From the Archives! Luke Sermon Manuscripts: Luke 11:2

I like reading sermon manuscripts! So, I thought it might be helpful for some if I shared some various manuscripts of messages I have preached from time to time. Now, I am not going to do the work of editing them, so please be patient with the presentation, as I type them a certain way to make it easier for me as I preach. It may be a bit annoying for you, but it would take way too long for me to edit! You can listen to the audio here. This particular message is about the first requirement of prayer. 

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All right.

Well.


As you can see.

We are going to be looking at.

Luke chapter 11.

And.

Verses 1-13.

And continuing our discussion of what Jesus teaches about prayer.

And we are taking this a little more slowly.

Because.

If there is one spiritual discipline we want to become better at in the years ahead,.

It’s talking to God.

It’s hard to think of many things, in our lives, more important than that, and, of course, as we look down at this passage, it’s pretty obvious.

That’s the theme of these verses.

This passage gives us an unusual opportunity to talk about.

Prayer.

Because.

As.

Luke tells us.

Jesus was praying in a certain place.

And when he finished.

One of his disciples came up and said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’

And.

Unsurprisingly, I think.

Jesus responds.

To that request.

In a pretty thorough way, really.

It’s concise. But it’s thorough and it’s life transforming.

As well.

And.

He begins.

By giving them.

A model for prayer.

In verses 1-4.

What to pray.

And.

Then.

Shows them.

The manner in which they should pray.

How to pray.


In verse 5-8.

And finally, he finishes with a motivation for prayer.

In verses 9 through 13.

And.

So.

Over the next couple of weeks.

We are going to be talking about the what, the how and the why of prayer, and we are going to begin this afternoon, by, just beginning to look at the model, Jesus gives us for prayer.

And.

So.

While.

I guess.

You could say.

Last week’s message.

Was a call to prayer.

This week.

Is.

More.

How to pray.

And what to pray.

And I really.

Can’t think of many better places to learn how to pray correctly.

Than a passage like this.

One.

Where.

I mean.

We are being taught by Jesus.

Jesus is deliberately giving us a model for prayer.

As you can see.

Probably in your Bibles.

In the bold print above.

The paragraph.

Shows us, this is what many people call the Lord’s prayer.

And.

Yet.

Others.

Actually call it the disciples prayer, which is probably a little bit better description, because, Jesus is obviously, not so much praying here.

As he is teaching his disciples how to pray.

Luke writes,

Verse 1.

“Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord teach us to pray as John taught his disciples.”

And.

That right there.

Already tells us something about prayer.

It tells us.

We need to be taught how to pray.

Which maybe sounds funny because in a sense, praying is simple.

It is talking to God from the heart.

That’s what it means to pray.

And yet.

Prayer is also something that’s deep.

And needs to be learned.

Because.

It is talking to God from the heart.

And.

I think.

While the disciples.

Weren’t usually very humble.

In the gospels.

Honestly.

This is one place where they knew they needed help, and so this is actually, the only place in the gospels where we find them asking Jesus to teach them something.


And.


It might be that they asked him to teach them to pray because this is just something that rabbis did.

Apparently.

It was fairly common in those days for a rabbi to teach his disciples to pray. In fact, we even see that John the Baptist, had done exactly this, for those who had followed him.

And now Jesus’ disciples wanted him.


To teach them.

How to pray.

Maybe.

Partially.

I guess.

Because that’s what rabbis did, but also, certainly, and more significantly, because they had actually seen Jesus pray.

And.

That must have impacted them to the core.

I mean.

Watching the God-man pray.

Must have been an absolutely mind blowing experience.

And I am sure that his prayers were so radically different than the kind of praying they were hearing from everyone else and that they, must have been saying, to themselves, after listening to Jesus.

How can we learn to pray like this?

And so, finally, one of them comes to Jesus, asking him to teach them to pray and he responds to their request.

By telling them something He’s basically.

Told them before.

Actually.

“When you pray, say, Father…”

And you know, it is interesting, I think.

If go on to look at exactly what he tells them to say, you’ll find he’s saying something very similar to what he’s already said.

Back.

In Matthew 6.

And Matthew’s version of this.

Which we talked about last week is the more famous one, I am sure, and it is actually, in a different place, altogether.

Than Luke’s.

