Lifeline: How to pray

Matthew 6:5-15

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread, 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

D.A. Carson once said that if you really want to embarrass the average Christian, just ask them to tell you the details of their personal prayer life. Let’s be honest. When it comes to prayer, most of us are C- at best. We know we should pray. We want to pray. We admire those who do pray. And yet when it comes to actually praying, most of us feel like failures. We struggle to pray. I am not saying this to judge you. I am saying this because it is what I experienced, both personally and as a pastor. I love studying God’s word. I spent about 20 hours on average studying and preparing for one sermon. But when it comes to my prayer life, not so impressive. And if I as your pastor struggle in my prayer life, I am sure many of us do as well. Let me put it bluntly. The majority of Christians today are very weak on prayer. It’s safe to say that we live in a prayerless world and prayerless church. And here’s why prayerlessness should concern us. John Wesley famously said, “I am convinced God does nothing on earth except in answer to prayer.” If he is right, and I am convinced he is, then maybe the reason God does nothing in our lives is because we don’t pray.

Okay, maybe saying we don’t pray is a bit too harsh. We pray. But we only pray when we are desperate. Prayer is more like a last resort when we run out of options. But that is not the way Jesus sees prayer. If there were one person who did not need to pray, we might think it would be Jesus. I mean, he is the Son of God. He is God in the flesh. Why would he need to pray? But as we studied the book of Mark last year, we saw that Jesus’ life was saturated with prayer. Jesus always find time to be alone and prayed to God the Father. For Jesus, prayer was non-negotiable. It was as essential as eating and sleeping. And not only Jesus, but we also find that throughout the book of Acts, the early church prayed. Prayer was fundamental to everything they did. But here is my concern. For many Christians today, prayer is optional. What was essential for the early church has become supplemental in the modern church. And that needs to change. Because a prayerless church is a powerless church. So, for the next seven weeks, we are going to look at different prayers from both the New Testament and the Old Testament. And I hope that by the end of this series, we will not only know more about prayer but that we will pray more.

Today we begin the series by looking at the only place in the Bible where we have direct instruction on prayer, what is famously known as the Lord’s prayer. That title is actually not correct. What we know as the Lord’s prayer is not the prayer Jesus prayed. The prayer Jesus prayed is in John 17. The Lord’s prayer is the prayer Jesus taught his disciples to pray. So, the better title would probably be the model prayer. And there are two accounts of this prayer, one in Luke 11 and the other in Matthew 6. We will focus on Matthew’s account. But it is interesting to note that Luke’s account started with the disciples coming to Jesus and asking, “Lord, teach us to pray.” I mean, the disciples had seen how amazing Jesus’ sermons were. They had witnessed the signs and wonders that Jesus performed. But they did not come to Jesus and ask, “Lord, teach us how to preach. Lord, teach us how to do miracles.” But instead, “Lord, teach us to pray.” They must have heard something in the way Jesus prayed that made them think, “This man really knows how to pray. We thought we know how to pray. We have much to learn.” So, Jesus taught them the Lord’s prayer. And the Lord’s prayer is extremely rich. It can be a series on its own. But today, we are just going to take a helicopter view of the Lord’s prayer.

I have four points for my sermon: How not to pray; Heart of prayer; Priority in prayer; Necessity of prayer.

