27 February 2008
Pray Like This: Hallowed Be Your Name
By Pastor John Piper (www.desiringgod.org) 12.30.07
Thanks Andrew for doing this complicated computer language video embed thing! :)
Text: Matthew 6:5-18
1. What Prayer is
"Prayer is intentionally conveying a message to God."
Why say intentionally? Romans 8:26. The Holy Spirit is there speaking for us even when we are speechless. We convey messages to God all day long. But not always intentionally. When we pray we intentionally covey messages to God.
Why not just say communicating with God? We pray to God, God doesn't pray to us. Prayer is the intentional message giving to God.
What kind of messages count as prayer?
A. Petition "God delights in our asking…His glory is magnified in this."
B. Praise (Ps. 145:2)
C. Thanking Him for His gifts and acts. "We should overflow…when we get up thank Him when we go to bed thank Him…all day long" (Revelation 11:17)
D. Confessing and asking for forgiveness (Ps 32:5)
E. Complain to the Lord (Ps. 32:1) (Job good example) We shouldn't have a complaining heart (Philippians 2:14). We should have a trusting heart. But we do have a complaining heart. So be real. Complain in front of God. It's not good to, but if we are complaining inside, God already sees it. Convey your heart to God over and over. Pray to God about everything. Begin and end everything in prayer. Ex. Emails, cars ride, phone call, conversation, every night's rest, every meal (whether out loud or not), every time you get on the treadmill. Short, 5 seconds. Ex: "God, please help me to glorify you in this email." Be in communion with God continually. Leave the phone on when you're talking with God. Never push the red button. Pray everywhere continuously.
2. With Whom/where we should pray?
Pray in your private room (Matthew 6:5&6). You don't always have to pray in your room. But find or make a place to pray. You do one thing at this place, you talk to God. Get away from distractions. Pray by yourself.
Pray with your family. (1 Peter 3:7) Unhindered, free, natural family prayer. Just do it. Even if it's just 2 minutes.
Pray in small gatherings of Christians. (If two or three are gathered…) Two or three move the world. Why do we come to the prayer meetings and put in effort if we don't believe that these people shake the world? Pray in small groups of Christians. (Acts 4:29) We need to regularly pray with other believers. It's important! By not doing this, we cut ourselves off from extraordinary blessing. We will not enjoy the fullness of the blessings of Christ if we don't include in our bigger picture of life, regular prayer with other believers.
Pray in worship services. It's mainly prayer structured around the Word. Mean the songs you sing to God. Sing to Him. Reading scriptures should turn into prayer. During the sermon pray for understanding, prayer for the pastor, if you are the pastor pray for your preaching.
Prayer everywhere. Keep the green button on. ("I believe, help my unbelief!") Not just foxhole prayers. God doesn't mind foxhole prayers. But those shouldn't be the only kind.
3. Why should we pray?
Because we are told to so many times. (James 5:16; 1 Thessalonians. 5:17; Luke 22:40; Luke 18:1; Luke 6:28; Matthew 6:9) God loves us, He wouldn't tell us to do something that's bad for us. He tells us to pray.
Because it is a means to the increase of our joy. (John 16:24)
Because it is simply a staggeringly awesome privilege. We never inform Him of anything He doesn't already know. We do not improve upon His knowledge on what He should do next. (Romans 11:34) He doesn't need our prayer. He is God. No needs. We have needs. He is the Need-Meeter. How the Need-Meeter gets glory is by hearing the prayers of the needy. It's staggering how He, the Creator of the Universe ordains that prayers cause things. Things that happen, would not happen if we didn't pray. (James 4:2) It's a staggeringly glorious privilege! If you are offered the privilege of engaging with God in such a way that your requests could bring into being things that would not otherwise come into being, not to avail yourself or that privilege is folly! That's why we pray. God is beckoning us into our share of the running of the universe.
Because when you go to God in dependence upon His wisdom, power, and love to do what you long for Him to do according to His will, you mightily make the Father and the Son look great. When you go to the Father, in the name of the Son, by the power of the Spirit to do what only they can do and you plead and it happens, you make them look great. (John 14:13; 2 Corinthians 1:11) Lots of people praying so lots of people thank God when it happens! ((Ps. 50:15)) Call upon God, He will deliver you, and you will glorify Him. (up, down, up)
Glancing at the Lord's Prayer:
Vs. 9 – The most important request we should make, "Make your name great!" First request of the Lord's prayer. Hallowed means sanctified. We plead with God, "Hallow your name in this world! In my family…" God setting His name, this holy representation of Himself, apart as the most precious, holy, valuable, beautiful, reality. That God's name is treasured above all things. It's a profound and wonderful calling to pray for the glory of God to fill the earth.
"God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him."