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The Lord’s Prayer

What do you believe about God the Father? What is your attitude when praying to Him? As we continue our series, “Summer on the Mount,” Blake Holmes teaches us about the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6.

Blake HolmesJun 30, 2019Dallas
Matthew 6:5-8

Messages In This Series (15)
How to Never Hear, “Depart From Me I Never Knew You.”
Todd WagnerAug 18, 2019
Broad vs Narrow
Adam TarnowAug 11, 2019Dallas
The Golden Rule
Blake HolmesAug 4, 2019Dallas
Prayer Connected to Promise
David MarvinJul 28, 2019Dallas
Matthew 7:1-6 : Judging Others
Todd WagnerJul 21, 2019
Finding Freedom From Worry
David MarvinJul 14, 2019Dallas
Is Money Your Servant or Master?
Jermaine HarrisonJul 7, 2019Dallas
The Lord’s Prayer
Blake HolmesJun 30, 2019Dallas
False Religion & Outward Righteousness
John ElmoreJun 23, 2019Dallas
Radical Love of Real Disciples
Harrison RossJun 17, 2019Dallas
What Jesus Says About Divorce in Matthew 5:31-32
Todd WagnerJun 9, 2019
The Murderer and Adulterer Within Me
Connor BaxterMay 26, 2019Dallas
Salt, Light, the Saved, the Savior and the Law
David LeventhalMay 19, 2019Dallas
The Life that Flourishes
Todd WagnerMay 12, 2019
A Summary of Matthew 5-7
David LeventhalMay 5, 2019Dallas

Discussing and Applying the Sermon

  • How has your earthly father shaped the way you view God the Father? Share this with your community group and then encourage each other with one truth about God the Father using Scripture.
  • “As we believe, so we pray.” What did you pray for this past week? This past month? Pick one of the things you’ve been praying for and ask your community group to join you in prayer.

Summary

What do you believe about God the Father? What is your attitude when praying to Him? As we continue our series, “Summer on the Mount,” Blake Holmes teaches us about the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6.

Key Takeaways

  • The Sermon on the Mount is a Kingdom ethic for Kingdom people.
  • The Lord’s Prayer is not a magic prayer, it’s a model prayer. Each petition is a theology lesson in and of itself.
  • When you pray, remind yourself of who God is (v9-10) and your dependence on Him (v11-13).
  • Not everyone can address God as Father, only those who know the Son.
  • God is not a reflection of your earthly father but the perfection of your earthly father.
  • If you are a parent, the love you have for your children pales in comparison to the Father’s love for them.
  • “Prayer is the act of seeing reality from God’s point of view.” -Philip Yancey
  • Are you living in such a way that others want to know more of God?
  • When we have a right view of God, we submit ourselves to His will when we pray.
  • As we believe, so we pray.
  • Daily bread is a metaphor for the daily necessities of life. We are to consistently rely upon God, recognizing our dependence on Him.
  • It’s understood biblically that when we experience God’s forgiveness, we become a forgiving people.
  • We don’t resist temptation on our own power. We resist temptation by going to the Father.
  • God is not trying to rip you off, He’s trying to set you free.

Mentioned or Recommended Resources

That's funny no matter how many times you watch it. It's funny, and there's laughter. It's the laughter of familiarity, because I think all of us have either been asked to pray and were a little unsure of what exactly we were supposed to pray or we've been in that living room and were kind of looking at our cousin, like, "What are they doing right now?" We've been there before.

I think there's confusion and anxiety around prayer, much like I experienced when I was a senior in high school. I was asked to pray before our home football game, and quite candidly, I was terrified. It didn't hit me until I was in the press box and the lights were on and I looked down below and there were thousands of people and they handed me a microphone. I'm thinking, "O Lord, what am I supposed to pray right now? Who's listening to me? Everybody I know. What if I get it wrong?" I get that.

