Light for the Last Days

SHORT TALK

So He said to them, “When you pray, say:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us day by day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.”

Luke 11.2-4

Let’s just have a look at the Lord’s Prayer briefly.

The Lord’s Prayer is a patterned prayer. We can say the words and it’s good to say the words to remind ourselves of what’s in it, but, when we pray, we can also use it as a kind of formula for what we should pray for.

We’re looking at Luke’s version not Matthew’s. We usually pray Matthew’s version of the Lord’s prayer, so this one is slightly different.

Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”

So He said to them, “When you pray, say:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us day by day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.”

Luke 11.1-4

Our Father in Heaven

This is a reminder that there is a God and that God is in heaven, and we’re on the Earth. And though He is in heaven and we’re on the earth, God has said that He has opened a door of communication so that we can call upon Him and communicate with Him.

He is not distant, He’s there. He is distant in the sense that He’s not in this place, but, at the same time, He is near to us when we call upon Him.

We can pray to Him. And He promises to hear us.

Hallowed be Your name

That is praise to God: may the name of the Lord be glorified and may He be thanked for who He is, to glorify the name of the Lord.

In the Bible, often, the nature of what is written about is depicted in its name. So, we’re praying to God who is the Eternal One, who has existed from eternity to eternity, who doesn’t change, who is the God who made us, the God who loves us. And we’re giving Him the glory for what He has done, for us.

The world doesn’t think about God, the world sometimes even uses His name as a swear word. But He wants the people who will give Him glory to His name and will use His name to honour Him and to give thanks to Him.

Your kingdom come, Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven

Is God’s will done in heaven? Yes! God’s will is continually done in heaven. Is God’s will done on the Earth? No. That’s the whole problem.

Why is it that we have wars and troubles, and persecutions, and all these evils which we see around us? Because people don’t do God’s will, because Satan has interfered and brought his power to bear upon the human race, and tempted us so we fall away from God.

So, God tells us that we should pray that His Kingdom, which does exist in heaven, and God’s will, which is continually done in heaven, should be done on the Earth.

Now, God’s Kingdom comes when any person repents and believes the Gospel. That’s why Jesus said, ‘You’re born again into the Kingdom of God’.

So, when you believe in Jesus, you are entering into the Kingdom of God.

One way in which we pray that God’s will be done on Earth is by personally accepting Jesus Christ as Saviour. He then comes into our life. Having come into our life, we want other people to be saved. So we pray that they might come to believe in Jesus and we seek to spread the Gospel, and we pray for them.

Part of praying that God’s will be done on Earth as it is in heaven is the intercession we make by praying for others to be saved. And we pray that we may help them to come to believe in the Lord Jesus.

We can also pray for the government as we did earlier in this service. Pray that the government may do good and not evil. This is an important one to us because, sadly, most of the governments in the world today seem to be more intent on doing evil than good. Therefore, we must pray for our government and pray for those who are in authority over us that they might recognize their need of the Saviour as well as pray for situations in the world where other people face trials and difficulties.

Give us day by day our daily bread

As long as we’re in this body, we have physical needs. We need food, we need clothing, we need housing. And we also have emotional needs. We see friendship, we need others to be with us, and we can pray legitimately for those needs to be met.

Similarly, if we are lacking these things, we can pray that God give them to us and we can think also of others who don’t have them, how we can help them in their difficult circumstances, give them food, give them aid. There are certainly many examples where we need to do that.

Additionally, ‘Daily Bread’ can refer to the Word of God. Jesus spoke about Himself being the ‘living bread’. So, we pray that God will give us His Living Word to sustain us and to keep us going during this life.

It says,

And forgive us our sins

Sin is what separates us from God who is Holy.

Forgiveness is available through Jesus Christ. We’ve just remembered Him in the breaking of bread and we remember what He has done for us at the cross. We remember also that there is no other name given unto heaven whereby we must be saved but the name of Jesus.

Is that being intolerant towards people of other faiths? No.

This is so simply because no other person of any other faith has done what Jesus did, no other person of any other faith could do what Jesus did because Jesus is unique. He is God become flesh, brought amongst us, and who laid down His life as a sacrifice for the sins of the world.

