Last week we started studying the model prayer the Jesus taught His disciples, The Lord's Prayer. He started by identifying who we are praying to. We are praying to our heavenly Father. Emphasizing the relationship that we have with God the one we are praying to. Our heavenly Father who loves us even more than our human parents is also the one who created everything. He's transcendent meaning that He beyond anything we can compare Him with. He is in heaven.
Our first request of our father which is beyond comparison is that He hallow His name or make His name holy. How does He do that?
In our lives, in our prayer, in our in our witnessing, and in our work. Our ultimate concern is not that our lives be comfortable, but that God be glorified, and that our lives, even our prayers, put God’s glory on display. Faithfulness in the Christian life makes the glory of God go public.
Jesus teaches us that God is our imminent Father. He is the transcendent one in heaven. He is the one who reveals and names himself. And our chief concern in prayer is not our own comfort but God’s glory.
Then He says that we should continue by praying that God's kingdom come. We took a look at that kingdom - God’s Kingdom. We said that His kingdom, which really is a spiritual kingdom which will eventually become a physical one, actually came to earth with Jesus. It won't be completed until Jesus returns physically. Meanwhile the citizens of the kingdom, us, are to be about setting everything up.
Now let's go back to
Matthew 6:10 ESV Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Let's look at the next phase... your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
We just asked that God's kingdom come next it's about the reign and rule of the king, His will.
THE REIGN AND RULE OF GOD: YOUR WILL BE DONE
The “will of God” can be used in two different ways. First, Scripture can speak of God’s will or decree, or what we could call God’s sovereign will. That refers to his absolute, sovereign rule over all things.
I Chronicles 29:11-12 NKJV Yours, O Lord , is the greatness, The power and the glory, The victory and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord , And You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, And You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great And to give strength to all.
Psalms 115:3 NKJV But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases.
Second, Scripture uses the phrase “will of God” to refer to God’s commandments, or God’s revealed will. The revealed will of God speaks to what God expects of his human creatures. The Ten Commandments, for instance, are an excellent example of God’s revealed will. The call to repent and believe the gospel would be yet another example of God’s revealed will.
Acts 17:30-31 NKJV Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
Jesus is not talking about God’s sovereign will because that is already set both in heaven and Earth.
Jesus is clearly referring to God’s revealed will. He is asking the Father to reshape the hearts of every single person such that God is obeyed and glorified by men. When the kingdom of God arrives anew and afresh in the hearts and lives of the lost, they begin to obey God from the heart, just as the angels in heaven.
It is no longer “my will” that is preeminent, but his. “Here more clearly than anywhere the purpose of prayer becomes plain: not to make God do my will (which is practicing magic), but to bring my will into line with his (which is what it means to practice true religion).”
James 1:26-27 NKJV If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
WHAT ARE WE REALLY ASKING?
For the kingdom of God to come means that all other kingdoms (including our own!) must fade into oblivion. By praying “your kingdom come,” Jesus teaches us that we are ultimately meant to value God’s agenda, not our own.
We can't do it through humanitarian efforts and good works. We can't do it pushing a particular political party or a particular government with the kingdom. Christians too often fall prey to the temptation that we can bring about the kingdom of God by political force or some other sociological means.
But God's kingdom is not of this world. As Jesus teaches us in this prayer, we are dependent on God and God alone to bring the kingdom to every heart and every corner of the earth. We cannot manufacture God’s kingdom by our own efforts. Instead, we are called to be faithful in the Great Commission, trusting that God by his sovereign, supernatural grace will spread his redemptive reign to every tribe, tongue, and nation.
Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
So what are we asking when we say “your kingdom come your will be done”? We are asking for something wonderful and something dangerous all at the same time.
•We are praying that history would be brought to a close.
•We are praying to see all the nations rejoice in the glory of God.
•We are praying to see Christ honored as king in every human heart.
•We are praying to see Satan bound, evil vanquished, death no more.
•We are praying to see the mercy of God demonstrated in the full justification and acquittal of sinners through the shed blood of the crucified and resurrected Christ.
