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Watch 2022 online sermons » Dr. Tony Evans » Tony Evans - The Paternity Of Prayer

Tony Evans - The Paternity Of Prayer


Tony Evans - The Paternity Of Prayer
Tony Evans - The Paternity Of Prayer
TOPICS: The Lord's Prayer, Prayer

"Where were you? If you would have been here," she said, "this thing wouldn't have happened". The blood of Christ has given believers a passport to enter into a realm that is closed to the general public. Prayer is how you show your passport. God has given so much clout to prayer that's relationally-driven to draw heaven into history, that he will even allow prayer to change his mind. The disciples never asked Jesus to teach them to preach, to teach them to do miracles. The one thing they did ask him is, "Will you teach us to pray"? If you pursue a relationship and bring your needs along with that in your secret place, you will hear from God 'cause God will hear from you. "Ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock and it will be opened to you". Don't let things that God is willing to change go unchanged because we refuse to meet him in a private place.

Now, the Lord's Prayer is divided into a very simple flow, two halves, if you will. The first half is concerned with God. "Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done". It's about thy or you. The second half is about us. "Our daily bread. Our trespasses. Lead us not into temptation". So, the first half is all about God. The second half is about you. And then, of course, he closes it with prayer about God again. "Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever, amen". So, it's God, us, God. What leads Jesus into this prayer from verse 8 is his statement that God knows our needs. Your Father already knows before you ask what you're coming in to talk about.

So, prayer is not an informational session to inform God. He says, "I already know what you want to talk about. I just want to know, do you want to talk to me about it"? Here's the key. Just because God knows something doesn't mean he will act on it. He has knowledge of everything, but some things he will not act on until there is relational communication with him about it. So, his knowledge does not equal his action. Jesus says, "Pray in this way," in verse 9. "Pray like this". This is really not a prayer to be repeated word for word. It is really a framework, a guide for praying. Today, we want to look at verse 9, for verse 9 is pregnant with principles for prayer. First of all, our Father, our Father. Point, you are not an only child. It's not just your Daddy. It's our Father. But he is Father. He is Father. Let's talk about that. You only have a father 'cause you've got kids. That's what makes you a father.

Everybody who has accepted Christ, John 1:12, has been made a son, or a child, or daughter of God. So, you have a Father. So, when you approach God in prayer, he wants you to approach him relationally, not just God way up there, but Daddy up in here. He wants a relational communication as a Father. First of all, he is Father by position. Because in the Scripture, the Father was the head of the home. "I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob," the breakdown of the Father. God always did his covenants through the Father, because the Father held the post of responsibility. So, if you are a man here, God holds you in ultimate place of responsibility for your home by position and for your children. Maybe you didn't know that, but every man here needs to know.

In the Bible, it is the father's responsibility to raise the children, not the mother. The job of the mother is to help and fill in the gaps when the father can't be there, because that is your role. So, if the father doesn't own it, you may be father by title, but you're not father by position, because you're not carrying out the rearing responsibility that belongs ultimately, certainly with the help of the wife, but ultimately belongs in the hands of the man. The most beautiful thing is that if we start with our heavenly Father, he takes responsibility for all of his children and for all of us who name the name of Jesus Christ. He owns that. God owns that, because that's what fathers do.

In addition to that position of raising the children, his job is to provide. God told Adam, before he gave him a family, "I'm going to make you a provider, and I'm going to provide for you. So, I'm going to provide for you, so that you can provide for them. Because I'm your Daddy, I want you to be their daddy. In addition to the position and the provider was the protection". He says, "You are to guard the garden. And if you guard the garden, under me, I'm going to guard you. I'll guard you while you guard the garden, and you cover the family". So, it was the God fathering Adam. Adam was to father the family, and Adam was to get his clues of fathering from God. If you start with your human father, and your human father wasn't a father worth following, and you transfer that to God, you have a bad attitude toward God because you had a bad situation with your human father.