In Matthew Jesus teaches the disciples the Lord’s prayer, not after he was praying, like here in Luke, but while he was preaching, and specifically while he was preaching, a sermon.

That.

We call the Sermon on the Mount.

And.

When we look a little closer at the prayers, we see, they are not only found in different places, the prayers themselves, have some pretty significant differences.

As well.

Like for example.

Lukes’ is shorter.

In verses.

2-4.

The version of the prayer.

Luke gives.

Has less words.


Than the one found in Matthew.


Like, for example.

Jesus.

Doesn’t say our Father who is in heaven.

Here.

That’s in Matthew.

He just says Father.

In Luke.

And.

He doesn’t say Thy will be done.

Or, on earth as it is in heaven.

And actually, he doesn’t say, deliver us from the evil one, either.

And some people, are bothered, when they find out about those differences.Like it is some big problem, but, it’s not that complicated, really.

Especially.

If.

You’ve been a teacher.

You know.

A lot of times people.

Aren’t really listening.

And so you have to say a lot of things twice, especially important things, which is what.

Jesus is doing here.

And.

The reason some of the words are different.

Is because.

Jesus wasn’t giving them.

A specific formula.

To pray.

And that’s actually why I bring all this up.

Because.

There are some people who think of the Lord’s prayer as a form.

You have to say.

Like.


You have to say these exact words.

And that would be a wrong way to think about the Lord’s prayer.

As if.


Jesus was giving us a magical formula to use as we approach God.

Here are the magic words.

And God will have to give you what you want.

When.

Obviously, that’s not the point at all.

And we know that.

Because Jesus didn’t say just this when he prayed.

I mean, you can read the prayer of Jesus in John 17 and.

He didn’t say just this.

And we, actually, never find an example of anyone else saying just this, when they prayed.

Anywhere.

In the rest of the New Testament.

And that’s not because they were disobeying Jesus, at all, but instead, because they knew, Jesus was giving them principles.

Here.

To use as they pray.

I mean.

It’s.

Not wrong to quote the Lord’s prayer.

Word for word.

Or.

Even to sing it.

Like.

I know.

They do at my daughter’s school.

As long as you understand that Jesus is doing is something bigger than just telling you something to repeat.

Without thinking.

He’s giving you a model, to use, you might say, as you build your prayers.

Kind of like.

I guess.

If I had never preached before.

And someone says.

Let me show you how to preach.

And they give me a sample biblical sermon. And they give me that, not so that I use that exact sermon every time I preach, but instead, they give me an example, in order to show me what it looks like.

To preach.

A biblical sermon.

And so.

If I wanted to learn to preach.

I wouldn’t just memorize that sermon.

Instead.


I would have to go back to the sermon and study and say what makes this a good sermon? Exactly? And that’s what we need to do with the Lord’s prayer.

As well.

We.

Need to go back to this prayer.


And kind of take it apart and look at each element and ask what does it teach us about how we should approach God in prayer?

And I think.

We should.

Appreciate.

This.


In a big way.

Because.


This is really a tremendous privilege.


We are getting here.

Let me say it again.


In that.

This is Jesus.

Teaching.


Us.


On prayer.

Who.

As a man.

Was the best prayer who ever lived.

And who wasn’t just a man of course, but was and is, God.

And so.

I am saying.

It’s amazing how kind God’s been to us.

When it comes to prayer.

Because prayer is hard and we want to learn how to pray.

And.

I was thinking.

If you could choose to learn how to pray from anyone, you would say.


Well.

I want to learn how to pray from God, for sure, since I am talking to Him.

And yet, you might think in your mind, well, ahh, He’s God, you know.

And so you might say, I need more than that.

I want to learn how to pray from a man as well.

Someone from my side.

Who is praying.

And yet.

He can’t just be anyone.


He’s got to be.

Like a perfect man.

And that’s exactly what we have in Jesus.

We are actually learning how to pray from God and we are learning how to pray from a perfect man.

At the same time.

Which is awesome.

And makes this,

An incredible opportunity for us to learn how to pray.

As God stooped down to give us someone who actually can show us.

A biblical.

God pleasing.

Prayer life.

In action.

And as we look at how Jesus taught us to pray in verses 2 through 4.

Today.

While.

