Read: Psalm 116
Finally, in this Lord's Day, we take a view of the LORD’s model prayer in general. The following Lord's Days will study each part of the prayer itself. An examination of the prayer should give a good idea on how each part of this brief prayer fits in with the whole.
We must remind ourselves first of all that this prayer was given to us by our Lord Jesus Christ. It is therefore, not open to amendment or change. It is not a "time-conditioned" prayer which was given for that period of Jesus' day - but now must be adapted to our current society. It is a "timeless" prayer - equally relevant today as it was 2000 years ago.
This prayer consists of several divisions or parts. It consists of an address, of a series of petitions, and a closing doxology. The remarkable fact is that the prayer, though so very brief, cannot be added to in order to improve it, or have parts taken away. It is complete the way Christ has given it.
The address is to "Father Which art in heaven." That address is treated more extensively in the following Lord's Day. This is the proper address for this prayer and for the petitions which comprise its body.
There follows six petitions which can again be divided into two parts of three petitions each. The first three petitions relate to God and our relationship to Him. Though brief, these express the basic truths of our proper relationship to God. We could correctly say that the truths of these petitions could not be stated more succinctly than they are. One must be amazed at the beautiful summary that they give concerning God, His kingdom, and His will. The following Lord's Days will explain this further.
The second group of three petitions treats of that which pertains to our own needs. Again, one might hastily make some erroneous conclusions. Why should we ask for bread before treating that which is spiritual? One might also wonder at the brevity of the petitions. We might multiply the number of petitions. No doubt,, other petitions can be presented to our Father. But the "model" prayer presents all of this in a summary form.
The concluding doxology is recorded in the Matthew account (Matt. 6:13ff) but not in the Luke account (Luke 11). It is a beautiful concluding doxology. This prayer begins by addressing "Our Father" and concludes with the emphasis, though again so briefly, upon our Father's greatness and glory.
On the basis of the whole prayer, we can by faith believe that God hears and answers it. Our prayers, modeled after the principles of this prayer, will likewise be answered. Be assured of it - it is God's promise.
- Date: 11-November
Rev. G. Van Baren (Wife: Clara)
Ordained: October, 1956
Pastorates: Doon, IA - 1956; Randolph, WI - 1962; First, Grand Rapids, MI - 1965; Hudsonville, MI - 1977; Loveland, CO - 1994
Emeritus: 1999Website: www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?speakeronly=true&currsection=sermonsspeaker&keyword=Rev._Gise_Van_Baren
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