And so our heavenly Father has a position. He is a provider. He is a protector. And that's who you talk to when you pray. Our Father. The second thing you need to know is our Father who art in heaven. Translation, our Father who's not on earth. Your Father is a heavenly Father. Now, this is critical, because you and I live on earth, and on earth we operate by our five senses, and we are limited by time and space, 'cause we're earthbound. Let me tell you something about your Daddy. Your Daddy is not subject to the limitations of time and space, because your Daddy's house is in heaven. Daniel 4:26 says heaven rules over earth. So, what you need to know when you pray to your unseen Father is that he's very much operative. He's in heaven, and heaven overrules earth.

So, therefore, the limitations of your earthly father are not the limitations of your heavenly Father, 'cause your earthly father is as bound to earth as you are, but your heavenly Father is not. Therefore, if you put all of your marbles on your earthly father, with their limitations, you're going to miss out on the potency of your heavenly Father, who is not subject to this world order. I'm glad to know that earthly fathers don't have the last word. So, if you were raised without a father, if you were raised with an abusive father, if you were raised with a neglected father, I want you to know right now that that earthly father doesn't have the last say-so over your life, over your recovery, over your stability, over your provision, 'cause your daddy got a Daddy who is in heaven; that is, he operates out of a whole different realm.

Now, when Jesus was on earth, he prayed to God as his Father. Every time Jesus prayed, he prayed relationally. In fact, the only time that I've seen in Scripture where Jesus prayed and called his Father God was when he died on the cross. "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me"? Every other time, he calls him Father. The reason he has to call him God on the cross is, he's covered with our sin. So, there's no fellowship with the Father. So, he's gotta have him way out there as the transcendent God. But when he was walking on earth, he called him Father. This is why I love John chapter 20, verse 17, because John chapter 20, verse 17 says, he tells his disciples, "I am going to my Father". He's getting ready to leave earth and go to heaven. "I am going to my Father". But then he says, "and yours".

Ooh, wait a minute. "I'm not only going to my Daddy. I'm going to your Daddy, too". Now, why do you need to know that? You need to know that, because what Jesus was telling them, that he's telling us is, "The same help that my Daddy gave me when I'm on earth, now that I'm leaving, he makes available to you 'cause you're as much of his kid as I am". The Bible says that Jesus Christ is seated on the right hand of the Father in heaven. And guess what it says in Ephesians chapter 2, verse 6. We are seated with him. So, the same level of intimacy, based on God's will, that he had with Jesus, he says he wants to have with you, if you relate to him as Daddy. Our Father who is in heaven, who operates out of that realm. But I'm praying because I need you in this realm.

And then he comes to it. Here it is. "Hallowed be thy name". Hallowed be thy name. The Greek word "hallowed" means to be sacred, separated, and unique. It's to treat as one of a kind. It's to treat as special, a class by itself. It's from one of the cognates of the word "holy," to be separate, unique, special. Daddy, there's nobody like you. When you know the price God paid for your salvation, for your deliverance, it shouldn't be a problem hallowing his name. That means to put it in a class by itself. He's not to be treated like just another deity or just another greater. No, you are diminishing his name. That's why the third commandment says don't take the name of the Lord in vain. That means don't not hallow his name. Don't treat his name as ordinary. The word vain means empty, with no real reason. You're just throwing it out and not recognizing the significance of it.

Okay. I've said this before, but to understand this idea of hallowing, making it sacred, treating it like it's unique. Hallowed be your name. So, that means we've gotta talk about his name. Now, the Bible does not use names like we use them. We use names because we like them. We name our kids maybe after somebody or because we like the sound of that name. That's how we do it. But in the Bible, typically, names were tied to meanings. So, kids were named by a parent based on the meaning of the word. When God wanted to express himself, he does it through name, including his own. So, the better you know his name, now, we know the name God. Okay? Okay, but that is a generic umbrella name, okay? I want to break it down. Break it down. In my book on the names of God, I have in the back listed 85 names in the Old Testament for God, 85 names, because those names have meaning.