Have you ever wondered, "How are we supposed to pray?" I think there's confusion. What we've done is we've kind of taught one another how to pray. We've picked up on phrases. You're familiar with some of these. Before we get in the car or have a long road trip, we're going to pray for traveling mercies. We've learned that phrase. Whenever we're a little nervous or praying for safety, we pray for that hedge of protection, that fearful, dreaded bush.

Before meals… We all have this down. "Bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies and our bodies to your service." If you want to go an extra step and sound really spiritual, you can pray for the hands that have prepared it. You know what I'm talking about. Or if we're really unsure and nervous about what to pray, we just throw in a lot of "God, our Father…God, our Father…God, our Father, we just, and we just… Would you bless my friend Jeff, God, our Father? Jeff. Bless him. Bless him."

We really don't know what we're praying. We don't even know if God were to answer that prayer. We're just "Bless him, God, our Father." Or my favorite: "Lord, just be with Jeff." I think God is omnipresent. When is God not with Jeff? So what are we really praying when we pray that way? Listen. I get it. I've been in that room. I've felt that anxiety.

So, today, we are looking at the Lord's Prayer. We are continuing our series Summer on the Mount. This is an opportunity for us to look at the Sermon on the Mount, one of five messages Jesus gives in the book of Matthew. Turn in your Bibles to Matthew, chapter 6. We're going to look where Jesus instructs us, teaches us how to pray.

You remember from the weeks past that the Sermon on the Mount, to set this contextually, teaches a kingdom ethic for a kingdom people. It describes the character of a true disciple, not the requirements to become one. Let me say that again. It describes the character of a true disciple, not the requirements to become one.

Jesus is going to be really clear. He's going to say, "Hey, listen. I'm not impressed with your religious external performance. I'm more concerned with the condition of your heart. I want to have a relationship with you." But what you first must understand… He begins the sermon with, "Blessed are the poor in spirit." Meaning, blessed are those who recognize they're a sinful people, a rebellious people, in need of grace.

Jesus makes it clear that his standard is perfection. He tells us we're to be holy, as our Father in heaven is holy. We all know there's no way we can attain to that. He just shows how ridiculous it is to think that, somehow, we can impress God through our external behavior when we have such a broken heart bent on pride and selfishness.

Last week, John did a good job of pointing out the first part of Matthew, chapter 6, that the Pharisees were trying to impress God by their giving, by their fasting, by their religious deeds. They would look at those around them and measure themselves, kind of like, "Oh, I'm better than that guy. I'm better than that guy. Look at me, God. Look at me." It's here we pick it up that Jesus addresses prayer, and he says, "Don't pray like that. Don't be like the Pharisees."

Look at verses 5 and 6. He says, "And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others." That's their motive. Not to relate to the Father but to impress other people. "Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you." When you pray, don't pray to impress. Don't pray like the Pharisees.

Then when you pray, don't pray like the Gentiles. He picks it up in verses 7-8. "And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words." Those empty phrases. It's kind of like what we just talked about, these phrases we use in prayer, and we think if we just repeat these that somehow this is going to coerce or obligate God. Nothing could be further from the truth. Or we just pray for a long time or use many words, and we think somehow that's going to obligate God.

Jesus is going, "Don't pray like that." It's crazy that within this context of what he just said…how not to pray…we're going to find the Lord's Prayer. Think about what we've done with the Lord's Prayer. We have used it in such a way that now we can just say it. If you grew up in church, perhaps a more formal tradition, you've memorized the Lord's Prayer.

Or if you just even grew up in Texas and played high school football. You had your coach cuss you out because of how poorly you played, and then he ended it with, "All right. Let's gather and pray. 'Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done…'" We say it like it's a magic prayer, and it's not a magic prayer; it's a model prayer. The Lord's Prayer is not a magic prayer; it's a model prayer.

