“…O Lord God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?”—2 Chronicles 20:6.
Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:9-15; Exodus 16:1-15
The first three points of focus in the Lord’s prayer is the Lord: “Hallowed be thy name,” “Thy kingdom come,” “Thy will be done” (Matthew 6:9-10). The last four points focus on our needs: “Give us this day…” “Forgive us our debts,” “Lead us not into temptation,” “Deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:11-13). How do we make the last four points a practical part of our prayer life?
RELIANCE—We need to thank the Lord for His daily provision, and commit every aspect of our day to Him. Nothing we do can add one second to our life (Matthew 6:27). As a result, we need to continually recognize and rely upon the Lord for everything—food, clothing, shelter, salvation, His Spirit, our family, and so on.
FORGIVENESS—Forgiveness and confession need to be a constant part of prayer. God will not hear us if we don’t confess our sin (Psalm 66:18). Wrong motives, attitudes, words, thoughts, and actions need to be confessed and forsaken. Even more, sins we’ve committed against others need to be confessed, not only to God but to those we’ve sinned against (James 5:16). Forgiveness not only needs to be extended to others, but we need to accept the forgiveness others extend to us. The seriousness of this principle is shown in Matthew
6:14-15 – if we don’t forgive others, then we’re not forgiven by the Father.
DELIVERANCE—We need to rely on God for our daily temptations and struggles with sin. God will never tempt us to sin, but we do need to be ready to combat the powers of sin and death with the Spirit of God. if we don’t make this a practical part of our prayer life by confessing our need for His strength and power, we’re asking for defeat.
- How important is it that we remember God provides our needs daily? Deuteronomy 2:7; 2 Kings 4:1-7; Luke 6:38. Compare this with the daily provision of manna given to Israel in Exodus 16:1-5, 14-15.
- How do the principles of confession and forgiveness in Matthew 6:12, 15 affect our relationship with the Lord? James 5:16; Psalm 38:1-18; Proverbs 28:13; I John 1:7-10; Colossians 3:13. What are the consequences of not forgiving others? Matthew 6:15; James 2:10-13; Romans 2:1-6.
- Why does Christ instruct us to pray “…And lead us not into temptation…” if God never tempts man (Matthew 6:13; James 1:13)? Romans 5:3-5; Deuteronomy 8:1-5; James 1:2-4; Exodus 20:20.
Note: The word “temptation” is translated from the Greek word peirasmos and can be translated “temptation” or “trial.” If this word is applied to an action of God, then “trial” is the appropriate translation. If it applied to a temptation to sin, then “temptation” is the appropriate translation.
- What promises do we have of deliverance from sin and evil? 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Peter 1:3-10; 2 Corinthians 1:10; 2 Timothy 4:18.
- Why is Matthew 6:13b a fitting end to this prayer? 1 Chronicles 29:12; 2 Chronicles 25:8; 20:6; Daniel 2:20-22; Psalm 83:18.
Note: “Finally, the rich doxology expresses the certain hope that our prayers shall be heard and that God, in view of His great character, will bring to pass the highest good in our lives.” —Liberty Bible Commentary, Jerry Falwell
This week, ask yourself three questions: Do I harbor any unforgiveness toward anyone? What is the source of this unforgiveness? What do I need to do about my unforgiveness? Then, make a list of all those you need to ask forgiveness of and set a time to get together to confess your sin. If possible, make restitution to any and all those you’ve sinned against.