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Dave Dealy: Teach Us To Pray, Matthew 6:9-13

March 27, 2023

Audio Recording

Encounters Along The Way
Dave Dealy: Teach Us To Pray, Matthew 6:9-13
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Sermon Transcript:

:00 You're listening to a live recording from Westside Church in Bend, Oregon. Thanks for joining us.

00:07 I'm the discipleship pastor here at Westside. So glad you're here with us. Welcome to Spring or what we call in Central Oregon. More of the same . I, took my daughter, Maggie, my wife and I took my daughter Maggie out to Eugene. Cause we thought springtime we're gonna watch some baseball, softball. This would be great. I experienced something I'd never experienced before, a snow delay for baseball, which I felt like was cool four months ago, , so sorry if you're here visiting, but you known better . we are in Luke chapter 11 today. If you have a Bible and you wanna grab, turn to that Luke chapter 11. We're on this journey, heading toward Easter Sunday, but we're walking with Jesus through Luke. We are in Luke chapter nine and then 10 today we're in 11 as he travels to Jerusalem, knowing what awaits him on the cross and on the other side of resurrect resurrection, which we're gonna celebrate together. But as with the story of Jesus, we have to go through the journey of the cross to get to the celebration of Sunday. Amen. Right. Oh boy. Coffee. There's coffee out there. .

01:25 Luke chapter 11 is where we're gonna, begin today. This is Jesus with his disciples. We're, I'm gonna start in 11 and then I'm gonna actually read the Lord's Prayer, which is the meat of this section, from Matthew, because Luke kind of truncates the Lord's prayer for efficiency. Matthew gives us all the language, so we're going to jump to Matthew. but this is where it begins in Luke chapter 11. It says, one day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, Lord, teach us to pray. Just as John taught his disciples. And he said to them, when you pray, say this. Flip to Matthew if you want to. If not, just listen. When you pray, say this, said, Jesus, our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

02:31 Give us today our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we have forgiven, as, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. Let's pray. Heavenly Father, we, enter this time together in your word, believing it has the power to transform us. Has the the power to expand our world, expand our understanding of you and of us. And we confess, none of us has the skill or ability to do that on our own. Holy Spirit, come Holy Spirit, come and speak to your sons and daughters today. In Jesus' name. Amen. Amen. Jesus is traveling this road. We were just, we've been talking about to Jerusalem with a rag tag. Bunch of young guys. they were the disciples. And if, if you grew up in the church as I did, when I say disciple, you get a, a word picture in your brain.

03:36 Beard, shaggy clothes, maybe shoes, maybe not pretty dirty like on the border of homelessness probably is kind of how we envision the disciples. But I want to expand that word picture for you. disciple actually means apprentice. An apprentice. So imagine like a master craftsman and he takes, an apprentice under an that apprentice, goes to the shop every day, eats meals with the master, talks and dialogues and asks questions and wrestles and gets tested and pressed to become a master themselves. That's what's happening in the life of the disciples here. And they see Jesus do a lot of crazy stuff. Jesus heals blind people. Jesus welcomes the outcast to his table for dinner. Jesus goes to a leper colony which lived outside the city walls. They were so unclean, unwelcome. It was tied to their spirituality and not just their suffering physically. And Jesus goes there and not only meets with them, which was scandalous.

04:49 He touches them. The disciples are watching all kinds of crazy things happen, which Jesus, he preaches to thousands of people. He makes meals out of nothing for thousands of people. With that context, you all listen to what they're asking for. They didn't say, Lord, teach us to heal blind people. They didn't say, Lord, teach me how to preach like that so I can sell out a stadium. We wanna get a strong online presence going. they didn't ask for that. Lord, teach us to pray. Teach us to pray. It wasn't as if the disciples didn't know how to pray. Remember, this is Hebrew culture. These are good Hebrew little boys. They were going to pray all the time. Their daily rhythm was fixated around morning prayer, midday prayer, evening prayer, Sabbath prayer. They were praying all the time. So what are they asking for then? , they're already doing it all the time. What are they asking for? And here's, here's the deal.