Look how instructive verse 8 is. It says, "Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him." Think about that. That really does give insight into what the purpose of prayer is. People ask me all the time, "If God is sovereign…" Which means he's all-powerful. "…if he's omniscient…" Which means he's all-knowing. "…why should we pray?" The answer is really simple. It's to have a relationship with the Father. That's why we pray.

God is clear. Jesus is clear. It's not like he's stumped and he doesn't know what we need. He says that right there in verse 8. Yes, he knows what we need, but like a good loving Father, he invites us. He says, "Hey, come to me." Then he teaches us how to pray. He gives us this model. You're going to see that, really simply, when you think about prayer and you want to know how to pray, first, remind yourself of who God is (verses 9-10). Then, secondly, you want to remind yourself of your dependence upon him (verses 11-13). Let's just read it together.

"Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." Tim Keller has said this about this prayer: "It's so familiar we can no longer hear it. Yet everything we need is [written] within it."

It is true that each petition in this prayer is a theology lesson in and of itself, and I hope to point that out today. Let's look at verse 9. It simply begins, "Our Father in heaven…" I want to stop and point out how it begins with the word our and how strange that is to us. If you look at the whole prayer, you will notice that you don't see the words I, me, my, or mine throughout the whole prayer. It's not all about you. It's not all about me.

Jesus instructs us that we begin with our, with a recognition that when we come into a relationship with Christ, we enter into a relationship with the family of God. That is the point. We have such a skewed, unbiblical mindset. We live with this "Jesus and me," privatized faith, which is just unbiblical. We kind of give the nod sometimes to church membership, because we really want to do what we want to do.

Newsweek picked up on this. This is the front cover of a Newsweek. "Forget the Church. Follow Jesus." That's exactly what my waitress said to me one day. She said, "Listen. I love Jesus. I don't really do the whole church thing. I really don't care about the church." To which I said, "Hey, listen. How do you think my wife would have responded had I said to her, 'You know what? I love you, Rebecca. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I just don't want to deal at all with your family'? That probably would not have gone over well."

That, in a sense, is what we're doing, because when we come into a relationship with God through the Son, we are adopted into a family, to use the language of Galatians 4. This isn't my language. Romans 12 talks about how we are now individual members of a body. We're part of a family, and we get to address God as our Father.

Now recognize, though (this is really, really important), we are not able to call God our Father by virtue of the fact that we are simply created by God. Not everybody gets to address God as "Father." We address God as "Father" when we are rightly related to him through the Son. John Calvin, the great Reformer, said to call God "Father" is to pray in Jesus' name.

We can read this from a couple of different perspectives. As a kid, I'd always read this from the perspective of a son looking up to the father. It has been rightly observed that we start to inform our perception of God the Father through our relationship we have with our earthly dads. I don't have a perfect dad by any means, but I was blessed to grow up where I often heard from my dad that he loved me, that he was proud of me.

When I heard that there's a God in heaven who loves me, it was just a little easier for me to believe. But I recognize that's not true for a lot of us. When we think of God as Father, that doesn't bring strength or comfort or confidence or peace. It brings bitterness, resentment, hurt, anger, feelings of betrayal, because we have had dads who have hurt us, who have broken up homes. Just to think about God as Father, it seems to be a disconnect.

It has been rightly said that God is not the reflection of your earthly Father but the perfection of your earthly Father. Growing up, I read this from the perspective of a son, but now I read it really differently. I'm a dad of four kids. I have three girls and a boy. I really do believe God allows us to be parents just to give us a small glimpse of his love for us, because there's no way I can describe to you, unless you're a parent, my love for my four kids.

The Bible says my love for my kids pales in comparison to God's love for us. I know I'm supposed to check, "Yes, God loves my kids more than I do," but experientially, emotionally, I'm like, "I don't know. Maybe he loves them as much." I love my four kids. When my son was 4, he was very sick. We'd spend a lot of time in the hospital, and I would carry him around a lot. First, because he was weak; secondly, because he wasn't all that heavy; but thirdly, he just wanted to be near me.

