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June 3, 2022 8:00 am
The truth of the matter is when were thinking rightly about prayer for motivation in prayer is not to have God do what we want him to do our motivation and prayers for God to do what he wants to do your will be done.
What else does that mean welcome to the truth. All that with Don great founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati Ohio I am Bill Wright today. Don continues our series deception close to home with part two of a message titled moralistic therapeutic deism and true prayer last time Don took us further into a look at moralistic therapeutic deism, which is a spiritual phenomenon that reflects the spirit of our age. We address the fourth of five beliefs of this false philosophy that is God does not need to be involved until he is needed to resolve problems. We were reminded that we only have breath because God is involved.
Every moment of our lives.
On today's program.
Don will focus further on what we call the Lord's prayer, so that we might contrasted to moralistic therapeutic deism's version. Let's join our teacher now as he continues in his ministry of teaching God's people. God's word truthful in Matthew chapter 6 verse nine, Jesus teaches us what true prayer looks like, how it is that his disciples are to pray and over against the selfish mindset that just praise and ask God for stuff and asks him to fix things in life without regard to anything else over and against that comes the teaching of Christ and says here's how my disciples pray.
Here's how I command you to pray is one of my disciples. Here's how here's how a slave of mine prays here's how a saint in Christ Jesus prays one who is set apart for his purposes. What does Christ say about prayer. Matthew chapter 6 verse nine he says you pray in this way, and then he lays out the content of what is to be said.
He lays out the motivations for why we pray he lays out the attitudes and the dispositions that inform the way that we pray and what you find as you go through this in the most general overview way here is, is that it is just is just miles removed from this exclusively self-centered help me in my problem. Kind of praying that is no doubt the predominant way that most people think about prayer. Christ teaches us something completely different, completely God centered, completely humble, completely dependent and something that is a consistent day by day matter of life, not just an occasional thing when life gets too bumpy for you to have the smooth ride that you desire. But what he says in Matthew chapter 6 verse nine.
Pray then in this way, our father who is in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Those opening three pit petitions completely God centered as you would expect for someone who is set apart to serve the interests of Christ and serve the interests of God, and that's our purpose in life. As we saw from Philippians 11 if you are set apart for the purposes of God, and that is going to carry over into the way that you pray in one of the defining aspects of true Christian prayer is a preoccupation with the glory of God and the will of God and starting their is a reason that you pray. Christ teaches us to enter into prayer with praise on our lips, father, hallowed be your name. Forget about me God let's talk about you. Reminds me of the show that I saw a guy was talking to a couple of girls and they were telling them that he was that he was conceited he always wanted to talk about what he wanted to talk about and he said he said okay. He said okay let's talk about you, then what do you think about me. They rolled their eyes and walked away from them.
We, by contrast, when we come into the presence of God. Christ teaches us come in with a preoccupation of him on your mind.
Set aside. Let's forget about ourselves. This of course goes concentrate on him and worship him.
My father, my loving father, you who are in heaven.
Oh God, I praise your name. Let your name be exalted before men, let it be exalted in my heart.
God I love you and I worship you I worship your name, the fullness of your character and all that you are father. Let that be high and exalted, and lofty in the eyes of men. And in my own heart, your kingdom come. Father I pray that Christ would come back. I want Christ to return and in the meantime, let your kingdom spread through the proclamation of the gospel and bring forth conversions under the sound of the preaching of your word. Let your kingdom, God glory to your name. Let your kingdom come. Let this world go by. Just let your kingdom advance father that's what I want from you. Verse 10 father, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven got I I I pray I pray not for my will to be accomplished.
The father what you want. I pray that would be what you do.
I am subordinated to you. I am submissive to you I love you more than I love life itself and therefore father what would please you is what I want, even no matter what the human consequences might be to anyone else. Just as long as your will is done. I know you'll be pleased if your will is done because I'm set apart for your purposes.
Oh God, I pray for your will to be done because I'm not.
All of this world. I minute but I'm not that I pray that your kingdom would come and let this world go away. For all I care. God, your name is great and high and lofty. Your glory fills the temple. Isaiah saw your glory. And he said well was me. I'm undone because of the greatness of your glory. God how I would be your name so you just see my point being see this God centered emphasis in the way that Christ taught us to pray. This is where I say it's things where's that focus in the way the you are. I pray is this a consistent theme in your praying, do you find time to just set aside everything of life to just give praise and worship to God.
When you pray were assuming art with that we pray even how much why are you stepping on my toes like this because God's glory matters.
That's why as you go on in verse 11 of Matthew six you see that God is not indifferent to our need.