05:59 They saw Jesus and Jesus prayed differently. Jesus prayed differently. I play golf. Plane may be an exaggeration. I chase the little white ball all over the place. Okay? If you watch what I do and then you watch what Tiger Woods does, he's doing something different. , this is an altogether different thing. The, the disciples lived day to day with Jesus and they saw him doing crazy stuff, supernatural stuff, and they asked for the source, take us to the source because you seem, Jesus, you seem to take things from a heavenly a God space and channel them into our earthly space. And I go to prayer all day long and that never happens. I go to prayer at the temple all the time. And that doesn't happen. You're different. You do it different. Teach us to do what you do. When, when the disciples ask Jesus teach us to pray, he doesn't tell them pray harder. He doesn't pray, say, pray longer. He doesn't say, you just don't have faith. If you just have no teach us to pray, Jesus is the implication. Teach us to do what you do. You're playing a different ball game than we're playing Jesus's prayers. Were connected to intimacy and familiarity with God. It was a relationship that he was expressing as he talked to the Father. That's a, that was a whole different thing.

07:31 And if the disciples saw all this and they didn't ask for the other stuff, they asked to learn to pray, then a a healthy question for us to ask as we read this is, why don't we ask for this? Why don't we pray? That's not a guilt or shame thing. It's just the fact of the Christian Church across America and the globe struggles to pray, struggles to pray. It's hard. And we live in a time now where general spirituality, meditation, mindfulness are cool now. It's cool. I practice it. It's great and it's healthy. Everybody's doing it. So there's an openness to it. This is different. Prayer is different. It's different than the mindfulness, it's different than meditation. As a friend of mine says, who has lived in the meditation world for a long time, they said, it's like I was living in moonlight and I met Jesus. And it's like stepping into sunlight. Like this source, this connection, this God is different. It's different.

08:48 What? So what even is prayer? seems like an important question to ask at the beginning. What even is is prayer. Here's our working definition of prayer. Prayer is the medium through which we communicate and commune with God, communicate and commune with God. It's the medium through which we communicate and commune with God knows the two pieces here, communicate. So we talk to God and we ask God for stuff, and we wrestle with things and we, we press in and intercede for our family and friends and the world. And we petition God for the things we, we need and we want and we're longing for. Those are all true. That's communication. But also we listen. Do you believe that God will speak to you? Do you believe God has something to say to you today? Right now in this space, communication is more than just talking. It's listening. And prayer is more than just communicating. It's communing. It's actually living like sitting at the feet, just being close to Jesus. Because as we're gonna hear you guys, he longs to be near to you. Jesus longs to be near to you.

10:09 So why don't we pray? Why do we wrestle? Here's a few thoughts. This comes in part from a book, by, pastor Tyler's staton. It's called praying like monks, living like fools. Wonderful book, highly recommended on prayer, praying like monks, living like fools. Here's some reasons. He, gives us possibilities why we don't pray first. We don't pray for fear of being naive. We live in a culture where, you need to be an expert in everything and have an opinion on everything and be an influencer of something. being naive, not cool. pastor Ben shared an illustration like his longing to be like connected and not look like a tourist or an outsider as he wheels a pink roller bag through Brooklyn.

11:00 It's like the worst possible scenario to not look naive or silly. We don't want that. So we don't pray. We don't pray cuz of fear of silence. What if God doesn't answer me? Maybe even deeper fear. What if there is no God on the other side of my prayers? We fear that silence. That's normal. We sometimes we don't pray for fear of our self motives. Maybe you grew up in a home that was like, stop asking for things. Stop. Don't be an annoyance. Your stuff doesn't matter. There are higher priorities than you. You may have that self narrative. And even asking, even thinking about opening your requests to God is scary. I understand. Perhaps we don't pray for fear of doing it wrong. It's like, Ron Weasley when he breaks his his wand. Where are my Harry Potter fans? You're safe here. You're safe here. Ron Weasley breaks his wand and he is trying to do a spell Harry Potter trying to do a spell. And all that keeps happening is slugs keep coming out of his mouth cuz it's, it's just not, this thing's not working right? Maybe that feels like your prayer is like in Jesus name. In Jesus name in it's not happening.