Usually when you leave the room, they want to wheel you around. My son Gage wanted me to hold him. So I would just carry Gage everywhere, and I got used to his arms wrapped around my shoulders and walking to an infusion room or to an exam room or to go get an x-ray. I just carried him everywhere. This one particular day, I knew he needed surgery and was trying to explain to him, "We're going to go, and when these big doors open, I'm going to have to let go of you, and you're going to need to let go of my neck."

I remember to this day how his arms were locked around my neck like that. We finally get to those double doors, and all of the kind of scary people come out to receive him. I'm literally pushing him, like, "Hey, Gage, you've got to let go of me." I can feel his arms start to do that, and he's just looking like that. It crushed me. I knew he needed the surgery. I knew it was the right thing to do, but it gave me a glimpse of the love of the Father. If you're a parent, you know what I'm talking about.

Here's the crazy thing: God shows us that he loves us so much he sent his one and only Son to pay the penalty for our sin, to die the death we deserved, to be buried, and three days later to rise again, such that if we trust in what he has done for us and his provision, we can now be rightly related to the Father and call him "Father." We can call God "Father." That's amazing. It teaches us that God is not aloof, he's not uncaring, he's not distant, but he's relational, and he loves us.

The prayer is "Our Father in heaven…" He's not just relational. He's not just immanent. He's transcendent. Psalm 115:3 says that God is in the heavens; he does whatever he pleases. Isn't it amazing that the God who's in the heavens who does whatever he pleases, Creator of heaven and earth, the one who is in heaven, cares about you and me, invites us to pray? How crazy is that? The fact that it says, "Our Father in heaven…" The point is not necessarily where he dwells but his sovereignty, his divine perspective, his authority.

Philip Yancey rightly said, "Prayer is the act of seeing reality from God's point of view." We are acknowledging that there is a God who is in heaven who is sovereign, who's Creator, and who has a perspective we can't have. We have a limited perspective, but praise God, who is sovereign and all-knowing. He's in heaven. He knows what we need, and he invites us to pray. When we pray, we remind ourselves of who God is.

I just returned home from the beach. I love to go to the beach. There's something about the power of the ocean. Oftentimes, I'll wake up before my family, before most anyone, and race down to the beach early in the morning just to read. I like to get in the ocean and just float in the waves. I just look up, and it brings wonder and astonishment.

It reminds me of just how small I really am, that no matter how hard I try, I am not in control, but I'm vulnerable and I am in need. I worship the God who created heaven and earth, who spoke this earth into existence, who controls the seas, who has numbered the stars. That's crazy. He says I can come to him in prayer and call him "Father."

Verse 9 goes on and says, "…hallowed be your name." The word hallowed, candidly, is kind of a funny word. It feels ghostly, almost. What does that mean? What we're praying here is not… We're not in fear that somehow God is no longer to remain holy and we're begging him, "Hey, stay holy." That's not what we're praying.

We're asking that his holiness would be made evident in our lives. "Lord, may your holiness and may your glory be seen by how I live, by how I treat others. Help me to make your name famous. It's not about my name. It's not about promoting my platform, my reputation, my advancement and what others think of me. No, no, no, Lord. May your name be holy. May your name be great such that others would want to know you."

Remember the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount. Live like salt and light. Live in such a way that others may see your good deeds and give glory to God who is in heaven. It's all consistent right here. "Hallowed be your name, God." Al Mohler, the president of Southern Seminary, who wrote an excellent book on the Lord's Prayer which I'd commend to you, said, "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."

"Our ultimate concern is not that our lives be comfortable, but that God be glorified." "…hallowed be your name." May I live in such a way as to give God glory, because how we live is a reflection of what we believe about God. It is a witness to other people.

I have two older brothers, one who's nine years older than me and one who's eight years older than me, roughly. Growing up, through school, we went through the same school district and oftentimes would have the same teachers. One of my brothers did really well in school. My other brother had a lot of fun in school. He didn't do as well, maybe, as the other one.