Give us this day our daily bread. So God welcomes our prayers of dependence, but it's hardly the exclusive focus prayer is so much more than that and notice the daily dependence that it expresses. Give us this day our daily bread. This is meant to be a day by day pattern of life and attitude of mind and disposition of prayer of daily ongoing dependence before him. That is utterly contrary to an idea that God doesn't need to be particularly involved unless you really got a problem, then you can call upon them and he'll jump up and serve you and solve it for you. Well, no, no that is not it. Verse 12 he go on and you see the humility of the confession of sin, father, forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors a desire for holiness do not lead us into temptation but deliver us from evil.
Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
Amen, amen and amen for all that I've said here making a really modest point out of this passage is simply for you to recognize this simple point. Your needs are not the only thing about which you are to pray your need is not the only occasion of prayer, and it's not something haphazard and indifferent, and only in the crises of life. True Christians under the authority of the Lordship of Jesus Christ pray in a manner that is that remembers the glory of God describes honor to his holy name that seeks his interests over their own seeks his will over their own and in that greater context, humbly daily, expresses dependence and says God, I ask you I'm I'm a humble slave on your humble servant all master I ask you to care for me as I go through this life is your slave as a saint, the one seeking your glory. I do have these earthly needs. Father, but they are only a portion it's only one aspect of a far greater whole of the manner in which I address you as my loving heavenly father. So it's not that we only pray when we need something beloved Christ tells us that his disciples prayed to the glory of God.
His disciples submit to his will, consciously, in prayer, not my will but thine be done.
Christ disciples prayed daily. Christ disciples confessed sin.
Christ disciples are preoccupied with holiness. What else does it mean don't lead us into temptation. God keep me out of places where I would fall into sin so beloved when we think about praying we need to see the instruction that our Lord gave us to embrace it, even though if it pinches and convicts us that that has not been our pattern to date and to the extent that we have been self-centered and earthbound and materialistic in our praying and God has presented you an opportunity to repent of a faulty practice and maybe even a faulty view of prayer and to realize that as a saint, you are set apart for his purposes, you are set apart for his glory. One aspect of being sanctified like that is that it informs the way that you pray God, I am concerned with your glory here that is what I want. That's the predominant reason that I'm praying all there's these other things to God.
But above all father, I just want to see you glorified. I want to praise your name I want to seek your kingdom. I pray for your will to be done. That's how Jesus taught us to pray, and it is it is a it is a a a bazooka against the self-centered way that we've been conditioned to think about praying is so prayer were just a utilitarian way for us to get God to do what we want him to do. The truth of the matter is, is when we are thinking rightly about prayer our motivation in prayer is not to have God do what we want him to do our motivation and prayers for God to do what he wants to do your will be done.
What else does that mean your will be done.
Your kingdom come, God, I'm here serving your interests in prayer and I delight to do that.
I delight to do your will.
I do like to pray according to your will, rather than ignoring this God and simply calling upon them when we need or want something look over at first Thessalonians chapter 5 verses 16 and 18 first Thessalonians 5 verses 16 and 18 in a few weeks will come back to this theme from another text in Philippians chapter 1 and will see all these things all over again.
Paul says in first Thessalonians 5 verses 16 and 18 through 18. He says rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus prayer offered with joy.
Prayer offered faithfully over time prayer offered with a spirit of gratitude, father, and I'm here more than just ask you first got forget my staff that I want God to forget it for now you know is what I really want to do right now I just want to give you thanks for what you've already done want to thank you for the work of my Lord Jesus Christ on the cross and paid for my sin and reconciled me to you.
Want to thank you for the indwelling Holy Spirit. Thank you father that I have now have eternal life, indestructible life. I am in mortal.
I'm going to live forever in your presence. When I'm with you I'm going to enjoy the pleasures and the bliss of heaven forever around the throne of Christ. Thank you father for doing that for a wretch like me got I'm so very grateful to you for all that you've done. Thank you for giving me your word, the, the place where I can find the DNA errant revelation of your mind that infallibly guides me in life.
I thank you for that father, thank you for giving me a church that I can attend where I fellowship with like-minded believers. Thank you for your provision in life. Sure, thank you for the loved ones around me.
Thank you for the many ways achieve you that you've answered prayers in the past. I know that I forgot to thank you more times and then I can count right now.