12:28 But perhaps the the most important one for today is I believe we don't, many of us don't pray because we lack awe and wonder. In our world today, we lack awe and wonder in our world. When the United States landed on the moon, July 20th, 1969, the whole world froze. Everyone was fixated On this moment, we were landing on the moon and this event captured the globe and it became the trajectory of discourse on the economy and science and innovation for a whole generation. This moment, it just captured everyone we're landing on the moon earlier this year, we received the most detailed high definition pictures of the galaxy. Not the moon, not the stupid moon. The whole galaxy and stars in the, the most beautiful, expansive vision we've ever seen of this from the James Webb telescope. And it last lasted in our collective consciousness for about an hour.

13:49 And then we were on to the next thing. We lack this sense of awe and wonder in our world today. And it inhibits our prayers, it inhibits our connection to the one of awe and wonder. Don't listen to me though. Listen. Even the non-Christians get, get this, Dr. Daker Kettler, that's a name for you. Dr. Daker Kettler, psychologist from Cal Berkeley. He wrote a book about awe and the human psyche. It's called awe, the science of everyday wonder and how it transforms your life. Here's what he said, here's how he defines awe. Awe is the feeling of being in the presence of something vast that transcends your understanding of the world.

14:44 Ah, is the feeling of being in the presence of something vast that transcends your understanding of your world. Think of the Grand Canyon or these nights when the sky is clear and it's just lit up or a sunset that just makes you freeze. And all you can do is stare at it. It is this vastness, this totally other thing. It's wonder and it is good for us. We're hardwired to be drawn to this. How do I know? Well, Dr. Ketel Keter tells us, he says that there are psychological benefits to being in awe. So for many who have a critical voice, a narrative that is demeaning to you, that you're not smart or beautiful or rich enough, being in a space of awe begins to quiet this narrative voice in us. It begins to shut it down, deactivate it. Not only that, his research on awe shows us that it calms down our nervous system. I'm not done. Listen, it calms down our nervous system and it releases oxytocin. Do you know what oxytocin is? It's the love chemical. Oh, the love chemical. These guys are blown away up here, . You with me in the back.

16:07 Oxytocin. When we're in the midst of something, awe and awesome and wondrous, it releases oxytocin, the love chemical in us, which in turn promotes trust and bonding in humans. , come on you guys. This is like hardwired in us.

16:28 And here's what's beautiful in Philippians. Paul's letter to the Philippians in chapter four. He writes this about prayer. He says, the Lord is near to you. He starts with that. The Lord is near to you. Don't be anxious about anything. But in every situation by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And what happens then? The peace of God which transcends all understanding. Does that sound familiar? Transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Come on, we're hardwired for this awe, this wonder, this beauty to be drawn to and fixated on it. Now listen, as I'm writing this sermon, I'm feeling this subject slip through my fingers. it's like so meta and we're just talking about all of these crazy things like how do you even wrap your mind? What do I do with that? and I think that's good.

17:30 I think Jesus knew that. So he gave us a prayer. He wrote down a prayer. there are not many places in the Bible where someone asks Jesus a question and he gives a straight answer. It's usually, Hey Jesus, what about this? And he's like, well, you say, what about that? I say, what about this ? Hey Jesus, what about this? Let me tell you a story about that . This is one of the only places people say, teach us to pray. And he says, when you pray, say these words say this. And this is what's called a liturgy, a given prayer, something handed to us to hold onto. And in the evangelical world, we can be a bit, resistant to liturgies. because they're, they're thought of as just rote words. It's just a something. It doesn't have meaning. It's not coming from my heart or my mind.

18:26 And maybe sometimes that's a good thing my friends, maybe you don't have to make it up every time. Liturgies can be great for those who are just beginning prayer. If prayer is just way new to you or way outside your comfort zone, you're in luck. Jesus hands you a prayer and you can just sit with these words that he gives you and sit and chew on them and let your mind begin to imagine and wonder at this prayer given to us. But it's not just for new people. Liturgies are great for you parents. I know who you are who are sleep deprived and just trying to create or do another thing feels impossible. You have a prayer handed to you for those that are suffering with illnesses and you do not have strength. A prayer is handed to you. It's a gift. We can use liturgies all the time. It's like learning to play the piano or the guitar. You don't start with the guitar lick. We wish we did. I wish I did. You start with the scales. You start with the base. You start with the very beginnings and you build off of that. You're handed that, that basic structure in this in Jesus. So let's talk about the Lord's Prayer as we kind of land this plane here.

