Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (MATTHEW 6:9-10)
“The First Three Petitions”
As our church family begins this prayer adventure together, it's good to reflect on the "pattern" prayer that Jesus gives us in Matthew 6. Jesus' guide for prayer has been the basis of Joe White's sermon series throughout July. The prayer begins with community: “our Father.” And it begins with gospel: “our Father.”
The first three petitions are, (1) hallowed be your name, (2) your kingdom come, and (3) your will be done. Jesus wants our hearts to be captivated by these wonderful things: his name, his kingdom, and his will. As this happens, our prayers will be fueled by devotion to Him.
This is no less than a "Copernican revolution" for our hearts. Prior to the scientist Copernicus, people believed that the sun revolved around the earth. But Copernicus proved that the earth revolves around the sun. Prior to Jesus, we thought that our lives were about our glory. After Jesus, we learned that our lives are about his glory.
The "default" setting of our hearts is to focus on ourselves—to live for my name, my kingdom, my glory. So as Joe challenged us on July 24: "Has the 'my' become 'thy'?"
How to pray...
- Pray that the name of God would be "hallowed" and glorified through the prayers of our church family this month. Boldly pray that your heart will yearn for his glory.
- Pray that the kingdom will come through our prayers this month. Boldly pray that we would all love the King more ardently as a result of this prayer adventure. Pray that the light of the gospel would push back the darkness in the world, especially this week as we pray for "good news for the lost."
- Pray that the will of God would shape our church, our families, and our places of work as we pray this month. Boldly pray that all of us would experience a new beginning of gospel obedience as a result of our time of united prayer.
For the Family
This month, we will be joining together as a church body to pray. It is our hope and prayer that this can be something that the whole family will participate in together. This section will provide ideas, activities, and explanations to assist parents in bringing their children alongside them during this special month of prayer, and to ultimately develop long term rhythms of prayer for the family.
In the book Habits of Grace, David Mathis says, “Prayer, simply put, is talking to God.” Mathis goes on to say that there is a difference between talking with God and others: “We don’t chat as peers. He is Creator, and we are creatures.”
As we begin, brainstorm as a family about the things we talk about with others (friends, family, teachers, co-workers). Ideas might be:
- sharing what is going on in your life
- talking about a problem that you are going through
- apologizing to someone for a mistake you made
- encouraging someone and telling them what you like about them
- sharing about something you are thankful for
When we talk with God, our prayers are similar to talking with a friend, yet unique because we are conversing with the Lord of all creation!
As you pray, think about talking with God like you would talk to a friend. Praise him for who he is, pray for his will in your life during good and hard times, ask for forgiveness, and ask him for his help.
God gives us The Lord's Prayer as an example of how to pray: read it together in Matthew 6: 9-13.
"The First Three Petitions" - Mike Tilley
Mike Tilley is the senior pastor of Lake Baldwin Church, and has lived in Orlando since 1994. He and his wife, Molly, worked with a core group from the Baldwin Park community to plant Lake Baldwin Church in 2006. Mike loves teaching the Bible in a way that relates to real life. In his spare time, Mike enjoys good movies, long dinner with friends, snow skiing, hanging out with his kids and two granddaughters, and travel.
"For the Family" - Michelle Crouse
Michelle Crouse has served as the director of LBC's children's ministry—SPLASH Kids—since the end of 2011. She and her husband Joshua were married in 2002 and have 2 children. Michelle grew up outside of Boston and graduated from James Madison University in Virginia with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She loves being with kids and loves the opportunity to be a part of teaching children how much they are loved by God, and helping them grow in their understanding of what that means.