In his message from TGC Chicago’s 2022 regional conference, Colin Smith draws from Luke 11, where Jesus’s disciples request he teach them to pray, not how to pray. Smith shows us how to pray the Lord’s Prayer through five categories:
1. God’s name should be honored in prayer. Pray that God would raise up people who know him amid a world that despises him.
2. As you pray for God’s kingdom to come, ask that our lives be more fully submitted to Christ and that Jesus would defeat his enemies on earth.
3. Pray for others whose needs are greater than our own—this stirs up Christlike compassion in our hearts as we fully depend on God at every step of his provision.
4. Pray for forgiveness, not because we haven’t already been forgiven but to restore fellowship with God. As Christians, we should want to walk as closely as possible with God.
5. Pray to be watchful and prayerful so as to not be overwhelmed by temptation.
As we more fully know the love of the Father, we’ll desire to earnestly seek him in prayer.
The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.
Thank you, well, what a joy to be able to welcome all of you to the orchard, so glad that you are here for this very, very special occasion. And it’s a great privilege to open the Bible with all of you so very, very thankful to God for TGC. For Don, and for Tim, and for their wise and godly leadership, through the first decade and our continuing influence on the gospel coalition there now for the leadership of Julius and his team. Is it not a wonderful thing to be able to affirm that which is most important together, and to affirm our unity in Christ, and in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, just before I get into the message, I do want to take a moment to commend a resource to you. It is a book by Kevin De Yun, who will be here speaking tomorrow entitled, The Lord’s Prayer and just newly out I want to warmly commend it to you. And if you are wondering, why on earth is he speaking on the Lord’s Prayer, when Kevin De Yong has just published a book on it, I can assure you that I’ve been asking the same question. And I suspect Kevin De Yong has been asking the same question as well. And this conference was, in fact, planned a couple of years ago. And of course, because of COVID, was put off until this time and a degree two years ago to speak on the Lord’s Prayer. And then earlier this year, Kevin’s book came out and I thought, What in the world do I do? So I bought it, and I’ve not read it. And I’m really looking forward to reading it in the coming week, and to find out everything that I should have said to you in this message this evening, but you should choose. Here’s a piece of wisdom that was passed on to me years ago, and has stood me in good stead. Choose a book by its author, not by its cover or its title. You’re reading a person. And Kevin D. Young’s writing ministry is just such a marvelous, marvelous gift to the whole church of our Lord Jesus Christ. Well, the Lord’s Prayer is recorded as you know, twice in the Gospels in Matthew chapter six, and in Luke chapter 11. I’ve chosen to speak tonight from Luke 11. Mainly because it is shorter. That’s it Very good reason, but also because it includes the title of our conference where the disciples asked Jesus, to teach us to pray. So let me read from Luke 11. And the first four verses. Now, Jesus was praying in a certain place. And when he finished, one of his disciples said to Him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples. And he said to them, When you pray, say, Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day, our daily bread. And forgive us our sins for we ourselves, forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation. Lord, teach us to pray. And you glad that the disciples asked that question of Jesus, of course, they were familiar with the pretentious prayers of the Pharisees, the were familiar with the futile prayers of the Gentiles heaping up there, empty phrases, but when they observed Jesus in prayer, they saw something different. And they wanted a taste of it. They’d seen him rise early in the morning, go out among the hills, and when he came back, was so clear his communion with the Father. And they find this wonderfully attractive and they, they want a taste of it themselves, Jesus, you have something that we have not experienced. You have an authentic, intimate relationship with God. And we want that we want that. Now, can you teach us what it is that you do? Campbell Morgan, pointed out that the disciples did not say to Jesus teach us how to pray. He makes this observation. Many people know how to pray, but do not in fact, pray. The request, teach us how to pray, would simply refer to theory. But they don’t say teach us how to pray. It’s not the theory we’re looking for. How can we get to the place where we actually pray? That’s the question, isn’t it? How do we get to doing it? How do we get beyond endless conversations about methods for prayer, barriers to prayer techniques for prayer? What the disciples are here saying is Jesus, we want you to get us to the place where we actually pray. That’s the point of what they’re saying here. Can you get us going in this? And when the disciples say to Jesus, teach us to pray, the first word Jesus speaks is the word. Father. That’s of huge significance. He said to them, When you pray, say, Father, knowing that God