We’re going to come the word of God now. Who loves the word of God? We are actually deep into a series called Weapons of Warfare. The feedback I’ve been getting from people in the congregation is this series has actually been really resonating with some people. I shared in my last sermon the personal journey that we as a family went through and where we had to battle and we had to wage war. And I’ve heard stories within our congregation of people waging war.
And there’s one subject we haven’t really touched on yet which is a key one. And which will go of course. But I really want to dig into it. And that’s prayer. And that’s why Heath was up because I thought he’s just exhibited it.
He’s just shown it this week of standing in prayer and believing and interceding for people. And I really want to speak around prayer. And when I was thinking about what I wanted to share around prayer. I thought about the moment in the Bible where Jesus is praying. And then suddenly the disciples say to him like oh can you teach us how to pray? And I find that passage interesting because we’ve turned the Lord’s prayer into this nice little kind of mundane prayer that we may or whatever.
But I tell you what, if Jesus is telling us how to pray, I would listen. Are you with me congregation? You with me church? Yes? So in Luke eleven verse one, it says, now it came to pass as he was praying in a certain place when he ceased that one of his disciples said to him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. So he said to them, when you pray, say, our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread, and forgive us, forgive us our sins, for we all forgive everyone who was indebted to us and do not lead us into temptation but deliver us from the evil one. See, what I love about Prayer Right is summed up really well by this author that I love called Sky Gitani and he says this, we are not merely passive set pieces in a pre-arranged cosmic drama but we are active participants with God in the writing, directing, design, and action that unfolds.
Prayer therefore is much more than asking for this outcome or that outcome. It is drawing into communion with him and they’re taking up our privileged role as his people. In prayer, we are invited join him in directing the course of the world. That’s what prayer is. In the midst of your challenge, in the midst of your struggle, God extends his hand to you and says, let’s do this together.
Let’s do this together. Let’s walk in this together and so when the disciples turn to Jesus, they said, Jesus, teach us how to pray. And Jesus did not respond. What type of prayer would you like? He doesn’t say, oh, would you like like a joyful prayer? Would you like one where you’re in the struggle and you need to know what to say here? Would you like this type of prayer that would suit what you’re going through? No. He just with this prayer.
And there’s some themes in there that I think actually resonate with us right now if we’re going to war. There’s some themes within that prayer that we can stand on that will encourage us. That will cause breakthrough to happen in our world if we can only see it. Are you with me church? So this morning I want to talk about battle ready prayers. Battle ready prayers.
And we’re going to pick apart three themes that are found in the Lord’s Prayer there. So the first one is battle ready prayers. A hallowed prayers. Okay. A number of years ago when Riley was our eldest daughter was coming out of her last surgery.
I had this brainwave of wanting to do something really nice for her because obviously going through multiple surgeries is not fun and we wanted to get her some kind of present. And I am my infinite wisdom turned to Jess and I said Jess we should get her a dog. And at first Jess wasn’t really on board with it. She’s like ah ah and eventually we thought you know what? This is a big deal. Let’s get her a dog.
And so Jess went to work at the hospital one day and she was talking to one of her co-workers about what type of dog you should get. And she came home and she said Sean I figured out what type of dog we need to get. We need to get a greyhound. Now, in my mind, I pictured when we were going to get a dog, it was going to be like a small, little, cute thing that comes in your lap and you pat it. Who’s seen a greyhound in real life, right? That thing is not getting in your lap, okay? You’re getting in that dog’s lap, right? And so, she was like, it doesn’t shed, It sleeps like 16 hours a day.
You know, like, it’s the perfect dog for us and I was like, oh, okay. Well, if you say so, so we drove to there’s this retired racing greyhound place where you can get racing greyhounds. So, we drove four hours to this place to pick up the dog and when we went in and I saw the dogs in real life, I thought I’ve made a huge mistake because they were massive. Like, the dogs came up to hear on me, you know. They were huge.
And so, I’m thinking, well, we’ve driven 4 hours here. We’re going to have to drive four hours back. I can’t very well turn to my family and say, we’re not getting a dog. We’re not going to do this. I’ve changed my mind.
