The second part of Bill Hybels sermon describes the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray. The Lord’s Prayer is part of our liturgy and I always try to be mindful of words I am saying and to whom I am saying them. I do not want them to just be words that I’m supposed to say because it’s what comes next in the service. So, here is what Bill has to say about the Lord’s Prayer and how we should use it as a model for all prayers.
The greatest prayer begins with the words “Our Father.”
Never to forget who you are praying to. God is our Father if we’re his children through Jesus Christ. Don’t ever forget how he feels about you, his children. He couldn’t have greater love for you than he already has. Don’t forget who he is. He’s your Father, your Heavenly Father. And don’t forget who you are. You are his very own child—his son, his daughter. Know that God feels fatherly toward you today.
The next phrase says,“who art in heaven,”
God is sovereign and he is majestic and he is omnipotent and nothing is too difficult for him. He is the mountain mover. He is able. He is bigger than any problem you have. Fix your eyes on God’s ability, not on your mountain.
“Hallowed be thy name.”
Make sure that your prayers include worship. Don’t let your prayers degenerate into a grocery list for personal purposes. Always include a paragraph of praise.
“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Have a submissive spirit. Say, “Lord, may your will be done first in my life. Your will be done in my life, my marriage, my family, my career, my ministry, with my money, with my body and in my relationships and in my church. May your will be done in my life and in others, the church, the nation, and the world.”
“Give us this day our daily bread.”
Jesus is saying, “Let your request be made known to God. Your little concerns, your big concerns—lay them out. Say, “Lord, I want to talk to you about these things. Sounds silly; I know they are small.” Or, “Lord, I want to talk to you about some things. They’re big. I need your help. I need a miracle.” Register your heart’s request with God. Don’t shrink back.
“Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”
Confess your sins in prayer. Grow. Make sure you’re not the obstacle. Receive forgiveness through prayer. Live with a forgiving spirit toward others.
“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
Pray for protection from the evil one, for yourself, for loved ones, for this church, for me. Pray for protection from evil and victory over temptation.
“For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever.”
Maybe you began your prayer with worship: “Hallowed be thy name.” Now end it with more worship. “God, the kingdom is yours. The world is yours. The power in the world is yours. All the glory in the world is yours forever and ever. You’re a wonderful God.” And tell the Lord, “I can’t get over that I matter to you, and that you’ve opened up access for me to talk to you through prayer.”
Let it be so. “May it be forever so.”