is your Father is the key to getting started in prayer. And if you want to get to the place where you actually pray, where you are entering into communion with God, as opposed to simply talking about prayer, or intending to pray, or even condemning yourself for not praying, remember that God is your Father. More than anything else, what will get you praying is a felt awareness that God is your Father who loves you? And the more you know that God is the Father who loves you, the more you will have a desire to pray. Now, what are we to ask of the Father who loves us? While in Luke’s account of the Lord’s Prayer, there are five things to ask of God. And since we’re going from Luke, I’m going to say equity is five, that God’s name will be honored that God’s kingdom will come, that God will provide what we need, that God will forgive our sins, and that God will deliver us from temptation, five things to ask of God. And all that we could ever ask, and all that we could ever need, come under one or other of these five petitions. So you can use the Lord’s Prayer as a kind of template for praying, you could take a page in a janitor, and you could divide it into five sections, you could call them God’s name, God’s kingdom, God’s provision, God’s forgiveness, and God’s deliverance. And on that page, you would actually have a perfect outline for prayer, you could just start with these five headings. And then you could fill in things that belong under each of these headings. Or you could do it the other way around, you could start with things that are upon your heart and mind that you feel you need to pray for. And you could say, under which heading does this belong? Think of the Lord’s Prayer as being like five pegs, if you like on which you can hang your prayers. And if you pray for a friend who needs help in in some way, going through perhaps some treatment, and you’re asking God for the strength that they should be given? Well, well, clearly that belongs under God’s provision for each day as they’re going through this particular circumstance. But then you see, as you pray for that person, you might ask this question, why not? What else? Should I be praying for the same person? Because as she goes through this, or as he goes through this, there will probably be some particular temptation that will come to him or to her, what might that be? And how can I pray into that? What might be the opportunity, particularly for this person to honor God’s name, and so forth and so on. Now, using the Lord’s Prayer as a kind of template, or framework for our prayers is not something new. Martin Luther used the Lord’s Prayer as a template for his own prayers throughout most of his life. And he commended it as some of you will know, in a delightful little book that he wrote for his barber. No, I just can’t get out of my mind this image of Luther sitting in the barber’s chair, you know, with his with his head back, and here’s the barber with a razor and taking off the stubble from his chin, and he’s got the razor right there. And then the barber says, Pastor Martin, I’ve got a question to ask you. How should I pray? And Luther is aware that there’s this knife that’s right next to his throat? And he says to the barber, why don’t you just focus on what you’re doing? I’ll write you a book. And I’ll just tell you later, how to pray. Well, anyway, thankfully, it wasn’t just a conversation with the barber. It ended up being a wonderful little book that you can read called a simple way to pray. And he explains there how to use the Lord’s Prayer. And he says to his barber, I do not want you to recite all these words in your prayer. In other words, we’re not talking here about simply repeating the Lord’s prayer every, every morning as our form of prayer. He says, instead, I want your heart to be stirred and guided by what our Lord tells us to ask. Now, that really is the great value of the Lord’s Prayer is a template for us that our hearts will be stirred and that our hearts will be guided by what our Lord tells us to ask. And this simple way to pray, using the Lord’s Prayer as a as a template was not simply something that Luther thought his barber should do. It was actually what Luther did himself for much of his life. He says this to his barber. To this day, I suckle at the Lord’s Prayer, like a child, another beautiful image, I suckle at the Lord’s Prayer like a child. And as an old man, eat and drink from it and never For get my Phil well now let’s look at these five things that we are to ask of God together. The first relates then to God’s name, God’s name. When you pray, say, Father, hallowed be your name. Now, in Matthew’s account, Heaven frames the first petitions of the Lord’s Prayer. It’s our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. So heaven frames in Matthew’s account, the first petitions of the Lord’s Prayer and surely the significance of the references to heaven there is that God’s name is honored in heaven. Revelation chapter four and verse eight day and tonight there that’s the angels never cease to say, Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is, and is to come. So you think about what the scene is in heaven that is a scene of unceasing worship. God’s name is always honored. Now, what is the scene on earth? Well, God says through the prophet Isaiah, this is Isaiah chapter 52 And verse five, Isaiah 52 And verse five, God