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					                                    The Lord's Prayer: A Prayer Template
                                             Pastor Larry Kroon
                                            Wasilla Bible Church
                                              February 27, 2011

What we're gonna do today is we're gonna take a break from our Sunday study schedule. We have been working
through a pretty definite structure to our messages this summer on a definite schedule...or this winter on a definite
schedule...and today we're gonna take a break from that. You know, this isn't a class, it's a church. And I'm not a
professor, I'm a pastor. And sometimes you need to stop and deal with congregational situations, and that's what
we need to do today. And so we're not going to go in our normal, steady direction. I need to deal with something
congregational, a situation.

Starting last December it was like I rounded a corner, both pastorally and then also as a's like we
rounded a corner and got hit with a headwind. It's the only way I can describe it. It's just one of those things that
happens when I'm riding a bicycle and I round a corner and then BOOM, there's a headwind and man, I can't hardly
pedal another stroke. And yet, you've got to. That's the road ahead. And you just think, 'Oh boy, the wind's gonna
die down', but it doesn't. Instead, it just gets stronger. And that's what it's been like the past eight - nine weeks.
We have had a wave of cancer cases unlike anything I've seen in the pastorate in my time here. We have had
seven people diagnosed and now under treatment for cancer just since December. We now have over fifteen
people in our congregation that I know of, and there's people that I may not know of—we have at least fifteen
people in our congregation who have been diagnosed and are under ongoing treatment for cancer. And it's
just been just keeps coming at you. Last Sunday night the Johnsons went to bed with their husband and
father in Albuquerque, New Mexico on a job, and they wake up Monday morning to find out he's going into surgery
and he may not make it through the day. He weathered that surgery, he's alive today, and they're waiting for
results to come back on tests. But they removed a tumor about three inches by three inches from his stomach. It's
been that type of stretch for the past eight or nine weeks. And I find, pastorally, when that happens that we don't
need theological discussion.

We've got two books out on the shelf in our book section out in the foyer that are by one of my favorite authors. His
name is Os Guinness. The one book is called “Unspeakable”, and the other is called “God in the Dark”. The first is
written in response to the question of evil—why is it, how do we respond to it, that problem that always confronts us
when we see good people suffering horrible things. And we wrestle with that whole question of evil. The other is a
book of dealing with how does faith weather those dark times. This isn't the time to read either one of those books.
You read those books when things are calm, and you can be reflective and you can put pieces together. That isn't
the kind of time we're in right now.

What we need in a time like this is what I call a directional verse, a word from God—not through some author, but
from God—that our hearts can grip and hold, and we can live it out without having to be wondering all kinds of
theological questions. We just know the truth and we're going to live it. And God provides those for us in these
circumstances. One of the verses that has become most precious to me, and it came during the darkest time I can
remember going through, and I'm wresting with all these other questions, and God gave me this verse to hang onto.
And it's the last verse in 1 Corinthians 13. There's just one short little verse right at the end of that, and it just
simply says, “These three things remain,” 'these three things last'. Paul had described a whole lot of things that
don't last, that fade away, that die, that go away. But he says, 'These three things will remain. These three things
will last.' And he mentions 'em—faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love. And out of the recesses of
my memory and my history that is a verse I've heard over and over throughout the years. You almost hear it at
every wedding. In the darkest time God brings that verse up to me and I hear His call, 'Just live this right now.
Choose faith, live hope, and really care about the people around you. Not in a generic way. Choose faith and the
reality of Jesus Christ, who died on the cross, being present with you right now. Live expectant hope that is fixed
on the promise of Jesus' return, and the grace that will be revealed to us at that moment. And keep your heart
engaged to care like Jesus cared, instead of shrinking in in self-absorption.' He will give you those kinds of
directional verses. It may be something you come across in your reading. It may be a verse that a friend shares
with you, or you hear in a sermon, or it may be out of the recesses of your memory God will bring a word to you
from Scripture, and your heart will grip it. It's not a time for theology and discussion. It's time for directive verses.
And even before that it is a time for focused prayer—deliberate, careful, focused prayer.