There are a number of different approaches we could take, I just want to break these verses down into a series of principles.

Or you might even say.

Rules.

Which.

Will help you as you go to God in prayer.

And.


So.

Really.

I want to look at what Jesus says in this prayer and ask what does that mean, for the way we pray? And not just pray actually, but also live.And try to summarize what He says in a series of principles.

That maybe won’t give you the exact words to say.

Every time you pray.

Like you can write on a piece of paper, I have to say this. But will give you a simple ,basic way to approach God in prayer.

Confident you are honoring Him.

And the starting place.

I am convinced.

The very first principle.

Jesus.

Gives us.

Is that you always have to begin.

Prayer.

By making sure, you really are believing.

And enjoying.

The.

Gospel.

So right at the start of prayer.


Is this word BELIEVE.


Do I believe the gospel?

And.

I get this.

From the way Jesus tells us to address God.

Actually.

The very first word.


In the prayer.

Is how we are to address God.

It’s not a petition.


It’s not a request.

It’s just a simple.

Statement.

About how we should.


Think of God.


And.

Specifically.

Of course.

By God here.

We are talking about the first member of the Trinity.


Because.

That’s who Jesus is telling us we are praying to.

And again.

This is deep.

I know.


But as we Christians believe in a Trinity.

And.


That means.


One God who exists in three persons.

God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

And.


So.

Even though.


Jesus is God.


And the Spirit is God.

We don’t call Jesus Father.

And we don’t call the Spirit.

Father either.

Instead.

Jesus tells us we are supposed to speak to the first member of the Trinity.

As we pray.

And call Him, Father.

In Matthew, Jesus adds the word, our.


Our Father.


So this is a statement of relationship.

Between us and God.

Which.

I know.

Maybe doesn’t stand out to us.

At first.

The way it should.


Because we have gotten so used to it.

And it feels normal to call God Father, and yet.

If you take a step back and think about God, for a moment, it’s actually a really shocking name to call Him.

Because.

He.

Is.


Fundamentally.

Different than us.

God.


I mean.


He is the Creator of all things.

Which.

Is one of the reasons we are praying to Him.


In the first place.

He’s not just another creature, He’s the Creator, and that makes Him unique.

In fact.

There are really, only two kinds of things.

In the entire universe.

There’s the Creator, and then there’s the created, and they are in separate categories, obviously, and there is an unending distance between them, as well.

And that’s why the Bible says.

There’s no one you can compare God to. Who are you going to compare God to?

He’s in a class by Himself.


And.


That’s.

Why it says.

His thoughts are above our thoughts.

And.


That makes calling Him Father, kind of shocking.

It’s not something you can take for granted.

Like.


Of course.

I call God Father.

Of course.


I have this relationship with Him.

In.


Fact.

I think.

If you look at the images and illustrations.

The Bible uses to describe God.

And what He’s like.

There are lots of other terms, besides Father, you might more naturally expect.

Us to call God.

In prayer.

Like.

Say.

King perhaps.

I think.

That makes sense to us.

Calling God.

King.

Or.

Or.

Perhaps.


Awesome One.

Or.

I guess.

Another word.

We might expect to use.

Would be judge.

Or maybe.


Almighty.

Because He is so obviously all of those things, and.

I am just saying.

That.

As we look at some of the ways the Bible describes God.

Out of all the different terms.

Jesus could have chosen.

In Luke 11.

For us to use.


To address God.

It’s pretty shocking.


That Jesus tells us to call this God.


Father.

Because.

Fundamentally

This.

Is.


About relationship.

The way Jesus uses the term here.

Is deeper than just acknowledging that God is a certain kind of God.

We are not just making a statement about God’s character.

Like.

He is a Fatherly.

Because.

As I said.

If we look.

In Matthew Jesus says we should call Him our Father.

Which means.


We are.

Claiming.

We have a certain kind of relationship with this God.

And.

This God has a certain kind of relationship with us.

He is our Father.

And.

We are His.

Family.

And.

Having that kind of relationship with God is shocking, not simply because of the fact that He is this great God.

But.

Because of the fact, that we are great sinners.

Which.


I think.

Is the real issue.

Here.

I mean.

This is what makes this a term worth thinking about.

It’s not just.

That.

We are different.


Than God.

Where.

He is Creator.

