Luke: Prayer changes everything (Part 2)-03-04-18

Series Title: ‘The Gospel of Luke: Encountering Jesus’

Message: ‘Prayer changes everything!’ pt.2  Text: Luke 11:1-13

 Introduction: In a Peanuts cartoon, Lucy says ‘Sally is crawling, when will she start walking?’ Linus responds ‘Let her crawl, once you’ve stood and start walking; you’ve committed yourself for a lifetime.’ (Robert Jones)

The same is true for us.

  • Remember when you first gave your heart to Jesus?
  • Remember how excited you were knowing that Jesus will be with you and guide you?
  • Remember, how out of love for saving you, you told Jesus that from now on, I will follow You?

Well, that promise to follow Jesus is a commitment that you made… for a lifetime.

  • And to follow Jesus, means to obey Him.
  • As it applies to our text this morning, it means to obey God’s will.

Obedience… We have been taught from the time we were children, that we must learn to obey.

  • We’re taught to obey our parents, our teachers, police officers and our bosses at work.

And for the most part, we obey because we’ve learned the benefits of obedience in those life situations.

Yet, when the Bible tells us to obey God’s will…

  • we, well even with knowing the benefits of obeying the will of God,
  • we still haven’t quite learned how to do that.

To help ease our guilt, we gloss over where Scripture relates our obedience to God’s will, to our love for Him. Allow me to refresh your memory:

  • Whoever has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him. (John 14:21)
  • but I do as the Father has commanded Me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. (John 14:31a)

Jesus, Himself, understood that to be obedient to the will of God was a demonstration of His love for the Father.

He tells us that

  • if we want to know, to experience the presence of God in our lives, and all the blessings that come with His presence,
  • we must obey His will (text says commands, folks that’s the same thing)

Christian, obedience to God’s will is the key mark of your relationship with God.

Jesus said this about our relationship with Him in John 15:5,10

  • I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing… If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

Christian, understand something:

  • It’s our obedience to God’s will that brings fruit, and blessing to our lives.

Obedience to the Father’s will was so vital to Jesus, that He said:

  • My food is to do the will of Him Who sent me and to accomplish His work. (John 4:34b)

In John 20:21 Jesus told His disciples:

  • …As the Father has sent Me, even so I am sending you. (John 20:21b)

So Christian, make no mistake, you too are being sent… by Jesus, to do His will and finish the work He started, until He returns.

Now, you might be asking yourselves, ‘Why such a long introduction on obedience to God’s will?’ Allow Martin Luther, who has a powerful perspective on ‘The Lord’s Prayer’, to explain:

When we pray these petitions, we’re asking God that they happen in our lives. God will answer our prayers and change the world one life at a time, and God will begin with us.

  • When we ask that God name will be honored and kept holy, we’re asking that we will live in such a way that our lives will honor God and glorify His name.
  • When we ask that God’s kingdom come, we’re asking that God’s kingdom come to us and that we’ll live in God’s kingdom, here on earth, and experience the abundant life that is ours in that kingdom.
  • When we ask that God’s will be done on earth, we’re asking that it will be done in our lives. We are committing ourselves to be disciples of Jesus Christ and to place His will above our will. Faithful obedience is our desire and goal.

When His (God) is our perspective, then prayer is more than asking for something that we need, it’s asking to be changed in ways that we cannot imagine. (Kevin Ruffcorn)

Honestly, I was blown away by that. It has fundamentally changed how I view ‘The Lord’s Prayer’.

  • It’s no longer just requests we make to God,
  • it’s a prayer that through those requests,
  • the Holy Spirit will so transform my life,
  • that I reflect those requests, to all around me

This is HUGE!

 Background: So, lets run to our text, with total abandonment, to see how God, through these requests, wants to transform us!

  • Remember we’ll be using both Luke’s and Matthew’s account of ‘The Lord’s Prayer.’

Go to the next Slide

Read: Luke 11:2; Matthew 6:9-10

 

  1. Hallowed be Your name

To hallow God’s name, means, that God’s name; His honor, His reputation, be holy.

  • The word hallowed in the Greek is (hag ee ad zo) which means to sanctify or to make holy.

God presents Himself in many ways to His people in the Bible.

  • He’s our Creator, our guide, our helper, even our friend.

But, none of those can be separated from His absolute holiness.

