Early in his ministry in Galilee, Jesus taught his disciples about the true nature of life in his Kingdom.

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3 Sojourn Family, Early in his ministry in Galilee, Jesus taught his disciples about the true nature of life in his Kingdom. In his famous Sermon on the Mount (found in Matthew 5-7), Jesus flipped many common Hebrew beliefs and traditions upside down. You have heard it said he often began, but I say to you In doing so, Jesus flips our traditional thinking about success and poverty, marriage and sexuality, law and mercy many of the pressing issues of his day and ours completely upside down. But when he gets to the theme of prayer (Matthew 6:5-13), Jesus doesn t just flip the common notions upside down. Instead, Jesus teaches his followers how to flip their own hearts right side up. In the Lord s prayer, he gives us a simple and beautiful blueprint for how to pray to our Father. It is a familiar passage, and many of you likely have a version of it memorized already. But it s familiar with good reason: the Lord s prayer is one of the deepest treasures in all of Scripture. In this four week series, we want to encourage you to dive deep into the context, language and significance of this brief prayer. In doing so, our hope is that we might grow in our own prayer lives and reorient ourselves around our Father in a more Christlike way. Personally, this is one of my favorite passages in the entire Bible, and it has ministered to me in profound ways in the middle of loss, grief and confusion. I also believe that it s a prayer best read, adored and rehearsed in community together. One of the primary ways we learn to pray is by praying with others! I hope you enjoy both the sermons and your discussions in this series. I hope you go deep in the Lord s prayer privately and in community, and discover afresh the loving Father it directs us to. And I hope your inner life is never the same instead, that your ongoing conversation with God takes the shape and form of our Lord s own conversation with the Father. May God s Kingdom come indeed. Much love, Jeremy Linneman Pastor of Community Life

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5 Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. Matthew 6:9-13

6 OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN Matthew 6:9 Opening Questions How would you describe your prayer life? In what ways or areas is it strong or weak? First Reading Read Matthew 6:5-13 out loud and discuss its basic context and meaning. Who is Jesus speaking to (see Matthew 5:1-2)? Why is this important? Who were the Pharisees and what does it mean that through their prayers they have received their reward in full (verse 5)? What are some of the characteristics of a Christlike prayer based on verses 5-8? Second Reading Read Matthew 6:9-13 aloud again, but more slowly, and focus on verse 9. What does it mean for you that God is Our Father? Is the image of father a positive one for you? What role does adoration play in the Psalms and prayers of Jesus? How might you integrate adoration into the regular rhythm of your prayer life? Application Make a list of five reasons to praise God through prayer. Think through how the Father has invited you into relationship with him. Consider the blessings he has given you through Christ. Notice how the Father is currently providing for you and sustaining you. (Work quietly for a few moments, then share your list with the group.) Prayer Take time together to pray aloud praising our Father for the opportunity to bring our simple, honest, raw prayers before him. Thank him for his presence with and love for you. You are welcome to pray for one another s needs and concerns, of course, but focus on this first aspect of prayer as adoration! What does it look like for you to grow in relating to God as Father not just God or Creator? How would you put the phrase Hallowed be your name into your own words? Why might it be significant that Jesus starts with this particular prayer of adoration (praise, worship)? 6

7 YOUR KINGDOM COME Matthew 6:10 Opening Question How would you describe the Kingdom of God? What comes into your mind when you hear the phrase? First Reading Read Matthew 6:5-13 once out loud and discuss its basic context and meaning. Recall what we discussed last week that God is our Father and that Jesus s prayer begins with the praise and adoration of him. What was most significant about verse 9 for you? Why does Jesus pray Your kingdom come, your will be done? How would you put this verse into your own words? Consider Eugene Peterson s paraphrase of verse 10: Set the world right; Do what s best as above, so below (The Message). What would it look like for God to answer this prayer? Second Reading Read Matthew 6:9-13 aloud again, but more slowly, and focus on verse 10. Tim Keller has described Kingdom Come prayers as any prayer that seeks God s glory to be displayed and his world to be set right. How might you include this type of prayer in your regular rhythms? What do you think keeps you from praying in this way more often? Consider the pattern of Jesus s prayer so far beginning with adoration ( Hallowed by your name ) and moving to supplication ( Your Kingdom come, your will be done ). How might this opening movement affect the way you relate to God? In what specific areas of your life could you pray Your Kingdom come, your will be done? Application Make a list of five areas of life that are causing you stress, anxiety, grief or confusion. Consider how it would look for the Kingdom of God to break through into your marriage, work, emotions, friendships, children, finances, and so on. Think about how you might place your future into our Father s hands through this simple prayer. (Work quietly for a few moments, then share your list with the group.) Prayer Take time together to pray aloud petitioning our Father to break through into the concerns each person described. Out loud together, practice praying in line with the Lord s prayer, moving from adoration to Kingdom Come prayers, and then to practical needs. Remember that your prayers don t have to be long and impressive though; Jesus invites our simple, direct, raw words (see v. 5-8)! 7

