First Baptist Church Marshallville
Monday, November 18, 2019
Rooted in the Past -- Growing Into Our Future

from the Under Shepherd Jan 21, 2012

(A word to the reader. These notes will be short so that visitors to this site can read them quickly. For those interested in learning more on the subjects discussed, resources will be listed for further study. You may also corner the pastor for discussion! Expect new posts around the 1st and 15th of each month. The intent of these notes is to engage the mind as well as touch the heart.)
 
Lord, Teach Us to Pray
Lesson 2
 
            Likely the earliest teaching (Matthew 6:5-15) of Jesus on prayer is found in the Sermon on the Mount. Here he warns his disciples against praying for show in public; prayer is more appropriately offered in the "closet," or private place. Jesus is not teaching that public prayer is forbidden, but that prayer is not to be offered only for show. He also says that prayer does not need to consist of repetitive words; say what you need to say, then move on.
 
            It is in this early instruction that Jesus offers his followers what is known as "The Lord's Prayer" or the "Model Prayer." It is prayer so simple that a child can pray it in faith, yet so profound and rich that it comprehends all that God can give to believers.
 
            The focus of the first part of the prayer is God. We can address our prayer to One who knows us intimately, whom we can call "Father." Being able to address our prayer to our Father is indicative of the relationship that exists between the great and awesome Creator of all that is, who is "in heaven" and those who have received new life through Jesus Christ. 
 
            Our prayer focuses on God's Name, God's Kingdom, and God's will. We subordinate ourselves and our desires to his. Worship of God comes before we begin our requests. Our highest interest is the glory of the Father and submission to his will. Our desire is for God, not for that which he can provide for us.
 
            After worship, Jesus teaches that then we can make our petitions known to our Father. Having yielded ourselves to the Father, we now have full liberty to ask for that which we need. Those needs include the physical ("daily bread") as well as spiritual (forgiveness and guidance during temptation to sin). God is concerned about our total selves, for he has created us with a physical body as well as a spiritual soul.
 
            Jesus' model prayer offers us a guide as to how to structure our own prayers. Rather than begin with our needs, we should spend adequate time in worship and adoration of the Father. Then we may offer up our own needs, assured that the Father hears us.
 
            Building relationship with God requires time. Prayer is not to be rushed through, but enjoyed as the believer spends much time in conversation with our Father. In your daily devotional time with God, ensure you allow plenty of time to talk with the Father.