In Isaiah it says,

All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Isaiah 53.6

He wrote this speaking prophetically about what would happen 700 years after he gave that wonderful prophecy in Isaiah 53 about the Messiah coming to bear our sins.

Therefore, we ask God to forgive us through Jesus Christ. We all recognize that we have offended God in some way in our lives. There’s no one who is righteous, no one is perfect. We owe God a great debt which we can’t pay and that debt was paid uniquely by Jesus Christ, by shedding His precious blood that we might be redeemed.

For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us

If we believe that, we should also forgive everyone who’s indebted to us. Everyone has people who’ve harmed us in some way, that have offended us, done bad things to us. And the question then is: Do we want to do bad things back to them do we want our revenge on them? No, the Bible says we should forgive them in the Name of Jesus.

Remember how Jesus on the cross said, Father forgive them for they know not what they do? Even as He was being placed on the cross and suffered the anguish of crucifixion, He prayed for those who were responsible that they might be forgiven and turn to the Lord.

So, we should have an attitude of forgiveness towards those who’ve done harm to us, knowing that we may forgive people who’ve done harm to us but that they are not forgiven by God until they repent.

Although Jesus said, Father forgive them for they know not what they do, they then had to repent in order to be forgiven.

It is interesting, if you look in the Book of Acts when Peter was preaching, he said to people who many of whom will be hearing him in Jerusalem just few weeks after it, he said,

17 “Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. 19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, 21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. 22 For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. 23 And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’

Acts 3.17-23

I know that you did it in ignorance but now God calls you to repent and believe the Gospel. You did it in ignorance – Father forgive them for they know not what they do – but now you do know what you do. You put the Son of God to death. Now, you should repent and believe.

There is a responsibility on people who are not saved to believe and to repent in order to receive forgiveness. And I think that also works in human relationships. We can forgive people who’ve harmed us, but we can’t be reconciled to them until they actually say sorry for what they’ve done. Only then can we be reconciled in Jesus Christ.

Therefore, though our attitude should not be to seek to harm people, we should also recognize that, if they have harmed us, they do need to repent and believe. And so we pray for their salvation.

The Lord’s prayer goes on

And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one

Keep us out of the way of temptation. Temptations are all around us, especially, when you go on the internet, you go on your mobile phone, watch TV. Temptation to thoughts, to actions, it’s there all the time. And the source of temptation is the evil one, Satan, who exists, who really exists.

One of the things which they try and tell you today is that Satan is some sort of joke, that he doesn’t really exist. He does exist, he is the one who has a job to do to tempt and to bring evil into the world.

He has got his job to do, and we’ve got our job to do, which is to resist him, stand against him.

We have a one who is the source of all evil, who is contrary to the Kingdom of God, contrary to our Salvation, and he is at work in all areas of life. That is why so many things which happen in public life are wrong; there’s a continual temptation to sin and give in to the influence of the evil.

Satan is also active in churches. He creates divisions and encourages pride, unbelief, leads to error amongst believers and he actually does attack those who believe in Jesus.

So, if you find the Satan is attacking you and tempting you, don’t think it is because you are a bad person. That is his job. He is going to do that and you have the job to resist him in the name of Jesus.

I say he has got his job to do and we have got our job to do, which is to boot him out. But we have to take steps to do that.

In 1 Peter chapter 5 verse 5 it says,

“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 5.5-11

Your enemy the devil goes around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. He doesn’t want to just make trouble, he wants to devalue what you have. That’s what the lion wants to do.

We also have greater power on our side.

In 1 John it says,

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

1 John 4.4

The devil is stronger than we are, but Jesus in us is stronger than he is, and He has overcome the devil. So, if we submit to God and resist the devil in the name of Jesus, we have the victory.

God wants us to be those people who have that victory.

He also says also that if we have that victory, He is going to perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. In other words, to establish you in the faith so that you won’t be blown this way and that way by different winds of doctrine and different ideas, and different things happening to you, but you will be strengthened and settled, building your house on the Rock of faith so that when the storms come, and the opposition comes, the house will stand and not fall down.

Tony Pearce

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