So, we took the dog. I tried my best to get him in the of the car which was quite a mission and we took him home. Now, here’s the thing about our dog named Bear. He was a retired racing greyhound. His father actually won $13 million dollars worth of races.
He was like the best of the best. So, everyone was expecting him to continue on the family line. Unfortunately, he was terrible and he bounced from trainer to trainer and we got him and what was interesting about Bear was Bear never showed any type of affection. He would just kind of come to me and present his head like this and I pat him and then he’s like and just kind of move away. When I stood up anytime I stood up and this was very frustrating.
Anytime I stood up not Jess not the kids. Anytime I stood up he would get up and expect that I’m going to feed him or take him for a walk. And I couldn’t quite bond with Bear. Because it was all transactional right? So fast forward to years later we don’t have a dog anymore. Suddenly this year Jess turns to me and says Sean.
It’s time we get a dog. And I’m like no. I had to pick up after him. I had to feed him. I was the one doing all the walks.
I was doing all these things. We are not getting another dog. We are not getting a dog. I’m I’m not doing this. So I put my foot down and said Jess it is not happening.
So, last week we got a new dog. His name is Milo. He’s a miniature dash hound. So, he’s like this, he’s like this big, right? Anyway, I was like resisting being like, you you guys, you know, if he barks, you’re stopping it. If he leaves droppings, you’re picking it up.
Anyway, Milo is like runs up to me. He’s like in my lap. He’s falling asleep. I like the dog. But it’s interesting, right? Because there’s Bear was hard to warm to even though I understand his background was sad and everything because I couldn’t bond with him because it was all transactional but with Milo, there’s this like affection and love before it gets to the transactional stuff of food and things like that.
Are you with me? And so, when I was thinking about this, I was thinking about in the Lord’s Prayer, what is fascinating is initially the order of things. Because it begins with adoration. It begins with adoration. The prayer begins our Father. Your Name.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done. Before it gets to give us. Forgive us. Lead us.
Deliver us. When we’re in the midst of the battle do we treat prayer it’s a transactional thing. Is it a strategy that we do? Where in the midst of our battle, we’re like, oh well, I guess it’s time now to pray. I haven’t really been doing it but since things are heating up, I guess it’s time to pray. I actually think God wants us to develop a prayer life.
A prayer life that you know, when the battles come, we are ready for it because we are in the midst of a prayer life that we walk out day to day to day. Things will hit us harder if we’re not found in prayer. Are you with me? See, the interesting thing is, it says, our father who art in heaven, which denotes like an intimacy with God and then it says, hallowed be your name and when they talk about that, it’s not for his benefit, it’s for ours. See, hallowing God is like a setting of the table. It’s like putting out the plates and the forks and the spoons and all those type of things.
It’s setting the table for what’s to come and actually God wants us to set the table. He wants us to separate him. He wants us to consecrate him for him to be different our world. You know, there was a professor in Chicago, I think it was, who decided that he was going to do a survey with his students in the university and so he gave them a test asking them about themselves, asking all these questions about what do you like, what do you believe, what do you don’t like, and then he gave them another survey and that survey was about Jesus, asking the exact same questions. And what he said was interesting was 90% of them, those two surveys were exactly the same.
So what they believed about themself, what they liked, what they enjoyed was exactly the same as Jesus. And there was no separation. We actually need God to be set apart from us. Because you know what? When we walk through battles, when we are waging warfare, we sometimes get it wrong. We sometimes get things wrong.
We sometimes have limited belief. We have a ceiling over our head. And God is saying, no, no, no. I’m separate from you. My ways are higher than your ways.
I see things differently to you. Hallowed be your name, not my name. Are you with me? You know, in Psalm four verse one it says I will extol the Lord at all times. His praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the Lord.
Let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glory the Lord with me. Let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord. He answered me.
He delivered me for all my fears. Those who looked him are radiant. Their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called and the Lord heard him. He saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him and he delivers them. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the who takes refuge in him. Fear the Lord you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
By us coming to that place of glorifying, of magnifying the Lord, we diminish ourselves. and as we diminish ourselves, we begin to see things differently. The the ways our minds just tick over about things. The way we see things which are limiting and don’t have faith. But I praise God that he is God and I am not.