So whenever I got my class schedule, I was always kind of banking on "Give me the teacher who had my smart brother, not the one who always had so much fun." But there I am. In eighth grade, it catches up to me. I enter into Wanda Spoonmore's class. I knew who Wanda was, because I'd always heard the story, but I was like, "Hey, it's eight years later. Wanda isn't going to remember this. She's not going to remember my brother." But there we are. I go sit in class, and it's the first day. She calls roll. "Holmes!"

"Yes, Ma'am. Here."

"Holmes. You don't happen to be related to…?" She doesn't forget. "Yes, Ma'am." I wanted to say, "A very distant cousin." But I look like him. I sound like him.

"You must be his brother."

"Yes, Ma'am."

"Do you know what your brother did to me?"

"Uh, no, Ma'am."

I lied. Yes, I knew. See, Wanda had a little policy in her class. Sure, when you had trash, you could wad it up and throw it at the trash can, but here's the problem: if you missed, then she made a habit of grabbing the trash can and thought it was really funny to take that trash, walk it over to you, and dump the trash all over your head. You can't get away with stuff like that anymore. School is not as fun today as it was then.

Anyway, she dumped the trash on my brother's head, and of course, the class laughs. He laughs, kind of, I think. A few days later, there's Wanda working at her desk. She wads up paper and throws it, and she misses. Yep. My brother… He would do it again today. He picks up the trash can, walks over in front of the whole class, dumps it over her head, but this time leaves the trash can on her shoulders. True story.

So, when I entered Wanda Spoonmore's class ("Yes, Ma'am; I'm his brother"), I recognized for the first time what a good name or bad name may bring. Gang, that's the whole point here. "…hallowed be your name.""May I live in such a way that when people think of me they would want to give glory, would want to give thanks to the Father who's in heaven. May my actions be consistent with your Word, that I don't make it hard for people to believe there's a God in heaven who loves me, that they don't look at me as being hypocritical but would want to know you."

Verse 10 says, "Your kingdom come…" This is an acknowledgment that this kingdom, this world is broken. Really, what we're praying for is a revolution, such that the kingdom of this world would give way to the kingdom of God. That's really what we're praying for. We know this will ultimately occur when Christ returns.

I think there's a reason we love superhero movies. We love superhero movies because we know this world is broken, and we love the very end when the superhero flies in and makes right all of the wrongs. When we pray, "Lord, your kingdom come," it is a cry that this world is broken. It's upside down. "Come, and make it right." Verse 10 ends with, "…your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.""May your will be done."

The will of God is understood in two ways: the sovereign will of God and the revealed will of God. Nothing is going to thwart the sovereign will of God, but the revealed will of God, his Word, his instruction to us… We're saying, "Lord, I am submitting myself to your sovereign will. I'm acknowledging that I need your help. You are my authority. Your Word is true. May your will be done in my life, not my will. I no longer want to try to drive or control my circumstances. I trust you."

You're never going to say, "Lord, may your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" if you don't know and trust the Father. This is what's so important. If you've tuned out, then I want you to come back. I want you to hear me say this, because this is so vitally important. As we believe, so we pray. How are you doing? What does your prayer life suggest you believe about God?

If you just come to God with your list, "Hey, God, can you give me health, wealth, prosperity, a good job, a wife who loves me? Can you give me? Can you give me? Can you give me?" it suggests a lot about what you believe about God. He's not your personal genie who's obligated to fulfill every one of your wishes. He knows what you need. He's Creator of heaven and earth. With presumption, we just come in like, "Hey, God, do what I tell you to do." As we believe, so we pray.

When was the last time you spent time simply not asking of God anything but just confessing, "Lord, forgive me"? If confession is something that's not a part of your prayer life, then I would suggest to you pride is ruling your heart. Pride is ruling in your heart. If there is no thanksgiving in your prayers, what does that reveal about your relationship with God, about the selfishness, the greed that has captured you?

