This sermon was preached by James Everall at the Ladybarn site of Christ Church Manchester on Sunday 7th April 2019.
This message was part of the ‘SERIES NAME’ series, preached at Christ Church Manchester’s church in Withington in EARLY/MID/LATE YEAR. The full series included the following sermons:
This sermon was based on Matthew 6:9-13.
The Lord’s Prayer
This is still a prayer that Jesus teaches his disciples to pray.
,I believe that the Lord’s prayer is a prayer which only a disciple can truly pray; it is a prayer which only someone who is committed to Jesus Christ, committed to following Him wherever He leads and at whatever the cost, can take upon their lips with any meaning.
When we look at the words of this prayer, and its structure, and the forming, and the deeper meanings behind the words then it becomes clear what it means to pray it.
The Lord’s prayer is the disciples of Jesus’ prayer and only the disciples (then and now) can grasp it with any depth, meaning and hope that it may impact their lives.
There is order to the Lord’s prayer
The first three petitions of the prayer have to do with God and with the glory of God (READ V9-10) and the second three petitions have to do with our needs and our necessities (Read V11-13).
Jesus says to his disciples something like this “if you want to pray in a manner that pleases God rather than man, you have to start with God. You have to give God first and supreme place, then after and only then after, you can turn to yourselves and your needs and desires.”
Prayer must never be an attempt to bend the will of God to our desires; prayer must always be an attempt to submit our wills to the will of God.
The Lord’s prayer was, and remains, offensive – and that’s a good thing
The Lord’s prayer is offensive to both the follower of Jesus who prays and everyone else. There are bits in this prayer that offend my ‘natural instincts’, that ‘arouse my anger’, that ‘tackle my pride’ and that ‘demonstrate my weaknesses’.
When the 1st century Jewish disciples would have heard Jesus teach them to pray with words such as Father and to pray in a manner so contrary to the traditions of the day and those of the ruling bodies, it would have been viewed as an incredibly offensive piece of teaching. The word Father alone would have been offensive to the disciples as it was so abrasive to everything they had been indoctrinated with from birth.
There is no doubt that this prayer was offensive, but I believe that the Lord’s prayer and its teaching are still (if not more) offensive today…and I praise God for it! Praise God for offensiveness of this prayer because within the offensiveness are riches such as identity, purpose, security, comfort, hope, and grace.
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