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Walk by the Spirit - Praying the Pattern

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Introduction

A good summary of what we talked about last week, which does not cover everything, but gets us moving is this statement:
The mere bulk of our prayers does not guarantee a result from our prayers.
Prayer is the highest activity of man. What a man is on his knees before God, is what he is and nothing more.
Let me get you to respond to these thoughts
So we should be far more interested in developing our own personal prayer life than in our ability to pray in public.

Recognize God’s Pattern

Notice Verse 9
Pray - a present tense command
Like this - in this manner, after this manner.
So Christ was inviting us to use the Lord’s Prayer as a pattern to pray after.
So some call it the Model Prayer, rather than the Lord’s Prayer.
Reciting it is a good for us because it helps us keep the prayer pattern in our mind. And when we get to the end of this study, I will try to suggest another way to remember this pattern along with the Lord’s Prayer.
This is for every Christian.

Recognize God’s Fatherhood

Our - God is the Father of Christians.

It is true that God is the Father of Jesus. There is the Father and the Son.
It is also true, that since God created all men, that in a sense the father of all mankind.
However, what Jesus is pointing out here is not the general God created you so pray to him. But He is point our Our Father in Heaven.
He is the Father of Christians in a special way that he is not the Father of the rest of mankind. There is a distinction.

Father - God is our Father

Now the focus shifts to Father. In what way is God our father?
The idea starts in the Old Testament where Israel, God’s Chosen people, are in bondage, and God goes to redeem his elect, and calls them his firstborn.
From there God is called our Father as well in the New Testament many places:
Romans 1:7 ESV
To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:3 ESV
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 1:2 ESV
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
And for the Gentiles the connection is made back to Exodus in
Romans 8:15–17 ESV
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
As we pray, we are to recognize the relationship, assume the relationship, build on the relationship, pray in accordance to the relationship. We are approaching our Father. And The Father loves us (As Paul Washer says, “God loves us immutably”) .
This really ought to impact our praying

Recognize God’s Transcendence

In heaven
He is a God who is in heaven.
This has all kinds of implications right?
He is other than us. He is totally unlike us. We are not like him. We are on earth. He is in heaven. He is way beyond us, we are right here swirling on this little planet.
He has majesty. Approaching majesty ought to produce fear in us. If you were to walk up to a bolt of lightening. how would you approach it? He is majestic.
He is powerful. We do not come to one who cannot do anything. He has all power and can do all that he desires to do. We do not approach a God that we have to hope he can do something about this that we pray.
He is Great. Only A God in heaven who hears us, is great. How can he be so transcendent and so far removed from us, so other and holy compared to us, and yet we are called on and commanded to pray to him.

How should this impact our praying?

Table and Throne
Start in your heart remembering, recounting, reading from Scripture about Who God is. Both in his transcendence and his fatherhood. Both Table and Throne.
As you pray, Start with an acknowledgement of God’s greatness and love.
Start all of your private prayers with God and who he is to us as his children and servants.

Discussion:

What are some of your favorite verses that come to mind about God’s greatness and majesty?
What are some of your favorite verses that come to mind about God’s love and Father-ness towards you?
What are some ways to start your prayers with God?
How can you remind yourself to do this?
Is it allowable to use music, Scripture, other writings, or must you only come up with it from your own mind?
Commit yourself to spending an extra 2 minutes this week in prayer, preparing for prayer, before you pray. And spend that time getting your mind fixed on God’s Love and Majesty.
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