And.


We are created.

It is bigger.

It’s that.

He is holy.


And we are.


Not.

And.

So.


Even though.

Or even if.

We somehow.

Opened up the Scriptures.

And.


Learned.

That.

There’s this.

God.

Out there.

Who is.

Loving.

And good.


And.

A Father.

Even.

That wouldn’t.


Help us.

Much.

Because.

We’ve totally.

Abandoned.


That God.


And.


We’ve totally rebelled against that relationship.

A long time ago.

And.


We have chosen.

As humans.


To become this God’s enemies.

And.


This is just.

So.

Important.

To understand.

Because.

When we call God Father.

We are saying.


Have a relationship.

With God.

Characterized by affection and concern.

And.

Love.


And.


Delight.

And.


Intimacy.

And confidence!

I mean.

The word Father.

As we look at the New Testament.

Is part of why we have confidence when we enter the throne room.


To speak.

And.

That.

Confidence.

Is not something that everyone can have, naturally.


Obviously.

Because.

The Bible tells us.

We are.


Born enemies of God.

Ephesians chapter 2.

Not everyone can call God Father. And not anyone of us, deserves to call God Father. From birth. Because He wasn’t our Father.

And.

You know this.

But Paul writes,

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins, in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience, among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”

Which means.

Of course.

We weren’t.

Children of God.

At birth.

You hearing me?

We were.

Children of wrath.

And as children of wrath.

We definitely couldn’t call God Father. I mean. We could say it. I am sure. He is Fatherly. But He wasn’t our Father. We didn’t have a right to claim that.

Which is part of what makes becoming a Christian so awesome.

And it’s part of what makes.

The gospel.

Such good news.

Because it tells us God didn’t leave us as Christians in that condition.

When you became a Christian.

Something happened.

And this is.

John 1:12.

“But to all who did receive Jesus, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

And.


So.

Having received.


Jesus.

John says.

We.

Now have the right.

To call God Father.

And.

You.

Know.

You know.

How did I come to have that right?


And John says.

It wasn’t because of your family.

And it wasn’t because of your ability.

And it wasn’t because of what someone else wanted for you.

It was a work of God. God made you His child.

And.

How exactly did God make you His child, and you know.

This is just getting better and better.


It’s.


Through.

Adoption.


And listen.

This one word.


Father.

Can take us so, so far.

It’s not just a throw away term.

It’s like a hyperlink to all kinds of great biblical truths, and one of the key truths that helps us understand, our relationship with God as Father, is this idea, the Bible teaches, about us, being adopted.


And.

This is Ephesians chapter 1.

Actually.

Where.

Paul says.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Which.

Obviously.

We can understand.


That.

Yes.

God.


Is the Father of Jesus.

Because Jesus is the perfect reflection of the Father, and so if we look back to even before the beginning of the world.

We see God as Father..

And that means.

He has had this eternal, forever, loving relationship with the second member of the Trinity, the Son of God.


Where.


They are enjoying each other.

As Father and Son.

And it’s beautiful.

And.


We would all agree.

Jesus is the only one with the right naturally to call God Father.

And yet.

What’s happened in saving us is that God has united us to Jesus.

And.

That’s.

Kind of the whole.


Point.

Actually.

And.

That’s what makes this such a big deal.

Because.

Paul says,


“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.”

In other words.


In saving us.


God placed us in Christ.

And that’s.


Real.


That means.

What belongs to Jesus.

Now.


Belongs to us.

Because we are in Him.

And.

Specifically.


One of the ways.


God made that happen.

Is through adoption.

Which.

Paul says just a little bit later.

“In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ,”

Which means.

Basically.

That.

God transferred us out of our former family.

That we belonged to.

Into a new one.

And.

By former family.

We are not talking so much about your physical family.

But a bigger family.

We were part of the family of Satan, really, and God’s has taken us out of that family, and put us in another one.

And.

That’s what adoption is.

Isn’t it?

It’s leaving one family behind.

And.


Legally.

Entering into and belonging to a new one.

And this new family.

That.


We’ve entered into.


As believers.

Is.

Of course.


God’s own family.

Which is huge.

And.


For Paul.

This is something that was really awe inspiring.

Because.

It.

Is not something God had to do.


It was love that motivated God to adopt us.