says through the prophet continually, all the day, my name is despised, are blasphemed. So the scene on earth could not be more different from the scene in Heaven. In Heaven. God’s name is honored as the angels worship without ceasing on Earth. God’s name is despised. It is blasphemed, all the day long, Isaiah 52 in verse five. And it’s into that vast chasm between heaven and earth, that we pray the first petition of the Lord’s Prayer, that your name will be honored, hallowed be your name. Now, each of the petitions in the Lord’s Prayer has an answer, that we will wonderfully enjoy when the Lord returns. And each petition in the Lord’s Prayer has an answer that we can experience here. And now, to each of those these petitions, there is a now answer. And there is a then answer. When Christ returns in power and glory, His name will be hallowed. It will be honored, it will be glorified. It will be exalted forever the earth will be filled with a glory of God as the waters come cover the sea, hasten that day, man, what a day that will be. But how is this prayer to be answered? Now in this world that despises God’s name? Well, the answer to that is given to us very clearly in Isaiah in chapter 52, that I quoted just a moment ago, Isaiah 52 And verse five, continually, all the day God says, My name is despised. And then here’s what comes next. Therefore, my people shall know my name. You see the connection, that God’s answer to a world that despises his name is a people who know his name. And so when we pray it, hallowed be your name. We are asking God to raise up on earth people who know Him and love Him and treasure him more than life itself. So that in this world that despises and blaspheme his name all day long, his name may be honored among these people. God’s answer to a world that despises his name is a people who know his name. Now, here’s the challenge. The apostle Paul quotes these words from Isaiah and chapter 52, in Romans and chapter two and verse 24, Romans two and verse 24. We get this quote coming right out of Isaiah 52. Four as it is written, Paul says in Romans 224, the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles. Now he’s quoting from the Old Testament, so you would expect him to follow where Isaiah himself goes in the Old Testament, you would expect him to say the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles. But God’s answer to people that blaspheme his name is a people who know his name. But that’s not what Paul says in Romans 224. And Romans 224, there is a sting in the tail. Here’s what it says. For as it is written, the name of God is blasphemed, among the Gentiles because of you because of you. Now, friends, we all know what this is like. We have all seen the damage that comes to the name and the reputation of God, when someone who bears his name as all of us bear his name. acts in a way that is obviously inconsistent with the faith that he or she professes. And to people who bear God’s name, but do not live for His glory. Paul is saying, Look, quoting Isaiah, you’re called to be the answer to the world’s blasphemy of God’s name. And here’s the tragedy. Instead of being the answer, you’re the cause.
The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you. Now, I say that for this reason, that to pray, hallowed be your name, surely will have this effect in our hearts. If we are praying this sincerely, to pray, hallowed be your name will light a fire in your heart to live in a way that honors your Father in heaven. Lord, I want your name to be honored in this world that blasphemed and despises your name, Lord as one who bears your name. Let’s let me never bring this honor to your name. God’s name that’s the first petition. Here’s the second God’s kingdom. And when you pray, Jesus says, say your kingdom come. Where do you begin in our discussion of God’s kingdom? I think that the place to begin in any discussion of God’s Kingdom is with the words of Jesus to Nicodemus. Remember John chapter three and verse three, Jesus says to Nicodemus, Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. That is huge significance because here is a man surely Nicodemus, who would have described himself as living under the rule of God. But Jesus says, unless you are born again, you won’t even see the kingdom of God, let alone be in it. So Jesus is saying to Nicodemus in effect, you can talk all you want about the kingdom but unless you are born again, you will not even see it. And J i Packer says, I think very helpfully God’s Kingdom is not a place, but a relationship. It exists wherever men in throne Jesus as master of their lives. So when you come to Jesus, and you enthrone him as the master of your life, you are in the kingdom and the kingdom is in you. The Kingdom begins in us, Surely that is why in Revelation and chapter one and verse six, we have this marvelous statement of praise to Him who loves us and has freed us from sin by his blood and made us a kingdom. To him be glory and dominion And forever and ever. So when we pray Your kingdom come, we are asking that our lives will be more fully submitted to Christ, the King. But clearly, there’s more clearly the coming of the kingdom requires the coming of the King. And Scripture makes wonderfully clear that when the King comes, He will judge the world. Let me quote to you Revelation Chapter 11, and verse 15, the seventh angel blew his trumpet.
