Lesson #4 / part 4
WHAT MUST I PRAY FOR EVERY DAY – WITHOUT FAIL?
Read Matthew 6.5-15
“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.
8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,
15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
(Please see Lesson #4 / parts 1, 2, & 3 for 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, teachers, elders, deacons, 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…
4. I must pray every day without fail … for the salvation of those who are lost
Prayer Prompter Words: “Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.”
What is in these ‘prayer prompter words’ to lead us to pray that lost people will be saved? Well, actually, it is in all the words. The lost being saved is in the words “Your Kingdom come,” and the lost being saved is in the words “Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”
“Your Kingdom come”
What is this Kingdom of God that are praying will “come”?
God’s Kingdom is His sovereign rule over all He rules over – which is everything. God’s kingdom rules over everything and everybody, whether they are willing to be ruled over by God or not. Psalm 103.19 says “The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all.” And, that means all things and everybody. All the elements and all the creatures in God’s universal creation Kingdom are under His sovereign rule and control. And there are many such references all throughout the Word of God – both Old Testament and New Testament.
But, especially in the New Testament, the Kingdom of God is God’s redemptive program, His redemptive work, His redemptive message and grace that is manifested in Jesus Christ. We all know that Jesus Christ came announcing and proclaiming that the Kingdom of God had come near, meaning that the Kingdom of God had arrived. The Kingdom of God was here. And the Kingdom of God was here because He was here. Jesus Christ is the Kingdom of God. He is the Lord and King of the Kingdom of God.
And, when He comes in the power of His Kingdom, He defeats all the opposing powers of sin, death, and Satan – and He defeats them soundly and reigns over them. And, when we are saved, we are brought into His Kingdom and under His rule of grace and life. Here’s how Paul describes the Kingdom of God in Colossians 1.13-14:
“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
And so, God’s Kingdom is especially descriptive of God’s people whom He has saved and who serve Him gladly as His willing subjects. That’s why God’s saved people are often called His Kingdom.
- The apostle John, in the book of The Revelation calls himself “your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus” [Revelation 1.9]
- When Jesus came presenting Himself as our King and Savior, He proclaimed to us that “the Kingdom of God is at hand” [Mark 1.15]. “The Kingdom of God is at hand” because Jesus Christ Himself is the King of the Kingdom of God, and He had arrived … He was there.
- When the “Gospel of God” is preached, it is proclaimed as “the Gospel of the Kingdom” [Mark 1.14-15; Matthew 4.23]. It is called “the Gospel of the Kingdom” because the Gospel proclaims that Jesus Christ is King and Lord.
- When we repent of our sins and believe in Jesus Christ, then we are said to “receive” the Kingdom of God [Luke 10.9, 11] because we acknowledge and surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ over His Kingdom of Grace and faith.
- Jesus said in Matthew 24.14 “And this Gospel of the Kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a witness to all the nations…” – and He is referring to what He would repeat again and command at the end of His ministry among us before He ascended back into Heaven – we call it The Great Commission.
- And when we believe the Gospel, and when we are saved from our sins, we are “born again” into the Kingdom of God by the new birth.
- John 3.3 & 5: Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” …Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
And so, since we are “born again” into God’s Kingdom by the new birth, when we pray “Your Kingdom come,” we are praying that God will save others and deliver them out of the domain of darkness, from the power of sin, from the tyranny of Satan, and bring them into His Kingdom of Grace, the forgiveness of their sins, and eternal life.
“Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”
And when we pray “Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven,” we are acknowledging that it is God’s will and God’s desire to save people from their sins. Paul specifically commanded us in the churches to pray for the salvation of our governmental rulers, authorities, and leaders – those who are over us in our civil kingdoms. And why are we commanded to pray for them? Because God desires to save all classes of peoples:
1 Timothy 2.1-4: First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
2 Peter 3.9: The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
And so, it is plain that when Jesus teaches us to pray “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven,” He is teaching us to pray that God will save lost people.
And so, if you don’t already, you should begin to pray fervently, diligently, faithfully, daily for the lost people in your life and in your networks of associations to be saved.
Write down their names. Keep them in a notebook or a journal. Prepare to pray for them for the rest of your life … for the rest of their lives. Commit to pray for them like the Good Shepherd seeks and saves those who are lost: “UNTIL He finds them.”
Speaking for myself…
- These names will begin with my children and immediate family and on out into my extended family.
- Then these names will expand out to include those who are in my acquaintances, contacts, and neighbors … people I work with, people I go to school with, people I recreate with, people I hang out with and run around with.
- Over the past couple of years, we in our Baptist churches have been praying for those whom we have called “My ONE” – except that many of us have been praying for years for “My 25 ONES” or “My 50 ONES.”
