Pastor Nelson Bonilla: 7-24-22 Sermon – “Teach Us How To Pray”

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Luke 11:1-13

As we remember from the reading of the gospel, Jesus gave the Lord’s Prayer in response to the disciple’s request in (v. 1), “Lord, teach us to pray.” So far, the disciples have seen Jesus pray in every circumstance of life. They had seen Him taking time to be alone to pray. They understood that Jesus lived a life guided and empowered by prayer. Perhaps watching Him pray, was the cause for them to realize how very little they truly knew about praying; or maybe by listening to Him, they wished they could pray like Him. Whatever the reason was, the Disciples turn to Jesus and ask, “Lord teach us to pray.”  

“Now it came to pass, as he was praying in a certain place, when He finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray as John also taught his disciples. “When you pray, Jesus said, say: “‘Father,hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation. Luke 11:2-4 (NIV). This is Luke’s version; Matthew is a little different.

This little prayer is the most known prayer from the Bible. Most of us have said it since we were children. We have recited it in moments of distress; we have recited it when we are afraid. In those moments when we did not know what to pray, the Lord’s Prayer is the one we have repeated… When we meditate in the Lord’s Prayer, we realize this prayer was not given just to be recited. The disciples asked Jesus, teach us to pray, not teach us a prayer. Therefore, this prayer was given to them and to us as a blueprint for prayer; meaning to be a model for our personal and community prayers; a model to follow. The Lord’s Prayer has components we have to consider when we pray. 

First: “Our Father who is in heavens.” In this introduction, Jesus reminds us of the relationship between God and us. God is our Father, and we are His children. This is important because whenever we pray, we do not pray to just a god; we pray to our father. A loving and careful father who knows about our needs, who knows our words before we speak them.

Second: Jesus reminds us about God’s character. “Hallowed Be Your Name.” The phrase “hallowed be thy name” is meant to remind us that God is perfect, pure, holy, and worthy of all praise and honor. It is a way to echo the angels in heaven who declare, “Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen” (Revelation 7:12).

Third:  “Your Kingdom Come. Your Will Be Done.” This part expresses our desire of change. All the kingdoms led by men fail, and turmoil are the result of this failing. In any country of the world there are political forces trying to impose their agendas. In Jesus’ times, it was Seduces against Pharisees, in our country Democrats against Republicans. In other parts of the world left against right. Our prayer must be your will be done; your kingdom come. Both expressions are related. His Kingdom will come when His will is done.  

Fourth: “Give Us Our Daily Bread.” In our days, for us this may sound strange since we usually have food stored up for weeks, if not for months or years. What Jesus wants us to remember when we pray, is our dependency from God. As Israel in the dessert expected the Manna every morning, we also depend on God’s mercy and provision. Maybe not provision of food since we have plenty. But provision of life, health, hope, justice, and many other things money cannot buy.     

Fifth: “Forgive Us Our Sins for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.” When we come before God’s presence, we must keep in mind that before Jesus’ death, we were separated from God, because of our sin. It is because of His forgiveness that now there is peace between God and His creation. When we pray to forgive everyone who sins against us, we are praying for peace among us. This world does not have peace, because we have not learned to forgive.   

Sixth: “Do Not Lead Us into Temptation.” Keep us away from temptation. Temptation is the inclination to sin; it’s the desire of doing something God has told us not to do. If God is leading us, that should not be a problem. God’s presence in our hearts keeps aware of the Tempter and when temptation comes, he is our help.         

The last thing to keep in mind when we pray is, “The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory are yours.”

Jesus began His prayer with the certainty that God is His father. He ended it declaring that everything belongs to Him: kingdom, power, and glory.

Besides a blueprint, the Lord’s Prayer also identified us. You see, when we hear somebody saying:  “God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can, and wisdom to know the difference.” We know that there is the possibility that this person is an AA; if we hear a person saying the pledge of alliance, we know is from United States of America, because those kind of prayers identify us.

When the disciples asked Jesus to teach us to pray as John taught his disciples, they wanted to have a prayer for them. And this prayer makes Jesus’ disciples unique, but not when we recite it, but when we live up to it.

When we say our father who is in heaven, we must live as His children. Everything we do must bring honor to our father; whatever we do has to lead God to say, “This is my Son or my daughter, whom I love; with him or her I am well pleased.” Proverb 10:1 says, “A wise child brings joy to a father; a foolish child brings grief to a mother.” Most people agreed that our society is in moral trouble because we have put God aside. Let’s make the difference let’s live up as God’s children.

When we pray, “hollowed be your name” Let’s remember we are called to be holy, because our father, our God is holy. A holy person is someone who has dedicated his or her life to God.

Your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Earth in this context means ME. No, the planet, not the plants, no nothing outside but me, my life. It’s a song in Spanish that says: “how easy is to make you Lord over the heavens, over the stars, over the seas. But how hard, it’s to make you Lord of myself, Lord of all my days.”

Give us each day our daily bread. The Lord’s Prayer is in plural. Give us means, provide not only my food for today, but also my neighbor. According to Feeding America in our country 1 of 6 people, hunger is a reality. The Lord’s Prayer reminds us to do something to feed them. To share God’s blessings with others.

Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. Forgiveness brought peace between God and us. Forgiveness can also bring peace among each other. And last “lead us not into temptation” You know how many Christians are reciting this part of the Lord’s Prayer while they are walking into temptation? And after that they fell into temptation, they blame God. How can we walk into temptation? When we go to the wrong places, when we hang out with the wrong persons, when we do what we are not supposed to do, when we do what others have done already and now are in trouble, but we do not expect the same results. Brothers and sisters; boys and girls do not put yourselves in a situation where you provide the Tempter with the opportunity to enter in your life. 

Listen to James 1:13 “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”

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