And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and forever. So here in Revelation, chapter 11, and verse 15, we have a very clear description of the coming of the kingdom, power, and in glory. And what follows is that the 24 elders fall on their faces in worship. And then they say, verse 18, the nation’s raged. But your wrath has come, and the time for the dead, to be judged, and for destroying the destroyers of the Earth, what a phrase that is destroying the destroyers of the earth. When the King comes, He will judge the world. So when we pray, your kingdom come, we are seeing father come, defeat the enemies that are arrayed against you judge the world in righteousness, come and destroy the destroyers of the earth. Now, Peter Lewis, who’s written a very helpful book on the Lord’s Prayer, makes this comment. He says, When we pray, your kingdom come. We are praying about something which will be as terrible to some, as it will be joyful to others. Take that in. When you pray, your kingdom come, you are praying something that will be wonderful for some and terrible for others, continuing the quote, We are praying for the closing of the door, as well as the opening of the gates. We are praying for the end of the old order, with its space for repentance. As well as with its pain, and whether it’s tears, see, we all long for the pain and the tears to be gone, your kingdom come. But when it comes, the space for repentance will be gone. So I’m suggesting to you that praying, this prayer, will ignite an evangelistic passion in your heart, you’re gonna really pray like this, you’re gonna have a sense of a very limited time, in which the most critical work that could ever be done is now trusted into our hands. And Lord, what can I do in regards to it? These are days of grace, and they will not last forever. We do not know how many we have. This whole world with its godless kingdoms, its wars, its viruses, its endless political arguments. It’s all passing away, and a better world is coming. Christ’s kingdom will come. But it’s in this world that men and women must enter that kingdom. As long as we’re living in this world, the door of that kingdom is open. But when the kingdom comes, the door will be closed. It’s going to be like no one the ark and God sealing the door. And those then who are outside will be outside for forever. So I’m trying to get at the practical impact of praying along these great themes of the Lord’s Prayer, what difference will it make to you? Well, you pray for the honoring of God’s name, you’re going to have ignited within your heart a passion to live in a way that honors him. And never, never, never, never, Lord, let me bring dishonor to your name. And if you see Obviously praying, your kingdom come, you’re going to have a sense of urgency. You’re not going to be saying, well, you know, I’ll make up my mind one day, you’re going to be saying, How can I serve the Lord? What is it that I can do? A certain amount of time is given that I do not know how much time that is. But this is the day of grace. And I am trusted in with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, the greatest good news that this world has ever heard. Praying, this prayer will light a fire in your heart to do all that you can to bring those who are outside of God’s kingdom, in God’s name, God’s kingdom. Third, God’s provision, Give us each day, our daily bread. Let’s just ponder the words here. As you would just meditating on Scripture as you no doubt do regularly, in your own times with the Lord. Give is where we confess our dependence upon God.
You know, at every stage of the process by which food comes to us and nourishes us, we depend absolutely and utterly on God, we depend on God, when our food is in the field, when our food is on the plate, and when our food is in the stomach, all the way along the line. When the grain is growing in the field, it can easily be destroyed by wind or rain or drought or disease. Hosea chapter two and verse nine, God says, I will take back my grain, God only needs to blow a wind or send the rain. And the harvest is completely changed. We depend on God while it’s in the field, we depend on God when it’s on the plate. Because what uses food on the plate if you don’t have the appetite to eat it? Psalm 107 And verse 18, the luved end any kind of food, and they drew near to the gates of death was something they just lost an appetite just couldn’t bring themselves to eat and became very, very ill indeed. And what about when it gets down to your stomach, you’re okay, then, not so fast. Even when food is in your stomach, it will be no use to you whatsoever if it makes you sick. Job chapter 20. And verse 14, his food is turned in his stomach. And how’s this for a colorful phrase? It is the venom of cobras within him. Have you ever had that kind of condition, you felt that I’ve got the venom of cobras in my stomach and not very nice feeling at all. From the growing of our food, the nourishing of our bodies. We depend on God. Our food and all that goes into it becoming ours is as much a gift of God as was the manna in the wilderness. So give thanks to God for all the ways in which he sustains us, give bread Give us each day, our daily bread. Bread, of course is used in the Bible as a general term for basic necessities of life. Genesis chapter three and verse 19. By the