Elements City Church
Sermon on the Mount - Week 7 - Your Prayer Life
The Sermon on the Mount is the most famous sermon Jesus ever preached. It derives its name from the place where Jesus preached it; a mountainside that acted as a natural amphitheater along the shores of Galilee. The Sermon on the Mount, preached to ordinary people, covers a wide range of topics like prayer, fasting, money, worry, forgiveness, anger, lust, judging others, and more. But the theme that unites it all is Jesus explaining the heart of God behind His given Law. It is one of the most challenging biblical texts to interpret properly because the Sermon goes far deeper than promoting external obedience to God’s moral imperatives or simple behavior modification. Every line of the Sermon goes to the heart of discipleship. The Sermon offers a clear understanding of what a blessed life that is pleasing to God looks like from the inside out. What Jesus taught often runs counter to mainstream thinking, but every lesson is brimming with heavenly wisdom and practical instruction that leads us into a flourishing life.
Locations & Times
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  • Elements City Church
    1825 N Alvernon Way, Tucson, AZ 85712, USA
    Sunday 5:00 PM

Thanks for joining us!

Whether you're on-site or online, we are praying that tonight will be an encouragement to your soul. May God whisper to you and help you in taking your next steps in a journey with Him. If you're new, we'd love to have you fill out our connection card.

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It's here in the Sermon on the Mount -- found in Matthew 5-7 -- that King Jesus gives us a radical picture of what life in His Kingdom looks like. And it’s our hope that, as we meditate on Jesus’s words, we might become people who more closely follow His Way and experience a life that truly flourishes in the process.
The Sermon so far:
Beatitudes (Matt 5:1-12)
Salt and Light (vs. 13-16)
How to Have Kingdom Righteousness in Following the Law (vs. 17-48)
we continue in the next section of the Sermon:
How to Have Kingdom Righteousness in Practicing Your Faith (Matt 6:1-21)
Prayer: it's all about our connection with God
The rare Greek word battalogeo, used here in combination with ‘many words’ (polulogia), is likely referring to the habit of pagan prayers, which ‘by accumulating ‘titles’ for God or 'babbling’ — repetition of phrases over and over…

The ultimate reason Jesus’ followers are not supposed to pray like the babbling gentiles is because they have a heavenly Father who KNOWS THEIR NEEDS BEFORE THEY EVEN PRESENT THEM. (MATTHEW 6:8)

THIS REALITY changes how we engage in prayer completely. We come to align, connect with and receive from our Good Heavenly Father.
Quote:
“Prayer does not seek to draw God toward us,” — “he is closer to us than we are to ourselves.” St. Augustine says. Prayer’s purpose is to bring us close enough to him for dialogue, and to make us aware of his nearness.”
-John Starke, The Possibility of Prayer
Quote:
The Lord’s Prayer stretches from the Father at the beginning to the devil at the end, from heaven to hell, and in between in six brief petitions everything important in life.” -Fredrick Bruner
The prayer begins with identifying God as Father…

“Our Father” — this is now the 9th occurrence of God as Father out of 17 total in the SOTM and — 44 times Matthew refers to God as Father in his gospel account. This is revolutionary concept of God as Father…that Jesus introduces.

That single word sums up the entire basic relationship of the Christian faith: when we come to the Creator of the universe, we are to address him as “Father.”

It is also the answer to the philosophers’ question: Is the universe friendly?
When we say “Father,” we are affirming that at the heart of the universe there is not only ultimate power, but there is ultimate love.

1 John 3:1
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!...”

→ we are not God’s butler, chauffeur, hired hand – we are His KID through faith in Christ! Friend: Always REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE AND WHOSE YOU ARE!!
MT 6:9
hallowed be your name
→ the verb hallowed…means to sanctify, to magnify, to glorify – to revere…
We tend to take this statement as a statement of fact – but it is a request…
it’s Jesus telling us to pray: “Lord, make your name be sanctified” -- you are so holy –– God, let your name get the spotlight, the credit, the attention, the focus.
Matthew 6:10
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.

Ever since the Fall of humanity – God has set out again to redeem, repair and ANNOUNCE this better way of living…getting the way of Heaven closer and closer to earth…it’s in this WAY OF JESUS.

This prayer is not merely for the 2nd coming of Jesus – come and set it right!
=but it is for the spreading of God’s kingdom (his desires, his way) in our here and now - His heart is for things to operate here – more and more like they operate in Heaven!!! We are a part of partnering with him to see it unfold.
N.T. Wright – talks about us (as followers of Jesus) we are God’s ACTIVE AGENTS in this world! Wherever we go, whatever we’re doing, we’re to partner with God in bringing His will/His ways on earth, as in heaven… we’re part of the solution.
Matthew 6:11 — Give us today our daily bread

We’re to live tethered to God’s consistent care of us, looking to Him - more than mastering our stockpiling skills…
Matthew 6:12 forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors

the word for debts here – is only used 2 times in the NT (here, Romans 4:4)…it is clear that Jesus and Matthew intended the word to mean “sins”
• it reflects that all sin – places us in debt to God.

One doesn’t gain forgiveness by forgiving – but a person gives evidence of his/her own forgiveness by forgiving others!
Matthew 6:13 ...and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil

1 Peter 5:8
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

This isn’t only: “Lord, keep us from being naughty” – this is recognizing that the enemy of our souls would destroy us if he could. And what he wants to do is separate us from God and lie to us:
– to convince us that God is not a Father but an enemy
– that our names have to be established –
– that our little kingdoms matter –
– that we have to go out and hustle to get our needs met –
– that bitterness and un-forgiveness is the way to live life…

we are in a battle → temptation is always lurking to pull us away & and put a rift b/t us and our Heavenly Father! So be alert and pray for His wisdom, protection and strength!

book: The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis

Thanks for partnering with us!

Thank you for enabling us to be the Church in our city! Your gifts help fuel the mission of Elements City Church, as well as our capacity to share His love with as many as we can. You help us bring the HOPE and LIGHT of Jesus to our city! You can give online at the link below or through the Elements app.

http://elementscitychurch.org/give
Whether you joined us on-site or online, thanks for being with us tonight!
May you have a blessed week ahead!

Join us next week as we continue our series in the Sermon on the Mount.

Be sure to check the Elements app for upcoming events.

We look forward to gathering again next weekend!