Term 2 – Week 06
Big Idea – Followers of Jesus always pray, but for their heavenly Father’s concerns first and then for themselves.
- To know that the Lord’s prayer models humble prayer – God first, then ourselves
- To understand that prayer helps us to live God’s way in this world
- Belief – Help the children grasp that prayer is an expectation for the follower of Jesus.
- Behaviour – Teach the kids to say the Lord’s Prayer (God first, then us) and to use the Lord’s Prayer as a model at home during the week.
If Matthew 6:5-6 provided Jesus’ followers with a model of how to approach God in prayer (with a humble heart1), then Matthew 6:9-13 expands on this and provides Jesus’ followers with a model prayer, which orients our heart attitude towards humility before God in prayer. The model teaches us to pray in line with God’s concerns for His world and our lives.
In his book, Our Father: Enjoying God in Prayer, Richard Coekin suggests the structure of the Lord’s Prayer reflects a kind of ‘Copernican Revolution’ of saving faith. It’s the realisation that God is at the centre of the universe, not us!! Jesus teaches us to pray for God’s concerns first and then to pray for our needs, which is the opposite of our natural stance as self-absorbed sinners. We automatically put ourselves first! However, the Lord’s Prayer shows us that we can’t pray about ourselves until we have first prayed about God, for Christian prayer isn’t about getting God to obey us but rather, it’s about submitting ourselves to God and his priorities for his world and our lives.2 This is what prayers with humility look like in practice.
So, Jesus says, ‘This, then, is how you should pray…….’ (Matt 6:9a)
The Lord’s Prayer begins with an opening address to ‘Our Father in heaven’ (i.e. He loves us, cares for us, and is powerful to answer prayer) and is followed by six requests in two triplets.3
The first triplet appeals to our Father as Lord, and petitions for the extension of his sovereign rule over everyone, everywhere:
- ‘Hallowed be your name’ – may your character be honoured by all;
- ‘Your kingdom come’ – may your rule be established over all;
- ‘Your will be done’ – may your plans be accomplished in all
The second triplet appeals to our Father as Saviour, and petitions God regarding our needs for life, both physical and spiritual, both now and in eternity:
- ‘Give us today our daily bread’ – provide the resources we need for life;
- ‘Forgive us our debts’ – pardon our sins to save us from your wrath;
- ‘Lead us not into temptation but delver us from evil’ – protect us from trials & from Satan.
Note: Prayer assumes a relationship with God, and our dependence on Jesus for our salvation, something that those outside Christ cannot have.
Matthew 16:24-26 (NIrV)
Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must say no to themselves. They must pick up their cross and follow me. Whoever wants to save their life will lose it. But whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good is it if someone gains the whole world but loses their soul? Or what can anyone trade for their soul?
More Like Jesus – Colin Buchanan– YouTube
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