sweat of your face, you shall eat bread. And what that means simply is while you’re going to have to work for a living. So bread includes food, it also includes health, it includes appetite, it includes work, it includes shelter, it includes clothing, it includes safety, it includes stability in our country, and in our community. It includes the economy, all of these things are gifts from God that come from the loving hand of our Father in heaven. So in this prayer, we are asking that God will give to us all that we need to sustain a life that will be committed to honoring his name and advancing his kingdom. And notice, of course, that we are to ask Jesus says for bread, not filet mignon. The prayer here is that God will give us what we need, and not necessarily all that we might want. And all that we need is included here under this petition of the Lord’s Prayer. And then notice the words us and our Give us each day. Our Daily Bread, the plural, it’s not give me this day, my daily bread. It’s give us our daily bread and notice the plural. That really runs through the Lord’s Prayer in the Matthew version and the Luke version and Matthew, it’s our farm They’re in heaven. Give us our daily bread, forgive us, our sins, lead us not into temptation. So here we have a prayer that is not only going to help us acknowledge our dependence, and not only help us grow in our gratitude, this is a prayer because it’s in the plural that is going to help deepen our compassion for those whose needs are greater than our own. This is where we intercede for the practical needs of other people. This is where we pray for a hungry world. This is where we ask God to bring to mind the needs of others, we can help. And if God has given to you what you need for today, well, this prayer may prompt you to be the means by which he will provide for another person. And then that word daily, Give us each day our daily bread. The word daily just reminds us that God has the most wonderful track record of faithfulness, he has been providing for billions of people on every continent. And he’s been doing this on a daily basis for 1000s of years. Peter Lewis, who I quoted earlier says this well, we urge God to write new checks for us. But we forget to flick through his check stubs. And if we did, we would find our name attached to innumerable gifts and benefits, protections and provisions and a beautiful picture. I’m asking God to give me something that I now need. Let me call to mind that my name is written on all kinds of provisions that he has made over the years on a daily basis. So when you come to ask God for a new blessing, be very, very, very sure that you intentionally thank Him for what He has already given. So Jesus is teaching us to pray here. And we have this framework we have this this template, we have these themes that are to be shot through our praying, God’s name, God’s kingdom, God’s provision. Number four, God’s forgiveness, verse four, and forgive us our sins. For we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And again, there are four elements here sins and forgiveness and debtors, and us. Forgive us our sins. Matthew says, Forgive us our debts. So our sins are debts to God. Each of us lives within a network of relationships in which we have responsibilities and obligations, that are things that I owe to God that are things that I owe to others. What is the obligation that I owe to God and to others, it is summed up in one single words, the word love, love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and your neighbor as yourself. Jesus says, That’s the summary of the 10 commandments. This is what God requires of us. Now, we usually think, first of our sins as wrong things that we have done. But it is important for us also to remember that our sins include the things God has commanded that we have failed to do, our sins, our debts, our failure to love God as He has called us to love God, our failure to love others, as he has called us to love our neighbor as ourselves. And then we have reference here to debtors. Now, this is important, because it means that there will be people in your life who will not give you what they owe. God places you under an obligation to love others. We sometimes do that while we sometimes do do it so well. And God places others under an obligation to love back towards you. And sometimes others won’t do that so well either. We live in a fallen world. And just as you default in what you owe towards God and and what you owe towards others, there will be others who will default in what they are towards God and in what they owe to you. They will be your debtors, for instance, is a really, really important principle to settle in your life, and especially for all who are in Christian leadership. Because one of the biggest trials of Christian leadership is when people disappoint you. And you thought that they would respond in certain ways and step up in regards to this or that and it just didn’t happen, there will be people in your life who fail to give what they owe.
They will not love you well. They’ll not give you the grace that they should. They are your debtors. And debtor is simply someone who has wronged you in some way. And because we live in a fallen world, there will not be a single person here can’t identify some circumstance in which you have experienced that reality.
