Chapel Talks - Written

The Lord’s Prayer Series

  • How To Pray Like A Hypocrite

  • How to Pray Like an Orphan

  • Relationship with Your Father

  • Tim’s Dad

  • Who Art in Heaven

  • Hallowed Be Thy Name

  • Thy Kingdom Come

  • Thy Kingdom Come 2

  • Thy Will Be Done

  • Thy Will Be Done 2

  • Thy Will Be Done 3

  • On Earth as it is in Heaven

  • Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

  • Forgive

  • Forgive Others

  • Lead Us Not Into Temptation

Lord’s Prayer Chapel Talk. It is the tradition of many sports teams to recite the Lord’s Prayer before the game. Often times it is done as a simple tradition or as a talisman to get whatever help they can get for the coming game. The goal of this series of talks is to gradually explain the “Prayer,” to believer and unbelievers, in such a way that a desire is created to pray not just in public, but truly in private, and there they will find the Father in reality.

*Much of this material is drawn from When You Pray by P. G Ryken, and The Commentary of Dr. Zacharius Ursinus on the Heidelberg Catechism

How to Pray Like a Hypocrite

Exercise (4 minutes): Print out a picture of 2 or 3 famous people for selected players to hold in front of their faces. The goal is to be light and funny, to break the ice and make them laugh. Pick the most outgoing players. Ask them to put the picture in front of their face without seeing the picture. Give them gradual hints until they name the individual. (Get a picture of the coach – always funny.)

Queens head Coach Wes Long, UNCC Head Coach Cara Consuegra

Hints:

1. Someone you know and your parent knows too.
2. Went to ______ University
3. Favorite food is ______________
4. Will decide how much you play tonight!

Introduction:

For the first part of this season, I want to breakdown what is called The Lord’s Prayer. Here it is printed out. (Pass out the prayer printed on card stock they can put in their locker.)

Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power and the glory for ever. Amen.

It is mentioned twice in the New Testament; Matthew and Luke. In Matthew before the prayer, Jesus says this: 5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others.

How does one pray like a hypocrite?

“Hypocrite” originally came from the Greek theater. The Greek word was the word for “actor,” someone who played the part in a play by wearing a mask to conceal his or her identities. Thus, by Jesus’ time hypocrite was used for anyone who treated the world as a stage, casting himself/herself in the starring role.

Praying hypocrites, pray in such a way to be seen, and project themselves as something they are not.

6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.

It is certainly not wrong to pray in public. But if that is the only time we pray, we are probably a hypocrite. When we are alone in prayer, we are sure to be in the presence of God the Father, who is unseen, yet he sees us and is with us as we pour our hearts out to Him. Jesus often separated himself from others to spend time communicating with His Father. We have that opportunity everyday.

My goal is that as we work our way through the Lord’s Prayer you will more and more have a desire to pray when no one is around, and you will sense the Father’s presence!

Let’s close by praying the Lord’s Prayer.

Last Game we talked about how to pray like a hypocrite – someone who wears a mask and treats the world like it is a stage and they are in the starring role.

Today, we are going to talk about another way not to pray – How to Pray Like an Orphan

Here is our key verses: Matthew 6:7 “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them,…”

During the time of the writing of the New Testament, Greeks and the Romans would repeat over and over again, phrases they thought were magical or names of false gods in the attempt to change the events of their lives. Today people do that too. Sadly, for many, the Lord’s Prayer has become such an oft-repeated prayer that the brain and heart are left out of the praying experience and just the memorized words are repeated.

Jesus condemns this practice – there are no magic words. “Don’t be that guy!” He says. It has to do with relationship.

Let’s try an experiment. Everyone close your eyes and when I touch your arm say,

“Block out, rebound and follow your shot!” And we will see if the rest of the team knows who it is that is talking. Keep your eyes closed!

Let me tell you of an experiment I did once with my five children. We had a downstairs ½ bathroom off the living room in the house they grew up in, some ten years ago. I would put one child in the bathroom shut the door. The other kids and I would try to disguise our voices. They had to guess who it was. I tried to sound like the kids – but they knew me every time. They knew my voice. I could not fool anyone of my children. I even tried talking like Donald Duck – I tried everything, but they always knew my voice.

Children know the voice of their Dad. Those who do not have a Dad, try to use repetition or magical words – because they do not have a relationship. Do you think that is why the prayer starts with “Our Father?”

How do you pray like a hypocrite? – put on a mask and pray to impress others.

How do you pray like an orphan? – use patterns of speech to manipulate, it only reveals you do not know to whom you are praying.

There is a solution to being an orphan. It is called adoption. That is what happens when we ask God the Father to accept us as his children, because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. Because of Jesus, he will adopt us and make us fully accepted children.

