feel like our smaller requests are too petty. But Jesus says to pray for our daily bread and that in everything He will give us what we need for that day. And we need physical things like rest, food, and shelter. There is nothing wrong with going for a promotion at work and praying about it. We need to make sure that we are seeing God as our Provider in everything, not just in the “big things” or spiritual things only.

I think this is why this is here, He is talking about literal bread. Now I think He uses the term bread to remind us that God will supply our needs but He doesn’t promise to give us our wants. That doesn’t mean we can pray for those things, but basically don’t listen to the health and wealth prosperity teachers that say God will give you anything you ask for, even a private jet. Yachts and jets exist, and God may choose to give you one for some reason, but I don’t know anyone who has a yacht or jet personally.

Most likely, you’re not going to get an affirmative answer to that prayer, because it will just be no. But you’ll have your daily bread and you’ll have a way to get to where you need to go to do what God has ordained you to do. We don’t pray for our daily four course meal. We don’t pray for a daily chocolate cake, or ice cream, or prime rib. Now we can pray for those things in addition, but Jesus gives us the basics for how to pray here. You want to extend your prayer and add those things on? Fine! But make sure you are seeing God as the Provider for everything you’re praying for, no matter what it is.

Then He moves onto something spiritual in Matthew 6:12:

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Now I actually wrestled with this a little because I’ve always taken this and the those verses in Matthew 6:14-15 together:

For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

It almost sounds like it says the way to earn God’s forgiveness is to forgive other people. So it could sound like, whatever you do with the gospel doesn’t matter that much as long as you are being good and forgiving others. We know that doesn’t sound right, but we need to also understand what He is saying. Understand first that the context is that He is warning true followers not to follow the ways of these false teachers and hypocrites. If people who are praying are believers, and can call God their Father, then what is being forgiven here is not sinful nature. We sin throughout our lives, even after we become believers.

If any of you were here when I preached on John 13 and we looked at the foot washing, we talked about how that is an example Jesus used about salvation and sanctification. Basically He said that you have been cleansed but then in your walk, you get dusty. And you need to wash your feet and be sanctified. That’s what we are looking at here.

In 1 John 1:9 it says:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

There he is talking to believers. So as believers we are still to go to God and ask for forgiveness for the sins we continually commit. Those things interfere with our relationship with God. Have you ever noticed that your fellowship with God is broken when you sin and don’t bring it to Him right away? It becomes harder to pray and read the Bible, even serve people. That happens because we don’t have right fellowship with God because we are sinning and not bringing those things to Him to be cleansed and grow.

When that confession isn’t happening, then we see that our relationship is stunted. We refuse to forgive others and the same thing happens. In Matthew 18:22-35 there is a parable of a slave who owes the king an amount of money that is larger than we can think of, and the king forgives the debt. That slave, happy about his forgiven debt, sees someone who owes him a small amount of money and instead of granting forgiveness like the king did, refused to let it go.

So when the king found out, Jesus said the slave was thrown in jail and turned over to the tormentors. Those were people who would chastise him and not kill him. In the same way, Hebrews 12:5-7 says we are chastised by God our loving Father. When we fall into sin, we are corrected. And that not only comes in instructions but also in chastisement. Us refusing to forgive people puts us in a situation where we are being chastised by God until we are willing to forgive. Not having that connection with God is when the guilt comes, which is meant to draw us back to Him.

We should always be forgiving people because that is how we make sure we are in right fellowship with God. There is no one in here who has offended us the way we offended God. In fact there is no one in here that has offended us the way we have offended God now as believers. We still offend God worse than anybody can do to us. And when you go to Him and ask for forgiveness, if you are His child He will forgive you. So how can you not forgive someone else when they come to you.

This prayer acknowledges our role in forgiving others and our obligation to do that so that our communication and fellowship with God remains as pure and open as possible. Then He prays this in Matthew 6:13:

And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

This is where people say that the verse can be combined in one or made into two. So in a practical sense it doesn’t really mean much, but I just want you to be aware of that. This but here is making someone say they are two steps where someone else will not say that.

Here is He saying that if we don’t pray this, God will try to get us to sin? No! James 1:13 says:

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.

The greek word here that is translated is temptation. It can also be translated as testing. It was a test in that case because of the pressure and in that case that person meant it for someone negative. But that type of testing and trial is the one mentioned that we need to count as joy. It’s talking about these trials that come and the prayer isn’t so much that God wouldn’t lead us into a test at all. But rather, is about one that we are perhaps not ready for or unnecessary.

The praying is more for us that any time we are lead into a trial or test, that it would be ordained by God and is for us to grow. So the prayer is not that we would avoid all suffering. The Bible teaches us that if we try to live godly, we will have suffering. There is the saying that a boat doesn’t leave the dock is safe but also useless. It’s not talking you anywhere or serving the purpose for which it was built. So if we try to live a safe life, we are not serving the purpose for which we were redeemed and saved. We’re not going out and trusting God.

In this also is asking for strength and faith. In Matthew 6:8, Jesus already says that God knows what we need. So if a test is something we need to grow, then God will send the test. But according to 1 Corinthians 10:13, the Bible says that He will provide a way of escape. Sometimes that way of escape is just endurance. It’s not always removing you from the situation, it’s just giving you the grace to handle it. It’s giving you the grace to escape without sinning. You can be in a situation and come out without having sinned. This is what we are praying for.

The last thing is that it says to deliver us from evil. This petition has the desire for both immediate and future fulfillments. You want to be delivered from evil, which can be translated the evil one. We ask to be protected from evil and sin daily. Peter tells us to always look about because Satan goes around like a roaring lion seeking to devour. So we should always be ready and watching. We are asking to be delivered from that evil.

There is nothing wrong with praying that we can avoid the worst of a situation. There’s nothing wrong with praying that person who is ill can be healed. We shouldn’t be so holy that we just sit and say it must be God’s will and we’ll leave it at that. No! We pray for healing because we understand that God knows what we need. If having that sickness is going to cause you to be drawn closer to Christ, or others be softened to hear the gospel, then that is what is going to happen.

But as humans, we desire to see our brothers and sisters avoid that pain and suffering as much as possible because that is human nature. So it’s not much different from Jesus praying that the cup passes Him, but then praying that not His will but God’s be done.

Then He ends with this look back to God’s holiness and this is where we will end:

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

God’s holiness, righteousness and glory are book ends to this prayer. He adds one that we alluded to already: the power that God has in Heaven. No matter what the prayer is, we should still be thinking about God’s holiness. It’s amazing to think about the Psalms, because what you will see is a prayer of lament at first. Then there’s a turn and it becomes praise. It’s this beautiful scene that no matter what the prayer is, David asks God why this is happening. But then he remembers who God is and what He has done. That’s what we are called to do, no matter how long or short. I want you focused on praying for that person who is going through the trial. But in doing so, remember who God is and still bring all these things in your mind and heart. Even if these specific words don’t come out of your mouth, you still know who you are praying to.

Let’s pray. Our great God and Father, we just come to You giving You all honor, reverence, and praise. We thank You for giving us this model for teaching us how to pray, why, and giving us prayer as a gift that allows us to be used by You see mighty things happen. We pray that You would use Your Word to change the way that we pray and think about our problems and approach You.

I pray that You would be glorified by what we say and do. Close our service and I pray that our fellowship after would be sweet. I pray this in Christ’s Name, Amen.