In this sermon Elder J.W. Cunningham begins a series of sermons on the subject of prayer. In this sermon Elder Cunningham focuses on the instruction that we are to pray to our Father we is in Heaven. As you listen to this sermon focus on prayers of thanksgiving and intercession.
Father in Heaven – Prayer Series – Sermon Notes
Text: Luke 11:2
“And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.”
Background: The disciples have come upon The Lord while he is praying. They observe his prayer and ask him to do as John had done and teach them to pray. Thus, the prayer that follows is that teaching.
Focus: The focus for this week is on the first phrase of this prayer. Christ prays to his Father who is in heaven.
Our Father: Matthew 7:11
“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”
This verse establishes for the believer that God is our Father, he does give blessings, and that he is located in Heaven.
“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”
We are further taught in this verse that if we desire the things that are true, right, and just we are to look to Heaven and our Father in order to receive those things.
In this chapter we see the story of the resurrection of Lazarus. In verses 41-42 Christ looks into the heavens and prayed to his father in thanks.
Here we see an example of The Lord praying and he directly offers the prayer towards heaven. Furthermore, the prayer is based on Thanksgiving. A major lesson for us should be that at times we need to increase how much we base out prayers on thanks.
We must not allow ourselves to forget the value and importance of appreciation in our lives. Appreciation does not have to be for the whole situation or all involved. However, having some appreciation in all situations will help us to ask for guidance as well.
As we come to the end of the 7th chapter of acts we come upon the occasion of the stoning of Stephen. This man has preached and stood for the truth and now it is going to cost him his life.
As this occurs we witness Stephen going to prayer and when he does he looks into heaven. This prayer differs though from the prayer of our Lord at Lazarus’s tomb as this is a prayer of intercession.
We should likewise remember that in times of distress there is great value in prayers of intercession. We often want to pray for deliverance. At times deliverance may come, but we know with certainty that intercession from heaven will always come on behalf of the believer.