Now notice the prayer as we come to the theme then of forgiveness. And forgive us our sins. For we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. Let’s take the first line first, forgive us our sins. Why would a Christian need to pray that prayer? When you came to Christ in faith and repentance, were you not justified fully, completely and forever? Is it not the case that God dropped all charges forever against you so that there is no condemnation? Now for those who are in Christ Jesus, if Jesus has really removed your sins, as far as the east is from the west? Why would you need to pray forgive us our sins this week. And the point of the prayer, of course, is not that condemnation should be removed that has happened for you in Christ already. The point of the prayer is this, that fellowship with God should be restored. God’s justified children sin in many ways. And the sins of God’s children do not bring us into condemnation, but they do clog up our relationship with God. And the great desire of those who truly love God, which is the distinctive mark of all who are truly His children, is that we desire to walk with Him as closely as we possibly can. as closely as it’s possible for a redeemed sinner in this world, to walk with God. That’s what you want to do. That’s what I want to do. And so we pray this prayer. And we search our hearts in the light of the scripture to be able to identify ways in which we have fallen short of all that God has called us to pursue. And how is it that adjust and holy God can forgive our repeated failure to do what He has commanded? Oh, that takes us to the very heart of why we’re here. The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, that Jesus paid the debt we all know that he did what we have failed to do that he lived that perfect life of love, that he fulfilled all that is required of us fully and finally and completely and that he laid down that perfect life and in laying it down He paid the price of all our sins. On Am I Scottish heroes from an earlier century Horatius Bonar says it like this. Upon a life I have not lived upon a death I did not die. Another life, another’s death. I hang my whole eternity on you so glad that you return it hangs on the life and death of Jesus and not on your life and death. Another greatest good news and then I want you to notice these very important words us and our for Give us our sins. For we ourselves, forgive everyone who is indebted to us, us, our we are ourselves us for close the connection here between receiving forgiveness from God and releasing forgiveness to others lies in these words us. And our it is not forgive me my sins. It is forgive us our sins. And that means that in praying this prayer, you want God to forgive not only your sins, but also the sins of others. And that includes their for the sins of others against you. Forgive us our sins means Father, forgive me as I have failed to love you. And forgive her as she has failed to love me. Our God’s name, God’s kingdom, Gods provision, God’s forgiveness, and lastly, God’s deliverance and lead us not into temptation. Now, our Lord use the same words as you will know well into temptation. When he spoke to the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, Matthew chapter 26, and verse 41. Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, Jesus says, but the flesh is weak. And notice Jesus does not say, Watch and pray so that you won’t be tempted, we’re not going to be tempted. He says, Watch and pray so that you will not enter into temptation, by which surely, he is saying, watch and pray so that temptation does not overwhelm you. That’s what it means to enter into temptation. And this is what Jesus is teaching us to ask right here in the Lord’s prayer. Father, let do not let me get to the place where temptation overwhelms me. guard me from that, by helping me to watch and to pray. When we pray, we must use the means by which God will bring an answer to our prayers. What are the means by which we are guarded from falling into temptation, Jesus tells us watch and pray. That is why Paul says to Timothy, keep a close watch on yourself. You’re in Christian ministry. You bear God’s name. You’re a leader. Keep a close watch on your self. That’s why Paul says to the Ephesian elders, keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you an overseer, watch and pray. And as you do that, Christ will give you all the strength that you need to prevail in your battle with temptation. And never imagine that because you’re now a Christian leader or you’ve been in Christian ministry and service for a little while now. And you have some responsibility now. Never imagine that you are there for beyond particular temptations. A Scotsman’s almost got to have a Robert Murray machine caught at some point in a message. So here’s Robert Murray McShane has a piece that he called Personal reformation was just his writing about how he wanted to work closely with God make me as holy as it’s possible for a redeemed sinner to be that was the heart cry and passion. And he writes this honest confession, I’ll just read it to you. I am tempted to think that no, I am an established Christian. And I have overcome this or that last for so long that I have got in into the habit of the opposite grace. I am tempted to think that I may venture very near the temptation nearer than other men. This is a lie of Satan. I might as well speak of gunpowder, getting by habit of power of resisting fire.
The seeds of all sins are in my heart, and perhaps all the more dangerously because I do not see them. You know, it’s spiritual pride that makes a person venture near to temptation and to see, I can handle this spiritual pride. But God tells us to flee temptation you get as far from it as you possibly can put distance between you and it. Flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, Flee from sexual immorality, therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. The Bible says, this is Proverbs 28 And verse 26. He who trusts his own heart is a fool. That’s pretty clear, isn’t it? Trust your own heart, you’re a fool. But whoever walks wisely will be delivered. That’s what we want. We want to be delivered. That’s what we’re praying for here. So friends, here are five things to ask of God that God’s name will be honored that God’s kingdom will come, that God will provide what we need, that he will forgive our sins, and that God will deliver us from temptation. Pray that God’s name will be hallowed. And it will light our fire in your heart to live in a way that honors the Lord. Pray that God’s kingdom will come. And it will light a passion for evangelism in your heart to reach the last while there is time. Pray that God will provide not only for your needs, but also for the needs of others. And it will increase your compassion. It will make you less selfish. It will make your heart more tender I pray that God will forgive our sins. And they will help you to forgive others who have sinned against you. And pray that God will deliver you from temptation. And they will make you wise to watch and to pray. And it will ignite a passion within you to pursue a holy life. Father, we pray that all these things may be true of us in increasing measure, for Your glory, praise and honor. We asked these things through Jesus Christ our Lord, and everyone said, Amen.