•We are praying to see the wrath of God poured out upon sin.
•We are praying to see every knee bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
•We are praying to see a New Jerusalem, a new heaven, and a new earth, a new creation.
Now let's move on to the first petition Jesus made.
Matthew 6:11 ESV Give us this day our daily bread,
The petition “give us this day our daily bread” reminds us of our dependence on God for even the most fundamental needs of life. Jesus in this model of prayer points out the difference in the Creator ant the creature. God’s name is to be hallowed in heaven. We, on the other hand, are incapable of even getting basic sustenance without his help. Jesus teaches us to exalt God while humbling ourselves.
God is our Creator and He designed humans to be dependent. From the moment of birth, we rely on the kindness of others to meet our needs. We need our parents to feed us, dress us, and even train us to sleep. Even as we grow older, we remain tremendously needy. We depend on others for relationships.
He asked for bread for one day at a time only. God wants us to trust Him to supply what we need each day, rather than relying on what we have set aside.
We can be sure, as God’s children, that He will provide for us today. God may not provide for us in the way that we think is best. But we will always find that he provides for us according to his infinite love and care.
Exodus 16:4-7 NIV - Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.” So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you will know that it was the Lord who brought you out of Egypt, and in the morning you will see the glory of the Lord , because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we, that you should grumble against us?”
Exodus 16:5, 17-18 NIV - On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.” The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed.
He not only provided food and protection but their clothes didn't ever wear out.
Deuteronomy 8:4 NIV - Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years.
This passage teaches us that God designed physical needs to point to our deeper spiritual needs. Our need for daily physical sustenance is a faint echo of our daily need of spiritual sustenance and satisfaction from God.
Deuteronomy 8:3 NIV - But humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
The only way that we will taste the goodness of God’s provision is by living according to what comes from the mouth of God. This is why Jesus regularly referred to himself as the “bread of life,” the true man sent from heaven.
John 6:35 NIV - 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.
He is God’s ultimate provision for our spiritual lives.
Each day, as we pray for our daily bread, we should be reminded of our daily need for Christ to forgive our sins and empower us for obedience. Each time we pray for daily bread, we should recognize our deeper need for the bread of life—the only one who can truly satisfy.
Matthew 6:12 ESV and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Jesus asked God to forgive our huge debt to Him.
Let's first talk about the significance of Jesus using forgiveness of debt.
Debt for us today can be very stressful. Too much debt can put serious strain on our lives restricting our ability to live stress free lives. The Bible says that debt makes us slaves.
Proverbs 22:7 NIV The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.
Today debt can cause strain in relationships. It is the number one cause for divorces. However in Jesus’ day it meant literal slavery and or prison. We even had debtors prisons in the early history of the United States.
This is the context in which Jesus teaches us to pray “forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Jesus’ use of the word debts is meant to evoke in our mind both a serious offense and a corresponding serious punishment. To be forgiven a debt was no mere trifle, but an act of extravagant mercy.
The petition “give us this day our daily bread” emphasizes our most urgent physical needs, the petition “forgive us our debts” emphasizes our most urgent spiritual need. Saying we owe a debt to God means that we have failed to give him the obedience he is rightly due. We owe God our obedience, and we have failed to pay up. Thus, as sinners, we stand before God condemned, rightly deserving his just wrath. Only God’s forgiveness can clear our guilt and establish a meaningful relationship between God and us.
We can only say these words and ask these things of God when we stand on the finished, atoning work of Jesus Christ. Indeed, this petition demonstrates that the theological bedrock of the Lord's Prayer is nothing less than the gospel. We can only rightly pray the Lord's Prayer when we recognize that we are deeply sinful and only God’s grace in Christian remedy our souls.
God’s forgiveness of sin is the basis of the gospel. The gospel, or the Good News, is the news of the coming of the Kingdom of God, and of Jesus's death on the cross and resurrection to restore people's relationship with God.