Let’s pray the Lord’s Prayer as children.

Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power and the glory for ever. Amen.

“Our Father”

Exercise: Who among you has a great relationship with their Dad?

Explain it to me –

  • How often do you talk?
  • Is it hard to talk with him?
  • Does he listen?
  • Do you trust him?
  • Does he care what you are doing?
  • What do you two do together?
  • Has there been times when he has needed you?

If you want to know better how to pray – you need to spend time with someone that has a great Dad – then you will understand what Jesus meant when he taught his disciples and us the Lord’s Prayer!

Prayer is Trinitarian – big word that means that God is in relationship. One God – three persons – Father, Son and Spirit. They have always been and will always be in relationship. They talk!

The gift of prayer – the privilege of prayer – involved all 3 persons of the Godhead. We pray to the Father through the Son and by means of the Spirit.

Jesus addressed God simply as “Father” (11:25; Mark 14:36; Luke 23:46; John 17:1), and taught his followers to do the same. This is not commonplace in ancient religion, but rather a new understanding of the nature of God Jesus taught his disciples.

We address God intimately as Father, but we immediately recognize his infinite greatness with the addition of “in heaven.” (see Leon Morris, The Gospel According to Matthew [Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1992], 143–144).

Importantly, Jesus tells us that an understanding that God is Dad is primary to prayer. In my opinion, this truth is the key to prayer. If we understand that God is Dad then we will naturally speak to him anytime about anything because we know we are loved, cared for, and safe with him. This fact also explains why we do not pray with people or like people of other religions who sadly do not know God as Dad.

Remember, Jesus is not giving us a prayer to pray as a mantra. But he’s giving us an example of prayer that we get to emulate and follow and use as the pattern for our own prayer.

Now the reason some of you are gonna struggle with this is because of your dad. I understand.

I Have had multiple friends, particularly young women in their late teens and twenties saying, “I have a really hard time understanding God as Father. My dad left. He abused. He abandoned. He raped. He beat. He divorced my mom. He walked out on us. He won’t return my phone calls. He won’t have any contact with me. He’s just a horrible man.”

What I would say is this, do not judge God by your earthly father, judge your earthly father by your Heavenly Father. In the Psalms God says I’m a father to the fatherless. So maybe you don’t even have a dad. Forty percent of kids go to bed tonight without a dad. But you can still have God as your father.

And rather than saying, “My dad was a jerk; I guess God is a jerk.” Say, “God is wonderful. There’s no excuse for my dad to be a jerk. He’s ruining the name, the title father, dad, that he shares with God.”

40% of all children do not live with their biological fathers.

85% of children with behavioural problems come from fatherless homes.

90% of homeless children come from fatherless homes.

71% of children who do not finish school come from fatherless homes.

63% of suicides come from fatherless homes. (I found a 18 yr old girl who hanged herself – fatherless & her mother was a mess)

80% of rapists motivated by displaced anger come from fatherless homes

70% of juveniles in state operated institutions come from fatherless home

Source: fathersforlife.org

“Our Father”

Today I would like to read to you a letter I go yesterday (E-mail sent Dec. 17, 2012, read to Queens Dec. 18th) from a friend. My friend Tim, is honest about his Dad.

My dad died on Sunday, November 18th (the Sunday before Thanksgiving). I read the following Scripture at his funeral (Psalm 25:1-11):

1 To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul;?2 in you I trust, O my God.?Do not let me be put to shame,?nor let my enemies triumph over me.?3 No one whose hope is in you?will ever be put to shame,?but they will be put to shame?who are treacherous without excuse.

4 Show me your ways, O Lord,?teach me your paths;?5 guide me in your truth and teach me,?for you are God my Savior,?and my hope is in you all day long.?6 Remember, O Lord, your great mercy and love,?for they are from of old.?7 Remember not the sins of my youth?and my rebellious ways;? according to your love remember me,?for you are good, O Lord.

8 Good and upright is the Lord;? therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.?9 He guides the humble in what is right?and teaches them his way.?10 All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful?for those who keep the demands of his covenant.?11 For the sake of your name, O Lord,?forgive my iniquity, though it is great.

It seemed like a fitting passage to read. The lines like, “Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways…” and “…forgive my iniquity, though it is great,” seemed particularly appropriate. This seemed like a prayer my dad could have prayed but also a prayer for all of those who knew him. There’s no easy way to put it–my dad led a rough life.

I’m too young to remember many of the particulars but here’s a quick summary:

  • He cheated on my mom and left the house when I was 4 or 5.
  • He made no real effort to see me (or my siblings) after he left.
  • The last time I saw him was when I was 10 or so.
  • He went to prison for arson when I was 12.
  • After prison, he moved to Nebraska where, in recent months, he suffered a stroke and was found to have cancer.
  • He was transferred to a Veteran’s hospital in Michigan to spend his last days.