19:46 Jesus gives us this prayer and he starts with our Father. Stop. Stop there. Our father, father, father was not a normal way to talk about God at this time. God was this other thing. God was this distant God was this holy thing that I am not. And I must keep my distance from it. I'll worship it from a distance. Jesus breaks that apart and he leans in and use this word aba, which is translated Daddy, daddy. Now I get, as soon as we start using father language of intimacy and relationship, we can't help but project your experience and my experience with that idea of Father. And if you had a father that was distant or you had a father that was worse rightly, you'll be hesitant to lean into God as this father idea. But here's the good news, this is exactly where we're meant to bring our brokenness. To bring our story is to the Father it actually we bring it to the Father so that the Father can correct father ness to us. And listen, when you lean in, this is what you're going to be welcomed with. Listen, the Hebrew word that's used here for father is rku. Raco.

21:20 Raccoon means compassion. It means compassion, our compassionate one. But it doesn't just mean compassion. This word raccoon can be used for mercy and it can also be used to get this. You guys gonna blow your mind. Raccoon is also the word for womb. Womb. The place where you are safe and you are nurtured and you are fed and you are so close to the heartbeat. It's like it's inside of you. Our compassionate one, the womb where we are safe is where Jesus begins to talk about prayer. And then he continues our father in heaven. And we have this idea of heaven. We've grown up with this idea that well, heaven is a place I get to go to and get out of this horrible place hopefully and go to that good place. The other place Speaker 4

22:27 That's

22:28 Not the language Jesus is using here. the word heaven here in Greek is the word irans. Irans. It means the heavens, which can be translated as the air or the atmosphere. And here's what Jesus is getting at. This is not so far away place. This is right here, right here. The breath you are taking right now, envision that as God himself, that close to you. It's touching you. It is being brought into you. It's in your bloodstream. It's how close God desires to be to you. It is the god's space pressed into this room right now. Our compassionate one, the womb, we are safe here in this space, touching and consuming me is where Jesus begins. Do you get to see this picture of intimacy? This totally He he's doing it different. He's doing it different. Teach us to do that. Jesus. It's revolutionary.

23:39 The rest of the Lord's prayer is broken into two halves. And this is what's called in Hebrew poetic parallelism. It's these two things that are broken into halves, but they touch and they point to and illuminate each other. And we're gonna move through these really fast. First, it says, our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come and your will be done here on earth as it is in the God space. And these three things are linked. They're connected. Starts with hallowed be your name. And that implication, we don't use the word hallowed really anymore. That word hallowed means may your name be recognized as holy. That is the awe and wonder. May it be recognized. You be recognized as something beautiful and other and bigger. That vastness that triggers our oxytocin. Let that be the way we think of your name.

24:44 And the implication here is for Jesus to say, let your name be recognized as holy means that his name was not being recognized as holy at this time. And if not true for this time where they went to temple every day, multiple times a day, held the Sabbath religiously. If that wasn't true for them, how much more for us we're nothing's holy anymore. Nothing's sacred anymore. Yet Jesus is calling us to this. Would we recognize God as holy Him as holy? And we get the picture of it in Jesus where we started this life that transforms people, the life that heals people, the life that breaks, dividing limes and welcomes people. That is the holiness here. That's what it looked like. Jesus says, would your name be recognized as holy? And as we do that together, Westside Church. Now what would it be like for our community, for Central Oregon to recognize God is holy? What would that take? What would it take for for Ben for just around our neighborhood right here? Them to say, what is that? What is that? That's different. I'm drawn to that thing. It's a whole different way of being. What would it require of us? It would require of us living the Jesus way? My friends, this is our life. This is our calling. This is the thing you're invited into when you say yes to Jesus. It's not just you punch your ticket to the good place. It's so much, so much more.

