Dear Church Family and Friends,
We are beginning a new sermon series today on prayer. In this series, we will examine the model prayer that Jesus gave His disciples that we find in Luke 11. You may remember that there were two separate occasions in which Jesus taught His disciples how to pray. One of these moments occurred during His Sermon on the Mount and is found in the Gospel of Matthew. The other incident occurred after Jesus had spent some time in prayer, and then was asked by one of His disciples to teach them to pray. Both prayer models are similar, with slight differences. The prayer model in Matthew was presented as part of a sermon; the prayer model in Luke was presented during an impromptu discipleship class. The variety in the two prayer models shows that God does not desire specific words repeated from memory; He desires words that express our relationship with Him.
Jesus was a man of prayer during His incarnation. The Bible regularly records Him taking time to pray. We know from Scripture that He regularly prays for His followers: “He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always loves to make intercession for them,” (Hebrews 7:25).
Your prayers express your theology – what you believe about God. The first word, “Father,” expresses an important theological truth reflecting the impact of Jesus’ atoning work on our relationship to God. Through His atoning death on the cross, Jesus brought about our reconciliation with God, making it possible for us to become God’s spiritual children. Paul expanded on this theological truth when he wrote, “Brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh – for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die, but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For we all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Romans 8:12-15)
May your heavenly Father shine His love in and through your life.