  • Exalt the Lord our God; worship at His footstool! Holy is He! (Psalm 99:5)
  • And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!” (Isaiah 6:3)

God is holy and the angels in heaven hallow, proclaim, the holiness of God.

If we take Martin Luther’s perspective, to pray hallowed be Thy name, then it means that

  • we must make God’s name holy, sanctified,
  • by choosing to be a holy and sanctified people, set apart to God.

(Hag ee ad zo) also means to separate from profane/unholy things and be dedicated to God. The Apostle Peter reminds us of that in 1 Peter 1:15

  • but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct (1 Peter 1:15)

We must be holy, set apart, fully committed to God, in all that we do.

  • So the choices we make every day, must reflect our commitment to God.
  • The way we spend our time, our finances, must reflect our commitment to God.
  • How we relate to each other here, in the workplace, in school, in the neighborhood and in our homes, must reflect our commitment to God.

When you think about all that, we can see just how blessed we are that God calls us to separate ourselves from the world.

  • You shall be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine. (Leviticus 20:26)

Christian, you have been chosen by God, separated from the world by God… and you belong, you belong… to Almighty God!

Listen to how the Apostle Peter talks about how great it is to belong to God:

  • But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:9–10)

God has set us apart in order to let us know that we are loved by Him. And because He delights in us, He demands the best for us and the best is to always honor Him in every area of our lives.

  • That’s something even our Pioneer Girls know.

Lord, hallowed be Your name… in my life!

  1. Your kingdom come

At first glance, this seems like a ‘big picture’ kind of request. Christians, regardless of their eschatological understandings, are all looking for Jesus to return in glory with His kingdom.

  • The time when all of creation is made new.
  • The time when Jesus rules and reigns over all the earth.

The Kingdom of God is coming…We see this many times in the NT.

  • And this request in prayer to the Father, is for just that.
  • It’s how Jesus’ disciples would have understood it.

But on this side of the cross, we have the completed Word of God and we know that the Kingdom of God is already here… not in the fullness of when Jesus will return, but here right now.

And if we take Martin Luther’s perspective, to pray Your kingdom come means,

  • Each time we live out kingdom ethics, as Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount, we reveal the Kingdom of God!
  • Each time we share our faith in Jesus Christ, we reveal the Kingdom of God!
  • Each time we support our missionaries, whether financially or with encouragement, we reveal the Kingdom of God!
  • Each time we worship God together, we reveal the Kingdom Of God!
  • Each time we’re good stewards and give regularly and sacrificially of our finances, we reveal the Kingdom of God!
  • Each time we say no to our wants, to our desires, to our agenda and yes to Gods purpose and plan, we reveal the Kingdom of God!
  • Each time we intentionally seek God’s presence, outside this building, we reveal the Kingdom of God!
  • Each time we obey God’s will, we reveal the Kingdom of God!

So ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ is as much about asking God to send Jesus and His Kingdom, as it is asking God to reveal His Kingdom, through us.

Lord, Your Kingdom come, in my life!

  1. Your will be done

There is a connection here between the coming of God’s Kingdom and the doing of God’s will.

  • We know that when the Kingdom of God comes in its fullness, Jesus will rule and reign and there will be total obedience to the will of God.

But if that’s all Jesus meant by Your will be done in earth as it is in heaven, then it has no relevance to us today. It’s completely a future event with future application.

  • I just don’t see it that way.

This single request, is truly the bottom line of our responsibility in this prayer. Because without obedience to God’s will, all the other requests will amount to nothing.

  • A life of disobedience will show our lack of holiness.
  • A life of disobedience will show our lack of commitment to God.
  • A life of disobedience will show that we are rebellious children.
  • A life of disobedience will show that we prefer the kingdom of this world to the Kingdom of our God.

Truth is, when we come to God in prayer, it’s more often than not, a request for Him to change our circumstances.

  • When what we truly need is a change in our character, particularly in the area of our obedience.

Again, if we take Luther’s perspective then Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, would sound something like this when we pray:

  • Father, reveal to me Your will in areas of my life where I don’t understand it.
  • And change my heart when I refuse to accept Your will.
  • When I continue to fight You over Your will, humble me to know that You and You alone, are God.
  • When I choose obedience to Your will, may it not be hesitantly. No! May it be joyfully and immediately.

Lord, Your will be done… in my life!

Conclusion: I’ll close with just one thought:

  • Are you willing, to not just pray ‘The Lord’s Prayer’,
  • but to live it out?