Advent Prayer Guide, Week One
As a part of our engaging in the season of Advent, we are inviting everyone at Park Church to join us in prayer on Wednesdays (Dec. 6, 13, 20) during the lunch hour in our sanctuary to pray. If you can’t join us physically, we hope you can join in personally or even get together with others and pray through the prayer guide offered below! Throughout these prayer times we will be focusing on particular phrases and petitions within the Lord’s Prayer.
What is the Lord’s Prayer and why are we praying it?
One of the main markers of Jesus’ life was not merely His powerful ministry, but also the intentional space Jesus made to get alone and pray to the Father. One might even say that prayer and dependence on His Father was the precise reason His ministry was so effective! He knew that apart from doing what His Father was doing, He could do nothing. From the beginning of His public ministry to the end of it, prayer was a centerpiece in the life of Jesus. When asked by His disciples how to pray, He taught them what is now known as “The Lord’s Prayer” and is found in Matthew 6:9-13:
Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
This prayer is short (only 52 words in the ESV!), and yet it is rich in depth… It begins with an address and then gives us 7 petitions. We’ll be focusing in and praying through the address and the first petition today.
“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” -A.W. Tozer
Close your eyes for moment. Picture yourself walking into the throne room of God in order to speak with Him. As you come closer to His throne, what immediately comes to your mind? What does God’s face look like? Does he have a scowl or a grin? Is He busy and bothered, or caring and loving? Do you have part of His attention or the whole of it? For Jesus’ disciples to have a healthy prayer life, He knew they’d have to think rightly about God, so He intentionally starts with this address.
Jesus teaches us that we must see God rightly when we come to Him! Jesus calls Him Abba Father. First and foremost, God is our Father. We don’t come to God as distant servants, but as cherished sons and daughters who through the work and blood of Jesus have been adopted into God’s very own family. Not only is God our Father, but He is our Father in heaven. Our Father isn’t some weak powerless dad who can’t stand up for us, but rather is the King of the universe with unlimited power at His disposal. There is nothing impossible for Him, and there is no request too great!
Let’s begin by worshipping our Father in heaven! Let’s start by praising Him in prayer… Think about God’s attributes and actions toward you, particularly as a Father. Meditate on those things, express gratitude for each one! Let’s take also take a moment to pray that Park would be a church that prays regularly because they know of their identity as children of God! Pray that God wouldn’t be a theoretically good Father to those at Park, but rather a Father whom they know intimately and walk with through His Spirit.
Song Ideas For This Prayer Section: Good Good Father, In Tenderness, Before The Throne
Petition #1: Hallowed be Your name
The first petition Jesus teaches us to ask our heavenly Father for is that His name would be “hallowed.” God reveals Himself throughout Scripture as the God who is thrice holy. If God is already holy, why would we need to pray that God’s name would be hallowed? Jesus wants the name of God to be the most important name in His disciples’ lives! What’s in a name? In Bible times, names got at the heart of who someone was. A name was tied to a person; to an identity and an essence. To pray for God’s name to be “hallowed” means to pray that His name would be set apart in our lives from every other name. That His name would be uncontested in our hearts! That we would honor God’s name, revere it, and ultimately treasure His name above any other name, even our very own names!
Take a moment to think about your own life. What are you treasuring most? What things are you honoring and seeking? In all of those pursuits, where does the pursuit of God lie? Is He chief among all pursuits or one among many? Or is He not even on your radar? Let’s take time to pray that God’s name would be:
- Treasured in our lives first and foremost.
- Esteemed by our friends and families.
- Known and loved by our co-workers, neighbors, and those who don’t yet know Him!
- Lifted up in Denver above all names! That Jesus would be the name that resounds the loudest throughout the city.
Song Ideas For This Prayer Section: Be Thou My Vision, Set A Fire, Forever Reign, Be Lifted Up (Josh Baldwin)
- “Look At The Book: Park 1 Your Kingdom Come” (John Piper)
- “The Lord And His Prayer” (NT Wright)