     The Lord's Prayer: A Prayer Template     Pastor Larry Kroon      Wasilla Bible Church
When we think of communication patterns...I'll use an analogy here. When you think of communication patterns,
you know we have text messages where you just simply, quickly let somebody know 'I'm headed here. Where are
you going? Can we meet there?' Those kind of things. You know, so many words long, and not even hardly a full
sentence. And then there's those more explanatory emails, where we kinda get the facts out and we send those
off. And then there's those hand-crafted letters, where we go heart-to-heart with someone. In these kind of times
we will send God text messages, there will be explanatory emails. What is really needed is we craft our prayer
heart-to-heart with God.

There's a psalm that I really love. It's found in Psalms 5. There's psalms that are called evening psalms written for
God's people in the evening; there's psalms that were written for the morning. This is one of the morning psalms,
and in there in verse 3 of chapter 5 of Psalms it says

        In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice;
        In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.

And I love that phrase right there. He says “I will order my prayer before You.” The one who wrote this is David.
He was a warrior king, the greatest king in Israel's history, the hero that everybody looks back to, who guided Israel
through its most crisis moments. And yet, he was a man who would get up in the morning and write poetry to God.
It's amazing. It's what I mean by going heart-to-heart. Prepare your prayer. Order it. Go careful with it.

Gonna try to help you do that today, and I'm gonna give you a template, a pattern to follow in prayer as you go and
go heart-to-heart with God. This specific pattern is one that I absolutely love because what we're gonna do is we're
gonna go to the words of Jesus, ok? You don't need my words about prayer. I'm gonna follow the words of Jesus.
And the really exciting thing about this template and this prayer is as you follow these words you will also pray the
heart of Jesus. You know, our hearts get so confused and so at a loss, and this particular prayer channels our
heart in the very channels that the heart of Jesus loves. So we're gonna take a look at it today as a template, as a

It's found in Matthew 6:9-13, and I'm gonna encourage you to open your Bibles there with me for a second. And as
you do so, and when I begin to read it...we're gonna read through're gonna recognize it immediately. It is
probably the most repeated and the most memorized passage of Scripture in all the Bible. This is a passage I've
heard at weddings, I've heard it at funerals, I've heard it at graduations, I've heard it as new births, I've heard it at
celebrations for birthdays, I've heard it just about anywhere and everywhere. Ok? It's a prayer that Jesus gave His
disciples, and He taught it to them more than once. This is the first time we know of that He taught it. We know
that later they came to Him another time and they said, “Teach us how to pray.” And I can almost picture Jesus
kinda sighing for a second and saying, “I already did.” But He didn't say that. What He did is He just went ahead
and taught 'em this prayer again. It reads like this, and I'll read the intro verses to it where He introduces it, and
then we'll read the actual prayer. It says

        “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the
        synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly,” Jesus says, “I say
        to you that they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the
        door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

        And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will
        be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before
        you ask Him. Pray then like this:”

And here's the pattern, the template:

                 “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 [our sins],
                         as we also have forgiven our debtors [those who have sinned against us].
                 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

That's a template, that's a pattern; you need to hear it that way. It's not just a set of words that is meant to be
memorized by rote, and you pray thoughtlessly, and anytime situations become more difficult and more crisis-
oriented you just pray it more times. That's not the idea here. It's a template, it's a pattern to give you a structure
as you go heart-to-heart with God. It provides an outline. The thing, and important thing, to see about it and how

     The Lord's Prayer: A Prayer Template     Pastor Larry Kroon      Wasilla Bible Church
it's put together in the structure of it, is it does do exactly what I said earlier. It does reflect the heart of Jesus;
specifically it reflects the heart of Jesus toward God the Father, and it reflects the heart of Jesus to us. Jesus, to
me, is by far the most astounding person in the universe. He's the one person who not only taught but lived out
love of all the heart, the soul, and the mind towards God. And not only has He loved God and continues to love
God with all His being, He also...Jesus also loves us as Himself. He has the perfect heart toward God and toward
us. And that's what He brings to this prayer.

The first part of it are three requests that address and express His heart towards God, His commitment to God.
And it starts with Him saying a request, a petition, with respect to God's name. And the word...and this is probably
the most confusing part of this whole prayer, where Jesus says “Pray like this, 'Hallowed be Your name.'” And I find
people wondering 'What is that about?' Number one, it is not a statement, it is a request. He is not saying, 'Your
name is hallowed.' What He is saying is 'Hallow your name'. And the question is what does He mean by 'Hallow
your name'? The best way to put it is this way. What He is saying is 'Demonstrate Your excellence in such a way
that people see it and we hear them praise You.' Now that's a mouthful, but it unpackages the word 'hallowed'. It
means, 'Father, show Your excellence so that people see it, experience it, and come away praising You. Not Me,
not someone else...they see You and they praise You.' That's the first request, is 'God, show Your excellence so
that You're the One that's praised in this situation, this circumstance.'