So, when he says, "Hallowed be your name," if you don't know his name, you can't hallow him. To put it another way, the better you know his name, the more you can hallow him, because you'll have more information on your daddy. So, let's go over God's names. First of all is the name Elohim. That's the name in Genesis 1. In the beginning Elohim, God, created the heavens and the earth. Normally, in the Bible, when you see G-O-D, God, it typically is referring to Elohim. That is the Creator God. Now, Elohim is a plural term. "Im" is plural. "El" is strong one. The context of Elohim, "In the beginning God created the heaven and earth," discusses God as the Creator God. This is his power name. So, El or Elohim is his power name. He creates with that name.

Now you need to know that name because you're gonna need power in your life. You're going to need God to do something. So, let me tell you a little bit about Elohim's power. The Bible says in Hebrews chapter 11, verse 3, that God created out of things which do not appear. We call it in theology, ex nihilo, which means out of nothing. So, God made the heavens and earth without having any raw material to work with. He created creation out of nothing. Now, your children are being lied to in school by being taught the evil doctrine and religion of evolution, 'cause it is a religion. The religion of evolution, or what I call fairy tales for adults, says that nothing produced everything. They even have this ignorant theory out there called the big bang theory, where there's an explosion bringing the universe into existence.

Well, have you ever seen a bomb explode something and everything fall back down to be unified? Blow up a building, but all the bricks are gonna fall back down and be in place. Okay? This is, this is because men don't want to have to answer to God, so they've gotta come up with a theory that keeps God out of the issue, because they don't hallow his name. Why do you need to know his name is Elohim? Because you need to know that God can do stuff without you knowing, or seeing, or having any idea of how he gonna pull it off, 'cause he doesn't need raw materials to do what he's going to do. He can do what he's going to do when you don't know how he's going to do it. That's why God had to tell Mary, when he told Mary, "You're going to have a baby, even though you're a virgin". She says, "That doesn't make sense. There's no sperm involved here. There's no man involved here. What you just said can't happen".

The angel looked at her and said, "You don't know his name. Let me explain something. Nothing is impossible with God. He's Elohim. He doesn't need raw materials, if he plans to pull it off anyway". When you know your Daddy is so big that he doesn't have to have raw materials, you don't have to be able to figure it out, you don't have to understand how he's gonna hook it up, because your Daddy is so big, he can bypass raw material to pull off answered prayer, that's the Daddy you want to talk to. Second name, foundational name, Jehovah or Yahweh. That is the name God gave himself. When you read your Bible, and you see capital L, capital O, capital R, capital D, that is typically Jehovah or Yahweh. That is God's relational name. It's his covenant name. It's his connect with you name.

Moses asked, "Who shall I say sent me"? He says, "You tell them I AM THAT I AM". That's the Tetragrammaton. The Tetragrammaton is the four letters. These were four letters, and these four letters, consonants. That's why they had to add vowels so that we could pronounce it Yahweh or Jehovah. He said, "I AM THAT I AM. I'm not what you want me to be. I AM WHO I AM. I AM a relational God". You have to understand God, that's why he uses Father, is a relational being. So, if you don't want a relate to Jehovah, you may not get the benefit of Elohim. See, everybody wants Elohim. Show me your power. But not a lot of folk want Jehovah. Give me the relationship. And God won't give you all of Elohim if you don't want none of Jehovah.

You don't want to spend time with him. You don't want to get to know him. You don't want to study him. You don't want to learn him. You don't want to apply him. You don't want to interact with him. You don't want to include him. But you want the blessing, you want the power, you want the deliverance. Uh-uh. His name is Jehovah when it comes to relational expression of Elohim. That's why in Genesis chapter 1, the only name in Genesis 1 is Elohim, 'cause he's creating the stars, and the moon, and the sun, and the animals. He's doing all that. But in chapter 2, verse 4, when he begins creating people, you don't read Elohim anymore by itself. You read Jehovah Elohim or as you'll see it in the Bible, the Lord God, the Lord God, the Lord God. Why? Because man would see Elohim when he got connected with Jehovah.