He says.

He adopted us in love.

He looked on us with affection and so He brought us into our family.

And.

It’s not just something God decided to do on the spur of the moment.

Either.

This whole thing was planned.

He predestined us for adoption.

Predestine means to choose beforehand.

This was a deliberate choice.


To bring us.


Into His family.

And it was a choice.

That He made.


Before the beginning of the world.

He had this loving relationship with His own Son, and He wanted to bring you into that relationship so you could enjoy it.

Which.


Paul says.

Was.


Not something that God did easily.

To make this happen.

He had to pay a price.

It came at the cost of God’s own son.

He adopted us as son through Jesus Christ.

And.

It was something that.

He wanted to do.

Paul goes on.

He adopted us according to the purpose of His will.

Purpose.

Plan.


But plan with desire.


Want.

And.


I hope.

You are seeing.

How.

All this is connecting.

Because.

This.

Ultimately.

Is why we call God Father.

We look up at God and He is great and He is awesome.


And we look at ourselves.

And we are weak and we are sinners.

And.

We look at Jesus, and He’s saying, you are family with God now.

And we look at the gospel.

And it explains how.

This is how we came to call God Father.

It’s through.

Union with Christ.

And.

It’s through.

Adoption.

And one reason this is such a big deal.

Is.

Because, ultimately.


Paul says.

God adopted us to the praise of the glory of His grace.

Which means.

He adopted us.


So that.

Everybody would see and rejoice in how beautiful His undeserved kindness.

Is.

And.

I just think.

Out of all the people in the universe.

Who should be praising.


And rejoicing.

And enjoying.


The beauty of His undeserved kindness.


It should.


Be.

The ones.


He adopted.

First.

We are supposed to enjoy the fact we are part of God’s family, that is supposed to be a big, big deal to us, that we are loved, and planned, and bought, and wanted like this.

And.

One.

Place to start.


Enjoying that.


Is in.

In prayer.

As we approach God in prayer.

This great.

And.

Awesome God.

Jesus wants us to come to Him.

Like we would.

Come to.

The.

Most loving.

Most gracious.

Most kind.

Most perfect.

Father.

In the.


Entire Universe.

Which means.

With.

Joy.

With.

Confidence.

And.

Even with. Boldness.

This is part of how we honor Him.

As Christians. 
One of the ways.

We honor God.

In prayer.

As Christians.

Is by coming to Him.

Like.

We really believe.

We are not orphans. We are not enemies.

We are adopted.

Children.

Which means.

Of course.


Coming.

With confidence you really have a relationship with Him.

Coming.

With confidence that relationship is a loving one.

Coming.

With confidence.

He is not distant and removed, but is, in fact, your Father.

And.

Honestly.

This is sort of basic biblical teaching.

The Heidelberg Catechism.

Which is this great little tool that was used in the past to help Christians understand some of the most important truths in the Scripture.

Through question and answers.


Once.

Asked.


Why do we call God Father?

And.

Then answered.

“That immediately at the beginning of our prayer, he might excite in us a childlike reverence for and confidence in God, which are the foundations of prayer.”

The foundations of prayer, are childlike reverence for God and confidence in God, and I am stressing now the confidence.

The word Father.

Gives us.

Because.

This is.

One of the foundations of prayer.

At the bottom.


At the heart.

And.

At the core.

Of a believer’s relationship with God.

Is.

This.

Deep love that God has for His children and that’s a big part what the gospel.

Is.

Revealing.

To us.

I mean.

We start prayer like this, because that’s a big part of what the gospel.

Showed us about God.

Because.

You know, before we heard the gospel, we were just going through this world.

With all sorts.

Of funny ideas about God.

Like.

He is far and distant and unconcerned.

And maybe.

Even hard and angry and difficult.


But.

All that changed.

At some point in time.

When heard this message.

About God.

That’s revealed in the gospel.

That the God.

Who created the world.

1 John 4:8.

Is love.

That’s His nature.

And.

That His love.

Motivated Him to send His.

Son.


John 3:16.

“For God so loved the world.


That He gave His only begotten Son.”

And.

That.

He pours out His great love.


Specifically.


On those.

Who.

Love Jesus.


John 16:27.

“For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.”

And.

As faith.


Opens our eyes.

To.


