October 18, 2015
This week: From Every Land to Every Land
In this week’s lesson, based upon the chapter “From Every Land to Every Land” by Michael Oh in Finish the Mission, we examine the Lord’s Prayer in light of God’s global mission. For many of us, we have grown too familiar with the Lord’s Prayer. We say it by memory, without thinking. Yet, within the prayer contains the heart of God. It is in these words that Jesus summarizes His teaching on the foundational, essential Christian life and purpose.
This Week’s Resources:
This Week’s Take Home Truth
In Jesus’s foundational, model prayer, we can find tremendous insight—perhaps even call it a summary of Jesus’s teaching on the foundational, essential Christian life and purpose.
- What images or thoughts come to mind when you hear the word “prayer”?
2. What role did prayer play in your family’s life when you were growing up?
Read the Text (Matthew 6:9-13)
The Lord’s Prayer is perhaps the most beautiful prayer ever prayed, but it is so often just rambled through instead of understood and embraced and truly prayed and truly lived. And as we ramble through the prayer, we miss out on the opportunity to understand not just prayer but the Lord’s teaching on the purpose of life. Read Matthew 6:9-13.
9 In this manner, therefore, pray:
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 this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
3. How does the Lord’s Prayer suggest that which is both foundational and essential for the Christian life?
4. What is the hidden truth we see in the opening words, “Our Father in Heaven”?
5. Let’s look at the first three petitions Jesus mentions in the first part of the prayer (vs. 9b-10). What do we learn from these simple petitions?
“Hallowed Be Your Name” (worship)
“Your Kingdom Come” (kingdom)
“Your Will Be Done” (obedience)
6. The second part of the Lord’s Prayer is a prayer for provision. Let’s examine each petition:
“Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread”
“Forgive Us Our Debts as We Have Forgiven Our Debtors”
“Lead Us Not Into Temptation”
“Deliver Us From Evil”
How many of us so easily choose the path of comfort and safety—the path that is our answer to the question, what is best for me? We seek the provisions of God but neglect his purposes. And in holding on to those provisions, we halt the advance of his kingdom, which Jesus teaches us to pray for and to pursue.
May God grant us the grace to serve with undeniable, unshakable, illogical, and foolish passion for the hallowing of God’s name and the building of his global kingdom.
Praying the Lord’s prayer should impact us at a core level, for it is within this prayer that we see the what the Lord Jesus is teaching us is foundational and essential for the Christian life. Reflect on these four things this week as we pray together as a church, asking God to use us to reach the nations.
- Revisit the gospel. Refocus on the gospel. Rehearse the gospel, and live your life as an echo to the gospel. Look at your life. Honestly, what does your life say about your purpose or goal in how you use your time, in how you spend money, in what drives you, in your passions, in what you pray about, and in how you view the world? Is your life a gospel-centered, gospel-focused, gospel-empowered, gospel-adoring, and gospel-advocating life? To answer “I think so” is to answer no. So we need that gospel even more.
- Repent. Let’s not just talk casually and say, “Yeah, in this and that way my life is out of line with the purposes of God.” May Christians not take any sin lightly. Our response to sin must not be resignation or “Oh, well,” but, “Oh, Lord, have mercy! Change me. Turn me away from sin. Turn me toward yourself and your purposes.”
- Pray. Pray the Lord’s Prayer. Pray the prayers of Scripture back to God. Pray God’s purposes back to him. Make God’s agenda your agenda and God’s passions your passions. Pray for the world. Hallowed be your name in Asia! Your kingdom come in North Africa! Your will be done in Europe! In the Lord’s Prayer Jesus is teaching us and empowering us for prayer ministry for the world.
- Finally, live it out. Live out the passions and purposes of God. How? Invest in God’s purposes with the whole of your life. It starts with the basic question, how are we to enjoy life properly? This is so basic but so easy to forget. Every gift of God is to be enjoyed as from God and not like it’s a god. Everything that is enjoyed and captures our affection must be enjoyed theistically, and christocentrically. Every blessing must be recognized as a blessing from God and every resource mobilized toward his purposes.