Lesson #4 / part 2
(Please see Lesson #4 / part 1 for the preceding Lesson content…)
The 10 ‘Prayer Prompters’
Here is a summary of the 10 prayer prompters – then we will begin to address them in a little more detail as they apply to our own personal particular prayers concerns:
- I must pray every day…without fail to delight in God
- I must pray every day…without fail with confession of my sins
- I must pray every day…without fail for the grace of God to forgive those who have offended and violated me in any way
- I must pray every day…without fail for the salvation of those who are lost
- I must pray every day…without fail for my church’s ministry – for the pastors, elders, and leaders of my church
- I must pray every day…without fail interceding for pressing needs I know of that are afflicting those I know
- I must pray every day…without fail for my personal growth in grace and in knowing Jesus Christ – Christlikeness
- I must pray every day…without fail for God’s will to be fulfilled and accomplished in my day’s activities
- I must pray every day…without fail that God will improve my preaching, teaching, and witnessing to make me more effective in ministering His Word [this is for me – you will need to adapt it to your personal prayer needs…]
- I must pray every day…without fail that God’s Word will run throughout the whole earth and that Christ will be proclaimed and glorified…here, there, and everywhere
NOW, LET’S TALK ABOUT EACH ONE AND HOW TO PRAY THEM…
1. I must pray every day…without fail to delight in God
Prayer Prompter Words: “Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your Name”
Jesus teaches us to begin our praying by addressing God and approaching Him as “Our Father in Heaven…”
Now, before you go any farther … stop and listen to yourself. I know you’re repeating those words that Jesus taught you to pray – but what did you just pray? Pray it again: “Our Father in Heaven”!
Q: Who are you praying to? Who are you addressing?
A: Of course, you’re praying to GOD! You are addressing GOD!
And, the truth that He is “in Heaven” means that He rules over everything. He runs everything. It is a recognition of His supreme Deity, majesty, and sovereignty.
Psalm 135.5-6, “For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.”
Psalm 103.19, “The LORD has established His Throne in the Heavens, and His Kingdom rules over all!”
THAT is the God we are addressing – to whom we are praying!
Q: And, what did you just call Him? What did Jesus teach us to call GOD?
A: “Our Father in Heaven”!
Jesus is teaching us to come boldly to God, to the Throne of Grace in Heaven, and address this God who owns, and is ruling and reigning over all the universe – to address Him as “our Father in Heaven”!
How did God come to be “Our Father in Heaven”?
And, of course also, just in the act of calling God our “Father,” we have to ask ourselves: “How did I come to have the relationship and the authority to call this God “our Father”?
So, that leads us to recognize and confess that the only way God is our Father, and the only way we can call God our Father in truth is through personal faith in Jesus Christ … and “in the Name of” Jesus Christ – and by the merits, deserts, and authority that are granted to us by our faith relationship with Jesus Christ!
Jesus taught us in John 14.6, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life … no one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Ephesians 2.18, “For through Him [i.e., Christ] we both [i.e., Jews and Gentiles – all peoples] have access to the Father.”
John 1.12, “But to all who did receive Him [i.e., Jesus Christ], who believed in His Name, He [i.e., God the Father] gave the right to become children of God.”
And, in 1 John 2.1, “…we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous.”
And, Jesus means for us to understand that when we call God “our Father in Heaven,” we must pray to Him with the assurance and confidence that He is our perfect Father in every sense of that word.
Just like He is “God” in every perfect sense of that word, He is also our “Father” in every perfect sense of that name. Jesus has already told us in verse 8, the verse immediately preceding these words “…for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”
In the next chapter, chapter 7, Jesus will commend our Heavenly Father’s love, grace, and generosity toward us, and His willingness to give us all the good gifts we need and ask for … with these words: “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in Heaven give good things to those who ask Him?” ~Matthew 7.11
But, why am I also saying that when we approach and address God as “our Father in Heaven,” we are also to delight in Him?
Because, if we are calling God “our Father in Heaven,” and truly recognizing the awesome privilege and liberty we are exercising to have personal acceptance and a personal audience in the Holy Presence of God – then we cannot but delight in Him!
In the very exercise and expression of calling God our “Father,” and calling on God as our “Father,” … you can’t really, sincerely approach and address God and call Him “Father” without delighting in His grace, mercy, and love with which He makes you his child!
God didn’t become your Father by virtue of your own merits or deserts. God is your Father because He chose you to be His child, and because He accepts you and graces you to be His beloved child because of the worthiness and merits of His Son, Jesus Christ! According to the apostle Paul in Ephesians 1.6, “…He has made us accepted in the Beloved,” meaning Jesus Christ. This is why we pray to the Father and call God our “Father” ‘in the Name of Jesus Christ.’ Because God is our Father only because we have received His Son, Jesus Christ, by faith, and we are in Him!
