1 Peter 2:5, 9
God Has a General Will which is found in his written revelation. This is referred to in 1 John 5:14-15. If you don't know the word of God (the written revelation), you will not know how to pray.
God Has a Specific Will for our lives which is heavily influenced by what we do, what we want, and how we pray. Sometimes God will set aside our desires to fulfill a greater purpose (2 Corinthians 12:8-9), but this is not the norm. This does not mean we stop asking and pursuing what we want in prayer, because asking, seeking and knocking is normal prayer. These prayers are answered.
Lord's Prayer, Matthew 6:9-13
"Our Father in heaven",
A. First three points concern God's General Will and the Kingdom. Each of the three points can refer our desires to align with God's will today in the temporal world and our desires to align with God's eschatological will that will be accomplished at the end of time:
1. "Hallowed by your name" - "hallow" means to treat as holy and reverent. Name refers to God himself, his character and all he is. Today you desire his name to be honored but concerning the future you are desiring that his name be honored as it says in Philippians 2:10, "Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess." This is the first point of God's general will that God is manifesting today in the earth but will ultimately bring about the complete fullness of this in the future.
"Your kingdom come" - You
desire his kingdom (its principles, values, practices, etc.) be advanced today
and you desire the ultimate manifestation of the coming of God's kingdom to the
earth as declared in Revelation 11:15, "Now the kingdoms of the world have
become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ." Again, this is God's
overall plan that will be accomplished in God's time by his power. It is going
to happen and you are desiring its fulfillment.
According to Psalm 2, the kingdom's of this world and
the kings of the world are resisting the
3. "Your will be done" - You desire God's will be done today in the world of men and you desire God to fulfill his ultimate plan for all of history and mankind. This includes desiring God's moral demands be met and God's predetermined events occur.
B. The second set of three points concerns God's specific will for your life. This model prayer shows us we should be concerned about three areas of our own life. These are things you want to ask God for in your life. Remember, "you do not have because you do not ask." These are not things that are under God's predetermined will for all of history, but things specifically relating to you and your life. Do you want daily provisions, forgiveness from past sins and divine guidance in this evil world? Ask for it. The first refers to the present, the second to the past and the third to the future.
1. "Daily Bread" - this concerns your daily provisions and needs today. This is a request for your physical needs to live your life. Ask and it will be given to you.
2. "Debts" - this concerns your past. You want to be forgiven by God. Forgiving others does not earn God's forgiveness, but when you forgive others you indicate that you have the capacity (the attitude, humility, understanding) to accept God's forgiveness of your sins.
3. "Lead us not into temptation, deliver us from evil" - this concerns our future. You do not desire to give in to sin and temptation in your life. You are asking for divine guidance and divine strength.
A. God's general will
1. Honor of God's name
2. Coming of God's kingdom
3. Fulfillment of God's will
B. Your specific will
1. Present needs met
2. Past sins forgiven
3. Future guidance and deliverance
All of these are written in the imperative mood which means they are written or spoken as commands!!
· Jesus did not tell us to pray in the subjunctive mood (mood of potential) as in this might happen but it might not?
· Jesus did not tell us to pray in the indicative mood (mood of reality) as in this is the way it is, it is God's will, it won't change.
· Jesus did not tell us to pray in the optative mood (mood expressing wish or desire) as in this is the way I wish it would be.
· Jesus told us to pray this way: God's name is honored, God's kingdom come, God's will be done, Give us provisions, Forgive us our sins, Guide us and deliver us in this evil age.