Exactly 9 years ago yesterday I preached my very first sermon. By providence the original document hasn’t been lost in the midst of moves and the times of me being a teenage boy. I was graced by a youth pastor who is now my parents pastor who allowed me to teach/preach that Wednesday evening in 2004 when I was 14. He has become a very dear friend and brother since I first met him in 1999 as a ten year old. To John, I say thank you. You can check out his blog here and his church here.
As I found this sermon whilst moving I thought I’d share it on my blog. I correct a great deal of the horrible spelling and grammar. Beyond that, it is pretty much the way I structure it 9 years ago. I don’t remember a whole lot of the preparation. I know I used Biblegateway and I remember a little bit about delivering it. I’m thankful for God’s grace to allow me to proclaim his word then, and to see his grace to develop my theology and understanding of the Scriptures a bit since those days. I pray he continues to reveal himself to me and make me a better preacher of his word for his glory.
If you care to read on, here is my very first sermon manuscript:
Matthew 6 – Jesus Spoke Pertaining to Public Prayer
There is nothing wrong with public prayer. Be open and pray aloud. Jesus said don’t be like the hypocrites and do it only to bring glory to yourself and not God. If you chose to pray aloud no problem, this is an awesome way of worship. It brings glory to God. It might draw attention to you. Don’t use that as aw way for people to look at you. Use it to witness to people that are curious. But what you don’t need to do is get into a situation where you don’t know what to do. Make sure that you are able to spread the news of the gospel. Because prayer itself is about growth in Christ. But in turn if someone is interested don’t shove salvation down their throat. Don’t be afraid, pray that God will use you and put the right words in your mouth. And if you are open with them let them tell you their beliefs, it is all about respect. Just make sure it is all about Yahweh and not you.
Now don’t always pray aloud either, there is most definitely a time to have a God-self time. You have to pray at a time of concentration on just god. Matthew 6:6, Jesus says, “But when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father who sees in secret and will reward you openly.” Now I am sure you all know and if you don’t I am telling you that being a Christian is about having a relationship with Jesus Christ. How do you grow closer to someone? You get to know them better by talking to them directly. Well, Christ is no different. Prayer directly to God the Father is a devoted way to talk to God. It is like talking and learning more about (use a person’s name).
Jesus is the one talking and he was no different, he had his quite time with God. Luke 5:16, “So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.” Another great example is in the garden at the Mount of Olives in Luke 22:39, “Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as he was accustomed, and also his disciples followed him.” The Mount of Olives was where Jesus often prayed. This tells us that Jesus took plenty of time to talk in quiet by himself to pray.
People often pray the Lord’s Prayer not realizing what its true purpose was. In Matthew 6:7-8, “And when you pray do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For your Father knows the things you have need before you ask Him.” I am not saying there is something wrong with reciting the Lord’s Prayer, just don’t make it the only way you pray. Make it personal, talk to God as though you were talking to a friend. Do you tell your friends the same thing every time you talk with them? Of course not. God is not a recorder, God has personality. Most of you when you were young prayed, “God is great, God is good, let us thank him for our food. Give us Lord our daily bread. Amen.” Well you were young. And some of us are 17 and still young in our faith and we can grow older by making our prayer sincere and personal. You can’t have someone else’s relationship. It is personal and you have to have a relationship with them.
“Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.” WOW!!!!!!!! Now what does this say about God? He is totally omnipresent and omniscient. It is so amazing; it is incomprehensible by our minds. If God knows everything and can be everywhere at once, then why pray? Because we don’t know everything and we can’t be everywhere. We learn through prayer, we grow closer to God.
Prayer is a win, win situation.
My interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer:
It isn’t to be prayed word for word it is components of what prayer should be. For verse 9 says, “In this manner, therefore pray:….
In this manner, therefore pray:
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 forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
“Our Father in heaven” – God is our father he dwells in heaven.
“Hallowed by your name” – May your name be kept holy.
“Your kingdom come, your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven.” – Self explanatory
“Give us this day our daily bread” – Not only referring to physical food for in Matthew 4 as Jesus was in the desert he as tempted and replied, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
Also referred to himself at the well when the woman asked for mercy, “it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to little dogs.” Which proves John 1 where Jesus is called the Word.
There are several more analogies for bread in the New Testament including the feedings of the masses.
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” – forgive us as we can forgive those who have done wrong towards us. Needless to say, Christ needed not to pray this as he was without sin. But he would take on the sin and burden of the world past, present, and future.
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver from the evil one.” – So simple and so powerful. Temptation is earthly and it can be very difficult to overcome it and we can’t do it alone, only Yahweh can help us overcome it. And deliverance from Satan, because he dwells here and has power more than most estimate. He brings sin and we need to be away from sin.
“For YOURS is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” – GOD GOD GOD this is God. This is God in all his power. Christ is emphasizing this and it is a realization to us. It is his, it is to bring glory to Him. Meaning prayer and all things are worship. He is Yahweh Almighty above everything else. Nothing worldly compares.
God hears your prayer.
You might think, “well I am praying and well so many other people pray and how can God hear me? I mean if he does what makes me think it will be answered?” Well if it is in his will it will be done. Through your faith.
The Bible says in 1 John 5:14-15:
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of him.”
Should I pray? Should I be thankful? How often should I pray if I should?
Why pray? I mean is it that important? God sure says it is.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.