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Lord's Prayer- Our Father

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I. The pattern of prayer

The Lord Jesus in verse 7 says do not use vain repititions like the heathen then in verse 8 he reminds his disciples that God, their Father knows what they need before they ask.
In light of these two points he says in V.9
“In this manner, therefore, pray:”… Then he gives the prayer.

In this manner, therefore, pray:

What we notice first in this first sentence as our Lord introduces the prayer is that this prayer is a pattern of prayer and not the only way that we should pray. This is a model prayer and not the exact prayer that we must pray every time.
The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
The Lord says in this manner pray
He does not say pray with these exact words every time you pray but pray in this manner.
This is the pattern of prayer.
Firstly begin by forgetting your own needs and concentrate on the person, the attributes, the perfections, the work, the providence and glory of God and then desire that he would be glorified and his will would be done.
Christ gives the pattern of first thinking upon the character and perfections of God.
If you like he is saying ; Begin prayer with Adoration- Our Father in heaven...
Then out of this adoration flows petitions for God to be glorified.
Our Lord gives three petitions that relate to God and his glory.
Hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done...
Then putting God first, we put our own needs last.
After seeking God’s glory in prayer we then bring our own needs before God. The Lord then gives four petitions that relate to our needs.
Our physical needs and our spiritual needs, we are to look to our God to meet all our needs in Christ Jesus.
Give is this day our daily bread, forgive us our debts, lead us not into temptation, deliver us from the evil one...
Finally after praying for ourselves and for one another we end the same way we started; with adoration and praise for Almighty God.
In this prayer the Lord gives a simple outline;
Begin with adoration and praise,
ask for God to be glorified,
ask for our needs to be met,
End with adoration and praise
So the Lord gives this prayer as a model, as a pattern for prayer.
As I have already said the Lord teaches we should begin prayer by adoration and praise.
Continuing in verse 9 we see how this should be done.

II. The preface of prayer

III. A priority of prayer

Here we have if you like the preface of prayer. Who are we praying to? and what is the ultimate scope of our prayer? What is the great aim of our prayer? Here our Lord teaches his disciples about the person we pray to and the purpose we pray for.
Firstly we learn who it is we pray to;
Look with me again at verse 9
“Our Father in heaven...”
The one the Christian addresses in prayer is their Father in heaven.
The word Father reminds us of the goodness of God, we are to begin our prayers with the knowledge that in Christ we come to God as our Father, he is accessible to us like a loving parent. We don’t have to try and persuade him to hear us, or to answer our prayers.
He is our Father, he loves us and cares for us and we can come to him certain that he delights to do us good.
Of course this word our Father is a reminder that true prayer is only for the Christian, because only the Christian, the one who has been united to Christ by Faith, can call God Father, only the person who is born again by the Holy Spirit can call God ‘Abba, Father.’
So, Here we are encouraged to think upon the love and goodness of our God and our relationship to him in Christ Jesus. He is our Father, therefore we can come before him boldly, without fear and trembling.
Yet our Lord puts a restraint lest we become too comfortable and forget our place.
Our Father in heaven.
We are to begin prayer with the knowledge that we come to a loving Father, but also with the knowledge that he is a holy, powerful God, he is a sovereign God who rules and reigns.
The Lord Jesus teaches us to begin prayer by acknowledging the goodness and the power of God.
The Fact that he is in heaven reminds us that he is the creator and sustainer of all things, he is the omnipotent God, all powerful, almighty. Therefore we can be sure that he is not only willing to answer prayer as he is our Father but also able to answer prayer because he is in heaven reigning supreme.
So here in the preface of the Lord’s prayer we have first and foremost the reminder that we are to begin our prayers in adoration, remembering who we pray to, and addressing him with reverence .
Next we have our first petition and it is really the overall purpose of all prayer. The greatest aim that a child of God can have in prayer.
In our adoration as we remember God’s character and attributes we should also pray that he would be glorified.
Our Lord teaches us to pray;
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name.
We could word this Our Father in heaven, may your name be hallowed.
The word hallowed means set apart as holy, honoured, revered, glorified.
By name our Lord does not just mean the name of God but all that is revealed by his name. His attributes, his perfections, his character, his Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
This first petition is a petition that asks that God in all his majesty would be glorified by his creatures.
By his people and by those who still do not know him. That all people would revere the God of heaven and give him the love and adoration that he demands as our loving creator.
This petition is given first by our Lord no doubt to help us keep our priorities right. Our number one concern should be the glory of God.
As John Calvin says in his commentary, we ought to lose sight of ourselves and seek the glory of God.
Within this petition we should pray for the salvation of the lost, because its only when a person is changed by God’s Spirit that they learn to love the Lord God and hallow his name.

Conclusion

So here in verse 9 our Lord introduces the model prayer for all believers. Here is a pattern for all our prayers.
We are to begin with adoration and praise, then pray that God will be glorified, after pray for our own needs and crown our prayers with adoration and praise. Adoration and praise is the foundation of our prayers and the crowning finish to our prayers.
We also learn that in adoration and praise we are to remember God’s goodness as our Father and also remember his sovereignty and power as he reigns from heaven.
Then Our first petition and greatest desire is that God’s name would be hallowed, that God in all his perfections would be glorified among all his creatures.
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