26:31 As we recognize God's name is holy, guess what happens? His kingdom does come here on earth and that is his will for our lives. It's all right here in the prayer. May your name be recognized as holy so your kingdom would come on earth and your will be done. It's our invitation. It's our invitation in this life. The second half of the prayer is then our requests to the Lord give us our daily bread. You're the source, Lord. Not my job. You're the source, Lord, not my title. You're the source Lord, not my family. You're the source Lord. Not my girlfriend, not my boyfriend, not the other things. We try to put the weight of our soul onto that collapses cuz it's not made to hold that you're the one that holds that. Jesus forgive us as we have been forgiven. Let's be those merciful people that are stamped with your identity, Jesus that forgive generously as we've been forgiven generously. And then trust that God will deliver us that He conquers all things, that he defeats the evil one. And whatever the thing you walked into this room wrestling with, we can bring to the throne of Jesus said it at his feet. This is a different way of living. Are you guys getting the picture of this? Are you seeing what Jesus imitation was? This was a whole, it wasn't just a prayer.

28:00 There's a phrase that familiarity breeds contempt. Have you heard that? Tim Keller, pastor in New York City said that the Lord's Prayer is most likely the most spoken word phrase in all of human history. If you add all of the prayers in all of the churches and all of the languages and how many times a day this thing is spoken, it's probably the most familiar thing in human language. And we lose the weight of it, we lose the awe and wonder of it. It's an invitation for us to lean in to the father, the God space worship team. You can come up. I want to share a story with you of what this may look like and the ripple effect is we begin to commune and communicate with God regularly. And just start with the Lord's prayer this week. You guys just start with it.

28:58 Just sit with that one time as you're drinking your coffee, put everything else away and just chew on these words as we do, as we communicate with God. And we commune with that God who wants to be near, so near, he's right touching us. He's right with us. What that can look like. Peter Gregg is a pastor in London and he flew to New York to preach outta church. And this church in New York had two campuses and they did one service in the morning on one side of town, and they did another at night on the other side of town. And Pete was praying and he's praying for this time he's gonna be preaching. He felt like the Lord gave him this word. He felt like he was listening and he felt like the Lord spoke to him, this word. and so he, he gave the word at the morning gathering and nothing happened. , which is just Terri, can I just say this as a pastor , you're up here and you're like, here's what I think the Lord's saying. And nobody responds. It was a bad burrito. ,

30:04 No one responds. First gathering goes to the night gathering. He's like, oh, it's probably a mistake. Probably missed that one. And he felt the Lord say, no, you, I want you to say it again. Ah, again, gets to the night service. He's like, I, you guys just feel like the Lord spoke to me to share this. And I'm just being obedient. I shared it at the morning. No one said anything. It's probably a mistake, but I just feel like there's someone here tonight. And you have been embarrassed about your smile your whole life, and it has been, it sounds like a silly thing that's been this burden. You've carried your whole life. And God says, I see you and you are beautiful to me. Is there anyone here that's speaking to, there's just this tension and pause. Young man comes walking from the back and you know, people are praying for this young man. And and they asked him like, what, you know, what, what happened? And he said, I was at the morning service , and I heard you say this. And I knew it was me and I was too scared to believe it or step forward. So I walked out the back and as I walked out, I said, God, if I miss something, I'm gonna go back tonight. But you have to make that guy say it again. I'm not just gonna go forward. You have to make him say it again, Speaker 5

31:31 .

31:33 That's not where the story ends. This guy comes up, he gets seen by God, the pastor's being obedient, and he sees this guy respond to the Holy Spirit and they're praying for him. And as they are these people, people are coming forward to receive prayer. And there's a young woman in the front just sobbing and weeping. And another pastor from the church walks over and he says, I, I felt like I'm supposed to come pray for you something. I can pray for you. And she said, pastor, I came tonight to tell you I'm done. I'm done with Jesus. I'm done with the church. I'm done with all of this. But then if God is like that to that guy, if he, if he cares about such a silly thing as his smile and would be patient enough to do that tonight, then I'm in. I'm in. If that's real, I'm in. And church, I want you to hear this. Our prayers are not small things. This life with God is not a small thing. There is a ripple effect that happens as the kingdom of God comes near. That changes everyone and everything it touches.

32:43 Do we believe that my prayer for you is in this small, silly, simple prayer this week you would feel the nearness of God. You would hear his fatherly voice toward you. And I'm talking to you. Don't think I'm talking to the person next to you. I'm talking to you, the nearness to God, to you and his delight in you. Let's pray. Or Jesus to us. These things can just be words and stories. But in your economy, God, this is the currency that changes everything. Our prayers, our delights, our desires, our fears, all that you want to hear us say and bring to you. It changes everything.