How not to pray

Matthew 6:5-8 – “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Jesus begins teaching the disciples to pray by telling them how not to pray. Sometimes it helps to know what something is by learning what something is not. There are two ways of prayer we must avoid. First, the religious prayer. Jesus calls it the hypocrite’s prayer. The Greek word for hypocrite means ‘play actor’. It means someone who pretends to be something he is not. Hypocrites profess to believe one thing but actually live a completely different way. It is like a well-known vegan who eats bacon every morning. They pretend to be what they are not. But let’s be clear on what hypocrisy is not. Many people think of hypocrites as people who do one thing but feel another. So, I hear people often say, “I don’t feel like coming to church. So, I should not come to church or else I would be a hypocrite. I don’t feel like praying. So, I should not pray because I don’t want to be a hypocrite. I no longer love my spouse. So, I should leave my spouse or else I would be a hypocrite.” Let’s be clear. Doing what is right when we don’t feel like it is not hypocrisy; it is maturity. Hypocrisy is professing A in public but living a different way in private. And what Jesus has in mind here is the religious leaders who pretend to have a good prayer life, but they don’t. They only pray in public places so that others may see them and think well of them. They don’t pray because they seek God; they pray because they are obsessed with self-image. Their motivation is not to be heard by God but to be seen by people. This is what Jesus is against. But it does not mean that Jesus has an issue with people who pray in public spaces. Jesus wants us to pray in public spaces. But Jesus’ issue is with those who have a great public prayer life but no private prayer life. Because praying more in public than in private means that they are more interested in human praise than in God’s approval. They only seek reputation, not godliness. And Jesus tells his disciples, “Beware of the religious professionalism of the Pharisees. Do not pray in order to be seen by people.”

Jesus then continues in verse 6, “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” In other words, if we pray to be seen by people, we already have our rewards. We receive people’s praise. But if we want rewards from God, then pray in secret places. Pray when no one sees us. Because God the Father sees those who pray in secret, and He rewards those who pray in secret. Let me tell you why secret prayer is important. When we pray in secret, we do not pray to receive human praise but to commune with God. God is our reward. It is hard to be a hypocrite when we are alone in our room. Think about it. Most of the things we do in the Christian life are seen. People see us when we come to church. People see us when we serve. People see us when we turn the other cheek. People see almost everything we do as Christians. But do you know what people don’t see? People don’t see when we pray privately. Nobody sees that. Only God sees that. And that’s how we know whether we are doing things for God or people. Private prayer is the only thing we do just for God. Therefore, if we do everything else but private prayer, our Christian lives are not for God; they are to impress people. The acid test of whether we are a hypocrite or not is whether we have a private prayer life or not. We know we are a hypocrite when we called ourselves a Christian, but we don’t have a prayer life.

The second way of prayer we must avoid is the gentile prayer. If the religious pray in order to be seen by people, the Gentiles pray to impress God. They think that for God to hear their prayers, they must do something impressive to gain His attention. So, they pray long and complicated prayers, thinking that if they can just say the right words, then God will hear and answer their prayers. Do you know what this is? This is manipulation. They use prayer as means of transaction with God. And once again, Jesus is not condemning long prayers. He is condemning the idea that if our prayers are long enough, then God will hear us. Rather than relational driven, this prayer is performance driven. “If I do this, if I do that, if I say the right word, if I do the right thing, surely God must bless me.” Let me give you an example. Do you remember the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal? Elijah and the prophets of Baal had a showdown in which God answered prayer. So, the prophets of Baal called upon the name of Baal from morning to noon and nothing happened. After waiting for a few hours, Elijah was bored and started mocking them. “Cry louder. Maybe Baal is checking his Instagram and does not hear you. Or maybe he is taking a piss. Or maybe he is on holiday in Korea. Or maybe he is out brunching or shopping. Or maybe he is tired and is taking a nap. Cry louder.” We call this the gift of holy sarcasm. Some of you excel at this gift. So, the prophets of Baal cried louder, and they also danced for Baal. Why did they do it? The assumption was, for Baal to answer them and give them what they wanted, they needed to make him happy by doing something for him. They needed to perform. So, they danced for Baal. And when dancing did not work, they started cutting themselves. Why? Because if their dance performance was not enough, they needed to do something drastic to please Baal. Then maybe Baal would hear them. This is the way the Gentiles pray.

