I want to read a passage out of the book of Matthew. It says, “Pray, then, in this way. Our Father who is in heaven, may Your name be sanctified. May Your Kingdom come. May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. And supply us today what we need and forgive us our wrongs as we forgive the wrongs of others. Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” This is a prayer, or I would say a model prayer, given by the Lord Jesus. Well, today on this program, In the Beginning, we want to cover this prayer and we want to cover some principles regarding prayer in the Bible.
The context for this prayer if after Jesus’ disciples asked Him, “How do you pray?” What do you do when you pray?” Jesus covers several points. He says, first of all, “Don’t pray like the hypocrites.” In other words, don’t pray like people who are praying because they want attention or they want to look spiritual or religious, and so on like that. Secondly, He says when you pray don’t use vain repetitions. In other words, don’t just repeat something over and over again; thinking that by repeating it you are going to get some kind of favor from God. No, repetition doesn’t gain favor from God. Now that doesn’t mean you can’t take a portion of the Bible or a certain prayer that is your favorite and say it over and over again. No, it is talking about vain repetition. In other words, if what you are saying and what you are praying is not coming from your heart, and how you feel, and your desires, then that is not real prayer. Jesus then gives what people call the model prayer or the Lord’s Prayer. It has different names. Just before that prayer, Jesus told them that your Father already knows what you need before you pray. You might ask the question, “Then why do we pray?” Well, we get into that in just a minute. Let’s read again from the book of Matthew. “Our Father, Who is in heaven, may Your name be sanctified. May Your Kingdom come. May Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” Then He says, “Give us today, Father, what we need for today. Forgive us our wrongs as we forgive the wrongs of others.” Then He says, “Don’t lead us into temptation but deliver us from evil.”
Now when you get into this prayer you have to ask a couple questions. When Jesus talks about prayer in the book of John, especially in chapters 14, 15, 16, and 17, He mentions the phrase, “Ask in My name” six times. In the book of Matthew He doesn’t say it that way. He uses this model prayer, what we call the Lord’s Prayer. In the book of John you don’t have that prayer. In the book of John (and John is a book of life), He says, “Ask in My name”. In fact, in John 14-17, He says it six times, but He does not say this in the book of Matthew. If you study the whole book of Matthew, you will see that Matthew is a book on the Kingdom. The Kingdom relates to a king, and the King is Jesus Christ. And the Kingdom that He is reigning over, or should be reigning over is us, God’s people. Now in the book of Matthew He doesn’t say, “Ask in My name”. Instead He gives this kind of prayer. Now why does He give this kind of prayer? This prayer, the Lord’s prayer I would call it, is really a prayer for spiritual warfare. You see there is a fight or battle going on here. You could say there is a fight between good and evil. You could say there is a fight between things that are positive and negative.
As an eBook on Olive Tree see The Lord’s Prayer by Drew Haninger