As you can see, this isn’t your typical “my-dad-has-died” story. In light of this story, people would sympathetically ask how I was doing with his passing. My response was almost always the same: “I’m ok. It’s just a sad, strange story.” It’s strange because I didn’t really mourn his passing. That may sound harsh but I didn’t know the man. I was numb to it all because while he was my biological father, he was not my dad. There is a difference. I have only a few memories of him and most of them are bad. Despite my detachment, it was sad because of the tragic story that was his…and mine.

I don’t care how old you are, a parent’s divorce is damaging. Not having a father figure at 5 years old has long lasting effects that I’m still feeling at 30 and will continue to feel the rest of my life. This is not a political statement but rather just plain old truth: Every boy needs a father. My mom remarried and my step-dad did everything you could ask a step-father to do. Psychologically though–to a 5 year old–you only have one father. Mine left and never came back.

I’m not going to blame every problem I’ve had in my life on the absence of my father. That would be unfair and frankly, not even close to true. The effects of my dad leaving have been debilitating though. As a kid, I was so insecure. I so longed for the affirmation that only a father could give. It never came. The result? A kid who constantly felt inadequate. If I’m honest, I still feel emotionally like that little kid…just longing for my dad to say, “Well done, son.”

It’s tempting to say things like, “If I had only had a present, loving Father then…[fill in the blank]“ It’s easy to pin all of my shortcomings on his absence. The reality though is that a present, loving Father is not the solution to my search for significance. Don’t get me wrong, it probably would have helped but even the best father could not love me perfectly. He couldn’t meet everyone of my needs and desires. He would have not been perfect. The good news for me (and anyone else for that matter) is that there is a Father who is perfect, who does meet everyone of my needs, who never fails me. This Father once said to Jesus, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” And he says the same to me. In Christ, I am a son of God and all my longings for affirmation are met completely. I have self worth and significance not because of anything I’ve done but rather by everything the loving Father did through the Son.

I have one good, lasting memory of my father. I vaguely remember feeling scared as a child. It was late at night and it seems as if no one was home except for my dad and me. I remember my dad holding me tightly as we laid on the bed. No words, just the embrace of my dad. I remember feeling safe and loved. By the grace of God, I feel that today. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-29).”

As I reflect back on the story that is my father’s, I’m reminded of some basic truths:

Forgiveness is freeing. I had a chance to express my forgiveness to him in his last days and although I had long ago forgiven him, it was good to verbalize it again. Holding things against people will only cause bitterness and death on the inside.

Death is not natural. Looking at his dead body in a casket was sober reminder that death is not the way it’s supposed to be.

My job is to be an earthly Father that points the way to a Heavenly father. I can’t be God to my kids. I can be godly though and point them the way to a Father who is a perfect. This does not in any way undermine the importance of parenting but rather empowers me to remember the importance of shepherding my children.

Guarding my heart is a top priority (Proverbs 4:23). For years, I let lies into my heart telling me that I was inadequate, strange, and awkward. I believed that if anyone truly got to know me, the truth would be revealed. What a horrible lie to believe! All of us have lies we believe in our hearts. My challenge is: deal with them head on. It will be difficult, it will be emotional, and it will be good.

Our Father, Who Art in Heaven

 

Who is someone older that you that you respect? _______________ Why? (Answers I got – Dad and Grandma)

Do you respect your coach ________? Why, specifically?

I have a surprise for you today – A business owner here in Charlotte will be here is just a few minutes to talk to you and he told me he will allow one person to ask a question – who is asking the question? What are you going to ask? (They asked, who?) One that owns a sports franchise, someone you would know, he does commercials too. (They started getting excited and mentioning Michael Jordan, owner of the Bobcats.)

Who is going to ask the question and what is the one question you are going to ask? Quick, he will be here in just a second. (They picked a freshman guard and could hardly contain their energy.)

Just kidding – but we are talking about the Lord’s Prayer = talking to someone better that MJ!

(The Queen’s MBB team got really excited that MJ was going to walk in the room – it was classic.)

Today I want to talk a bit about, “Our Father, Who art in Heaven”

Have you ever thought that the Lord’s Prayer is a “Pre-Owned Prayer?” Jesus prayed it as a son first and then gave it to us second-hand as a tried and true prayer, and his prayers were always answered!

We have discussed that to really want to pray, you need to understand what a Father is – the relationship, the care and concern, the family love – that a true Father has for his children.

What in the world does it mean, Who art in Heaven?

The fact that God is in heaven does not mean he is “far away” or “distant” but to remind us of his supreme greatness. He is worthy of our respect! This fact ought to make a big difference when we pray.