But Jesus says in verse 8, “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” I love this. Our prayers can never be good enough to merit God’s answer. But God is a loving Father who knows exactly what we need before we ask Him. In other words, listen. True prayer seeks God, not God’s benefit. God already knows our needs. We don’t get extra credit for adding extra words. That might work on our teachers but not on God. So, the question is, if God already knows what we need before we ask Him, why pray? Here is why. We don’t pray because God needs our help to run the world. We don’t pray to change God’s mind. We pray because God has ordained prayer to be the means to accomplish His purposes. Prayer is not a formula. Prayer is not an incantation. Prayer is not a recipe. Prayer is a relationship with our heavenly Father. And our heavenly Father does not need us to impress Him with our words. That’s why when we pray, we can shoot straight with God. We can be plain with Him. We don’t need to perform for Him. He already loves us. We just need to show up and talk to Him. And when we show up for prayer, God is already there waiting for us, ready to hear us and eager to listen.

Heart of prayer

Matthew 6:9 – Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.

For us who grow up in church, we are already accustomed to thinking of God as our Father. But for the Jews, this is revolutionary. When Jesus calls God, “Abba,” their jaws are open. It is shocking to them. The Jews don’t even want to pronounce God’s name for fear of misusing God’s name. But Jesus has the audacity to call the God of the universe, Father. I love what J.I. Packer said. “If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God’s child, and having God as his Father. If this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and his whole outlook on life, it means that he does not understand Christianity very well at all.” Think about it. God is the Creator of the universe. He has all the power to make the impossible possible. He has no beginning, and He has no end. There is no limit to His power. If we have to choose one word to describe God, what would that be? Almighty? Creator? Sustainer? Conqueror? They are all true. But above all, God wants us to know Him as Father. And note the words ‘our Father.’ So, God is not only Jesus’ Father, but He is also my Father and your Father. Do we realize how amazing this truth is? Most kids go through the phase of thinking that their dad is invincible. Dads, do you remember those times when your children used to say, “My dad is so strong. My dad can beat up your dad. My dad is so smart. My dad can do anything and everything.”? But of course, those phrases won’t stay true for long. As they get older, they start to realize how weak and frail their dads are. But for Christians, we can actually say, “My Dad is so big, so strong, and so mighty, there is nothing my Dad cannot do” and it is true. Because our Father is God.

So, here is the heart of prayer that I hope will never fail to encourage us. We can come to the God of the universe as a beloved child and say to Him, “Dad, I have a need, and I need Your help” – and the God who made every star and sustain every atom is not only ready to help but delights to listen. Why? Because He is our Father and He is excited about spending time with us. We can come to God like little children to their fathers. One thing I have noticed about little children is that they are not shy about speaking to their parents. When they want to talk to their parents, they are not thinking, “I wonder if this is a good time to talk to my parents. I wonder if they are too busy for me right now.” They don’t. Though many parents wish they do. Little children do not care about any of it. If they want to talk to their parents, they will barge in, doesn’t matter if their parents are talking to the Prime Minister. They always assume that their parents have time for them because they love them.

And the same is also true for parents. Parents, you understand this. Parenting little children can be very difficult. I heard terrible twos are the worst. It can feel and look as if your children are demon-possessed. You wish your children wouldn’t run from room to room to destroy everything in their proximity. You wish your children would not cry hysterically every time they don’t get their way. And if your children are in that season, you are hoping that the season will soon pass. But here is what I know about you. As difficult as the season you are in right now, you love your children so much. Yes, you wish that they will soon grow out of that season, but you never think, “I really don’t like my child.” No. You love your children. And if you who are not perfect can love your crazy little children that much, how much more our heavenly Father? As messy and crazy as we are right now, God loves us with His perfect fatherly love. God does not love the future better version of us. He does not love the more mature, closer-to-perfection version of us. He loves us where we are right now.