Father, I just remember, and I thank you for all of your goodness to me. Thank you that I have loved ones that know Christ. Thank you that I have hope that the work of your spirit isn't done in those don't God my life is surrounded with your goodness, here I was dad separated from you. A lover of sin, a lover of self and in your spirit came upon me brought the gospel to me and and caused me to be born again of God. Thank you thank you thank you thank you God. I can't say it enough thank you in everything you see, this is where Scripture points us in our attitudes toward prayer and you see that the predominant philosophy in the church is not geared toward that all and with sorrow in our hearts to 1° or another. We all confess we fall short of that ourselves. We recognize that the spirit of moralistic therapeutic deism has influenced us more than we might have thought. And so beloved, I ask you whether your pattern. This is we need to examine ourselves here. Is it your pattern that you only pray when you're in trouble and that otherwise you can go through life in a prayerless way not really think about it too much, do you only ask for things from God without a spirit of praise without a spirit of gratitude recognizing the great high exalted king to whom your praying. Let's step back.
I've skipped over some things in my notes and that's okay. Sometimes it helps just to keep things simple and clear with all of these things said let's step back and ask ourselves a different question that can kind of reassure us in the presence of God. When we think about these things in light of what was said here and in light of what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 6. It's amazing isn't it that God answers any of our prayers at all.
Amazing that he answers our prayers at all.
When we offer him these cold halfhearted occasional leftovers of life. We come into the banquet room of the King bearing scraps of prayer. Isn't it amazing that he is accepted us notwithstanding that is in it. Amazing that he invites is still into his presence. Isn't it amazing that he is answered prayer and cared for us all along.
When our response toward him has been so meager in comparison to his infinite worth.
Isn't that amazing mazes may mazes me that I get to do what I get to do in light of these things.
Well, a couple of things to strengthen and help you as we close.
First of all you see I believe from this. How much our feeble prayers must be offered in the name of Jesus Christ and through Jesus Christ to find any acceptable nature of them in the presence of God. It should be obvious to you that we cannot rely on the intrinsic worth of our own praying for God to answer them because our prayers are not worthy of him, but that does not close the door of heaven to you, beloved, Christ died to give you access to God in his name in his merit according to his character and somehow in a way that I won't profess to understand somehow the Holy Spirit takes our feeble prayers and in the name of Christ converts them into something that is acceptable to God, and God receives and answers them for the sake of his son not because we have prayed in any manner that is particularly worthy.
That doesn't that doesn't excuse us, and that's not an excuse for us to continue in our spiritual mediocrity. Rather, it's that which comforts us and helps us to see that God is gracious to us. Even in our inadequate prayers and worship to him that the blood of Christ and the righteousness of Christ is sufficient even to cover this and it gives us a measure of how great an expanse of his grace was upon us.
When he saved us back when it reminds us that even even as our prayers are tinged with sin and selfishness like this. How wonderful it is to be under the reign of the Savior who died to wash away even that sin who died to take away even that falling short of our lives and to receive us and to accept us and to reconcile us to God. Based on the righteousness of Christ.
Based on his shed blood. And when we see it from that perspective were renewed were refreshed in Christ again where we are encouraged again to pray afresh to him, but now it comes from a spirit not of self-sufficiency and blood. I got to the word that I needed to say all night long. I just got to the word that I needed to say all night long that we pray now, in light of these things not from a spirit of personal entitlement as though we deserve everything that we ask for in our selfish approach to God. Rather, we pray in the spirit of dependence. We pray in a spirit of gratitude that God would receive such a sinner as us. We pray in a spirit of humility. God, I realize that in my itself.
I'm not worthy of being able to pray to you, but I cling to Christ, I come to you in the name of Christ. I plead his merit. I plead his shed blood as my access before you nothing of myself. I'm a saint in Christ Jesus asking these things and we start to realize as I said before that if we are saints in Christ Jesus, set apart for his purposes, then even the way that we pray is set apart for the glory of God and not our own earthly stuff that our earthly stuff is not the center it's it's it it's allowed. But it's comparatively incidental to the greater pursuit of the glory and the knowledge of God as we are before him in his presence and so beloved. I commend these things to you from God's word. I encourage you to the extent that you find your own heart exposed by these things to consciously reject the spirit of our age that would just use God for its own earthly purposes and pray to him, to the glory of Christ through the name of Christ in finding that your true purpose in the presence of God today on the truth.
Pulpit pastor Don Greene is wrapped up a message titled moralistic therapeutic deism and true prayer part of our larger series deception close to home. The fifth false belief of MTD that all good people go to heaven will be Don's focus on our next broadcast, and we hope you'll join us. Then right now though Don's back your in studio with a few closing words just want to express my gratitude for the many friends whose generosity make this program possible. You know if you would like to join with those who are supporting us. You can do so at our website.
Here's Bill tell you how. Again, that's all at the truth.
Pulpit.com. I'm Bill Wright will see you next time on the truth pulpit as Don Greene continues teaching God's people.