8 OUR DAILY BREAD Matthew 6:11 Opening Questions What has been the most noteworthy thing you ve learned through Jesus s prayer so far? Of the different types of prayer (adoration/ praise; confession; thanksgiving; supplication/ asking), which comes most naturally to you? First Reading Read Matthew 6:5-13 once out loud and discuss its basic context and meaning. Review what we discussed the last two weeks that we can come to God as our Father (v. 9) and pray that his Kingdom would break through into our lives (v. 10). Considering this verse 11 s petition, how would you describe the flow of Jesus s prayer? Why does Jesus pray Give us today our daily bread? How can you consider this an invitation to a different or deeper life with God? Second Reading Read Matthew 6:9-13 aloud again, but more slowly, and focus on verse 11. What might keep you from praying for everything you need in life? How could you cultivate an increased awareness of God s provision in your life? Application Make a list of five needs you have. Consider how it would look for the Kingdom of God to break through into your physical needs (health, safety), financial needs, relational needs (marriage, friendships, parenting), vocational needs (balance, purpose at work), and spiritual needs (peace, joy, faith). Work quietly for a few moments, then share your list with the group. Prayer Take time together to pray aloud petitioning our Father to break through into the needs each person described. Out loud together, practice praying in line with the Lord s prayer, moving from adoration to Kingdom Come prayers, and then to practical needs. Remember that your prayers don t have to be long and impressive though; Jesus invites our simple, direct, raw words (see v. 5-8)! What would it look like for God to answer this prayer in your life today? What do you need? Tim Keller has described heart-at-rest prayers as any prayer that seeks our hearts to be set right whether by addressing our need of him or by directly asking for peace. How might you include this type of prayer in your regular rhythms? 8

9 FORGIVE US, LEAD US, DELIVER US Matthew 6:12-13 Opening Question Think about forgiveness for a moment: How is the Christian view of forgiveness and restoration unlike anything else in the world? What is most challenging about it? Most life-giving? First Reading Read Matthew 6:5-13 once out loud and discuss its basic context and meaning. Review what we discussed the last two weeks that we can come to God as our Father (v. 9), praying for his Kingdom to break through into our lives (v. 10), and praying for our everyday needs (v. 11). What do verses 12 and 13 add, and why might they be included in our Lord s prayer? How would you put these three petitions (Forgive us our debts; Lead us not into temptation; Deliver us from evil) into your own prayer? Why is it essential to pray these three things regularly? Second Reading Read Matthew 6:9-13 aloud again, but more slowly, and focus on verses What would it look like for God to answer this prayer in your life today? What do you need to be forgiven of or delivered from? In what ways does our enemy seek to tempt you to sin or discouragement? How do you respond? Based on the last four weeks, how do you sense God inviting you to a deeper life of prayer and intimacy with him? What changes do you need to make? How can we encourage you? Application In A Praying Life, author Paul Miller recommends making 3 x 5 cards (or small sheets of paper) for each area of your life life with God, marriage, family, friendships, church life, work, health, and so on. On one side, make a list of prayer needs for that area, listing out current stresses, temptations, or opportunities. On the other side, write out a short, memorable Scripture that encourages you in that area. For one week, keep these cards with you and pray through a few of them several times a day. You can make the cards in your group time or simply discuss your top prayer needs and requests. Encourage one another to stick with the exercise throughout the week (setting calendar reminders, sending texts to one another). Next week, discuss what you learned from the exercise and extra prayer time. Prayer Take time together to pray aloud petitioning our Father to break through into the needs each person has described over the last four weeks. Encourage one another to a deeper, more intimate prayer life! 9

10 RESOURCES FOR FURTHER STUDY Tim Keller, Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, and Studies in Prayer (Redeemer Presbyterian Church small group resource) Eugene Peterson, The Message Frederick Dale Bruner, The Christbook: Matthew, A Commentary (Volume 1: Matthew 1-12) Paul Miller, A Praying Life: Connecting With God In a Distracting World 10

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