Lord’s Prayer notes #1: Our father, who art in heaven

Following are the rough teacher’s notes from week 1 of a recent eight-week adult Sunday School series on the Lord’s Prayer. See also week 2, week 3, week 4, week 5, week 6, week 7, and week 8.

Background

We’ve just been studying what faith looks like in different circumstances (Q3 Sunday School series on faith)…
Faith and prayer go hand in hand
Jesus gave us a model prayer
We should understand it thoroughly
Meaning in every part
Next several weeks studying Lord’s prayer
8 parts: preface, six petitions, conclusion

The Lord’s prayer is a treasure of many facets
We’ll look at a bunch of facets
Understanding will benefit us at the proper time.

1. The preface of the Lord’s prayer teaches us, when we pray…

1.1. …to draw near to God

This may seem obvious
We’re addressing someone, praying to someone.
Prayer is not chanting a mantra to make ourselves feel better
Prayer is not us alone, speaking into the darkness.
It’s possible to pray and not draw near to God
We shouldn’t do that
We’re approaching our Father.

1.2. …with confidence in His fatherly goodness

And not just confidence in God’s fatherly goodness in the abstract – it’s our confidence that we have an interest in that goodness – that He is propitious to us.

Some lack an understanding of just how generous and good God is. They should learn… (Eph 1:3-14; 2:1-10)

It’s possible to have an understanding of God’s goodness that does not comfort.
We refuse to run to Him
We say he wouldn’t hear our prayer
We slander God’s goodness
John 6:37 “The one who comes to me I will certainly not cast out”
Luke 11:13 “If you then, being evil…”
Rom 8:15 “a spirit of adoption as sons”
James 1:5 “Every good and perfect gift”

When we know of God’s fatherly goodness we must be comforted by it
Which means we draw near with confidence
Heb 4:16 “Draw near with confidence…”

1.3. …with childlike reverence

Not “Hey Pop”
This generation is flippant, irreverent generation
We don’t understand honor (give or get)
When we come before God, it should not be with grumbling
But honoring

1.4. …with heavenly affections

Psalm 123:1 “To You I lift up my eyes, O You who are enthroned in the heavens!”
Lamentations 3:41 “We lift up our heart and hands Toward God in heaven”

It’s possible to come to God and be earthly minded
Our will
Our plans
Not raising our sights to the heavenly plane

1.5. …with a sense of His sovereign power, majesty, and gracious condescension

Instead of “Who am I that I should have to put up with such and such an inconvenience?” – “Who am I that God should listen to my prayer?”
Psalm 8
Humility, thankfulness, awe

2. The preface of the Lord’s prayer teaches us to pray with and for others.

“OUR Father”
Not just us
Brothers and sisters
James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”
We should pray with each other
We should pray for each other

So…
When we pray, let’s draw near to God with childlike reverence and confidence in His fatherly goodness.

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