All that.

All that.

Stuff.


Starts.

Mattering.

More than anything else.

To us.

And.

We are saved.

And.

When we are saved.

The Holy Spirit.


Takes all this truth we’ve heard about God’s love and makes it real.

To us.

Deep down.

Romans 5:5.

He.

“Pours God’s love.”

Into our hearts.

Which means.

One of the things that happens when we are saved.

Is.


That we see.

That.


This God.

Who.

Is beautiful.

And holy.

And awesome.

And powerful.

And totally just.

Somehow.

Is also.

Filled with love.

For us.

And.

Actually cares about us.

And.

This is not some sort of weak love that ignores our sin either.

It’s.

A perfect righteous love.

Which is what motivated Him.

To punish His Son for the sins we committed.

1 John 4:10.

“Not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

And.

That order is.

Actually.

So important.

What motivated him to send His Son to die for our sins.

Not that we loved God, but that He loved us.

Because.

I know.

We’re.

Tempted to think.

In this is love.

Not that God loved us.


Until we loved Him first.


And.

Yet that’s the opposite of the gospel order.

Romans 5:8.

God’s love comes first.

“But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.”

And.

I am.

Just saying.


As you come to God in prayer.

I think the fact Jesus is telling us to call God Father is a way of.

Him.

Calling us.


Back to.

These.


Gospel.


Basics.

This is what the gospel reveals.

This is what saving faith.


Grabs hold of.

The love of God.

Through.

Jesus.

For sinners.

Someone once said.


Prayer is the chief exercise of faith.

Real prayer.

Is the primary way real faith works.

And.

Real faith.

You remember.

Is not just believing there is a God.

That’s not what saves us.

Unbelievers, believe that.

And.

It’s not just believing God’s angry.

Either.

I mean.

No one is saved just by believing they should go to hell.

Instead.

We are saved by believing.

God is loving and kind and willing to forgive all our sins because of Christ.

And.

Jesus.

Telling us.


To begin.

Our prayers.

Addressing God as Father.

Is.

Him.


Saying.

It’s important.

You begin prayer.

By making sure you really.

Still believe that.

That you are exercising your faith as you pray. That’s what it means to pray in faith.
In other words.

Think about.

Your relationship with God.

Don’t just rush in.

Reflect.

On the fact.

That.

You are coming to your Father.

And you.

Have to think about this.

And reflect on this.

Because.

Sometimes.

It.


Can be really difficult.

Honestly.

To believe that.

We have this kind of relationship with God.

In fact a lot of times.

We might say.

We are adopted.


But.


In reality.

We don’t feel like we are sons of God.

Instead.

We feel like orphans.


I remember, a pastor named Jack Miller once explained,

If you look at how we really feel.

We feel like there is no Father who loves us.

We are on our own.

And so.

Instead of peacefully depending on God.

We feel like we have to take care of ourselves.


Because that’s what orphans do.

And.

That’s why sometimes people pray the way hypocrites do, because they aren’t trusting, they are calculating.

And.

Instead of acknowledging we are children, and our need of help.

We have to pretend to be strong.


Because that’s what orphans do.

Which is why sometimes people.


Pray the way pagans do.

It’s like a show of strength. Through my words, I can make God do what I want. I am in charge.

And.

Instead.

Of.

Courageously.

Looking out for the needs others.

We are worried about ourselves all the time.

And we feel like we have to protect ourselves from being taken advantage of.

Again.


Because that’s what orphans do.

And.

That’s why sometimes people’s prayers, are so selfish, and they come to prayer, unwilling to do what God wants, because, they are afraid to obey God, because.

It doesn’t’ fit their plan.

And.

This is why.

Instead.

Of enjoying prayer.

And.

Sensing that God cares about us.

Sometimes.

We.

Are frantic.

And speak as if no one cares about us, and we feel all this pity for ourselves, like we are on the outside looking in, like, we have no family.

Because that’s what orphans feel.

And.

I am saying.

I am trying to help you get a sense,that’s obviously going to be a problem.

In.

Our prayer life.

If we are approaching God as orphans.

Because.

We are not.

Orphans.

We’re adopted.

And.

At great cost.

And.

Jesus is telling us.


When we come to God in prayer

We need to start.


By remembering that.

By.

Calling God Father.