By teaching us to pray in this way, Jesus implies that God desires to forgive our sin. Scripture repeatedly makes this point:
1 Timothy 2:4 ESV who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Romans 4:7 ESV "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered;
The only way we can be forgiven is through the sacrifice of Jesus. Jesus Christ the Son, whose perfect obedience and perfectly accomplished atonement on the cross purchased all that is necessary for our salvation.
God wants us to have a forgiving attitude toward others Jesus often emphasized the importance of forgiveness.
When Jesus said that we should ask God to forgive us because we have forgiven others we’ve misinterpreted what He said. God’s forgiving us has nothing to do with our forgiving others. That would make our forgiveness based on works and that contradicts;
Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
Those who truly know the forgiveness of sins, forgive others. Jesus emphasized this point a number of times throughout his ministry:
Matthew 18:21-22 ESV Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.
It's because we have been forgiven that we forgive. Not only does Jesus teach us to petition God for forgiveness, he also teaches us to pray that God forgive us in the same way that we forgive our debtors. Now we must be very careful with this clause so that we don’t take it to mean something that Jesus would not affirm. Jesus is decidedly not saying that we are forgiven by God because we have forgiven other people. That would make the grounds of our acceptance with God our own works and not God’s grace. Scripture is very clear that we are justified before God by faith alone, not by works of the law.
What Jesus is affirming in these words is that when we experience God’s forgiveness, we are fundamentally transformed into forgiving people.
Matthew 6:13 ESV And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
This third petition concerns our spiritual needs.
The phrase "Lead us not into temptation" does not indicate that God tempts us to do evil.
James 1:13-15 ESV Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God," for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
God will allow us to be tested, and in some cases will test us to show us that our strength is in Him.
An example was the test that He gave Abraham when He told him to sacrifice His Son Isaac(Genesis 22:1-19).
The request here is that God will not allow us to get into areas where He knows our weakness would cause us to stumble and fall Tests and trials are important in our walk with God They are necessary for our spiritual growth.
Romans 5:3-5 ESV Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Jesus doesn't ask that we not be tested, but that God would overrule us when we try to take on a spiritual challenge that He knows we aren't ready for. Our petitions are often selfishly motivated. We should be aware of why we ask for something to better understand why God grants some of our requests and denies others.
James 4:3 ESV You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
Now some translations end verse 13 with “For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen and that's what we sing every Sunday.
That's the way it ends in the KJV, NKJV, AMP, HCSB, but not in others like NIV, ESV. The reason that it's not in the most recent translations is ..) that they probably did not appear in the original copy of Matthew. As a result of studying ancient manuscripts, scholars now believe with some certainty that these words were probably a later addition to the Lord's Prayer. Since the Lord’s Prayer seems to end rather abruptly, Christians in the early church added a doxology to the end of the prayer so as to give God the final word of praise in corporate worship settings.
The dictionary defines doxology as “an expression of praise to God, especially a short hymn sung as part of a Christian worship service.” The word doxology comes from the Greek doxa, (“glory, splendor, grandeur”) and logos, (“word” or “speaking”). Most doxologies are short hymns of praise to God in various Christian worship services, often added to the end of canticles, psalms, and hymns.
Another commonly heard doxology is “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow,” which was written in 1674 by Thomas Ken, a priest in the Church of England. The familiar words are “Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye Heavenly Host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.”
Although the word doxology is not found in the Bible, the themes expressed in doxologies are certainly scriptural, and have always been integral parts of true Christian worship.
In fact, one of the doxology found in the Old Testament looks almost exactly like the doxology traditionally appended to the Lord’s Prayer:
“Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all” (1 Chron. 29:11).
Is it right or wrong to append these words to the Lord’s Prayer? It would certainly be wrong to ignore the textual evidence and assert that these words are scriptural and part of Matthew’s Gospel. We should never say something is part of Scripture that the author never intended. At the same time, it is not wrong to recite the Lord's Prayer with the concluding doxology or to benefit from this tradition—so long as we understand the words are not themselves Scripture.