Week 2 Focus: Prayer
Day 8- Our father in Heaven, hallowed be thy name-
- Many of us know that prayer is a crucial part of our faith. In fact, it’s quite hard to have a close relationship with someone one does not speak to very often. For those of us who struggle with the actual act of praying: You aren’t alone! Even the disciples struggled with this same thing. In Matthew 6, Jesus gives us a perfect framework for how to pray. It’s called the Lord’s Prayer. He says, in Matthew 6:9, “…pray like this; Our Father in heaven, may Your name be kept holy.”
- Notice here Jesus isn’t telling us what to pray, he’s telling us how to pray. The order is very important. Over the next few days we’ll focus on the different topics of the Lord’s Prayer and what Jesus wants us to focus on.
- The first focus is the Father and the holiness of His name. The heavenly Father is perfect, holy, sinless, creator, Alpha, and Omega. He is the perfect father, judge, and deliverer.
- Exodus 34:6-7 – Yahweh! The Lord! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty.
- When it comes to prayer, an incredible opportunity to both learn and grow is a CityHope College PM class called Dynamics of Prayer. Beginning on January 16, this 10 week class is designed to help every single believer take their prayer lives to entirely new levels. Information and signups are available at cityhope.cc/chcpm
Day 9- Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven
- The next topic in the Lord’s Prayer in is for God’s will to be done.
- Matthew 6:10 – May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
- Why is this the next focus of the Lord’s Prayer? Because as believers, our first priority is to care about what God cares about – this is why we want to pray first for what is important to Him. So today, let’s pray for that “Will of God” for the lost who do not yet know Him, the broken who need Him, wisdom and guidance for those in authority, and His will in our daily lives.
Day 10- Give us today our Daily bread
- Matthew 6:11 – Give us today the food we need,
- Today’s focus from the Lord’s Prayer finally turns to ourselves. Only after first focusing on God’s power, goodness, and will do we turn to our daily needs. This includes physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Most of us know this verse as “give us today our daily bread”, and because of that it shouldn’t shock us that Jesus also calls Himself the bread of life. During this time of fasting many of us are yearning for a little bread, luckily Jesus has a solution for us.
- John 6:35 – Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
- Thank God that we have a Savior who is here to meet our needs! So today let’s bring today’s needs to God and thank Jesus for being the very bread that sustains us.
Day 11- Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us
- Matthew 6:12 – …and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
- The second part of this may be the most difficult part of the Lord’s Prayer. Notice Jesus says forgive us as we forgive others. That’s having God hold us to the standard of forgiveness that we pass on to others. Jesus was so emphatic about this he even follows up immediately after giving the prayer in Matthew 6:14-15: “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
- Why is it so important to forgive? Because for us to accept Jesus’s forgiveness for our sins but not forgive our neighbor is the highest form of hypocrisy! If we have received Jesus as our Savior and are yet unwilling to forgive, what does that say about our faith?
- Today’s challenge: Who comes up in your mind when you think of someone who needs your forgiveness? It could be a family member, a coworker, a bully from the past, or even yourself. Choose today to be the day you fully forgive.
Day 12- Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil
- Matthew 6:13 – And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.
- The next topic of the Lord’s prayer is temptation. Jesus actually lists two types of temptation and spiritual attack here. One internal, and the other, external. We need to pray for protection from both!
- Ephesians 6:12 – For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
- 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 – If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
- How will you choose to approach the temptations offered to you today? Remember the faithfulness of God and approach these temptations, knowing that you are not alone in this fight.
Day 13- For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever
- Matthew 6:13b – For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
- Here Jesus closes the Lord’s Prayer by bringing the focus back to the Father. Note that we both start and finish the Lord’s Prayer with a focus on the greatness of the heavenly Father. Why is that? Because Jesus understands that everything flows through the Father.
- John 5:19-20 – So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing.”
- Today in our prayer time, let’s close with a focus back on the Father and that what we said pleases and glorifies His Holy name!
Day 14- Lord’s Prayer summary
- Over the past 6 days we’ve gone over the outline for prayer in Matthew 6.
- Remember that Jesus said this is how you pray, not what to pray.
- He starts by focusing on the Father and His will, next we look to our needs or sustenance, forgiveness, and protection from sin.
- Then we turn back to the father to close. Let our prayer today model this focus.
Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.
10May your Kingdom come soon. God focused
May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
11Give us today the food we need
12and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
13And don’t let us yield to temptation
but rescue us from the evil one.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.