Praying Like Jesus (Part 1): The Father's Character

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We are starting a new series on prayer. We can read through the Gospels and see how important prayer was to Jesus. The disciples saw this lifestyle of prayer lived out before them and wanted Jesus to teach them how to pray like Him.

Most people who have been a part of church for any amount of time have heard the Lord’s prayer. There is much more to this prayer than just reciting the words verbatim. We are going to take a deeper look at the Lord’s prayer. Prayer keeps coming to the forefront of my heart as we head into these summer months. We have always been a church of prayer, but God wants to teach us some new things about prayer, and He wants to take us to a deeper place in prayer. God is up to something and prayer is going to pave the way for Him to move in our lives and in our city.

Luke 11:1-2 (NKJV): Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” So He said to them, "When you pray, say…

The disciples could see that everything Jesus did on earth was birthed through prayer. That’s why they asked Him to teach them how to pray. Prayer should not be an optional thing for a believer. Jesus says, “when you pray…” Every great move of God throughout our history was birthed through prayer. That’s why we need to pray for our city.

Matthew 6:5-15 (NKJV): “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray: 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 forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

I. Our Father in Heaven

Matthew 6:9: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed by Your name.

Jesus begins his prayer with “Father,” which is the Aramaic word Abba (daddy). It’s an intimate name for our intimate God. Jesus is teaching that all believers have the same right of relationship He enjoys!

Matthew 7:9-11: You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

We have to know the character of God when we come to Him in prayer. God is good. He is a good and loving Father that wants to bless His children.

Romans 8:14-17: For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.

Those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. He has put His Spirit — the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead — within us so that we would be joined with Him and would know that we are His children.

The spirit of the world wants to lead us to a destructive life of sin. It wants to bring shame upon us so that we do not feel worthy of the Father’s love. The Father wants us to walk in intimacy with Him so that we will know that we are His heirs and that all He has belongs to us.

Galatians 4:6-7: And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.

We see this same teaching in Galatians. When we come to God, we are coming to a loving Father who longs for intimacy with us.

James 1:16-18: So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.

James is talking to believers who are going through various trials. These trials are testing their faith and bringing them to a place of maturity in Christ.

There are times that we go through trials and we wonder where God is. We are wondering why God isn’t answering our prayers. Our prayers become more like complaints than faith in our loving Father to meet us and fulfill His will for our lives.

God never changes. There are no variances with Him. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We are His most prized possession!

II. Hallowed be your name

Hallowed

  • honored; respected; held in high esteem

Hallowed be

  • establishes the principle of prayer on the precept of worship

Prayer and worship go together. We come into the presence of God with worship and thanksgiving.

Psalm 100:1-5: Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth! Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

We can only come to the Father this way if we truly know His character. We have to know His love, His faithfulness, His goodness, His kindness, and His mercy. Worship is how we acknowledge His character and it gets us in a place to receive from our loving Father.

John 4:10: Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”

This woman at the well wanted Jesus to meet a need that would keep her from enduring public shame. Jesus offered her much more. He offered a new life in Him where she would not only be forgiven of her sin and freed from death. She would come into relationship with a loving Father who wanted to lavish His love on her.

We have a Father that loves us and longs for intimacy with us. Everything that He owns is already ours, so let’s come into His presence with reverence and awe. Let’s come to Him with worship and thanksgiving, because He is a such a good and loving Father. God wants to fulfill His promises in our lives more than we want them to be fulfilled. He wants to reach our city more than we want to. Everything that He does in our lives must flow from a place of intimacy. It cannot be works based. God doesn’t owe us anything. He has already proved how much He loves us by sending His son to die for us. Let’s receive everything that the Father wants to bless our lives with and more importantly, let’s keep going to our Father. He longs to be with us!