But do you know why it is very hard for us to relate to God this way? Because oftentimes, we don’t think of God as our Father; we think of God as our boss. How do we relate to a boss? We might have a good relationship with our boss, but in the end, the quality of that relationship depends on our performance. We might be BFFs with our boss, but if we are not performing well in our jobs, if we fail to do what we are hired to do, then eventually our boss is going to have to fire us. Why? Because the relationship is based on performance. But what about the relationship between a father and his children? A good father is every bit as concerned as a boss about performance. A father who does not care about his children’s performance is not good. “Son, it doesn’t matter to me if you get all F’s in your school report. It doesn’t matter if you bite everyone in your class. Your performance does not matter to me.” That’s not a loving father; that’s a cruel father. A good father wants his children to perform well. The difference is, if his children fail, if his children really blow it, a good father doesn’t fire his children. A good father stays unconditionally committed to his failing children. Why? Because the relationship is not based on performance but on grace. It is not conditional. And Jesus tells us that is the kind of relationship we have with God. God is not our Boss; He is our Father. Our relationship with Him is not based on performance but on grace. Recognizing and rejoicing in the fatherhood of God is the engine of prayer. When we understand this, prayer is not an obligation to fulfil; it is an invitation to find rest in a loving heavenly Father. I love the way J.D. Greear puts it. “Christians pray with the awareness of God as their Father, who already knows them, loves them, and is aware of what they need. Their main driver in prayer is not to inform God about the needs in their lives that he’s forgotten, or to curry favour with him, but to spend time with him.” Church, do we know whom we are talking to when we pray?

Now before we move to the next point, let me acknowledge some hard truths. I know that for some people, the word ‘father’ does not bring up a good memory. The truth is you might not have a good father. Your father neglected you. He abandoned you, abused you, and constantly criticised you. If that’s you, please hear me. I am so sorry for what your father did to you. What he did was wrong, and it should have never happened. You have the right to be angry with your father. But let me ask you a question. Do you know why you are angry with him? Because deep inside your heart, you are longing for a good father. And that longing points you to the only perfect Father in the world. So, here is what I encourage you to do. Rather than seeing your heavenly Father through the lens of your earthly father, reverse the order. See your earthly father through the lens of your heavenly Father. Maybe your father did not care. Maybe he hurt you. Maybe he abused you. But that is not what fatherhood is meant to be. Your heavenly Father is excited about you. He never stops thinking about you. He knows all your needs before you even ask Him. And He is waiting for you with an open arm, ready to listen to you. So, don’t let the failure of your earthy father stop you from coming to your heavenly Father. But rather, embrace the love of your heavenly Father and let it heals the failures of your earthly father.

Priority in prayer

Matthew 6:9-10 – Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Before we look at the content of this prayer, I want us to pay attention to the structure of this prayer. After we acknowledge to whom we are praying, what comes next is 6 petitions. Jesus is teaching us to ask God to do something. And these petitions can be separated into two sets. The first set of three requests focuses on God’s glory – God’s name, God’s kingdom, and God’s will. And the second set of three requests focuses on our needs – our provision, our forgiveness, and our protection. But notice which set comes first. This is important. This is the difference between God-centred prayer and self-centred prayer. Jesus says, “When you pray, before you pray to God about your needs, pray to God about God.”

There are three things we are to pray for about God’s glory. First, for God’s name to be hallowed. The word ‘hallowed’ means holy. In this context, it means God’s name to be honoured as the most beautiful and most worthy. When we say, “Hallowed be Your name,” we are telling God and reminding ourselves that God is better than anything, including everything we are going to ask Him later. We are acknowledging that the glorification of God’s name is the goal of everything. In other words, we are telling God, “God, I am not the centre of my life; You are.” Kevin DeYoung puts it this way. “To pray this prayer is to ask that God would do a miracle in our hearts, in our actions, and in our world, that his name would be set apart. It makes plain to God our chief desire: to praise him and want all peoples to praise him. It’s to want the whole world to see him for who he really is.” This is the request that shapes every other request. Everything else follows from this request. “Hallowed be Your name” is a way of telling ourselves that it is God’s name, not our name, that we want to be magnified. The second request is for God’s kingdom to come, and the third is for God’s will to be done. In other words, prayer is not so much about asking God to help us with our agenda but to ask Him to let us help with His agenda. We do not come to God asking Him to help us build our own sand kingdoms, but we come to God asking Him to build His eternal kingdom through us. Prayer is first and mainly about God.