(UNCC Ladies) If a boy respects you, how does he show it?

(Queens Men) If you really respect a girl – how do you treat her?

Ecclesiastes 5:2 (ESV)

Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.

My younger brother once cussed my Mom – I hit him in the mouth. Not a mature move on my part as an 18 year old. But I was so shocked that he so disrespected my Mom.

Let’s pray, not say, the Lord’s Prayer more slowly than usually and has respect and reverence while we do!

I would like to hand out these and pray for you this month specifically. Please make your request measurable and don’t forget your name.

Name: _____________________________

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 Name: _____________________________

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 Name: _____________________________

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 Name: _____________________________

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“Hallowed Be Thy Name”, Holy Be your Name

 

Today we are going to look at what the Bible says about God’s Holiness and His Name.

1 Samuel 2:2

“There is none holy like the Lord:
for there is none besides you;
there is no rock like our God.

1 Timothy 6:16

who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.

Isaiah 6 Isaiah’s Vision of the Lord

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;?the whole earth is full of his glory!”

4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

Isaiah 5:16

But the Lord of hosts is exalted in justice,? and the Holy God shows himself holy in righteousness.

Leviticus 20:26

You shall be holy to me, for I the Lord am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine.

Psalm 103:1

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!

Psalm 111:9

He sent redemption to his people;
he has commanded his covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is his name!

Jeremiah 10:6

There is none like you, O Lord;
you are great, and your name is great in might.

Psalm 8:1

O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.

Isaiah 6:3

And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”

Exodus 15:11

“Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods?
Who is like you, majestic in holiness,
awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?

Exodus 20:7

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

Thomas Watson once said, “When some of the other petitions shall be useless and out of date, as we will not need to pray them in heaven, “Give us our daily bread,” or because there is not sin, “lead us not into temptation,” … yet the hallowing of God’s name will be of great use in heaven; we shall be singing hallelujahs, which is nothing else but the hallowing of God’s name.

Revelation 4:8b

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,? who was and is and is to come!”

Thy Kingdom Come

“At some level your heart has longed for the Kingdom – whether your mind understood it or not.”

Last Wednesday on the way to Mt. Olive, I asked you what you would change in the world of you could – you said poverty & injustice. (By the way do you know what the Biblical definition of poverty is? Only having one set of clothes – “if he give you his coat for his debt – give it back to him at night so he does not get cold”)

Has anyone here been to a 3rd World country and really seen poverty -  seen the pain face to face?

I have been to Haiti, and The Philippines – seen kids eating off the city dump, sniffing glue used to repair shoes to fry their brains – becoming unfeeling zombies because the pain of being on the street, unwanted is so painful.

When we see countries killing their own people – distorting justice, encouraging crime, ignoring misery, punishing the innocent — we yearn for God’s government.

When we see families ripped apart, abuse, desertion, and incest

broken relationships,

unkept promises,

shattered lives, we pray “Thy kingdom come.”

 

Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

When the government rests upon His shoulders, things will be different. His government is here in part, but ultimately we are praying for God to set it up completely!

 

To pray “Thy kingdom come” is to offer a prayer that can and will be answered — now in part, then in full.

 

 

Thy Kingdom Come

Quick review: You must know what a good father is to desire to pray, to know his care and concern, his love for his children, his desire to communicate like a good dad here on earth. At the same time, he is not our dad on earth – he is in  a place of authority (In heaven) not that he is distant but that he is all powerful. He is to be some honored that the first petition of the prayer is that we ask is that his name be “Hallowed or honored always” like the angels honor him with covering their eyes with their wings out of reverence.

On the way to Mt Olive – you gave me items you would like changed in the world. At Papa Joe’s in the Mts we talked about those desires are in line with this prayer – that God would govern. That the  “government would be on his shoulder” (Isaiah 9:6).

Today, we continue with the second petition, Thy Kingdom Come. Two more things this means when we pray it!

#1.  When we pray Thy Kingdom come, we are praying for those who do not know Jesus to come to know him in a saving way!

Only God can do this! I cannot manipulate anyone . Only God can open someone’s ears to truly hear the gospel and respond. He did that for me when I was 19. I was raised in a church but I did not really hear it until then. God opened my ears! We are praying for him to do that. I am praying that for you if you have not already responded.

So in addition to bringing peace and healing, we are praying because on earth, there are still those who do not submit to His rule. When we pray, “Your kingdom come,” we are praying for the continued extension of God’s reign on earth. We are praying for God to convert the hearts of His enemies, bringing them to confess Jesus as Lord.

Westminster Larger Catechism

Q. 152. WHAT DOES EVERY SIN DESERVE AT THE HANDS OF GOD?

A. Every sin, even the least, being against the sovereignty, goodness, and holiness of God, and against his righteous law, deserves his wrath and curse, both in this life, and that which is to come; and cannot be expiated (atoned for) but by the blood of Christ.

