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FIRST STEPS (6)
New Connection - Prayer
A little boy was looking through his illustrated Bible one day and noticed a picture of Jesus praying. "What is Jesus doing?" the boy asked his mother. "He is praying to God," his mother replied. "But Jesus is God!" the little boy remarked.
If prayer was such a vital part of the earthly life of Jesus how much more do we need to pray!
The disciples observed that Jesus was often praying. They noticed, too, the effect it had upon His life and ministry on earth. Finally, they plucked up the courage to ask Jesus to help them in their prayer lives. "Lord, teach us to pray," they said. The result of that request is that Jesus gave them a pattern for prayer. We often call this "The Lord's Prayer", but actually it is a prayer He gave to us. It is our prayer. He never intended that we pray this prayer repetitiously, but that it should be used as a model for prayer. Today, many Christians throughout the world use this prayer as a basis for their daily prayers.
In our study this week we are going to look at how we can develop an effective prayer life.
Some think that prayer is the way to get what we want from God. Like the young lady who prayed, "Lord, I'm not going to ask anything for myself today. I am going to pray only for others. Lord, I would like to pray for my parents. Please give them a very handsome and rich son-in-law!"
Prayer is much more than bringing a shopping list to God. As we can see from the following outline, the first three parts to the model prayer are taken up with God - God's name, God's reign and God's will. The glory of prayer is that it involves us in the purposes of God. The last three sections of the prayer focus on our lives - our needs, our sins, our
The Model Prayer - Matthew 6:9-13
There are six main parts to the prayer Jesus taught His disciples in Matthew 6:9-13.
#1 God's Name
"Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name" (Matthew 6:9)
The first thing we learn about prayer is that it is based upon relationship. God is our Father. Not everyone can call God, "Our Father" - only those who are in Christ. What are some of the privileges of God's children?
The first thing we do as we come into His presence is to worship Him. His name is to be hallowed, i.e. glorified and esteemed higher than any other name. When we pray, "Hallowed be your Name" we are saying, "May You be treated as holy. May You be held in reverence, honour and dignity, for You are worthy."
Use this part of your prayer to worship and praise the Lord.
#2 God's Reign
"Your kingdom come."
The kingdom of God is wherever Jesus is Lord. When people are born again they are brought into the kingdom of God. They are no longer under the dominion of Satan, but under the Lordship of Jesus.
Read Colossians 1:13&14.
What has God done for us? (v.13)
What did we receive at this time? (v.14)
To pray for God's kingdom to come is to pray for the spread of the gospel.
Use this part of your prayer to pray for
Those who preach the gospel
Your unsaved friends, neighbours, etc.
The ministry of the local church
Evangelism in the community, our nation, and in other nations
#3 God's Will
"Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven"
What did Paul pray in Colossians 1:9?
What will this result in, according to Colossians 1:10?
What will God do in order to help us to do His will, according to Colossians 1:11?
Use this part of your prayer to pray that you may understand and do God's will.
#4 Our Needs
"Give us this day our daily bread"
Read James 1:17. Who is the source of our provision?
Some may say that because we work and earn money to buy what we need, we are the source of our own supply. What does Deuteronomy 8:18 say about this?
Use this part of your prayer to bring your daily needs to God.
Don't forget to thank Him for His faithful provision to you each day.
#5 Our Sins
"Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors"
There are two parts to this request:
a) God's Forgiveness Of Us.
God has made provision for the forgiveness of
our sins through the blood of Jesus. But forgiveness is conditional upon two things.
According to 1 John 1:9, what is the first condition of forgiveness?
Use this part of your prayer to confess your sins and failings to God.
Believe that you are forgiven the moment you confess to Him.
b) Our Forgiveness Of Others
According to Matthew 6:14&15 what is the second condition of our being forgiven?
Use this part of your prayer to forgive those who have offended you.
#6 Our Enemy
"Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one"
As Christians we have an enemy - the devil. The devil will try to defeat us by tempting us to sin.
What promise do we read in 1 Corinthians. 10:13?
What do we need to do when we meet with temptation, according to James 4:7?
Use this part of your prayer to ask that God will keep you from succumbing to the temptations of Satan
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