Mohler goes on and says, "Our prayers reveal our deepest convictions about God, about ourselves, and about the world around us. Every word we utter in prayer, every idea and concept that we form as we pray, and every emotion that flows out of our heart is a reflection of what we believe about God and about the gospel of Christ."

When we pray, the first thing we do is we remind ourselves (verses 9-10). "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." We remind ourselves of who God is, and then, secondly, we remind ourselves of our dependence upon him (verses 11-13).

Isn't this amazing? It says, "Give us this day our daily bread…" God is not only concerned with advancing his kingdom but with our daily needs. The daily bread is a metaphor for our daily necessities. God cares about your daily needs. The very one who spoke this earth into existence, the one who is holy, the one who is sovereign, the one who is all-knowing, cares about what you need. He knows you. That's amazing to me.

God didn't have to create this world in color and give us oceans and sunsets and joy and good food. Every good gift comes from God above. Notice it says, "Give us this day our daily bread…" This just points out the fact that we are to consistently rely upon God. Not just in times of tragedy do we go to him in prayer, but daily. Our physical hunger is a reminder to us of the spiritual reality that we are a people who are dependent upon God.

That's why Jesus said, "Man doesn't live by bread alone, but by doing the will of the Father." Jesus says, "I'm the Bread of Life." He's giving you a hint. Every day, three times a day, we choose to eat a meal, and when we skip a meal or two meals, we become hangry. We become angry and hungry, and it's a reminder to us. Try going without food for a long period of time, and you'll recognize how weak and how vulnerable you really are. You weren't created to make it on your own. Every day, we rely upon God who is good, who is our Father.

Verse 12: "…and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors." We move from our most urgent physical need (bread) to our most urgent spiritual need (forgiveness). You see, when we experience God's forgiveness, we are to become forgiving people. We don't have time to go there, but just write down Matthew 18:23-35. Read what Jesus says about we who have been forgiven. If we truly understand that, then of course we're willing to forgive those who have hurt us, because we've been forgiven such an incredible debt.

It's inconsistent to think that we who have been forgiven much would then withhold forgiveness from those who hurt us. Paul says in Ephesians 4, "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you. And forgive each other, just as God in Christ has forgiven you." When I'm at odds with my wife and I feel anger or bitterness and am reluctant to forgive, I don't have a marital problem. I don't have a communication problem. I have a gospel problem. I have a spiritual problem.

I'm failing to realize what it means to walk as Jesus intended. It's just assumed that when we experience God's forgiveness, we are to become a forgiving people. That's why you see right after the prayer, in verses 14-15, "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

Verse 13: "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." If you know your Bible, James 1:13 says God doesn't tempt us to sin. This prayer, "And lead us not into temptation…" It's not that we're begging him, "Don't go back on your word, your promise of James 1." We have to read it in light of the latter part: "…but deliver us from evil." Probably the right translation, the better translation is "And deliver us from the Evil One."

In our Western society, in our materialistic world, in our sophistication and all of our learning, it's like we skip Ephesians 6, which speaks of spiritual warfare. Forget about 1 Peter 5:8, which tells us very explicitly, "You have an adversary who prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." That's what you have. You have an Enemy. I have an Enemy. Jesus spoke often about the Enemy. He said he came to kill, steal, and destroy. He's the Accuser of the brethren.

Jesus says, "Hey, when you pray, you pray, 'And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil One.'" We don't resist temptation by our own willpower, our own discipline, our own strength. "Oh, this time I really mean it. I'm going to do it this way. I'm just going to try harder." No. We go to the Father who loves us, who knows our every need, who's in heaven. We look to make his name holy. We rely upon him for our daily needs.