 

Q. 153. WHAT DOES GOD REQUIRE OF US, THAT WE MAY ESCAPE HIS WRATH AND CURSE DUE TO US BY REASON OF THE TRANSGRESSION OF THE LAW?

A. That we may escape the wrath and curse of God due to us by reason of the transgression of the law, he requires of us repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, ….

What happens when our prayer for His Kingdom to come?

#2  We are also praying that He puts those who refuse to submit beneath His feet (Ps. 110).  We are praying for the final war between God and evil – and we know who will win! We are praying for the coming of the day when all evil, all sin, and all rebellion against God is finally eradicated.

Listen to what will happen, according to the Bible.

Q. 89. WHAT SHALL BE DONE TO THE WICKED AT THE DAY OF JUDGMENT?

A. At the day of judgment, the wicked shall be set on Christ’s left hand, and, upon clear evidence, and full conviction of their own consciences, shall have the fearful but just sentence of condemnation pronounced against them; and thereupon shall be cast out from the favorable presence of God, and the glorious fellowship with Christ, his saints, and all his holy angels, into hell, to be punished with unspeakable torments, both of body and soul, with the devil and his angels forever.

Q. 90. WHAT SHALL BE DONE TO THE RIGHTEOUS AT THE DAY OF JUDGMENT?

A. At the day of judgment, the righteous, being caught up to Christ in the clouds, shall be set on his right hand, and there openly acknowledged and acquitted, shall join with him in the judging of reprobate angels and men, and shall be received into heaven, where they shall be fully and forever freed from all sin and misery; filled with inconceivable joys, made perfectly holy and happy both in body and soul, in the company of innumerable saints and holy angels, but especially in the immediate vision and fruition of God the Father, of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, to all eternity. And this is the perfect and full communion, which the members of the invisible church shall enjoy with Christ in glory, at the resurrection and day of judgment.

Thy Will Be Done

Quick review: You must know what a good father is to desire to pray, to know his care and concern, his love for his children, his desire to communicate like a good dad here on earth. At the same time, he is not our dad on earth – he is in a place of authority (In heaven) not that he is distant but that he is all-powerful. He is to be so honored that the first petition of the prayer is that we ask that his name be “Hallowed or honored always,” like the angels honor him with covering their eyes with their wings out of reverence.

On the way to Mt. Olive – you gave me items you would like changed in the world.  At Papa Joe’s in the Mts we talked about those desires are in line with this prayer – that God would govern. That the  “government would be on his shoulder” (Isaiah 9:6).

Before the Coker win on Wednesday we said there were two more things Thy Kingdom Come means, when we pray it.

#1.  When we pray Thy Kingdom come, we are praying for those who do not know Jesus to come to know him in a saving way!

#2. We are praying for the final war between God and evil – and we know who will win! We are praying for the coming of the day when all evil, all sin, and all rebellion against God is finally eradicated.

Today, we discuss what phrase?   Thy Will Be Done

There is always a lot of talk about when you want to know God’s will.
Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes that I may see

Wonderful things in your law.

34 Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law

And obey it with all my heart.

35 Direct me in the path of your commands,

For there I find delight.

36 Turn my heart toward your statutes

And not toward selfish gain.

37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things;

Preserve my life according to your word.

Two Considerations about God’s Will

  1. God’s Will is not lost! God is not trying to hide it from us!
  2. If a Christian is to understand what God wants, then you must understand about wanting, what God wants.
  • Do you, in the depths of your soul, believe God wants what is best for you? If you don’t you shouldn’t pray for God’s will to be done!
    • Illus. If you give God your relationship with a girl, and it doesn’t work out – can you thank Him for that?
  • Do you trust that God is more kind, more wise and holy than you are?
  • Are you really willing to accept His leadership?
    More of these considerations on Monday before we play Belmont Abbey.

Thy Will Be Done 2

Quick review: You must know what a good father is to desire to pray, he is in a place of authority (In heaven) not that he is distant but that he is all-powerful. He is to be so honored that the first petition of the prayer is that we ask that his name be “Hallowed or honored always,” like the angels honor him with covering their eyes with their wings out of reverence. Thy Kingdom Come means, when we pray it.

#1. That the  “government would be on his shoulder” (Isaiah 9:6).
#2.  When we pray Thy Kingdom come, we are praying for those who do not know Jesus to come to know him in a saving way!
#3. We are praying for the final war between God and evil – and we know who will win! We are praying for the coming of the day when all evil, all sin, and all rebellion against God is finally eradicated.