That I look to him. That he is our Father in heaven. And even though I am sometimes in the muck and trudging through it. I am so grateful that our Lord is far above and beyond me. And it says that he must increase and we must decrease.
So that is why it’s so important that when we come in prayer that we do take that time to recenter ourselves. Set the table on who we’re talking to. We are not talking to our friend who pats us on the back and says oh that’s a shame that happened. Oh okay. Let’s go chuck on Netflix.
That’ll make you feel better. No, we are talking to the almighty God. And sometimes we need to remind ourselves that he speaks differently to us. He thinks differently to us. He reacts differently to us.
And that means there is a way through our circumstances. Amen? I want to encourage you. Prayer is a weapon we wage against the enemy attack. Enemies attacks. Let’s stop making God in our image.
Let’s allow him to make us in his image. Are you with me? Hallow him, hallow his name and we’ll begin to see that there is a difference. There is a difference. Are you with me? My next point is battle ready prayers are crunchy prayers. Turn to the person next to you and say crunchy prayers.
You might be wondering what a crunchy prayer is. I haven’t really seen that in the Bible. Okay. we’ll get to the part of the prayer where it says give us this day our daily bread. And when I think of bread I always think of the best type of bread which is the fresh bakery bread that has like a crunch to it.
Do you know what I’m talking about? Tiger bread is my favourite type of bread. Who knows that? Yes. It is the best. It is so good to go to Brumbies or Baker’s Delight after a Sunday service pickup like a loaf of really crunchy bread. Make make yourself a chicken sandwich or something.
I don’t know. But it’s so good. And the is so good. Here’s the disappointing part. The next day when I go to get that bread, it’s not as good.
It suddenly lost a bit of that crunch. Suddenly, it’s just a bit soft or it’s a bit soggy and it’s lost that firmness that had once before and so the bread isn’t as good. Are you with me? Yeah. You see, when it speaks about that verse about it being our daily bread, there is a renewing and coming back again and again and again to the Lord. You know, the Israelites God’s people when they were in the wilderness.
God provided manna from heaven for them. And one of his instructions to them was do not store up for yourself any of this. I’m going to give you what you need day to day today. Some of them tried to and it didn’t go very well for them. That’s because God was the provider every single day for them.
And for some of us our prayer life with the Lord looks a bit like day old bread. Week old bread. Month old bread. We think we can store up enough for the next season but actually God wants you to return to him again and again and again. Some of us when we are going through going through it we turn to God and then we ignore him for a period of time and then we turn to him again when the heat’s up and we ignore him for a period of time and then we turn again.
God wants to be your daily bread. He wants you to experience the freshness of his presence. He wants to encourage you today in your circumstances. Are you with me? If we lack a prayer Do you want to know the root of it? The root of it is pride. The root of it is pride.
It’s the feeling of I don’t actually need you to get through this. I don’t have to turn to you to get through this whole thing. I don’t need a daily bread. I can get by on a weekly bread. I can get buying a monthly bread.
That’s good enough for me. And you could say I don’t have a pride issue. I don’t have a pride issue. It’s it’s just that I’m super busy. I’m super busy.
I’ve got family. I’ve got my job. I’ve got all this stuff happening. I get home. I just put my head on the pillow and I’m done for the day and I don’t have time for prayer but I know prayer’s important.
Can I tell you even that thinking is pride? Because we got through our day without God. We got through our week without God. We got through our month without God. There is a humility that comes when we come to the Lord and say I need you to feed me. I need your daily bread.
Are you with me? We are God’s people and we’re at the mercy and grace of our creator and we forget that. Because we have a good week where we realised oh it seems like I didn’t need him. But then he on and suddenly we feel walloped and we’re like where did that come from and how did that happen? You know in second Chronicles seven verse fourteen it says if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways then I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their sins and heal their land. If we hble ourselves and pray it follows on to say he can forgive. He can heal.
I believe we as Christian today are called to be in a state of humility. Humility of needing our God. And sometimes these situations come up and they highlight the fact that we actually need God. That we were doing it in our own strength. It was fine.
