The Privilege and Necessity of Prayer
From the archives this month, we are highlighting Rev. Kleyn’s series on Prayer.
“How is your prayer life? Are you one who prays often? Do you always know what to pray? Are you comfortable in the presence of God? Are your prayers characterized by worship of God and reverence for Him? Or do you only pray when you feel an immediate need for yourself?”
These questions prompt us to consider our prayer life, and what instruction we need on prayer. This series will teach us what to prayer, how to pray and how to do it!
What has helped you most in your prayer life?
Listen to Rev. Kleyn’s message here.
Praying to Our Heavenly Father
Our instructor in prayer is Jesus. When the disciples asked, “Lord, teach us to pray,” He gave them a prayer in Matthew 6 and Luke 11 that we commonly call the Lord’s Prayer…it was intended by Jesus especially as a guide or model after which we should pattern all of our prayers. Today we want to look at the introduction to the Lord’s Prayer, in which Jesus teaches us to approach God, saying, “Our Father which art in heaven.” Jesus, in this introduction, is teaching us how we should approach God in prayer. We should not begin by asking things of Him for ourselves. We should not begin with ourselves as though God needs to get down to business and help us. But we should begin with a humble realization of who God is and who we are before Him.
What does it mean to you that we pray to God as our Father? Rev. Kleyn teaches us four things about this relationship we have with God and how it impacts our prayers. Listen to Rev. Kleyn’s message here.
Hallowed Be Thy Name
The first petition that Jesus teaches us to make in our prayers is this: “Hallowed be Thy name.” As we come to this first petition, you might be thinking that this is rather abstract and distant from your life, that it is not very practical. But that is not true. Even though the first three petitions have to do with God, they are yet, in a very real sense, for us. When we pray for the hallowing of God’s name and the coming of His kingdom and the doing of His will, we are praying these for ourselves—that we hallow God’s name, that His kingdom may come to and in us, and that His will may be done by us.
To understand this petition, we have to understand what it means to be holy, what the name of God is, and how God makes His name holy. Learn more about this petition and the holiness of God’s name in Rev. Kleyn’s message found here.
May God’s Kingdom Come
May God’s Kingdom Come
Today we are going to consider the second petition, in which Jesus teaches us to pray, “Thy kingdom come.”
Immediately you will notice that this is another petition that concerns God. He receives the focus here. We are praying here for the establishment and the coming of the kingdom of God. How important this is. We should not come to God asking Him to help us to establish our own little kingdom here on earth. Our prayers are to be God-focused. The purpose of prayer is not so that we can get what we want and have our desires met. In prayer, our desires should be brought into line with God, who He is, and what He desires.
And that, I think, is the main thing that Jesus teaches us in this model prayer. This prayer is comprised of six petitions, three of which focus on God (His name, His kingdom, and His will), and only one of which has to do with our physical, earthly needs.
Jesus teaches us in the second petition to pray, “Thy kingdom come.” When you pray those words, what do you mean by kingdom? And when do we expect that this kingdom will come?
Listen to the message here.
Praying for Daily Bread
Jesus teaches us here to say, “Give us this day our daily bread.” This simple petition is profound both in what it teaches about God and in its implications for the Christian life. Each word has something to teach us. In this message, we hear Rev. Kleyn break down this petition word by word. There are four main words in this petition:
The first word is “give.” Is this placing a demand of God within our prayer?
What of the word “us,” why the focus on praying corporately rather than individually? .
The third word here is “this day,” or “today,” and “daily.” One thing that these words teach us is that we ought to pray daily. Have you prayed today?
The fourth and final word is “bread.” With this word Jesus places a restriction on what we may ask of God. Bread. What is “bread”? And, what restriction is then placed?
Learn more about this petition of the Lord’s Prayer and listen to the message here.