Thy Will Be Done

Considerations before you ask for God’s Will:

  1. God’s Will is not lost! God is not trying to hide it from us!
  2. If you as a Christian are to understand what God wants, then you must understand about wanting, what God wants. Do you, in the depths of your soul, believe God wants what is best for you? If you don’t you shouldn’t pray for God’s will to be done!
  3. The way we ask about God’s will, can bring frustrations.
    Why?  Because God is not a program – He is a person. God’s will is not 6 steps – it is a relationship. It is not what you do it is what you are!  Don’t treat God like a cosmic vending machine.
  4. God’s will is most often revealed when you gradually are moving forward in the light God has already revealed to you!
    1. It is much easier to guide a moving ship that one at rest!

Today, one more consideration, and then next game we will look exactly what is God’s Will from the Bible!

  1. Let’s start with a probing question. Why have you chosen to be on a college Basketball team?  You have spent much effort and time; your parents have spent much money and time carpooling to many gyms.  WHY? (Get answers)
    1. Have fun
    2. Pay for my education
    3. Love being on a team
    4. Play in the pros

Thy Will Be Done

Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done

We have looked at 5 Considerations concerning God’s Will:

  1. God’s Will is not lost! God is not trying to hide it from us!
  2. If you as a Christian are to understand what God wants, then you must understand about wanting, what God wants. Do you, in the depths of your soul, believe God wants what is best for you? If you don’t you shouldn’t pray for God’s will to be done!
  3. The way we ask about God’s will, can bring frustrations.
    Why?  Because God is not a program – He is a person. God’s will is not 6 steps – it is a relationship. It is not what you do it is what you are!  Don’t treat God like a cosmic vending machine.
  4. God’s will is most often revealed when you gradually are moving forward in the light God has already revealed to you!
    1. It is much easier to guide a moving ship that one at rest!
    2. Our goal in seeking God’s Will should is simply in order to be used of God for his Glory!
      I Corinthians 10:31  So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Today we are going to look at what the Bible clearly says is God’s Will 

These are for you if you are a believer, if you have truly asked the living Jesus to be the King of your life, to come inside you and live his life through you!

These are not for the unbeliever that is trying to work his way to heaven – which is impossible be so many have a hard time accepting the gift of salvation that God offers.

After hearing these, there is not need to pray to determine if God wants this in your life. What is required is obedience. Of course, you cannot do the will of God without His help so it also requires dependence!

In Mark’s 3:35 Jesus says, “For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

Here they are:

  • Ephesians 5:17-18         Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. (Spirit Filled)
  • 1 Thessalonians. 4:3      For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain/flee from sexual immorality;  (Sanctified – set apart)
  • 1 Peter 2:13-15                Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme,  [14] or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good.  [15] For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.  (Submissive)
  • 1 Peter 4:19                       Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. (Suffer)
  • Romans 12:1-2                I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  [2] Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Sacrifice)
  • 1 Thess. 5:18                     … give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  (Super-submitting)

On Earth as it is in Heaven

“Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Interesting question for you today, what do you know about angels? I doubt you have given it much thought, but what do you know?     Where are they said to reside? What do they do? What do they look like?

FACTS about Angels In the NASB translation Angels are referred to 196 times, 103 times in the Old Testament and 93 times in the New Testament.     

  • 2 Kings 6:16-17 and Numbers 22:21-35 make clear the point that angels are not usually visible to human beings at all.
  • When they appear we know that angels are frightening. Do you remember when they appeared to the shepherds to announce Jesus’ birth? And at the same time they often appear with radiance and they are so majestic that men desire to worship them but it is forbidden.

Gen. 3:24 gives us the first mention of an angel. “After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.”

Ezekiel gives us a description of the Cherubim (Ezekiel 1:4-28). (Not a baby with little wings!)

  • Their heads have four faces (1:6), one on each of the four sides (1:10).
    • One face looked human,
    • one resembled an ox,
    • one a lion,
    • and one an eagle (1:10).
    • As a result of having a face on each side of their bodies, they didn’t have to turn to change direction; no matter which way they decided to go, they were already facing that way (1:9, 12).
    • and four wings (1:6). The four wings are spread out, one on each of their four sides. Under each wing is what looks like a human hand (1:8).
      • The sound their wings made was quite loud (1:24)
      • Their feet look something like those of a calf (cloven hooves?) and are shiny, as if they are made of burnished bronze (1:7).
      • When an angel appears to someone, often one of the first things said is “do not be afraid”.
      • They also seem to mostly to have appeared as youthful or mature men (Mark 16:5), but never as old men, perhaps because they neither age nor die (Luke 20:36).
      • Angels are not created in the image of God, therefore, they do not share man’s glorious destiny of redemption in Christ. At the consummation of the age, redeemed man will be exalted above angels (1 Cor. 6:3).
      • They cannot be everywhere at once.
      • Though their great power is always a derived power from God, the mighty works they accomplish, as in the execution of God’s judgments, demonstrate their superhuman strength (cf. 2 Chron. 32:21; Acts 12:7-11)

It is appropriate that we have our pre-game Chapel talks during the pre-game meal, especially today, as we continue unearthing what the Lord’s prayer means for us, so that we will want to pray it and not just say it!

“Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.”

There is something childlike about the turn we take when we come to this the fourth petition of the Lord’s Prayer. In the first three, we prayed to God for the sake of His name, His Kingdom, His will. Now we turn, like children to ask for our bread.

Remember Jesus prayed these same petitions to his Father and gave us a pattern for our prayers.

Every word here has a lesson in it:

(1.) We ask for bread; the word bread here denotes, doubtless, everything necessary to sustain life. We are praying for farmers and everything needed to bring bread to our tables.

(2.) We ask for our bread; that teaches us honesty and industry: we do not ask for the bread out of other people’s mouths, not the bread of deceit (Prov. 20:17), not the bread of idleness (Prov. 31:27), but the bread honestly earned.

(3.) We ask for our daily bread; this petition implies our dependence on God every day. It was evidently the intention of our Savior that prayer should be offered every day just like we eat everyday!

Matthew 6:33-34 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it’s own.

You cannot live in yesterday or tomorrow – so seek God today!

(4.) We beg of God to give it to us, not sell it us, nor lend it us, but give it. Even the greatest of men must be thankful to the mercy of God for their daily bread.

(5.) We pray, “Give it to us; not just for me! Bread is evidently, therefore, intended to be used, by more than one. No community or congregation can meet every day for worship but families. It is therefore evident that this prayer is a strong implied command for daily family prayer. The best way for this prayer to be used is by a Dad, the priest of the family at a family meal. As men who will one day have a family – know that God intended you to lead them and leading them in prayer on a daily basis.

When we pray this petition, “Give US this day, OUR daily bread,” we are praying in a world there is enough food to feed everyone, but where 854 million people are malnourished, and where 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes every day.1

(6.) We pray that God would give us this day; which teaches us to renew the desire of our souls toward God everyday, just as each day comes, we must pray to our heavenly Father.

St. Augustine said, “no matter how rich a man is on earth, he is still God’s beggar.”2

Put a basketball in my hands and you have an old man who should give it back to one of you! In your hands it becomes something almost magical: how you dribble, shoot and pass. Put a paintbrush in one of our hands you might paint a room or two by the end of the day, but put a paintbrush in the hands of Rembrandt and you get a masterpiece. Quite simply, it depends on who’s holding these tools and how they use them that make the difference. In the right hands you get amazing results.

Put a small loaf of bread in the hands of Jesus and he makes a meal for thousands. Imagine what would happen if we put our limited resources in the hands of Jesus. That is what we are doing when we pray this portion of the Lord’s prayer. “Give us this day our daily bread.”

1 “International Facts on Hunger and Poverty,” Bread for the World Institute. See website at lhttp://www.bread.org/learn/hunger-basics/hunger-facts-international.html

2 Saint Augustine, Sermon VI on New Testament Lessons, in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, 1st ser., vol. 6, ed. Philip Schaff (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, 1994), 276.

Our Father who art in heaven,

Petition #1  Hallowed be thy name.

Petition #2  Thy kingdom come.

Petition #3  Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Petition #4  Give us this day our daily bread,

Petition #5   And Forgive us our trespasses,

Let me tell you part of a story from the Bible that Jesus taught one day when those that thought they had it all together were listening. (Luke 15 Prodigal Son, Loving Father)

11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

This boy – man – lost how much, a full third of the Dad’s lifetime of toil. Did he pay it back? NO! He couldn’t, no way. He simply came back to the Father because he knew his character even with the low laborers.

The waiting father breaks all social protocols by throwing away his dignity when he runs down the road to greet his lost son. That’s the kind of forgiving Father we Christians have as we offer up the petition: “Forgive us our debts…forgive us our trespasses.” Our God comes to us in His beloved Son, welcoming us sinners who have run up such debts by squandering the lives and the gifts our Father has given us.

Think about it – the Father was watching and waiting for humility, for a movement of sanity and forgiveness.

Dads don’t run – this Father did! He was watching and praying. God sent a famine to humble the rebel until he was low enough to repent!

I have prayed many times for people that they would hit bottom so they would look up. But sadly some people’s bottom is so low, so painful – not just for them but for their family too!

This Dad forgave, hugged, kissed and through a party!

Our Father is already racing down the road towards every lost and condemned creature, wanting to wrap each of us in His loving embrace for Christ’s sake.

As always, what we bring to the deal is our sin and death. Grace is both the free gift of Christ’s obedience to His Father and His endless life that death cannot destroy.

