Sermon in a Nutshell is a weekly series that recaps the sermon from the previous Sunday.
Preached on July 24th, 2016 at Northwest Baptist Church.
Sermon Text: Matthew 6:7-13
Nutshell: In this sermon we explored how Jesus taught his disciples to pray. Jesus showed the way of the “Gentiles” to His disciples and commanded “do not be like them.” The way of the Gentiles was to impress their gods by their use of many words. They believed they would be heard for their many words. In this ancient world these people would pray and do drastic things to sway the mind of their gods. A clear example of this is found on Mt. Carmel when the showdown happened between Elijah and the prophets of Baal. (See 1 Kings 18:26–29)
I think Christians often find themselves in a similar position. Do you pray to impress God? Do you do things so that you can change God’s mind because of your dedication? I believe the tragic state of prayer in modern Christianity is no different than what happened on Mt. Carmel in Elijah’s day. Many Christians pray to God as if He were nothing more than a genie in a magic bottle. Many act as if prayer is nothing more than for God to “grant our wishes.” This is why Jesus told his disciples to “pray like this.” He gave them this model to show how prayer was to be like. We don’t approach God as a genie, but as a Father. We don’t pray for our own will to be done, but for God’s will to be done. Prayer is ultimately about dependance on God. God doesn’t seek to be impressed with our prayers, but to be worshipped.