Sunnyside Church of the Nazarene
Sunday, August 15
  • Yes I Will
  • Jesus
  • Build My Life
  • Today is day 8 of our 21 days of prayer and I hope that you are enjoying the messages and the prayer time from the Church of the Highlands. I am … excitement is up, energy, anticipation …. Example from this week: Day 3 was the prayer of Jabez 1 Chronicles 4:10 ….
    Turn to Matthew 6 as we continue to look at how Jesus taught His disciples to pray. As you’re turning there, we’ve all felt the frustration of “unanswered” prayer. Now it's been said that there's no such thing as unanswered prayer. God answers every prayer with either a yes, no, or not yet. So the question this morning is what do we do with those prayers that seem to be unanswered - you know those prayers that cause frustration or make us question what’s the point in praying.
    This morning I want to give us a few things to think about regarding not necessarily how or what we pray, but our motive behind our prayers - because I believe our motive is connected to the answer. Interestingly many of us put an emphasis on the what or the how. If we just spent more time in prayer - which may be true for some - or if we knew how to pray like that person or if we just had the right words, then our prayers would be answered. But in reality, one of the greatest hindrances to prayer is not the what or the how, but the heart - the motive. And that's what I think Jesus was trying to emphasize in Matthew 6 - the what and the how is secondary to the heart or the motive.
    Jesus said,
    Matthew 6:9 ESV
    Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
    Right there from the beginning - it’s about relationship - the heart. It’s not all about getting things your way. This is our Father - we remember who we’re talking with. We’re talking with our Father who loves us, who is for us and not against us. We’re talking with our Heavenly Father whose Son died on the cross and washed away our sins and redeemed us with His blood so that we could be reconciled to God ….
    “Our Father in heaven hallowed be your name.”
    Hallowed (not Howard …) be Your name. Again, we’re confronted with motive. This challenges us to put our hearts in check. How so? The word hallow means to render sacred. And the root word is holy. We’ll come back to that.
    Let’s think about the name for a moment. Shem is the Hebrew word for name (the shem of the Lord - the name of the Lord). Shem refers to, not just Yahweh’s name, but to His person and to the totality of His character.
    For example,
    Exodus 20:7 NIV
    “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
    What are we talking about here? Don’t denigrate, don’t discredit, don’t live in a way that dishonors God’s character or reputation. So, when we pray hallowed, holy, sacred be your name - what are we talking about? We’re talking about God’s character and reputation.
    Question- So when we pray, “hallowed by your name,” our primary motive and concern should be what? God’s character - reputation. “God, glorified be your name. Your reputation be made much of and honored and ….
    So you see where our motives are challenged.
    Question - If God were to answer every single prayer that we asked and answered in the way we want, would He always get the glory? Would it always benefit His honor, His character and His reputation?
    I would like to think so, but I have this uncanny ability to make life about me - about my ego and my desires and my comfort. I have this ability to sometimes hoard blessings. I really have to check my motives. Whose glory, whose character, whose reputation and fame am I truly concerned about?
    Isaiah 42:8 ESV
    I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.
    Now look, I'm not always smart enough to know whether or not my prayers if answered will indeed glorify God. So how do we navigate that?
    Romans 8:26–28 ESV
    Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
    So that tells me that we have to trust God and let Him decide how and when to answer our prayers. We don’t always know if our motives are right. We have to trust in the Holy Spirit who intercedes on our behalf. He knows if this is truly going to glorify God or not. Make sense?
    Think about your prayers for a moment. Are they more about you or more about Jesus?
    Remember, at the beginning Jesus said pray like this. So, how do we turn, “hallowed be your name” into a prayer. Give it a try.
    Here are some personal examples:
    Father, hallowed be your name in me. May I make your name sacred and holy.
    Father, today help me to make you look good by how I talk, how I live, how I work. May my words and actions make much of you.
    Jesus, please help my family to give you a good reputation in my neighborhood.
    Jesus, please help me to give you a good reputation among people who don't know you. I don't want to cause them to say, “I thought you were a Christian.”
    Jesus, today may people be drawn to you because of me and not repelled or disgusted.
    Father, when I'm on social media may I glorify your reputation and your character.
    What about for others?
    Father, may Sunnyside (Hillside, Thompson Road, Life Journey church …) be a church that gives you a good reputation in the community. Show us how. Raise up leaders ….
    Father, bless so and so … may they be strengthened to glorify you at work or ….
    Prayer is not about giving God a to-do list - it’s about aligning ourselves with His character and His Kingdom and will - which we’ll discuss next week.
    To align ourselves with His character, we must first be born again …
    John 12:32 “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”
    Who lifts up Jesus?
    Matthew 4:24 So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, those having seizures, and paralytics, and he healed them.
      • Matthew 6:9NLT

      • Exodus 20:7NLT

      • Isaiah 42:8NLT

      • Romans 8:26–28NLT

  • What A Beautiful Name
  • Cornerstone

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