We ask him to forgive us when we fall short, and we look to him to give us strength when we're tempted. "No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man…" God is faithful, and he will give you the strength to escape the temptation if you will look to him. James says if you cling to God and resist the Devil, he'll flee from you. But we don't muster up the courage of our own efforts. We look to the Father for help.

I don't know what you're struggling with. I don't know what your temptations are, but please quit hiding and thinking you can manage it on your own. Please quit trying to just be more disciplined. It's just going to lead to more hurt. You surrender to God. You go to him in prayer. You trust his Word. You surround yourself with the family of God.

You're going to notice here that what is missing in your ESV translation or other reliable translations is the phrase, "For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever." Although many of us may have memorized that, the reason for that is our earliest, most reliable scrolls don't have that phrase, so it's believed the scribes probably added that later. If that freaks you out, brings confusion, worry, or doubt about the reliability of the text, don't let it. Shameless plug: I invite you to take our Core Class "Discovering Scripture" and have your faith and confidence strengthened in the reliability of God's Word and why we can trust it.

We remind ourselves of who God is, and then we remind ourselves of our dependence upon him. We ask for the daily bread. We ask for his forgiveness. We ask that he not allow us to be led into temptation but delivered from the Evil One. John Stott, the English theologian, says, "Thus the three petitions which Jesus puts upon our lips are beautifully comprehensive. They cover, in principle, all our human need—material (daily bread), spiritual (forgiveness of sins), and moral (deliverance from evil).

What we are doing whenever we pray this prayer is to express our dependence upon God in every area of our human life. Moreover, a Trinitarian Christian is bound to see in these three petitions a veiled allusion to the Trinity, since it is through the Father's creation and providence that we receive our daily bread, through the Son's atoning death that we may be forgiven, and through the Spirit's indwelling power that we are rescued from the evil one."

When my daughter, who's now 18, was really little, the first words she learned were, "Me Mommy." She'd wake up every morning, and often before the morning, and scream really loudly, "Me Mommy! Me Mommy!" My wife would hit me. "Hey, she's calling you." "I hear 'Me Mommy.' I think she's calling you." We knew what she needed. We all know what she's saying. "Hey, I need to be fed, I need to be changed, and I need to be held."

I loved it. I really did, because I'd go in there, and she was standing in her crib doing this, like, "Come get me." I loved it, because I was her dad. I just wanted to hold her. We pray, gang, not to obligate God, coerce God, impress God. We pray to have a relationship with God, where we just go to him and recognize, "You're the one who can fulfill my needs. You're the one who knows my needs. Me Father. Help me. This world is not as it should be. It's broken, and you're the hope, and you're the one who provides life, the way, the truth, and the life. So I just call to you."

In closing, the Lord's Prayer has been described as this: "This prayer is dangerous, overturning the kingdom of the principalities and powers of this world. This prayer is hopeful, expecting the kingdom of God to come in fullness with Christ on the throne. This prayer is compassionate, teaching us to call God our Father and depend on him for our every meal. This prayer is reverent, showing that nothing is more sacred than the name of God. This prayer is good news, reminding each of us that God forgives sin and delivers us from the powers of darkness." Let's pray.

Father in heaven, the one who is the Creator of heaven and earth, the one who sustains life, the one who is sovereign and all-knowing, never-changing, without sin and holy, we come before you today. We acknowledge that you're good, that you're loving, that you're kind. We acknowledge that there's nothing good in and of ourselves. We're rebellious, sinful, broken people who have rebelled against you, Lord. Each have turned our own way, but you forgive us.

Lord, would you renew our faith in who you are? Not what this world says about who you are but what your Word reveals to us. May we rightly acknowledge who you are and see our need for you. Thank you, Father, for showing us your love through the person of your Son Jesus and, by the power of your Spirit, awakening our eyes and changing our hearts and giving us the ears to hear, that we could respond. May we walk with you, fully trusting that you're a good Father who has our best interests in mind. We love you. In Christ's name, amen.