The next request relates to His kingdom, and He puts it this way. He says, “Your kingdom come...”, and the idea
here is twofold. Number one, 'Exercise Your rule right here and now. God, You take charge of this situation. I am
not gonna try and be Your boss. It's Your call, God. You exercise Your authority over all things in this situation.'
And not only is it the idea of 'You exercise Your authority, God,' it's 'Father, extend Your kingdom, your rule.
Father, Your kingdom come.'

The third one follows right up on that, and it's the idea of His will. “Your will be done.” And what we're talking about
here is not just His purposes, not just His plans, but God's desire, His heart, what He really wants. And so the
petition is going like this: 'Father, show Your excellence in such a way that people see it and praise you, by
exercising Your sovereign rule in this situation to accomplish exactly what You want done.' That's the first three
petitions, and they express our Lord's heart towards the Father. I believe this is the sort of prayer Jesus prayed
constantly. In fact, in the Garden prior to His death, the final part of His prayer is “Not My will, but Yours.” That's
His heart towards the Father.

There's three other requests that follow that, and they express His heart towards us. This is the beauty, the
wonder, the mystery of He can love God so deeply and profoundly, and love us so deeply and
profoundly, and bring that all together in one person. And when He comes to His heart for us, His first lead is for
our provision, the things that we need. He puts it this way: “Give us this day our daily bread.” 'Give us what we
need today.' And I wanna underscore 'this day', right now. Jesus...and I don't like this phrase because it sounds so
trendy, but Jesus was really in the now. Ok? He's the one...I don't know if you realize it, but He's the one who
taught us saying, 'Don't worry about tomorrow. Today's got enough worries of its own. Take care of today and
there'll be other worries that show up tomorrow, and we'll address those.' He's very focused on 'Today provide the
grace that's sufficient, that will satisfy and will sustain.' The fact that He speaks of it this way, by the way, indicates
that, you know what, this is a prayer we ought to be praying daily, even for our daily bread. We cannot presume on
our ability. We rely on God. Give us this day our daily bread.

The second one is for our pardon. And when He addresses this we need to grasp that the power of this prayer is
not rooted in our perfection, ok? The tendency is to feel that this prayer will only be effective if our faith is strong
enough, if our hope is fixed enough, and if our hearts are absolutely pure in terms of concern for others. You're not
that perfect. Your faith may be stumbling, your hope fading, and your love shrinking. And this prayer will still be
answered because of the heart of Jesus—His faith, His hope, and His love. So what you do as you pray is you just
simply acknowledge where you're at. You say, “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner. My faith isn't what it should be,
my hope isn't what it should be, my heart isn't what it should be. Father, have mercy.” And as you pray that, you
enjoy the renewal that comes with His grace and mercy.

Third request for us, the last one in the list of petitions, is our protection. He puts it this way. He say, “Do not lead
us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” And I put the word 'protection' there; it's really too weak. The better
word here would be 'deliverance', but I wanted three 'P's in a row. Ok? And if you don't care about alliteration you
can go with the word 'deliverance' and you'll be more biblically accurate. Ok? What we're talking about is we're
talking about looking at the situation and saying...bottom line is you're saying, 'God, don't let evil win. Don't let evil
win. Don't let the sickness, don't let the suffering, don't let the enemy, don't let this circumstance, don't let this
situation...don't let it win. Don't let it destroy my faith. Don't let it destroy my hope. And don't let it turn my heart

     The Lord's Prayer: A Prayer Template      Pastor Larry Kroon      Wasilla Bible Church
inward with bitterness and self-centeredness. Don't let evil win. And when this is done, may me and mine still
stand with faith, still stand with hope, and still stand with hearts engaged. God, don't let evil win.'

