Matthew 6:9-13 (ESV)
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.
- Prayer is hard
- Jesus teaches us not to be hypocritical
- He teaches us that pointless repetition is pagan
- He teaches us that God knows what we need
- How then should we pray?
- A Model for Prayer
- An imperative on the kind of prayer we should offer.
- Not a formula
- Six (or seven?) Petitions
- Hallowed be your name
- Your Kingdom Come
- Your Will be don on earth as it is in heave.
- Gives us this Day or daily bread
- Forgives us our debts as we forgive our debtors
- Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
- Our Father in Heaven – intimate (NOT flippant)
- God is creator of all but Father only to those in the Son
- We have the privilege of being God’s children in the Son.
- A few years ago, a German scholar was doing research in New Testament literature and discovered that in the entire history of Judaism—in all existing books of the Old Testament and all existing books of extrabiblical Jewish writings dating from the beginning of Judaism until the tenth century A.D. in Italy—there is not a single reference of a Jewish person addressing God directly in the first person as Father.
- There were appropriate forms of address that were used by Jewish people in the Old Testament, and the children were trained to address God in proper phrases of respect. All these titles were memorized, and the term Father was not among them. The first Jewish rabbi to call God “Father” directly was Jesus of Nazareth. It was a radical departure from tradition, and in fact, in every recorded prayer we have from the lips of Jesus save one, he calls God “Father.” It was for that reason that many of Jesus’ enemies sought to destroy him; he assumed to have this intimate, personal relationship with the sovereign God of heaven and the creator of all things, and he dared to speak in such intimate terms with God. What’s even more radical is that Jesus says to his people, “When you pray, you say, ‘Our Father.’” He has given to us the right and privilege to come into the presence of the majesty of God and address him as Father because indeed he is our Father. He has adopted us into his family and made us coheirs with his only begotten Son (Rom. 8:17).[i]
- In the early Church, they would not allow a person to pray to God as “Our Father until they became Christians.”
- This is an amazing privilege we take for granted.
- But God is not our father in a flippant way.
- We are not His peer or His buddy.
- He is our Father, in the heavens.
- He is exalted and we treat him with intimacy but not a casual intimacy.
- First petition: Hallowed Be Your Name
- This is not a description but a petition, an imperative that we ask for.
- Some translations use “honor” because we don’t understand what it is to hallow
- It is a request that God’s Name be treated as holy.
- There are words to describe the honor of parents or rulers but we do not hallow their names.
- There are hundreds of instances in the Hebrew OT and the Greek NT where God is described or treated as holy.
- God is described as holy more than He is described as loving, just, or merciful.
- What does it mean that God is Holy?
Isaiah 6:1-7 (ESV)
6 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”
4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
- God is holy, holy, holy.
- To say God is holy is to say God is God.
- It is to note that we are creatures and of the dust.
- It is to acknowledge that He is alone worthy of all.
- This petition is a longing of the heart that God’s name would be magnified!
- Psalm 34:3 (ESV)
3 Oh, magnify the LORD with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
- John 12:41 tells us that tt was the Son of God whose glory Isaiah saw:
- The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Prov 9:10)
[i] R.C. Sproul from Ligonier.org