Prayer is about coming to God, the disciples saw something different about Jesus and how he prayed and wanted to better understand what it was about.
1 Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.2 So He said to them, When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.3 Give us day by day our daily bread.4 And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.
5 And He said to them, Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him; 7 and he will answer from within and say, Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you? 8 I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.9 So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!
The prayer of Jesus for followers was that they might KNOW God and Jesus Christ whom He sent. Jesus taught his disciples to speak to God in the most intimate and loving relationhsip they could understand – as their Father. I want today to look at this most fundemental truth of scripture – that of relationship with God.
Luke 11:2 “So He said to them, When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.”
The fatherhood of God was alluded to in in Psalm 103 and other places in Old Testament, but generally God was seen as a taskmaster and unapproachable, but Jesus said the first and most vital aspect of prayer is relationship. When you pray say “Father”
I want to look at THREE things that are highlighted in these verses about establishing, exercising and enjoying your relationship with the Father
Our relationship with God has been ESTABLISHED through the work of the cross.
1Peter 3:18 “For Christ also once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, indeed being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit;”
Jesus died to make amends for our sins, by doing this He opened the door for the relationship to be established, For He who was then our Judge is now our Father. He died for the sins of the whole world, for the sins of the ungodly, for you and I. Every sin I ever do or will do is paid in full and so this releases us from being servants to becoming sons.
So why then will some people still go to hell? Simply put, they are fearful and unbelieving. They cannot put their trust in God. Perhaps some people had a bad experience of “father” and are still carrying the scars, but what we don’t see is that only when we take that step of faith, and trust Jesus to bring us to relationship, His Spirit comes and lives in us and transform us from sons of Adam into to Sons of God. You are no longer a son of Adam trying to become a Son of God. We were sons of Adam and by nature (birth) objects of wrath (Eph 2:3) “…but NOW through the cross of Jesus Christ he was given us power to become sons of GOD” In Luke 15 the father embraced the son and did NOT say “this son of mine who bad is better”. NO – he said this son of mine who was DEAD is now ALIVE. THIS is what it means to come into relationship with God, it’s life that comes from death. God wants us to be his sons and daughters. He wants to save us , bless us and care for us. A Christian isn’t just an old forgiven sinner, he or she is a new creation that looks like God.
Our relationship with God should be EXERCISED in our daily lives.
Luke 11:2 “…Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread.”
The benefits of a relationship are to be exercised in our day to day lives but why bother if we are sons of God? If your child sat in their room all day playing computers and watching DVDs only surfacing when food was out (and then took it back to their rooms with them) you would feel there’s something wrong with your relationship with them, there may a be a legal connection there but it’s not active. Sadly today many children have “relationship” but no respect. If we have truly understood what it cost God to bring us to relationship we would respect Him and start getting our act in order. If we love someone we would want to spend time with them.
When I “fell in love” with my wife when I was young, I looked forward to when we had arranged to meet … thought about her most of the day and the more time we spent togther the stronger our relationship grew. The deeper we got to know each other, the stronger the bond became until we eventually married and have grown closer since.
Relationship must be exercised and prayer is the link we need to build, establish and excercise. It’s the connection that makes our relationship with God grow stronger.
Our relationship with God is to be ENJOYED forever.
Luke 11:3 “Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.”
This relationship is to be enjoyed. InThe Westminster Shorter Catechism confession of faith, the first question asks What is the chief end of man?…Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
When you read Genesis you find a man called Abraham who fully understood about his relationship with God.
Genesis 12:1 Now the Lord had said to Abram: Now the Lord had said to Abram: Get out of your country, From your family And from your fathers house, To a land that I will show you.2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.4 So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.
God called him to leave behind all that he knew and trusted in and to leave to a land he “would show him” and he took God at his word and went not knowing where it would lead but trusted God to be true. He was called “Gods friend” rather than Gods servant (James 2:23). Because of the covenant that God made with him in Genesis 15:7 it was irrevocable. Abraham had no fear about “having enough” – in fact he was superabundant – everyone could see there was a power at work in his life that could only be expained through God being with Him. He discovered that the promise of God, when he obeyed and followed, was true.
When we are grafted into Christ, the True Vine (John 15:1-11) we are IN Him and the life of God is IN us. This means as long as the Vine lives we will live, when we come to God by putting our trust in Jesus Christ the savoiur we become sons of God and have eternal life as a by-product. Our job as Christians is to examine the connection (2Cor 13:5), fruit production is Christ the vines job. Blessings and enjoyment should now overtake the believer, I am a believer in blessed lives.
IF God is my FATHER then I “shall not be in want” Psalm 23:1.