We are recognizing His authority, and we are affirming His affectionate concern for us.

We are saying.

I am in Christ.

And.


I am a Son.

And I am loved.

And.

I just think.

You need to hear that.

You need to hear that.

You need to hear that.

Right at the beginning of this series on prayer.

Because.

Sometimes.

It feels.

Like.

Almost too much.


Honestly.

To believe.

Can I really believe God cares about me, kind of like, the way He cares about Jesus?

I remember.

Back when I was a young believer.


And not that young really.


In my twenties at least.

And I know.

I often talk about this, so you will have to forgive me, if you have heard this before, but it was a big moment in my life, because I used to think it was more holy, almost, to approach God as if He didn’t really like me.

Maybe.

I knew.


I wasn’t an orphan.

But.

If I was an adopted.

I certainly.

Was a disappointing one.

Because.

You know I felt like such a sinner, and so, while I knew I had a relationship with God.

I couldn’t imagine.

That He actually was pleased with me.

And so.

When I came to God in prayer.

It was more like I felt He was.

Saying.

Oh.

Here you are again.

You know.

Sheesh.

All right.

Well.

Tell me what you want.

And then.

Go over there to that corner.

And get out of my sight.

I don’t want to see you again.

Which.

Actually.


Felt kind of humble to me, because I was recognizing my unworthiness.

And yet.

As I came to understand the significance of my adoption, I came to see that attitude wasn’t humble.

Really.

It was actually wicked.

And.

Of course.

That’s not because I wasn’t a sinner.

I was.

And.


I am.

And it’s not because I was someone so special.

Either.

Like.

Look at you.

You deserve to be here.

No.

I don’t deserve.


To be in God’s presence.

That’s for sure.

And yet.

It was wicked of me to approach God as if He didn’t love me.

Because I said I believed the gospel.

I didn’t make this up.

It was gospel that showed me that God does love me.

And.

As a result.

I should be confident.

Of that.


Because .

My confidence wasn’t based on what I had done or what I deserved.


But instead.


On what He’s promised.

When I put my faith in Christ, He united me to Jesus, and that means, I don’t come to God on my own, I never come to God on my own.

And you don’t either.


If you are a Christian.

You always.

Come to God in Jesus, and that’s of course ultimately.

Why we can call God, Father.

At all.

Because we are coming in Jesus.

And actually calling God Father.

Is like a statement of faith for us.

Because.

As we have been saying.

This whole time.

We don’t have any reason.

Looking at ourselves to think we could have this kind of relationship with God.

If you say, how dare you call God Father, look at you, I would be like, you are right.

Look at me.

There’s no reason.


Looking at me.

The only reason.

We know we have this kind of relationship with God is because of the promises God Himself has made us.

In the gospel.

And so.

Doubting that God loves you..

When you say you believe the gospel.

Is calling God a liar.

And that’s not humility.

That’s wicked.

Because.

It’s a lack of faith.

And.

It’s sin.

And.

Listen.


I am not trying to be tough because I know, we are so messed up and we sin even throughout the week, and we show up and we feel so unworthy, and as a result, we are tempted to always be looking to God.

With these anxious and doubtful thoughts.

And.

It feels right.


Because.

We are like.

But.

I am a sinner.

And that’s true.


But if you are a believer.

The thing is.


You are not just a sinner.

You are in Jesus.

And.


You are forgiven.

And.

You are.

Loved.

And.


That doesn’t mean you can’t grieve the Father, but it does mean, He’s your Father, even when you grieve Him.

And.

It’s.

Because God knows we have such a hard time believing all of this that He’s given us all these reminders and promises.

And.

Why He’s taught us to call Him Father.

And.

You know.

Actually.

I can take this even a step further.

If you want to get a feel for how important this is to God.

It’s even part of why He’s giving us the Spirit.

I mean.

What a Father.

Romans 8:15,16.

Why did God give us the Spirit?

Because God wants to help you know He loves you.

And so.

He doesn’t just tell you He loves you.

And.


He doesn’t show you He loves you.


He gives you the Spirit so you can know He loves you.

As.

Paul explains,

“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit, that we are children of God.”

Which.

Is huge.

Of course.

And deserves its own sermon.

But.