And, as a further exercise and expression of delighting in God, think about those next words that Jesus taught us to pray to “our Father in Heaven” – Jesus taught us to pray with this request: “Hallowed be Your Name.”
“Hallowed be Your Name” is actually the first prayer prompter and request that Jesus taught us to pray for – ask for … because we are praying that God will do this, give this, grant this. When we pray “Hallowed be Your Name,” we are asking God “may Your Name be kept Holy, treated as Holy … may we speak to You and speak of You only with the utmost Holiness that Your Name deserves; Let Your Name be treated with utmost respect and reverence … by everyone in the whole universal world.”
It is simply another way of praying “May everyone in the world delight in Your Name!”
Actually, even the English form of the word for “hallowed” is another form for the word “holy” – so we are praying that God’s Name will be “holied” every time God is named or spoken of. This is in keeping with the third commandment, “You shall not take the Name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His Name in vain.”
And, we are praying that God will “hallow” or “holy” His Name by every person in the world. We are praying that God will receive worship, praise, and adoration by every mention and every expression that names God. That every mention of God and His Name will be an expression of delighting in Him!
And, this must begin in our own personal thinking of God our Father, and in every conversation in which we name the Name of God, and in all the ways we address Him in our personal praying to Him.
Now, God’s ‘Name’ is not just the moniker by which we call Him, but God’s ‘Name’ includes His character, His reputation – everything God says and does – every way by which God is known. God’s Name is who He is in the fullness of all the ways in which He reveals Himself and all the ways of our knowing Him.
And so, you must do this in conjunction with your reading of God’s Word. God reveals Himself and His Name to us through His Word. As you learn more about God’s perfections, Glory, excellencies, attributes, etc., you must reiterate, repeat, and, if possible, voice them back to God in adoration, praise and thanksgivings.
Keep in mind that the first “takeaway” from what we are reading in the Word in our Daily Time With God is “What does this Scripture say about the God I must know … and delight in?” (See the Lesson notes for Spiritual Exercises, Lesson 3, “Six Takeaways From Your Daily Time With God”)
We should learn and train ourselves to pray to God by voicing back to Him what He says and reveals to us about Himself in His own Word. Learn to “pray back” His own words back to Him!
Also, as you read about God either expressing or demonstrating His own perfections in His interactions in our human conditions, experiences, and situations, you must recognize His greatness – and DELIGHT IN HIM!
I must pray every day…without fail to delight in God!
I simply can’t let this go without reinforcing this essential truth: delighting in God is first and purest reason why we pray to begin with … and delighting in God is the first and purest reason why Jesus Himself prayed to His Father!
I think I can show you this truth from this very Disciples’ Model Prayer. Let me take you again to Luke’s account where Jesus taught His disciples to pray like this … using this prayer as a model.
Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And He said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be Your Name…’”
Now, what you need to notice is that Jesus’ disciples asked Him to teach them to pray immediately after coming upon Him as He was praying – they were eavesdropping on Him as He prays to His Father, listening in on Him … and when He finished, they asked Him to teach them to pray like they had just heard Him pray. Then, He taught them to pray using this Model Prayer. Now, don’t you think that the Model Prayer He teaches us to pray will be modeled after the same way He Himself prays?!
What do you suppose Jesus prayed more than anything else? Do you actually think that He spent most of His prayer time with His Father asking for things? I’m sure He did ask for many things during His prayer times.
But, I am convinced that the vast bulk of the times that Jesus prayed to His Father was just to delight in Him! To express His love for His Father. To rejoice in and revel in His Father’s love for Him!
We do know that in His ‘High-Priestly Prayer’ that He prayed in John 17, in Gethsemane that night before going to the cross the next day, Jesus prayed in verse 5, “And now, Father, glorify me in your own Presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.” My point is that all during the days of His earthly ministry here among us, when He prayed to His Father, He was reveling and rejoicing from here in that same loving fellowship and communion with His Father that He had enjoyed from eternity, before the creation of the world, and to which He was returning. But, when He prayed while He was here among us, He was delighting in that same fellowship with His Father.
And He teaches us to do the same thing when we pray.
I must pray every day…without fail to delight in God!
Here is a pdf copy of this portion of the lesson notes:
Here is the YouTube link to the video lesson…
Episode 6 – Spiritual Exercises / Matthew 6.5-15 / What I Must Pray For Every Day Without Fail, part 1
https://youtu.be/ixIuo4pQCGU / Length 31:25