And let me tell you, this is counterintuitive. When we pray to God, we want to tell Him everything we want Him to do for us. And that is not wrong. There is time for it. But note carefully. Unless we begin our prayer by reminding ourselves who God is, we won’t ask rightly. Our petitions will be filled with our name, our kingdom, and our will, instead of God’s name, God’s kingdom, and God’s will. And isn’t that the source of all our troubles? Our main problem in life is that we are trying to make the world rotate around us instead of God. Let me give you an example. Let’s say we are worried about our lives, and we pray about it. We say, “God, I am scared. I’m worried. I have this expectation and I am afraid it will not work out as I expected. God, can you please make it happen? Can you please change the situation in my favour? It has to happen or else I’ll be doomed.” Do you know what we are doing? We are putting ourselves in God’s position. We are saying, “My kingdom come, my will be done.” But that’s the source of our real trouble. Do you know why we are worried? Because we are sure we know how things should go. But do we? Of course, we don’t. But we think we do because we put ourselves in the place of God. Why are we angry at the people who annoy us? Because we think we know exactly what they deserve for what they did to us. The main reason we are unhappy is that we forget that we are not God, and we feel like we must be our own saviour.

Let me give you another example. When a 4-year-old boy tells his 40 years old father he wants to drive his car and the father says no, the father is being kind and loving. His father says, “You can’t drive the car because you can’t control it and it will kill you. The time will come when you can drive my car. But not now.” Of course, whenever a 4-year-old hears the father delay or deny the requests, he says, “Father, I know that you want what’s best for me. I might not understand it, but I trust you.” Of course not. Do you know what the boy would do? He would throw tantrums. Why? Because he thinks he knows better than his father. Do you know what worry is? It is us, a spiritual 4-year-old thinking we know exactly how to run our lives and God is not going to get it right. This is our problem. We are unhappy because we forget that God is our Father, which means we are a child. That’s why Jesus is telling us that before we come to God with our requests, we must remember who God is. When we remember who God is, we won’t be easily overwhelmed by our needs. A true prayer is an act of giving up control. We are saying to God, “God, I don’t know what’s happening, but You do, and I trust You.” That’s why the first thing we must do in prayer is to talk to God about God. It is only when we see God for who He is and ourselves for who we are that we are ready to ask rightly.

Necessities of prayer

Matthew 6:11-15 – 11 Give us this day our daily bread, 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

There are three things that Jesus says we should ask for. First, daily bread. What comes to our mind when we think of bread? For most of us, it is calories. But for the Jews, it is different. When they think of daily bread, they think of daily sustenance. Do you remember the manna in the wilderness? After Israel had been freed from Egypt, they travelled through the wildness. And there was no McDonald’s or KFC in the wilderness. Every morning when they woke up, there would be bread on the ground, which they called manna. God would send manna every day and everyone was to gather enough for each day. They were not to save some manna for the next day. When they did, God made it rot and breed worms. Why? Because God wanted His people to trust God for bread day by day. This is what it means by daily bread. In the same way, God wants us to trust Him every day to supply what we need to do His will that day. Not for tomorrow, not for the next week, but for that day. We are to trust God to provide for us daily. So, our daily bread is whatever we need to do what God has called us to do. And God wants us to bring our needs to Him daily. If we need wisdom to raise our children, God will supply wisdom day by day. If we need guidance to make the right decisions, God will give us guidance day by day. If we need grace to make it in a relationship or singleness, God will give us grace day by day. Whatever we need to do what God has given us, He will supply. We are to come to Him every day and ask Him to give us what we need for that day.

The second thing we should ask for is forgiveness. We should ask God to forgive us our sins as we also forgive others. And Jesus continues to say that if we do not forgive other people, our heavenly Father will not forgive us. This is a strong warning from Jesus. Remember that he is talking to his disciples. Jesus is not talking to strangers. He is talking to Christians. Christians are those who already received forgiveness from God. And those who have been forgiven by God should forgive others. And if we do not forgive others, our heavenly Father will not forgive us as well. Listen. There is an unbreakable link between God’s forgiveness of us and our forgiveness of others. If we say that we have received forgiveness from God, but we are unable to forgive others, something is wrong. Let me put it another way. Our difficulty in forgiving others reflects our difficulty in receiving God’s forgiveness. If we are not able to forgive others, it shows that we have not been forgiven by God. There is no such thing as unforgiving Christians. If we have God’s forgiveness in us, forgiveness will flow out of us. Unless we forgive others, it becomes clear that we have not been forgiven by God. Forgiveness is not easy, but forgiveness is possible because of the forgiveness we have received.

