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Sermon 10/2/05
Matthew 6:10 - God's Will in Prayer

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God’s Will In Prayer

Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10)

When John the Baptist came onto the scene of this world, in about 25 or 30 AD, he presented a simple, clear message: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2).  The central core of Jesus’ ministry, which began near the end of John’s, is also summed up in Scripture.  As we see in Matthew 4:17, Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  ALL of us need the healing touch of God in every part of our lives.

The “Sermon on the Mount” was presented not long after Jesus began to minister openly, and in it He showed our need to repent and trust in God.  Every “kingdom” that comes to us must have a king, and He is our King.  The “kingdom of heaven” was now among us in the Person of Jesus Christ.  He walked on this earth and He is with His people – forever!

Included within the Sermon on the Mount is what has been called the “Lord’s Prayer.”  Do you have trouble knowing what to pray?  The Lord’s Prayer is intended as a MODEL that will help us to know HOW to pray, rather than something to be repeated by rote.  We know that is true because He prefaced the prayer with these words: “When you pray, do not use vain repetitions…” (Matthew 6:7).

Here’s how the “Lord’s Prayer” helps us pray.  We are to:

  • Address our prayers to God the Father (Matthew 6:9)

  • PRAISE Him as we begin to pray (Matthew 6:9)

  • Urge Jesus to come back and rescue us – soon (Matthew 6:10)

  • Pray in His will and pray for His will to be done (Matthew 6:10)

  • Ask Him for all of our needs (Matthew 6:11)

  • Seek forgiveness in prayer (Matthew 6:12)

  • Forgive others, one-by-one, as we pray (Matthew 6:13)

  • Pray that we will be delivered from temptation (Matthew 6:13)

  • Pray that we will be rescued from Satan’s influence (Matthew 6:13)

  • Close our prayer in Praise to God (Matthew 6:13)

Some of those steps may be enlarged, reduced or even eliminated from time-to-time, as the Holy Spirit leads us in prayer.  Note again that the Lord’s Prayer is a guide, a model to help us maintain our focus in prayer.  It is not law.  If you are or your loved one is in a surgical waiting room and you or they are being wheeled into emergency surgery, and the Holy Spirit leads ONLY to pray for help as to what the doctors are about to do, then just PRAY, and worry about other steps later, when you have more time.

It’s always a concern when our prayers do not seem to be answered, and a key to understanding the problem is found in our Scripture for today – we are to earnestly pray that God’s “will” be done in whatever situation is before us.  And that’s the very point where the process tends to break down for most people.  We want God to do it OUR way.

We often don’t pray effectively because we attack the problem and don’t take into account the Solution.  Here’s what Peter Marshall and David Manuel said, in their book, “The Light and the Glory” (Page 295): “How often do we ourselves pour all our energies and resources into something which seems so right or so good – only to see it come to nothing? Bitter and frustrated, it might not ever occur to us that the reason is that our endeavor, no matter how noble it appears or how sincere our commitment, has been totally out of God’s will.”  The authors of “Light and the Glory” went on to quote what former President Abraham Lincoln said, during the time of the U.S. Civil War: “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my great concern is to be on God’s side.”

And it’s often difficult for us to determine if, in fact, we ARE on God’s side at any given moment.  We have the Bible, God’s written Word, and that’s wonderful, for it shows us how we should live and what we should do.  We also have God’s Holy Spirit, who enables us to understand what is written in His Word, and shows us how to apply it in our lives.

Joshua was brought into a similar position to that which was faced by Abraham Lincoln.  There would have been ample evidence for Joshua that God was WITH the nation Israel.  But he had been merely a secretary, a servant to Moses for many decades, and now was faced with leading – everything!  Suddenly, an armed, dangerous-looking “Man” was in front of him (Joshua 5:13).  Joshua nervously asked, “‘Are You for us or for our adversaries?’ and the ‘Man’ replied, “No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.’”… “Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped…” (Joshua 5:14).

Joshua now understood, Abraham Lincoln saw it, and it’s time for you and I to understand: it is not that God will immediately answer all of our prayers in just the way we want.  Our prayers need to be in and for God’s “will,” that it will be done “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).  John the Apostle (a different John – not John the Baptist) saw all this and said, “This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to HIS WILL, He hears us, and if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we HAVE the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15). 

I think we all want the awe and wonder of answered prayer.  The answer is to quit praying in our own strength, just like we must quit doing everything ELSE in our own strength.  We need the Lord and we need Him now!  And He is available for us.  Have you trusted in Christ?  If you have, “you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness” (Romans 8:9-10).  If you have Christ, you also have God’s Holy Spirit, and here’s what He is making available to you right now – PRAYER in the will of God:

Romans 8:26 says that “the Spirithelps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us…”  Use the Lord’s model for prayer – He will show you what to pray and ANSWER your need.

Lord, teach me to pray.  Show me how to pray and what to ask.  Let my prayers be in Your will.  Let me forgive and be forgiven.  I praise Your Holy Name.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries
First Church On The Net
www.FridayStudy.org
Ron@FridayStudy.org
"While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8)
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