Prioritizing Prayer. Getting Your House In Order Part 3

Title of Message: Prioritizing Prayer. Getting My House In Order Part 2

Speaker: Anika Jones

Text: Mathew 6:9-15 NIV

Matthew 6:9-15 New International Version (NIV)

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,[a]
    but deliver us from the evil one.[b]’

14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Background This passage comes after Jesus tells the people all the don’ts of prayer.  He says don’t make a public spectacle when praying, don’t go on babbling tyring to sound impressive, or think you will be heard for your many words. Instead, go to your secret place and pray to your Father.

1.     Know who you are praying to

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,

a.     This opening sets the tone for prayer. My level of transparency in a conversation is based on the depth of the relationship with whom I am speaking.

b.     Take a deep breath and relax, you are talking to your daddy.

c.      Galatians 4:6 reminds us that we are not slaves, but we are children of God and we can call out Abba.

 But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.[b] And because we[c] are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.”[d] Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child.[e] And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.

d.     We are not praying to some distant God, He is our daddy.  This should shift our approach.  There is a level of comfort and confidence and not one of performance when we know it is our daddy we are speaking to.

e.     This approach is not irreverent as the Jews thought but one that comes from a personal relationship with God.

f.      My prayers will be routine and ineffective if I approach it like a business call as opposed to an intimate conversation with my daddy.

g.     No formalities needed.  There is no need to make sure my grammar is correct, no need to make sure I have well phrased speeches,  it’s my daddy I’m talking to.

h.     Sometimes we approach prayer as if we are talking to jail warden that is ready to whip us in order as opposed to a loving daddy who wants to heal, restore,  and redeem us.

i.       The more I commune with my daddy, the more I want to come back.

2.     Acknowledge His Holiness

hallowed be your name,

a.     Hallow-sanctify, holy, set apart

b.     Acknowledge the holiness of God and treat Him as such.

c.     When we hallow His name there is a sense of trust and confidence and reverence for God.  We acknowledge that He is holy, righteous and trustworthy. 

d.      Even though this is our Father we are speaking to, be reminded that intimacy with Him doesn’t mean irreverence.  We are called to Hallow His name, having a sense of awe because of His holiness.

e.     The more I know God to be Abba the more reverence I have for Him.  My children know and love me, and we have an intimate relationship, but they also understand that there is a sense of honor and respect they should have towards me.

f.    This is why we should not take His name in vain.

  • The 3rd commandment:  Exodus 20:7 tells us You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

                                                              i.     Taking the Lord’s name in vain goes beyond  using it in a profane manner.

                                                            ii.     Another way we take the Lord’s name in vain and don’t hallow it is if we say we belong to Him but do things that are contrary to His will (i.e. Fornicating, lying, walking in unforgiveness, backbiting, steal, etc.)

 3.  Prayer Births Surrender

  10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

·       This clause right here is one of surrender. 

·       It sounds good on the surface, but the truth is sometimes God’s will for our lives is hard.  The more you pray, the more you can make the declaration “your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

·       real prayer births real surrender.  You do not get to this place over night, it is a constant going back and asking God to work surrender in your heart.

·       Surrender is not automatic, it is progressive, don’t hinder the process by not praying. 

o   Paul prayed three times for the thorn to be removed

o   Jesus prayed three times for the cup to be removed. They both came to a place of total surrender!

Payer Brings us to a place of saying to God:

·       your will be done when it hurts

·       Your will be done when it is uncomfortable

·       Your will be done when it means I will be persecuted

·       Your will be done when it means carrying a cross my cross

 

PUSH-Pray until something happens, that something shouldn’t be focused on material things but that something should be SURRENDER.  We often say pray until God gives us a yes, well this phrase is letting us know we should pray until we give God a yes.  A sense of surrender.

 4. .    Petition Him

11 Give us today our daily bread.

God give me what I need.  My daily bread

·       My daily bread is not limited to material things, sometimes my daily bread is peace in my mind, stability in my emotions.

·       This is a daily thing, which signifies that I must come back each day to be filled up with Jesus because He is all I need.

·        Jesus is known as the bread of life and He is the one that fills me up.  I must come each day to feast on Jesus because Jesus is all I need.  The scripture says that we are to seek the Kingdom of God and all His righteousness and all these other things will be added (Mathew 6:33). 

 5. Forgive to be forgiven

12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

·        If unforgiveness is in our hearts, we in turn will not be forgiven. 

·       The same measure I use to forgive others is the same measure that will be used for me.  It doesn’t matter how deep you think you are or how early you get up to pray, or how much scripture you know, all those actions are null and void if you are harboring unforgiveness in your heart.

·       Jesus makes it very clear that if we bring our gift to the altar and remember that our brothers or sister have an ought against us we are to leave our gift at the altar and go and make it right with our brother or sister (Mathew 5:23).

·       As we forgive others, we can’t force others to forgive us. 

·       Forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling. When I make the choice to forgive others, God’s grace will meet me. 

·       We must forgive others since we have been forgiven by God (Colossians 3:12-14).

·       A few examples of those who forgave

o   Jesus on the cross, forgive them for they don’t know what they should do (Luke 23:34)

o   Stephen to his accusers (Acts 7:59).

o   Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, founder of the Voices of The Martyr

 6. Positioned for Victory

13 And lead us not into temptation,[a]but deliver us from the evil one.[b]’

·       James 1:13-14 makes it very clear that God does not tempt us, this scripture here is not accusing God of being the tempter but  asking God to give us the not to give into temptation that the devil brings our way.

·       Prayer positions us to have victory over the devil and all the temptations he presents.

·       James 4:7 tells us that we are to submit to God, resist the devil and He will flee from us. Prayer helps to birth submission to God and that submission strengthens us to resist the devil and his temptation and come to a place of victory.

·       1 Corinthians 10:13

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

·       Be honest with God about your areas of struggle, if its lust, if its cheating, if it is dishonesty, greed, perversion, whatever it is bring it before him. Pray honest no pretense prayer.  These are the type of prayer that brings deliverance.

 

Practical ways to make prayer a priority

·        Schedule a time to pray, don’t just wait for it to happen.

·        Don’t cancel out your prayer by praying and then going to eat spiritual junk

·        Keep a prayer journal

·        Don’t be locked into one way of praying

·        Don’t wait for perfect conditions to pray.

·        If you are saying you don’t have time to pray, take inventory of what you with your time. What one thing you can omit to make more time for prayer?