It’s not simply that God adopted us into His family, which would have been huge, He actually does something no human adoptive parent can do, He gives us the Spirit of adoption as sons.

In other words.


He does a supernatural work so we can know we really are His family.

It’s the Spirit.


Who enables us to cry, Abba Father.


Daddy.

And it’s the Spirit.


Who bears witness in our spirit, this is real, this is not pretend.


We are children of God.


And.


The reason He has to do that is because He knows how difficult it is for us to believe as we look at ourselves, these sinful pieces of dust.

That.

We sometimes feel like we are not even worthy of calling God Creator.

Let alone coming into His presence and talking to Him like we are His family, and we are tempted, honestly, to approach Him.

As a result.

With fear.

And with shame.


And with.

Hesitation.


And with doubt.

And obviously.

I am saying.


God doesn’t want us to.

Come to Him like that. 


Because.

He adopted us.


And He gave us the Spirit of adoption.

And.

So.

It’s obvious.

He really wants us to call Him Father.

And.

View.

Him as a loving Father.

In fact.

Some would say.

This is your number one priority as a Christian.

To enjoy the Father’s love for you.

And.

It’s a big deal, when you are not.

John Owen once said.

The greatest sorrow and burden you can lay on the heart of the Father.

The greatest unkindness you can do Him.

Is.

Not to believe He loves you.

Which is a big thing to say.


The greatest unkindness you can do God.


As a believer.

Is not to believe He loves you.

Or.

To say it another way.

There’s nothing that pleases God more, if you are a Christian, than you looking at Him, and knowing, deep down.

That.


He loves you.

Not because.


You are so good.

And not because.


You are so important.

But because you are in Jesus.

And in Jesus.

You are His child.

Which.

Again.


Is why.


Jesus.

Wants us to begin.

Praying.

By calling God Father.

And that’s first.

Really.

When it comes to prayer.

That’s a first principle.

I would say.

That you have to commit yourself to, when you are praying, I am going to pray believing.

The gospel.

I don’t think Jesus means for us just to say this as a word, I think He wants us to be thinking about what this word means, and its implications.

And that means I am going to pray, believing because of Jesus, I am a son of God, and that I actually honor God by coming to Him.

Believing that He loves me.

And.

One reason.

Why I am taking so much time.

Talking about this opening word.

Is because.

There are going to be lots of times.

Where.

We start praying, and we are not gripped by the fact that we are children of God.

And that we are speaking to our Father.

And.

So we are going to have to work a little, in prayer, at enjoying this.

And.

One way.


We do that.

Is.

By going.

Back to the promises that we find in the gospel and make sure we are believing what we say we believe.

In the first.

It’s.


Kind of like we have to open up our Bibles as we pray.


Or go back to verses we have memorized.

And say.

This is what God says.

And this is true.

And this is mine.

This promise belongs to me.

Like.

God says.


Believers are united to Jesus.

That means.

I am connected to Jesus.


God says.


Believers are clothed in Christ’s righteousness.

That means.


I am clothed in Christ’s righteousness.


And that means.

I don’t come on my own.


I come in Jesus’ name.

And.

This is exercising our faith.

As we pray.

Because.

What faith.


Does in prayer.

Is.

Faith goes back to the promises of God that we find in the Bible.

And faith.

Says.

In spite of this trial that I am facing.


In spite of how tough things seem in my life right now.


This promise.


Belongs to me.


It’s mine.

Because of Jesus.

And I love God through Jesus and God loves me because of Jesus, and I am going to talk to God, like I believe it.

Because that’s one of the ways I make Him happy.

Is trusting that His promises are true.

And.

You know.

Again.

Obviously.

You need to think about how to do that.

That’s why I had to say last week prayer is important, because real prayer takes some work, and you can have to make a priority out of it, if you are going to engage in real prayer.

And perhaps.

Maybe one way you begin to do that.

Is by going back to specific promises.

As you pray.


Where.

You open your Bibles.

You find the promises.

And.


You read them.

And you say something like, God I am calling you Father, right now.

And that means you love me, and I am your child, and I am your child, because you say I am your child, Ephesians says, you have adopted me in Christ, and Romans says, I did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but I have received the spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry ‘Abba Father’ and so now, by the Spirit and through the Son, I am talking to you.

Not just as a great King, but as my loving Father.

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