“And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me…” (Genesis 16:14a)
It has been a wonderful blessing to have the opportunity to preach these past few weeks on the topic of prayer. Our method of preaching is to take the scriptures verse by verse and in the course of our study in Matthew, we progressed slowly and methodically until we came to this wonderful section in Matthew 6 where Jesus gave an astoundingly complex model prayer that contains every essential element necessary for prayers that glorify God.
A cursory reading of the prayer does not reveal the importance of these short sentences comprised of only sixty-six words. Prayer is most often consideration only of material needs, or worse yet, selfish wants. But when Jesus gave these instructions, He went far beyond the physical. Here we find the necessity of the new birth; here is teaching about God’s holiness; we find evangelism, repentance, sanctification, and best of all worship. Prayer is worship to God and the ending phrase of the prayer takes us back full circle to the original purpose: “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”
Prayer begins with God and ends with God. “Our Father which art in heaven…thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory.” If only we would live, and move, and have our being in those first and last phrases! Never would we have to argue again for God’s sovereign unconditional election, His purposeful particular redemption, His enabling efficacious grace, and His power of preservation of those who were once helpless, undeserving, incapacitated, dead sinners now made alive by the regenerating operation of His Holy Spirit. There is no room from beginning to end of the Lord’s Prayer for the assertion of my worthiness and my right to make demands of God. Even when Jesus allowed room for personal petitions, He began with “Give us.” This is acknowledgment that God alone is able to provide and anything He should choose to “give” comes only from His benevolent heart of mercy, love, and grace. The exposition of the Lord’s Prayer brings us face to face with God’s demand to be worshipped and His right to expect it. The apostle Paul said rightly “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Tim. 1:17).
So, we come to the end of the Lord’s Prayer bowing to God’s majesty, praising His Holy name, and ever grateful that He should care for us and allow us the privilege of His company. If you are His child by grace through faith, the thought “Thou God seest me; God hears me!” should so astound your sensibilities that you can’t help but cry “Guilty, vile, and helpless we; Spotless Lamb of God was He; ‘Full atonement!’ can it be? Hallelujah! What a Savior!”
Pastor V. Mark Smith