God's Gym: The Exercise of Prayer - Part 3
Topic: Prayer Passage: Matthew 6:9–6:13
Prayer is vital for the believer to live a victorious life. First, prayer has a vertical focus on God Himself. Second, prayer has a horizontal focus on ourselves and others. Listen to part 3 of The Exercise of Prayer.
To listen to part two, please follow this link.
1. Start your exercise of prayer by focusing on God (Matthew 6:9-10)
• Address Him as your Father.
- It’s an intimate relationship with God.
- It’s an awe-inspiring relationship with God.
• Praise His Holy Name.
- “Hallowed” means “to make holy or declare sacred.”
- Names in the Bible revealed something about the person.
• Names of God reveal His character:
- Elohim > God as Creator
- El Shaddai > God Almighty/God All-Sufficient
- Adonai > Lord or Master
- Jehovah > Self-Existent One
- Jehovah-Jireh > The Lord will provide
- Jehovah-Rophe > The Lord Who heals
- Jehovah-Nissi > The Lord our banner
- Jehovah-Shalom > The Lord our peace
- Jehovah-Rohi > The Lord our Shepherd
- Jehovah-Shammah > The Lord is there
- Jehovah-Sabaoth > The Lord of Hosts
- El-Elyon > Most High
- El-Roi > God who opens our eyes
• “Those who know Your Name will put their trust in You.” (Psalm 9:10)
• To focus on God’s name is to focus on His character.
• The more you focus on God’s character the more you get to know God, making it much easier for you to allow God to be God in your life.
2. Pray for His kingdom to come.
• “Your Kingdom come” is speaking about Christ’s future Messianic reign.
- This focus allows us to understand that all of history is a record of “God’s Story”: the return, rule, and reign of Christ!
- This prayer encourages you to become eternally-focused.
- This prayer encourages you to become a submissive servant.
• Pray for His will to be done.
- Praying God’s will be done is asking for God’s will to be done both in our lives and in the world.
- Right praying involves conforming our will to God’s will and not the other way around
• Christ’s outline on prayer starts with focusing on God. It involves praying to the Father about the Father.
- Address Him as your Father.
- Praise His Holy Name.
- Pray for His kingdom to come.
- Pray for His will to be done.
• This first part deals with God’s glory: “Your name,” Your Kingdom,” Your will”
2. The second part of the outline of Christ’s prayer involves praying to the Father about yourself. End your exercise of prayer by focusing on yourself.
• Pray for His provision.
- After you pray about the eternal, pray about the temporal.
- There is nothing wrong with asking God to provide for our daily needs
- The implication here is that God will supply what we need to serve Him.
• Pray for His pardon.
- The Greek word for “debt” refers to “moral debt” or our “sins.”
- As often as we think of our need for food, we should remember our need for forgiveness.
- As we focus on our need for forgiveness, we are reminded of our obligation to forgive.
- An unforgiving Christian cannot ask God for forgiveness.
- What does it mean to forgive?
> To forgive does not mean to forget.
> Forgiveness is a promise not to hold the sin against the person anymore.
> “Forgiveness is a decision to release a person from the obligation that resulted when they injured you.” (James MacDonald)
> An acknowledgment of our own need for forgiveness helps us to forgive others.
• Pray for His protection.
- This is not a request for God to stop tempting us. (James 1:13-14)
- This is a simple request for God to keep us away from sin.
- This is to say, “Don’t let Satan ambush us.”
- This reminds us of the deceitful strategies of Satan and his desire to destroy us. (1 Peter 5:8)
• Pray for God’s Preeminence.
- This is a fitting expression of praise.
- The kingdom belongs to God. The power belongs to God, and, therefore, all the glory belongs to God.
- “What if God knows prayer to be the thing we need first and most? What if the main object in God’s idea of prayer is a supplying of our great, and endless need: the need of Himself.” (George MacDonald)