What we know as “The Lord’s Prayer” is really a prayer of desperation for the followers of Jesus who seek the intimacy He has with our Father!
[SW088] 04/14/2013 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2013
“The Prayer of the Desperate”
The Lord’s Prayer, per the Spirit-inspired Matthew:
Matthew 6:9 “ Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father who is 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 do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’]
Matthew 6:14 “ For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”
The Spirit-inspired Luke gives an abbreviated version, but the truths therein are the same:
Verse 1 —
Jesus is praying.
He prays like no other.
The disciples want to know how to pray like Him.
They are following Him
and they see that He is connected to the Father
in a way they do not yet know.
They can tell by the way He prays.
Verse 2 —
And so He shows them. We who follow Him are to pray like this:
Father, Your name is venerated in my heart,
I regard Your name, Your very nature with great reverence.
You are like no other.
You are entirely different.
You are holy.
And You are actually my Father.
I have been adopted by You.
Your kingdom come.
Establish Your kingdom within me (Luke 17:21) in my heart,
so Your will is done by me in the same way it is done in heaven — fully.
And establish Your kingdom in the hearts of many,
any who will come to Your Son.”
Verse 3 —
Give me and all Your followers each day our daily bread,
our needful bread,
the bread we need, the Bread of life,
the Bread from heaven —
give us more of Your Son, Jesus Christ.
If we seek first Your kingdom, O God,
all earthly things that we need
will be provided by You. (see Matthew 6:33)
Verse 4 —
“And forgive us our sins
BECAUSE we forgive everyone who sins against us.
You will not forgive us unless we also forgive.
So, even before praying this prayer,
we have forgiven everyone who has ever done us wrong.
And lead us not into temptation.
We are tempted not to forgive.
Change this, in our hearts.
That’s the prayer He teaches us,
we who are following Him
and see that He is connected to the Father
in a way we do not yet know —
we can tell by the way He prays.
Verses 5-6 —
Then He goes on to speak of a Friend (the Father)
to whom a man goes at midnight and says,
“One of my friends has come to me from a long journey.
But I have nothing to give him.”
I see that I lack what this friend of mine needs.
Your life is not yet abiding in me, Jesus.
Verse 7-8 —
Not because He is my Friend,
but because I am persistent in asking,
the Father will give me AS MUCH AS I NEED.
He knows exactly what I need.
But I must understand my lack,
and ask even to the point of desperation
and utter contriteness and brokenness,
understanding that against God only have we sinned,
and I cannot change my heart — He must.
Such a heart the Lord will not despise (Psalm 51).
Verse 9 —
Jesus gives an invitation to the desperate.
Ask and keep asking,
and it will be given to you.
Seek and keep seeking,
and you will find what it is that you lack;
knock and keep knocking
and the door to heaven will open IN YOU.
Verse 10 —
It will happen, Jesus says!
Everyone who desperately asks, receives;
everyone who desperately seeks, finds;
for everyone who desperately knocks, the door WILL be opened.
Verse 11-12 —
A natural father,
when his son asks for something nourishing,
will give him what he asks for.
Verse 13 —
We know how to give good gifts to our natural children,
though our hearts still have in them a sinful nature (evil).
HOW MUCH MORE
will your Father in heaven
give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?
He is your Father.
He is perfect.
He is in heaven, on His throne, in absolute power.
The Holy Spirit is our Heart Changer.
The Holy Spirit is the one who makes us partakers of Christ’s nature,
and wipes away the sin nature in us.
The Holy Spirit is who we, God’s children, must desperately ask for.
The Holy Spirit is who we, God’s children, must desperately seek.
The Holy Spirit is who we must desperately knock on His door to receive.
The Holy Spirit is who we lack.
He will hallow us on the inside,
He will fill our hearts with God’s holiness and love.
so we will revere and love God with His actual love.
The Holy Spirit will establish the Father’s kingdom in our hearts,
so that we delight to do His will (Psalm 40:8),
and so that we have no one in heaven or on earth but God (Psalm 73:21).
The Holy Spirit will give us changed hearts that readily and easily forgive EVERYTHING and EVERYONE.
He will give us the Bread of life to give to others who are desperate.
By the Holy Spirit, the Father and the Son will dwell in us,
and we will share them with all who are likewise seeking.
When we pray this desperate prayer,
the prayer the Lord tells us to pray,
we are asking God for His Holy Spirit.
And He will answer our prayer.
This kingdom that He establishes in us is and will always be unshakable:
Hebrews 12:26 And His voice shook the earth then, [at Mount Sinai] but now He has promised, saying, “ YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.” [Haggai 2:6] 27 This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; 29 for our God is a consuming fire.
The kingdom of God that He establishes,
the kingdom we must pray to receive,
the kingdom we receive when we ask our Father for the Holy Spirit,
When God shakes everything, we will stand.
Paul writes to a church
that is not yet standing
but is troubled,
like today’s church.
1Corinthians 4:8 You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us; and indeed, I wish that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you . . . 14 I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children. 20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power. 21 What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness?
I come today to you, O troubled church, in a spirit of gentleness.
You are lacking the one thing needful — the Holy Spirit.
I can tell by the things you do,
and by the way you pray.
O Christian, ask yourself:
Do I display God’s actual love, His joy, His peace,
His patience, His kindness, His goodness,
His faithfulness, His gentleness
and am I controlled by His Spirit? (Galatians 5:23-24)
Am I sinning?
Those who belong to Christ Jesus
have crucified the flesh [the sinful nature]
with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:24)
Do I still wrestle with the sinful nature, or is it dead?
Am I free, indeed (John 8:31-36)?
Will you see your lack today, O Church, O Christian?
Will you become contrite and broken before your Father in heaven?
You have nothing to give those who come to you.
Are you desperate to give them something?
Then ask, seek, knock, in your desperation.
He is a perfect Father! He will give you the Holy Spirit!
Then others will know you have been with Jesus
and that you are connected to God the Father
in a way they do not yet know.
They can tell by the way you pray.
And they will say, “Teach us to pray!”