Intro. We are looking at the Lord's prayer not so much as something to be repeated verbatum, but as a model or sample form for prayer. We saw that it began with the address, "Our Father which art in heaven." then it entered into worship, "Hallowed be Thy name."
I. WE NOW COME TO PETETION AS INTERCESSION.
A. It is important to note that the first petition does not involve personal things, but that of the Kingdom. "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven."
1. A little further on in this sermon, Jesus will tell His disciples that they should not worry about the daily necessities but to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to them.
2. As Christians we long for the Kingdom of God to come.
a. We yearn for that day when the kingdoms of this world become the Kingdom of our Lord, and of His Messiah, and He shall reign forever and ever over the whole earth.
b. I feel much like Lot must have felt living in Sodom, where we read that His righteous spirit was vexed by the way the people were living.
c. We used to sing, "This world is not my home, I'm just a passing through."
d. We read of Abraham and the Old Testment men and women of faith, that they declared that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
e. Paul told the Corinthians to let their every contact with the world be as light as possible.
3. Our task is to bring people into the Kingdom of God.
a. The Kingdom of God is where ever God reigns.
b. If God reigns over your life, then the Kingdom of God is within you.
4. The successful person is a person who has learned to keep his priorities straight. First things first, keep the main thing the main thing.
a. "Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness."
b. Moses said to the children of Israel,
Set your hearts unto all the words which I have testified to you this day, and you shall command your children to observe and do all the words of this law. It is not an option for, it is your life.
II. HE THEN LEADS US INTO PERSONAL PETITION.
A. "Give us this day our daily bread."
1. Our sustenance is important.
2. We need our daily bread to survive.
3. There is nothing wrong with bringing our personal needs to the Father.
B. "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors."
1. Jesus must have considered this as one of the most important of all the petitions, for it is the only one that he paused to emphasize at the end of the sermon.
a. For if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
b. Three places in this sermon, Jesus seems to teach that as we treat others sets the standard for how we shall be treated.
1. 5:7, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."
2. Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
3. 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
2. Jesus gave many messages on the importance of forgiving.
a. The parable of the wicked servant.
Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
b. In Marks gospel Jesus said,
And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
c. Luke records Jesus as teaching:
Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.
And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.
C. "Lead us not into temptation."
1. This is a petition that has created a lot of questions as to just what Jesus meant.
a. James said, "Let no man when he is tempted say that God tempted him, for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man.
b. The process of temptation often follows this pattern: 1st. A simple thought of evil. 2nd. Dwelling on the thought. Fantasizing 3rd. Delighting in the thought and thinking on how to you might engage in that desire. 4th. Deciding to fulfill that desire.
2. The word temptation has sometimes been translated, sore trials. The petition would then be, "Lead us not into sore trials, but deliver us from the evil one."
a. We think of the sore trials that Satan brought upon Job.
b. God don't let my life be a testing ground like Job.
c. We do have the promise that:
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].
3. There us another possibility as to the meaning. Jesus in talking of the period of great tribulation that was coming on the earth, said: "Pray always that you will be accounted worthy to escape all of these things and stand before the Son of Man." In Revelation 3
Jesus promised that because the church of Philadelphia had kept His word, He would keep them from the hour of temptation that was coming to try them that are upon the earth. It could be our prayer to be kept from the great tribulation period, that in Luke 21
Jesus told us to pray for.
III. THE PRAYER GOES BACK TO WORSHIP. "FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM, AND THE POWER AND THE GLORY FOREVER, AMEN."
A. This particular portion is not in some of the earlier manuscripts and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.