Pray Like This
Pastor John Sloan
Introduction: While it’s good to recite the Lord’s Prayer precisely as it reads, it’s not a secret formula. Jesus is not concerned about repeating specific words, but about teaching his followers a way to pray: principles to be extrapolated so that even when we use different words, we are praying for things that are consistent with kingdom values.
Questions for Discussion & Discovery
1. When Jesus says, “Pray like this” (Matthew 6:9) what does he mean? What is he not implying?
2. The problem that Jesus confronts is not that those in his audience don’t pray—they prayed a lot—but that they were emphasizing wrong priorities with wrong motives. How so?
3. What things in your life have you “made central”? Are they consistent with Jesus’ kingdom priorities?
4. What sort of requests do you most often bring before God?
5. Do you hope (and plead with God) for Christ’s return? Why or why not?
6. Jesus has made it clear that God, our Father, loves us and delights in blessing us in response to our prayers. How has God shown his love for you? Both recently and generally?
1. Read Matthew 6:9
2. “The Lord’s Prayer is not a mantra to be repeated mindlessly or superstitiously but an example of a prayer informed by kingdom values, the kind of prayer a disciple should pray.” – David Turner
3. 01. “Father, make your real identity known so that you are recognized and exalted as God, set apart as holy in my heart and our world.”
4. “In none of the first three petitions are we mentioned at all; human beings are put one remove away, and we ask the only one who can really hallow God’s name, bring God’s kingdom, and enable God’s will to do so.” – Fredrick Bruner
5. Read Matthew 6:10a
6. Future concrete realm
7. Present dynamic rule (of God)
8. 02. “Restore all things, and in the interim, expand your kingdom by bringing more people into it, through faith in Jesus Christ.”
9. Read Matthew 6:10b
10. “Remember this and stand firm … remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it. – Isaiah 46:8-11 ESV
God “works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his own will.” – Ephesians 1:11
12. 03. “Bring about revival on earth so that men would know you, confess you as Lord, and obey you fully, as you are obeyed in heaven.”