Jesus Himself is always seeking and saving those who are lost. And not only that, but Jesus Himself is still praying for more and more people to be saved – people for whom He died! How do I know that? Why do I say that? Listen to how Jesus prayed in Gethsemane for all of the others who would in time believe on His Name:
John 17.20-21 ~ I do not ask for these only [that is, His disciples there with him], but also for those who will believe in me through their word [that is, for all of us, all of those who would be saved in all the successive generations of the Kingdom of God until He comes back…], that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”
Jesus was praying … and is still praying and interceding at the right hand of the Father right now … for those who will be saved all down through the ages of Kingdom history, including right now, today – through our witnessing to them and praying that they will believe on Christ and be saved.
I am praying with Jesus when I pray for the salvation of those who are lost without Christ.
I must pray every day without fail … for the salvation of those who are lost.
5. I must pray every day without fail … for my church’s ministry – for the pastors, teachers, elders, deacons, and leaders of my church
Prayer Prompter Words: “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven”
I’m going to stick with these “prayer prompter words” and expand them on out… beyond ourselves individually and apply them to our laboring together in our churches.
You have to keep this in mind, to begin with, as you pray this Disciples’ Model Prayer as Jesus is teaching us to pray it: this prayer is not a “Lone Ranger” prayer. This prayer is not to be prayed by yourself alone in isolation. This prayer is to be prayed in community. There are no “I” and “me” pronouns in this Disciples’ Model Prayer – all the pronouns are “our” … “we” … “us”.
Why is that? It is because Jesus saves us to live and work and worship and serve Him in community – specifically in our churches, in our assemblies.
This Disciples’ Model Prayer that Jesus is teaching us to pray by is just a segment and subset of the larger message we call “The Sermon on the Mount.” It is the Constitution, if you will, of Jesus’ Kingdom life. And, we live it out, and practice it, and make it work as we do it together in community … in our churches.
You need to learn to think about and envision the Kingdom of God around the world in any particular frame and snapshot of time as a fierce war and battle that is raging all the time. It is a spiritual battle. It is a battle for the hearts, and lives, and eternal destinies of people. Our weaponry are the Holy Spirit, the Word of God [specifically The Gospel], and prayer.
The theaters and campaigns of this world-wide war and battle are in all the local communities where our local churches are preaching, teaching, witnessing, and outreaching.
Jesus Christ has established and strategically planted His churches where we are to be His commissioned and empowered “agents” for advancing His Kingdom message and agenda.
Acts 1.8 ~ But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
And since our pastors, elders, and leaders are on the “frontline” of our advancement, we must pray that God will give them wisdom to lead us – and cover them with His protection from sin and the assaults of the Evil One – and make their ministry and leadership among us effective and fruitful.
The occasions when Paul asked the churches to pray for him and for the blessing of God on his ministry are too numerous to detail here. But just know that our pastors would all beg and appeal to you to pray for them the ways that Paul asked the churches to pray for him:
Ephesians 6.18-20 ~ …praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the Gospel, for which I am in ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
2 Thessalonians 3.1-2 ~ Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the Word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith.
And the Hebrews writer commands us:
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. ~Hebrews 13.17-18
Write down the names of all our pastors in a notebook or a prayer journal – make lists of the names of our pastors, their wives, and their children. Pray for their families. Yes, every one of our pastors lives in a house, and has a family life, and has a daily life to live at the same times they are ministering to us and serving our church body every day.
Pray for them.
- Pray that God will cover them and protect them from the assaults of the Evil One and his minions of the Kingdom of Darkness … because they are primary targets because of their leadership in the Kingdom of God.
- Pray that God will keep them encouraged with faith, trust, and hope in Him. Due to the burden of their responsibilities and the weight of the cares they wrestle with daily, they are subject to discouragement, disappointments, despondency, and even depression.
- Pray that God will keep their focus on Him, and not on the inevitable criticisms, complaints, and objections from someone against whatever they do.
- Pray that God will keep them spiritually, morally, and physically pure and rescue them from all the many temptations, snares, and traps of the Devil.
And, while you are praying for the leadership of our church:
- Pray for our teachers.
- Pray for our elders.
- Pray for our deacons.
- Pray for our ministry and office staffs.
- Pray for all our community group leaders.
- Pray for our volunteers.
- Pray for all those who serve to make our church ministry function.
And, while you are praying for our church’s leaders, pray for yourself that you will be the church member that God wants you to be and calls you to be.
My church is my family in Christ and my field of His assigned service. I must fulfill my own service and ministry Christ has given me to do. I must pray for Christ to receive Glory through His church body and ministry.
To this end, I must pray every day without fail for my church’s ministry – for the pastors, teachers, elders, deacons, and leaders of my church – that “Your Kingdom come, you will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven” … through the ministry of our church.
Lesson Notes for this lesson segment:
YouTube link for this lesson segment:
Episode 8 – Spiritual Exercises / Lesson 4 – Matthew 6.5-15 / What I Must Pray For Every Day Without Fail, part 3 / Prayer Prompter #4 & #5: Pray for the salvation of the lost & Pray for the Pastors, elders, and leaders of my church
https://youtu.be/cqpKXc4lXvc / Length 34:26