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Page 2 Praying Like Monks, Living Like fools
As God calls us to a deeper relationship and life of prayer with us here at Bridge of Faith, we again look at the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6.
This is a model prayer that Jesus gives us.
It is a prayer that can be recited as you often hear.
The sole intent of this prayer is not so that we only pray these words or just recite them out loud.
It is a model for us to follow.
The model prayer starts in this way...
Remember who God is
In the model prayer, Jesus does something great for us.
He brings the God of the universe closer.
The All powerful, All Knowing, the one who caused the Israelites to cross on dry ground, the one who created you and I, the one who made the skies, the seas, the beautiful Ozark mountain hills, and Jesus says Our Father.
So personal and so close.
The God of the universe is able to be known by us as Our Father.
Not only is he Our Father but the previous verse says
Your father knows the things you need before you ask Him.
Tyler Staton says this,
The number one obstacle the modern person faces when it comes to prayer is an inability to receive the love of God.
We struggle to believe in a God as powerful, good, knowable, and loving as the one Jesus introduces us to.
“God is love”.
Praying like monks, Living like fools says this
In Genesis 2, God is repeatedly called Yahweh Elohim(“Lord God, In English) But every time the serpent refers to God, he just says Elohim (“God”), the abstract name for divinity, dropping the personal.
It’s calling someone by their title instead of their name-Doctor instead of Susan, Professor instead of Darrell, Sir instead of Dad.
It’s respectful, but distant, depersonalized.
The more intimacy in a relationship, the less likely someone is to be known by a title.
My kids don’t call me pastor they call me dad.
It is worth noting that there are no singular pronouns in this prayer; they are all plural.
It doesn’t say My Father, but it says Our Father.
When we pray we must remember that we are part of God’s worldwide family of believers.
This is why I love the thought and idea of intentional prayer time following the message.
It is so good to come and pray with others.
You are reminded that you are not alone on this journey.
I get that some of you want to be alone or at least feel alone at times.
That my friends is a lie that is not from scripture.
Jesus clearly indicates Our Father.
Life is meant to be lived in community.
God himself is the trinity, God the Father, God the Son and and God the Holy Spirit.
You are meant for community.
I invite you every week to come and pray with others.
We put people up front not because they are the professional prayers but because they are willing to pray with others.
They want to pray with others.
They want to pray through your trials and struggles.
Notice it says Our Father.
Hallowed be you name
Hallowed means “to make holy,” or “to set apart, sanctify, consecrate, dedicate.”
Our closest English word is probably honor
Our Father is a reminder of God’s intimacy; hallowed is a reminder of his separateness, his majesty, his incomprehensible greatness.
When we hallow the name of Our Father it is active.
It is honoring, adoring/adoration and calling out the greatness of God.
Calling out the greatness of God in our prayers is not for God’s benefit, but it is for ours.
It reminds of how great God is that we are speaking with and talking/praying too.
It is a reminder that you are not the center but God is.
It is not natural in the Flesh for us to want to Hallow the name of God.
The world tries everything possible to keep us from hallowing the name of our God.
Tyler Staton says this
The world is a contested place where, almost always, a name other than Jesus is being worshiped.
When you and I open our mouths and begin to pray, almost certainly, another name is being hallowed in our hearts-the names of accomplishment, success productivity, approval from another person, comfort, easy execution of our own plans, self-will in all its destructive varieties.
When we pray, we step out of the fundamental reality of the world and into the fundamental reality of God, so we must begin by inviting God to reorder our affections.
He Goes on to say
Adoration is not always the overflow of our hearts.
In fact, it rarely is.
It is an act of rebellion against the empty promises of this world and of defiance in the face of circumstances.
Let me give you an example of prayer from Acts 16.
They are on their way to pray.
They encounter this girl who has a spirit of prediction.
She in essence is being trafficked by her owners for their own profit.
This girl is harassing Paul and Silas.
She is following them around.
This causes a huge problem with her owners.
They see that their profit is gone.
They seize Paul and Silas and drag them into the marketplace.
They ordered them to be beaten with RODS.
Do you remember where they were going.
Their plans were that they were headed to pray and the actions that followed led to a place of being beaten with Rods.
Watch what happens next
If you read the rest of the story, then it is easy to assume that they are praying prayers of deliverance.
One practice if you are learning to pray is just to read a Psalm out loud and let that Psalm be your prayer.
Our Father who art in Heaven, Hallowed be your Name...
Intimacy develops the more honest we can be with each other.
If you are learning to pray, then you don’t usually hear these kind of prayers when other people pray.
The professionals sound a lot more professional than this prayer in Psalm 42.
Difficulties provide an opportunity to bring us closer together if we know how to use those difficulties.
If we are dishonest with the Lord, then it will drive us further away from Him.
If we come before the Lord in Honesty it has the opportunity to draw us closer to him.
He took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds.
Right away he and all his family were baptized.
They are still nursing their wounds from being beaten with rods.
David Brenner says
The challenge is to believe that this is also true-and to know God’s presence-in the midst of doubt, depression, anxiety, conflict, or failure.
But the God who is Immanuel is equally in those moments we would never choose as in those we would always gladly choose.
Hallowed be your name is always most powerful in the most unlikely places
Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be your name.
To Hallow/adore the Name of our Lord is a longing to see God here and now, to know his presence in the middle of the mess.
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