But actually underneath it wasn’t. God wants you to make him your daily bread. What does your prayer look like? What does your prayer life look like? Is it a day old? Is it fresh? Is it weekly? Is it monthly? How hungry are we for the daily bread of Lord? Are you with me? And my final point, I want to share as battle-ready prayers, pray firm prayers. And we get this obviously from Matthew six verse twelve and it says, and forgive us our debts as we as also forgiven our debtors, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. And I want to finish with this, because I think this is interesting, right? Jesus didn’t necessarily signal or flag that he wanted his disciples to ask him how to pray.
Even though He did show them a whole bunch of stuff, He lead them but in this moment in this passage, you see that they overhear Jesus praying and they go, oh, actually it’d be really interesting to hear what you have to say about that. It’d be really, I’d really love to know what you do. And it’s not like Jesus was as we see in the verse, it doesn’t seem to indicate that Jesus was praying loudly to get their attention. He wasn’t like, oh, our Father who art in heaven, are you listening guys? He wasn’t like that. There was a hunger from them to hear Jesus.
Some when we hear that when other people pray and profess things it might sound really nice. You know, you might hear someone say, oh, the Holy Spirit really wants to whip through the room right now and do something or the Lord wants to heal and it’s almost like we have to have faith in that moment that that person is hearing from God or that person is actually got it right but here, we have Jesus offering up himself this passage saying, forgive us our debts as we’ve forgiven our debtors and lead us not into temptation and deliver us from the evil one. So, Jesus himself is saying that the Lord can heal. The Lord can lead us out of temptation. The Lord can forgive.
The Lord can deliver us. The Lord can do all these things. This is coming from the source. Not a self-help author. Not a megachurch pastor.
This is coming from Jesus saying you know what? You can do this. This is for you. The Lord is for you. You know in Galatians five one it says it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Firm then and do not let yourself be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Can we stand to our feet this morning? With Jesus offering up this line saying, lead us not into temptation. Deliver us from evil. Forgive us. Jesus is offering these things up and because of that, that is a firm foundation. That is something we can stand on every single day.
Is that the Lord is willing. God is willing. And as I was kind of preparing this message, obviously we are talking about warfare. And I don’t know every single story in this room. But I think we finish this service by going to war.
By waging against the enemy. I really felt in my spirit even during worship that the Lord wants to break some generational curses in some people. There has been things that have drifted from generation to generation to generation. It’s like a stink on you. Where you think I reflect some of what I’ve seen in my family.
I reflect some things that have been passed down in the generations. You know and I even felt there are some prodigals. There are some people in this room who you have sons and daughters. you have husbands, you have wives, who have left the church, have walked away from the Lord, and God is saying, it is time to go to war. You see these altar calls happen week to week to week and you think, oh, it’s for healing.
Oh, it’s for money. Oh, it’s for a relationship. But actually, the Lord is saying, you need to brush the dust off of this thing and come and give it to me. Because it hasn’t happened yet, doesn’t mean it won’t. And it’s time to brush it off and present it again and say, Lord, I am believing for breakthrough in my family.
Lord, I am believing that generational curses will be broken. Lord, I am believing for healing. There has been something that has afflicted me for far too long and I’ve grown used to it. But you lead us. You deliver us.
You forgive us. I want you to be my daily bread. I want that crunch back. Cuz I know that you Lord are mightier and stronger than all of it. So what I’m going to do right now is I’m going to invite our care team out the front and our pastors.
And I want if you feel this morning that you want to go to war over something. You feel a stirring in your spirit of you know what? I’m going to lay this at God. I’m going to believe for breakthrough. I’m going to believe that something is going to shift. I want you to make your way out the front.
And we’re going to pray and intercede and believe that something is going to shift. Amen? Amen. Let’s pray before we do that. Lord I thank you for this church. And I thank you for the people in this church and I thank you that you’re going to shift some things today.
That some things are going to be broken off. Some things are going to be restored. Some things are going to be healed. And we thank you for it in Jesus name. That you are a mighty worker.
That you are far above and beyond what we can possibly imagine. So lift our imagination right now to your power. And we thank you for it in Jesus name.