Larry Taylor - Lord's Prayer - Brisbane Convention, Queensland, Australia - 2017

My thoughts this evening is on prayer and we will go for a third time to Matthew 6 today. I was young boy in Bible study and if someone would speak on my verse and you would have the feeling, "Oh dear, they have taken my verse." The longer we have had a privilege of this work in the gospel, we feel very different about it. We rejoice that some who have spoken before us have spoken from the very same scripture; obviously God has got a message for all of us.

Matthew 6 and I will go back to the prayer that Jesus gave to His disciples and we will start at verse 9 – 13, “After this manner therefore pray ye Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in heaven as it is in earth. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever. Amen.” Jesus was speaking very directly and effectively to His disciples. He did not want them to be like the hypocrites when they prayed. Not just for show or the hearing of man, He wanted His disciples when they prayed they would be praying to the living God. Sometimes when we pray, we have the feeling, "I want God to come down to me," and that is not what prayer is all about. Prayer is for the purpose that we arise to His level.

When you read about the incense and the Old Testament prayer and everything connected, it was all with the purpose to arise and you see this is what prayer is all about - to take from the earthly level to the heavenly level. We do not want to think God is a man and coming down to our level. There are plenty of God’s out there that man are praying to, but that is not the living God. God wants His children just like Jesus that they would rise and come to His level.

Revelations 4 is a beautiful picture of this as John is a prisoner and what did John experience, what did the voice say to John? "Come up, hither." John is looking and the voice said to him, "I will show you this is a beautiful picture of what God wants in prayer." God wants us to look and wants us to see and not to see things of earth things but of heaven.

I love what he said our Father. Jesus taught the disciple about our and that is inclusive. He wasn’t saying, "My Father or your Father but Our Father." Jesus wanted His disciples to realise that they have been bought and born into a wonderful family, because there is a Father and He is our Father. It is wonderful when each of us pray, and prayer helps to unite us, because it is our Father and includes us and brings us together. You can go to the throne of grace and find help from our Father. He is our Father and He is the God and He never said to pray to our God, but to our Father. It is a lovely family and you’re coming into something that is a family. Jesus was wanting them to know, "You pray to Our Father." I like how He specified, "Our Father which art in Heaven." Here Jesus was encouraging them and Our Father is not here but He is up there and that is what prayer is about to help us rise above the earth. We have heard about struggles and tests here on the earth, for one thing that is beautiful about prayer God can help us to arise to His level and to His glorious wonderful level. When we see things from His level and perspective the earth looks so small.

I notice in this prayer that Jesus gave to His disciples two set of three things. The first group is Thy name, Thy kingdom, Thy will. The second group is give us, forgive us, and lead us. To me this is a beautiful pattern regarding prayer. What was the first thing Jesus was wanting them to think about when they were praying and rising to their Father in heaven? Hallowed be Thy name. I believe that is what God has given us here on this earth, quite a thing about our name. It is quite a thing for our parents to have the liberty to give us our name and we children have no choice in the matter. You have to correct people and make sure your name is spelt correctly and make sure it is correct on passports and paperwork. My middle name is Lawrence and as a child, I was called Larry. God wants His name because He has a wonderful spirit, a wonderful power and He doesn’t want anything with Him to be lessened, to be brought down to earth. He wants everything with His name and He is Holy, He is pure and He is eternal. He doesn’t want anything connected with His name to be brought down to an earthly level.

You read particularly in the old Testament time and time again and that God’s name would be honoured and through His people they would bring honour and glory to His name. We can understand that families, none of us like to have a bad family name and everyone likes to have a good name and reputation. That is why parents tell their children to conduct themselves at school so you can be proud to be part of our family and that is teaching us about God. God has a family name and He wants His name to be hallowed. He is totally worthy of it. We can never praise His name and honour His name enough because He is worthy of it.

Sometimes people ask, "What is the name of your church and what is the name of your religion?" We don’t have a denominational church name, and one thing we don’t have is church property. There are convention grounds and they are privately ownership and the homes were the fellowship meetings are are privately owned and there is no need for a church name. The beautiful thing about this is God’s kingdom is not an earthly kingdom, but heavenly kingdom so we don’t need to have an earthly name for our earthly cooperation. It is not a cooperation and when people ask us what is the name of your church you know what God is wanting people who would only honour and respect His Holy name. If you have a church cooperation what happens, "Oh, that is a Catholic Church or Uniting Church," so the praise goes to the Catholic Church and the Uniting Church and it is not going to God’s hallowed name. It is so wonderful that God’s people only have His Holy name. What does it say about Jesus? It says concerning Jesus that God gave Him a name above every name and that is what the Father did for His Son. So it is wonderful when you and I say, "Hallowed be Thy name."

The next one is Thy kingdom. God’s family is not a democracy. Some of God servants have had the privilege of living in a country that is not democratic and you begin to realise this is very different and how these people think and function. God’s kingdom is not a democracy. God is King of His Kingdom and when you have a King that totally loves everything about His Kingdom, the citizens of the Kingdom and He is willing to give His only Son for the salvation of the Kingdom and for the citizens of the Kingdom, you realise you are part of the most wonderful government that can ever exist. Not an earthly government, but it is eternal. It is that God’s kingdom has a perfect rule and that is why there is total peace, and there is peace in heaven. God wants in His Kingdom and in His church and when He rules there is His peace.

"Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven, Thy name, Thy Kingdom and Thy will." What is Jesus saying to His disciples here? "You know how God’s will is in heaven and pray that it is the same here on earth." We went to the University of Queensland the other day and I noticed on the law building about truth. It made me so grateful when it comes to the truth and what will reign is the will of God and that is what Jesus is saying here, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." The will of God will always be accomplished in heaven and that is what God wants on earth.

The next set of three is what He said in verse 11, "Give us, forgive us and lead us." So often when we are moved to pray and we can have it backwards and all we can talk about is. What is Jesus telling His disciples and He wanted them to draw near to their Father in Heaven, totally giving themselves to Thy name, Thy kingdom and Thy will and then the us. It is wonderful when we go before the Father of heaven and we could plead and beg, "Give us, give us bread for my hunger." We know this is a beautiful thing about the prodigal son. When this young man came to the place where he said, "Give us," and then he went home.

We heard today about some losing out. We had an experience with a young lady that heard the gospel in Guam and later on came across to California and then we began to visit her and every time we visited her, we noticed what she was consumed with was her shame and embarrassment of having been part of God’s way and realising what she had had at one time. One day after a visit, I said, "You are never going to make it back to the Father’s house if your feelings are consumed in shame. Shame will never bring you back to the Father’s house; it has to be hunger." That prodigal son and the strong emotion he felt and all that was back in his father’s house and hunger give us. It is wonderful when we come to our Father and say, "Give us this day our daily bread."

Then, "Forgive us our debts for our failings and shortcoming and then lead us." This is a beautiful pattern and Jesus said, "Pray after this manner." We have a Father and our Father and this helps us bring it all to the same place and unites us. Unites God’s people through prayer. When we come to love God’s name, we have a respect and a gratitude and then we can see God so more clearly and it generates a gratefulness and a thankfulness to be a part of Him and to be able to come into His Holy presence and be part of His Kingdom so His will can be done in our little piece of earth as it is done in heaven. We then can plead to give us bread and forgive us for failings and to lead us. May God help us in the year ahead realise in the place of prayer we can rise to His level and truly Our Father's name will be honoured. Amen.