How should we address God? We should pray with: Intimacy, Reverence, and Boldness.
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven, – (Intimacy: Calling Him Father)
hallowed be your name, – (Reverence: Acknowledging God as Holy)
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread. – (Boldness: Asking of our Creator)
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one. Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV)
Big Idea: The purpose of prayer is to be in the presence of God
Jesus taught us how to pray:
- Pray Privately – Luke 9:18 (NLT) One day Jesus left the crowds to pray alone…
- Pray Regularly – Ephesians 6:18 (NIV) And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests…
- Pray Genuinely – Matthew 6:5-6 (NASB) 5 “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 6 “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
Prayer is an act of repentance.
Prayer is an act of submission.
Prayer is an act of obedience.
He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 18:9-14 (ESV)
A blessing was one way of asking for God’s divine favor to rest upon others. Its five parts conveyed hope that God would:
- Protect his people
- Smile on them (be pleased with them)
- Be gracious (merciful and compassionate) to them
- Show them his favor (give them his approval)
- Give them peace.
The blessing you offer will not only help the one receiving it, it will also demonstrate love, encourage others, and provide a model of caring to others.