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Several months ago there was a kerfuffle over an advertisement in which the Lord’s Prayer is prayed by various people across the UK. It was banned because it could offend or upset people of other faiths or none.

The response was fairly predictable: secularists cheering because they think the Lord’s Prayer is offensive, and Christians lamenting because they don’t. Personally, I think the advertisement was great.

But as to whether it was offensive, I have to come out and say it: the secularists were right.

The Lord’s Prayer is not mild, inoffensive, vanilla, listless, nominal, wishy-washy, or wallpapery. If you don’t worship the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is deeply subversive, upsetting, and offensive—from the first phrase to the last.

‘Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed Be Your Name’

Not Allah’s, or anyone else’s: the Father’s. There is only one who is holy, and he is our heavenly Father. May your name be recognized as great by all the nations, including those (like ours) who dismiss, blaspheme, patronize, or ignore it.

‘May Your Kingdom Come’

One day, all the kingdoms of the earth will become the kingdom of God and his Messiah. In the meantime, as we wait for you to gather up all your enemies and turn them into your footstool, we cry to you: Let your reign be shown here as well. Dethrone the powers. Overturn empires. Destroy everything that opposes you. Rule everywhere.

‘Let Your Will Be Done, on Earth as It Is in Heaven’

May the content shown on our screens, and the civilization they represent, be subjected to your will, so only things that honor you are done—just like currently happens in heaven.

‘Give Us Today Our Daily Bread’

We depend on you—not the markets, the government, our security services, or our own ingenuity and talent—for every good gift. Please keep providing them all, because if you don’t, we’re in big trouble.

‘Forgive Us Our Sins’

We have all sinned against you, offended you, transgressed your law, and trespassed against our fellow humans. We desperately need forgiveness. None of us is righteous. Please, in your mercy, wipe out our sins.

‘As We Forgive Those Who Sin Against Us’

Including abusers, manipulators, jihadists, and the rest, since we deserve judgment just as they do.

For the rest of the post…

Gary Linton

The Lord’s Prayer

What is typically known as “The Lord’s Prayer” could more accurately be referred to as the “Disciple’s Prayer.” The true Lord’s prayer would more likely be the one in John 17 – Jesus’ high priestly prayer. If we would pray as Jesus taught us in Matthew 6:9-13, what is traditionally known as “The Lord’s Prayer”, it would revolutionize our lives, the church and the world in which we live.

Prayer should be the very heartbeat of the Christian life and of the church. The early church began with prayer preceding the Day of Pentecost. “These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer” (Acts 1:14 NASB). Just prior to the lame man being healed Peter and John were on their way to pray (Acts 3:1). When Peter was locked up in prison “Prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God” (Acts 12:5 NASB). Prayer should be the heartbeat of all we are and do.

The Lord’s Prayer is as follows,

“Pray, then, in this way: Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” (Matthew 6:9-13 NASB)

Let’s take a close look at this very powerful prayer:

I. Pattern of prayer. Jesus begins His instructions on prayer by saying, “Pray, then, in this way” (Matthew 6:9 NASB). Jesus was not teaching us to pray this verbatim. It was not something we are to quote in prayer, as we often see done. This was a pattern for prayer, an outline for the way we pray to be filled in by us. Quoting this prayer as is would take seconds whereas using it as a pattern or outline could become quite lengthy.

I use this in my prayer time. I include myself, my family, Ministrymaker Ministries and all the pastors and ministries associated with Ministrymaker. As I cover each category, I then begin to focus on specifics. In using this as a pattern, my prayer time can last anywhere from minutes to an hour or more.

II. Paternal praying. “Our Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9 NASB). Our prayer is addressed to our Heavenly Father. Jesus said, “In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you” (John 16:23 NASB). We begin praying to the Father in Jesus’ name.

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by Drew Hunter:

Drew Hunter is the teaching pastor at Zionsville Fellowship in Zionsville, Indiana, where he lives with his wife and three young boys. Drew blogs at Gospel Refresh. You can follow him on Twitter.

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name” (Matt. 6:9). This first line of the Lord’s Prayer is one of the most familiar in the Bible. It is one of the most commonly prayed prayers in history. Yet among believers it is often underappreciated and misunderstood.

After years of familiarity with this prayer I realized that I wasn’t quite sure what I was saying. I began to wonder if I was doing what Jesus had just warned about: heaping up “empty phrases” in prayer (v. 7). What are we actually praying here? What does Jesus hold so highly as to instruct us to make it our first prayer?

Clarifying Our Understanding

Clarity came in three steps. The first step is answering this question: Is this a statement of praise, or is it a request? For years I thought it was a statement of adoration and praise. I thought “hallowed be your name” was equivalent to “you are holy and worthy.” But notice: it’s not, “hallowed is your name,” but “hallowed be your name.” This is a request. It’s asking God to do something. The Lord’s Prayer is a series of petitions, and this is the first one. Jesus is telling us to pray, “May your name be hallowed.”

But what exactly are we asking God to do? Step two is considering what “hallowed” means. It is to honor something as holy (literally, to sanctify). It is to set something apart and acknowledge its uniqueness. When we hallow something, we honor it as uncommon, special, and superior.

Last step: What are we requesting be honored? God’s name. Throughout the Scriptures, God’s “name” is another way of referring to himself. God’s name represents who he is.

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FACTS Acronym 

Whenever Jesus prayed, things happened. No wonder the disciples asked Jesus to share his secret with them. Prayer was the heart of his success. As Jesus taught them the “The Lord’s Prayer” he highlighted the fundamentals of conversations with His Father.

The FACTS Acronym is simply a memory tool to help practice and develop the essentials Jesus modeled. Patterns of Focus, Adoration,Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication.

Although prayer cannot be reduced to a formula, it is vital to grasp the value of these building blocks for our two-way conversations.

Because His Word and Spirit continue to be the ultimate teaching source of how to pray effectively, we have found value arranging themes of Scripture, using the FACTS acronym, to help guide our prayer experiences, especially in group settings.

FOCUS is critical. Without it prayer power can not be released to move nations. Focus helps kick start perspective. As you read the Word do you listen to how He intentionally invites your thoughts to stop, to be still, to allow His Spirit of truth to instruct and penetrate into life’s circumstances. Focus will include upward, inward as well as outward address. Jesus focus began upward, “Our Father who is in heaven.”

ADORATION gives God intentional honor and praise for who He is and what He has done, which ultimately motivates our cooperation with Him. Intercession IS cooperation with God. Do you really think about His names, titles, attributes, works, deeds and miracles? Do you believe they’re true in view of life’s experience? What do you appreciate about His revelations? Have you taken time to tell Him how this helps your perspective? God inhabits the praise of His people! What might He be revealing about Himself to you about Himself, yourself, about others? Speak your words, or His, out loud to express your awe and desire to collaborate with Him. “Holy is Your Name…YOUR Kingdom come, YOUR will be done…”

CONFESSION Is really agreement with God! About sin and His total provision, both individually and corporately.  Do you ignore, justify, hide, deflect your sins of commission or omission. Do you deny His declarations about you? Do you harbor any unforgiveness or offense? Can you invite and allow his search? Will you respond and confess, repent, surrender, renounce and forsake sin? What does it mean to bring every thought, attitude, word and action captive and make it obedient to Jesus Christ? How are you at taking responsibility to own your stuff? “Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts”

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May 2018
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