The third thing we should ask for is protection from evil. Here is a painful and humbling truth. Left to ourselves, we will walk away from God. The longer I am a Christian, the more I realise, “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.” I can easily succumb to temptation. I can easily choose to follow my own way rather than God’s way. I can easily say yes to my flesh and say no to the Holy Spirit. Does anyone know what I am talking about? That’s why Jesus commands us to pray to God to deliver us from evil. This is a prayer of a weak person to a strong God. It is a prayer of asking God to grant us to walk in holiness. The moment we think we are strong enough to face temptation on our own, we are already lost. The enemy is too strong for us, but God is too strong for the enemy. We are to seek God’s help to deliver us from evil every day.

So, let’s put them together. We are to ask God for provision, forgiveness, and protection. In other words, what God wants from us is a humble daily dependence on Him. And once again, this is counterintuitive. I don’t know about you, but as I grow older, it is harder for me to seek help. I think getting more mature means I am getting more and more independent and less and less dependent on other people. But that’s not Christian maturity. Listen. Christian maturity is not becoming less dependent on God but more dependent on God. Christians are spiritual Benjamin Button. Do you know Benjamin Button? He started off as an adult and he became younger and younger as he aged. We are to become more and more childlike and dependent as we grow in our relationship with God. This is the Lord’s prayer.

Let me close with this. The Lord’s prayer is a model prayer that Jesus gives us. But this is not only a model that Jesus gives us, but this is also the model that describes Jesus’ life. Think about it. Jesus was never concerned with his own glory. His life was all about glorifying God’s name. He prioritized God’s kingdom, and he did the will of God on earth. He relied on God for daily provision. No matter how busy he was, he would always find time to be alone and pray. He relied on God’s Spirit to guide him and lead him. The only thing he couldn’t say in this prayer is, “Forgive us our debts,” because he had none. Jesus was the sinless Son of God. And every time he prayed, God always responded to him. Except in the garden of Gethsemane. On the night before his crucifixion, Jesus prayed to God the Father three times. “Father, if possible, I don’t want to go to the cross. But not my will, but your will be done.” This is breathtaking. Every other religion says, “Pray to God because he is God, and you are human.” Christianity is the only religion that says God became a weak human and he had to pray. So, Jesus said, “Your will be done” and he died on the cross. Why? Because that is the price he had to pay so we can call God our Father. The only way we can pray this prayer is if God is our Father. But the cost of making us God’s beloved children is the death of the beloved Son of God. Jesus had to pay the price of our sins. He had to endure God’s wrath. That is the only way for God to forgive our sins and adopt us as His children. We become God’s children not through praying the right prayer but through what Jesus has done. And in Jesus, there is nothing we can do to make God love us more, and nothing we have done to make God love us less. All the punishment we deserved fell on Jesus, and Jesus’ privileged status of sonship is given to us. So that today, whenever we pray to God, we can be assured that He hears us. And if we see Jesus’ praying the Lord’s prayer at the end of his life for us, that enables us to enter the Lord’s prayer and have it change our hearts. Let’s pray.

Discussion questions:

  1. What struck you the most from this sermon?
  2. Look at the two ways of prayer we must avoid. Which one is more of your struggle and why?
  3. Explain the relationship between praying for God’s glory and our needs.
  4. Why do you think it’s very hard for you to relate to God as your perfect heavenly Father? How does the gospel speak to this fundamental problem?
  5. Spend time to pray the Lord’s prayer together. Begin praying by acknowledging who God is, then pray for the specific individual needs of each MC member.
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