So, if you want to see more power, get closer to Daddy, because Daddy is the one who dispenses the Elohim power of God. Don't have a long distance with God and expect close-up deliverance, close-up blessing, close-up fire, close-up protection, close-up provision, but you keep a long distance from your Daddy. No, he wants to be Jehovah. Then the third foundational name is Adonai. Adonai, when you read your Bible, is capital L, small o, small r, small d. Capital L, small o, small r, small d. That is typically Adonai. Adonai means your boss, your manager, your supervisor, your owner, the one in charge of you. That's Adonai. So, Elohim is his power. Jehovah is his relationship. And Adonai means that he's in charge of you.

So, if you don't want God telling you what to do, don't be calling on Elohim, and don't be thinking you're getting close to your Jehovah, 'cause he is in charge. He wants to call the shots. The greatest insult you can give to God is when he clearly says something, and you tell him what you think. "Let God be true," Scripture says, "and let every man be a liar". So, whenever you, your people, your mama, your daddy, your auntie, your uncle, your posse disagrees with God, everybody wrong, because this name has no imperfection associated with it. We think about understanding it, then applying it, but never determining it; and the worst insult a Christian can give their Father is, "Daddy, you don't know what you're talking about".

That is not hallowing his name. Just some of the key Scriptures about the name of God, some of the key Scriptures that we need to be aware of. He says, for example, in Psalm 34, verse 1 and verse 3, we are to magnify the name. He says in Hebrews 13, verses 15, he says that you are to give thanks for God's name. He says in 2 Timothy 2:19, he says, "When you go public, you ought to wear God's name". He says in Psalm 8, verse 1 and verse 9, "O magnify the Lord with me. Let us exalt his name together". He says in Psalm 111, verse 9, "Awesome is his name". And if his name is awesome, nobody else's name is. He says, "Awesome is his name". He says in Psalm 29, verses 1 and 2, "Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name". The Bible says, "From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, may the name of the Lord be praised".

In Proverbs 18, verse 10, he says, "The name of the Lord is a strong tower, and anyone who runs into it will find safety". So, we're not just talking about nomenclature. We're talking about a name above every name. And guess what? The greatest name in the world is your Daddy. The most powerful name in the world is your heavenly Father. So, you ought to magnify the name. That's not just being emotional.

See, emotionalism is when you're making a lot of noise about nothing. But true emotion is when you're making a big deal about something. So, when God does something in your life, 'cause you joined him in prayer, then you are to hallow his name. And then all the combination names, we don't have to go into it, but, oh, if you run out of provision, he's Jehovah Jireh. He's the Lord who provides. If you're being attacked, he's Jehovah Nissi, the Lord is my banner who gives me victory. If you're in turmoil, he's Jehovah Shalom, 'cause he's the God who brings peace. If somebody over you is treating you wrong, he's El Elyon, the Most High God. That means that whoever messed over you doesn't have the last say over you, 'cause it's somebody over them.

If you're going through a struggle, and you don't have enough strength, he's El Shaddai. He's God Almighty. He can pull the weight when you can't pull it. If nobody knows what you're going through, 'cause you're going through by yourself, He's El Roi. He's the God who sees, and he knows what you're dealing with. Now, we could go on, and on, and on. My whole point is he's got a name for your every situation. But I know you won't remember 85 names, and you may even forget the three names, but if you forget how to technically call the name, just do what the old folks used to do. 'Cause they would see he's the doctor in a sick room. He's the lawyer in a court room. He's the balm in Gilead when you're sick. He's the rose of Sharon. He's the bright and morning star.

If you can't remember the name, just describe the person. And then when you see him show up, and the power of hallowing his name, as you treat him as Father, do like the team will do when the defense scores. They just go, and they do that. They say, "Give it up, give it up". What they're saying is, "I want everybody to join me in celebration of what just happened". When you discover the heavenly Father, and what he can do, you better not keep it to yourself. You better give it up. You better give it up. You better give it up. You better give it up and give him the glory due his holy name.

I'm standing here at the Cliff of Mohers, a beautiful, scenic demonstration of the power of God in creation. Standing over the Atlantic Ocean here at the western edge of Europe in Ireland, you can see how great our God is by seeing how powerful he is through the things that he has made. The heavens and earth declare the glory of God, and that's why we pray to him, because anybody this great and this good deserves to be consulted with on every area of life, and that's why we call him Father.
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