Page 8 - January 2021 - Truth & Tidings
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A                                     perceived kingdom and the triumph of
               few  passages  of  the  Bible  are,
               owing  to  their  frequent  or
                                              our own will. Let us learn the lesson from
               unintelligent  recitation,  easily
        overlooked by the Lord’s people – this is   the pattern provided by the Lord: give
                                              priority to God and His glory in prayer.
        one of them. But Christians need to pray,   The Relationship It Reveals
        and the Lord has graciously provided us   “Our Father in heaven” is not a formula
        this brief sample to teach us important   we  must  use,  but  it  does  present  a
        principles of prayer.                 relationship that is vital to appreciate.
        Its Relevance                         Through our union with Christ, Almighty
          It is a pattern prayer, but not a ritual to   God has become our Father (cf. Joh 20:17;
        be carried out by rote. That was the very   Gal 4:6). “Father” is a lovely blending of
        type of thing the Lord was condemning in   intimacy and reverence. He is personal
        His admonition to avoid “empty phrases”   and loving – the ideal Father. But as “our
        and “many words” (v7). Prayer is to be an   Father in heaven,” He is always infinitely
        expression of meaningful fellowship, not   greater than us. We rightly bow before
        meaningless verbosity. But the content of   Him, yet with the knowledge that the One
        this prayer remains rich in its relevance   with heaven’s storehouse at His disposal
        to  all  believers  today.  The  Sermon  on   delights to hear His children’s voices.
        the Mount (Mat 5-7) provides principles   The Priorities in the Prayer
        for the kingdom and is applicable to us   Our  selfish  tendency  is  to  rush  to
        “because we are subjects in the kingdom.”    requests pertaining to our needs, but the
        “These three chapters are directly relevant   Lord Jesus teaches us otherwise.
        to  believers  today.”   To  be  sure,  the
        kingdom has not yet come in its fulness   Adoration
        (v10), but there is nothing in this prayer   “Hallowed be your name” expresses
        that is inconsistent with the interests of   a desire for God to be honoured – the
        God’s people in the age of the Church.  name  represents  the  person.  It  is  an
        Its Design                            aspiration that the One who is holy will
          Here lies one of the most evident and   be  regarded  as  holy,  throughout  His
        important lessons from the paragraph:   creation.  The  Lord  Jesus  is  modelling
        prayer  commences  with  the  concerns   a worshipful heart in prayer. Similarly,
        of  God  and  subsequently  moves  to   many of us have profited at times from the
        our  needs.  Before  we  hear  “give  us”   ACTS acronym as a guideline for prayer:
        in this prayer, we hear “your name …   Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and
        your kingdom … your will.” Too often   Supplication.
        our  thinking  is  preoccupied  with  the   Anticipation
        honour of our name, the expansion of our   The  fact  that  the  Lord  taught  His
        ¹ A.J. Higgins, “Panorama of The      disciples to pray “Your kingdom come”
        Gospel of Matthew.” Fredericton, 2011,   establishes an important eschatological
        ² David Gilliland, Bible Readings on the Sermon   point. Even though the King was present,
        on the Mount, Bangor, NI, 1994.       His kingdom had not yet dawned. The

        8    TRUTH kTidings   January  2021
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