Let’s pray – I want to give you some time to ask God for forgiveness! Freedom is being hugged and enjoying a party with the family!

Our Father who art in heaven,

Petition #1            Hallowed be thy name.

Petition #2            Thy kingdom come.

Petition #3            Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Petition #4            Give us this day our daily bread,

Petition #5            And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us

How many of you have been forgiven by others?            Which is easier – to forgive or to be forgiven?

Let me read a passage from the Bible, Luke 7:36-50 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. 39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”  “Tell me, teacher,” he said.
41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

For us, our debt, our trespass deserves an eternity experiencing God’s wrath. Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!

Jesus took his Father’s wrath upon himself after physically experiencing the cross. He did that for us!

Let me tell you a fictional story. There was a couple that lived in an old village. It is one of those villages in which everyone eventually knows everything about everyone. Is so happens that the wife had an affair. She quit it, repented, asked her husband to forgive her and he refused.

She kept asking, he kept refusing. Elders from their church encourage him to forgive – “no way” was his answer.

One night an angel came to the husband and told him to forgive. “No way” was still the answer. Then the angel told him for every day he did not forgive her the angel would put a small pebble in his heart. No way was still the answer. Day after day the angel put a pebble in his heart and at first the husband not only didn’t care but didn’t notice. Over time he began to stoop over with the weight or the pebbles.

Eventually, one day the husband wanted to forgive his wife – not just because of the pebbles, but genuinely. He called out to the angel to appear. He told the angel he had truly forgiven his wife. The angel knew it to be true and then said this. “You have forgiven her today. You are to forgive her everyday. Each day you forgive her, I will take a pebble from your heart.”

We pray for daily bread, and daily ask forgiveness based on what Jesus has done to appease God’s wrath, and daily we need to forgive those that have sinned against us! We need food. We desperately need to be forgiven. And for sure we need to forgive others knowing how much we have been forgiven.

Our Father who art in heaven,

Petition #1            Hallowed be thy name.

Petition #2            Thy kingdom come

Petition #3            Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Petition #4            Give us this day our daily bread,

Petition #5            And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us


Petition #6            And lead us not into temptation,

Matt 6:13, And lead us not into temptation. The Greek word “temptation” means a terrible trial, or literally to “pierce through, as with a spear”1

Let me tell you the story of how King Jehoshaphat prayed in II Chronicles 20. I think it aptly illustrates a trial like a spear! The Ammonites and the Moabites were moving in a vast army toward Jerusalem. There were so many of them, and they were so well armed, that the men of Israel would never be able to defeat them. It would be like a Jr. High team trying to play you guys or you guys trying to play the Miami Heat. As the invaders came closer and closer, the situation looked increasingly hopeless. The king called for a nationwide fast. Men from every town and village gathered in Jerusalem to seek the Lord. Jehoshaphat stood before them and offered one of the greatest prayers in the Bible (II Chronicles 20:6-12). He begins by declaring God’s greatness: “O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you”(verse 6). Then he reminds God of the promises he made to take care of his people when they were in trouble. Then he tells God, “We’re in big trouble now!” He freely admits, “we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us” (verse 12). And he concludes with this simple confession: “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you” (verse 12). God’s answer came through a prophet who told the people to “stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.” The next day Jehoshaphat put the male singers at the head of the army and sent them out to do battle. They literally stood still and watched as the Lord sent confusion into the enemy ranks. The Moabites and Ammonites started killing each other by mistake. There was a great slaughter followed by the plundering of the supplies left behind by the enemy soldiers. The story ends with the army gathering for a praise celebration, giving thanks to God for the victory he provided.

Jehoshaphat prayed, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you,” he was really saying, “Lord, we’re just a bunch of pathetic losers. And if you don’t help us, we’re sunk.”

Without God’s help, we don’t have a chance, we don’t have a thing to offer, and we don’t even know what to do next.

That is why we are to pray daily!

Sometimes I think the hardest job God has is getting his children to admit how desperately they need him.

This prayer basically says, “Lord, be my protector. Don’t ever let me get into a situation that will devastate me. Don’t ever let me get into a situation that will ruin me. Be my rock. Be my shelter. Be my refuge. Be my hiding place. Be my covering.” This is that general cry of the heart that knows itself too well.

If you’re crying that from your heart honestly, then you’re going to be careful where you go and what you do because you’re going to make a contribution to this prayer by doing everything you can to stay out of those places that would push you over the edge into sin, right? Otherwise the prayer is hypocritical.

Like the boy who keeps falling out of his bed at night – finally asks his Dad, “Why do I keep falling out of bed?” To which the Dad says, “ You stay to close to the edge!”

1Adam Clarke Commentary on the Bible