That's the prayer. Question is, when we look at it, when we pray it, what will we see? See, I'm gonna encourage
you to take it from here and pray it in your circumstance, your setting, your situation. And I'm gonna encourage you
to pray it; get all alone. That's what Jesus was talking about when He introduced this prayer. He said, 'Get alone,
just you and God.' And then I'm gonna encourage you to follow these words. Take 'em as your outline and fill in
the other things that you would fill in with 'em as you go. But start by just simply saying 'Lord, I'm here to pray
about...' and you name the situation, you name the concern, you name the difficulty. And then you start working
through this outline and you pray that His name will be hallowed, His kingdom will come, and in this situation His
will will be done, that you'll have what you need, you'll experience His mercy, and there will be deliverance...evil will
not win. You pray that and the thing is as you pray it you're gonna find that you don't have enough words to say it.
You can't put it fully to express everything in your heart. And that's ok, because we're told in Scripture that the
Spirit of God will help us in those times. It'll take us beyond our words, and there will be times where literally you
groan as you work through this, and your heart just pours out and you can't even verbalize it. And I'm gonna
encourage you to do that.

But the question remains—what will you see, what can you expect? The psalm writer in the original verse we used
at the start of the day said, 'I will order my day before you , and then I'll watch.' When we pray like this, when we
order our prayers and we go heart-to-heart with God, we should watch. And we will see...we will see two things.
Let me preface those two things with this statement—you will see these two things more clearly than ever before.

One of our cancer patients wrote me an email recently. She reminded me of a story I told years ago and brought it
right back as if it'd happened today. It's a story I told in a sermon when we, as a family, we were going through
probably one of our darkest times as a family, with a health issue with my daughter. And I remember the spot in my
home. I was up in my upstairs office at home, and I was praying and I was just pouring out my heart. And I was
just wrestling with all the confusion and everything else going on. And I'd actually started to cry, and I don't do that
a lot, but I had started to cry and I was at the end of myself, praying. And then I just, finally, I settled down; I was
done praying. I opened my eyes, and my head was down like this [ shows position of head], and when I opened my
eyes the hairs on my arm looked like trees, and the little pores on my skin looked like canyons, craters. And it
caught me so odd, I jerked like that [makes jerking motion]. And I'm lookin' at it and suddenly, deep within, there was
this 'unvoiced' words. And I know...I mean, these are weird experiences for me. I rarely have this. But it was like
God just simply saying, 'You will see more clearly through tears.' And I blinked and sure enough, the tears in my
eyes had formed an optical effect that had magnified everything on my arm. And as we walked through that time as
a family I saw these two things more clearly than I have ever seen them before or since. And the lady who sent me
the email was saying, 'That's my story, too.'

The two things...number one, you will see what really matters. You will see what really, really matters, and there'll
be so many things that fade into the background. And you will come out of this knowing what ultimately counts, and
you will cherish it. Number two, and this is what makes these such life-changing times for us, is you will see the
excellence of God more clearly than you've ever seen it before. He will answer the heart of Jesus, and He will work
in your life in personal ways, ways that others would not even be cognizant of or aware of. He will work in your life
in ways to show you the reality of His presence and His excellence. And He will do that in life, and He will do that in
death. He will do that in any and every circumstance. So I'm gonna encourage you to pray it. We're in a season
with a heavy head wind. I encourage you to pray it, whether you're at the very center of the storm or you're a friend
of a friend of a friend who's going through this. Get alone and pray the heart of Jesus, following His words to the
heart of our Father. Let's stand.

Almost three years ago we felt a stirring within our congregation...that's the best way I can put it. We always saw
this passage in Scripture that gave us our calling as a church, the passage that says we're the salt of the earth,
we're the light of the world. Jesus said His followers are called to be that, to give witness to His reality, and we take
that calling seriously. But about three years ago there was a stirring in our congregation to say 'You know what?
We wanna live that out more deliberately and purposefully than ever before.' And we wrestled with 'Well, where do
we go with that?' And the Lord stirred among us and He gave us a prayer, and we committed at that time to pray
this prayer for a thousand days. And every Sunday we pray it. Three years ago, when we first sang this song, we
first committed to this road, we had no idea what the future would be. We had no idea. We did not see this time
coming. We're committed to this prayer. So I'll ask you to join me.

[Congregation sings the prayer for witness song and is dismissed.]

     The Lord's Prayer: A Prayer Template       Pastor Larry Kroon    Wasilla Bible Church

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