Thursday, February 7, 2008

Our Father

"In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen." (Matthew 6:9-13, NKJV)

On Wednesday evenings we are continuing in our study on prayer. For the next couple of weeks we will review the pattern of prayer as outlined in the model prayer. When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray in Luke 11, Jesus gave them this model prayer also found here in Matthew.

The point of this prayer is not to memorize and recite it, but to use it as a guideline when we pray. It is important to pay attention to the particular attention the elements of this prayer. In this prayer you will find three essential elements to prayer.

· Praise to God
· Penitence of sin
· Petition of God

Praise to God begins with the statement “Our Father hallowed be your name.” Penitence can be found in the request to for forgiveness, “forgive us our debts.” Petition of God can be found in a number of statements including, “give us” and “deliver us.”

This prayer opens with the statement “Our Father.” God is the father of all mankind in that He created everyone (Malachi 2:10). Due to the fall of man God’s sons are condemned (John 8:44) and are now in a sense sons of the Devil. By His grace God has redeemed some and thus they are His chosen sons (John 1:12-13)

If you are one of God’s redeemed and thus chosen sons you can pray every day to God who is truly your Father. As His son you have a unique relationship with God as your father who is perfectly attentive and will listen and answer your prayers according to His will and wisdom which is always good.

Not only is God your father but He is also our father. The “our” mentioned reminds us that as we pray we pray as a community of faith. We are a people of God truly brothers and sisters in Christ whose unique relationship will endure forever.

I encourage you to consider the model prayer this week as a guideline for meaningful prayer.

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