Study Guide _ The Kingdom Prayer

The Kingdom Prayer

Newbreak’s Sermon Study Guide is an in-house resource that serves sermon-based Life Groups and/or individuals who want to reflect further on how the message contributes to their spiritual formation. In this week’s study, we look at the prayer Jesus gave us (often referred to as the “Lord’s Prayer”). Here we see how this prayer, although succinct and simple, has the power to bring our heavenly Father’s help to us right where we are.

Icebreakers for Life Groups

  • What worship song has been ministering to you lately and why?
  • What prayers have you memorized? Do you find liturgical (public worship) prayers helpful for you? Why or why not?

Going Deeper Into the Message:

How do I pray in a way that I experience heaven on earth?

Read Matthew 6:5–10

Point 1 – Acknowledge that God is our perfect Father.

Here, as always, Jesus is personalizing our relationship with God to His disciples. We don’t know what kind of dynamic the disciples may have had with their earthly fathers, or what kind of disappointments or struggles they may have experienced, but Jesus is letting them know that God is infinitely better than any father could have ever been to us. He is the perfect Father. God was not an idea to be worshipped from afar. He is a Father who wants to have a relationship with us because He is OUR Father. His throne is in heaven, but His heart is with us. His desire is for us to draw close to Him.

Point 2 – Remember that God cannot be second.

God’s name by its very nature is hallowed. He is holy, holy, holy (see Isaiah 6) and His name is to be revered above all names. But that’s not how He is treated a lot of times.

As Jesus is teaching His disciples to pray, He is bringing them back to a place of reverent awe coming before God. Yes, He is our Father. But always remember that He is the one and only God. There is nothing that we bring to the table that makes God anymore or less than His is. There is only us falling on our face at His feet that acknowledges who He is and what that means. We are invited to hallow His name. Jesus is teaching us here that we need to think and live and act in such a way that the name of God is shown to be holy by His children. Jesus is showing us that the name of God should be worshipped here on earth as it is in heaven.

Point 3 – Invite God’s will to be done in my heart, home, and habits.

In this part of the prayer, Jesus is helping us to put God in His rightful position in our lives. It’s His kingdom, not ours. It’s His will to be done, not ours. Jesus wants this to be our mindset as we are obedient to Him here on earth, just as things are in heaven. In heaven there is no sin, no rebelliousness, no selfishness, so we can understand that His will would be done. Here on Earth, that is more difficult. But this is Jesus’ expectation that we strive for. Jesus wants us to do our part here on earth to bring the kingdom of heaven down to earth in the here and now.

Questions for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection

  1. How is it for you to view God as your heavenly father? Does your earthly father make it easier or harder for you to embrace God as your true heavenly father? Be encouraged that God is not simply an improved version of your parents, he is the perfection!
  2. How did this week’s message help you understand what it means to “hallow” God’s name? How would you explain this to a friend who isn’t a Christian?
  3. Does the idea of asking for God’s will to be done encourage you or scare you? How does this prayer influence what happens in your heart, home, and habits?

How do I pray in a way that I experience heaven on earth?

Read Matthew 6:11–13

Point 4 – Recognize that God is my only provider.

A lot of times, especially when things are going well, it is easy to fall into the lie that we provide what we have for ourselves. We go to work or run a business and we earn money for a good or service we provide. Then we go to the store and trade that money for something that we need or want to eat. That eliminates God from the transaction for a bit. Jesus is calling us to remember that it is God who provides for all of our needs, even to our daily provisions of food. He puts the very breath in our lungs so we can wake each morning. He gives our bodies and minds what we need to earn what we do. He allows the rain to fall to grow the food. It’s all Him. Jesus teaches us that we can go to our good, good Father for the things that He knows we need. Not only can we go to Him, but we can, and should, go to Him daily. God will never tire of His children coming to Him and asking Him for food. Unlike earthly parents who may tire of their children coming to them several times a day with the, “I’m hungry” whine, God never tires of His children recognizing that He is the One who provides every good thing for them.

Point 5 – Put reconciliation at the heart of each prayer.

Jesus wants us to always be in a right relationship with God. He doesn’t want us to miss out on that fellowship with the Father. He knows that when we have wronged someone it’s hard to hang out with them in a relaxed way until that is made right. That’s why Jesus teaches here that it’s important to ask for forgiveness each day, maybe a few times a day. This wasn’t a come to the synagogue a few times a year and confess when you sacrifice kind of thing. This teaches us that we need to make things right between ourselves and God daily. When we do this, we have a close intimate relationship that is open and honest and where we feel like we can be real with God.

This is vertical and horizontal. Vertically, forgiveness makes us right with God. Horizontally, forgiveness makes us right with others (or vice versa). We need to forgive others in the same manner that God forgives us. God doesn’t give us forgiveness for the sole purpose of us feeling better. He does it so that we have an example for how to forgive others. Jesus is telling us that if we want the forgiveness of our Father in heaven, we also have to forgive those who have sinned against us.

Point 6 – Ask God to guide my steps.

Lastly, Jesus reminds us that we need to pray for God to lead us where He desires for us to go. We need to recognize that we will be attacked by the evil one and that the only deliverer of that is our Father. Jesus wants us to ask for that deliverance daily. We need to position ourselves in such a way that we know only He can protect us from the trials and tests and attacks that will be coming our way. Why ask for this deliverance? We want this so we can do His will and glorify His name.

Questions for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection

  1. One way to paraphrase the “daily bread” verse is this: “Give us what we need, today and every day.” How does treating God as our only provider influence how we view our needs? What is the difference between praying for our provision and praying for the things that are beyond our “needs”? How might Psalm 23:1 tag along with this verse?
  2. How does God’s unconditional forgiveness inspire us to forgive others unconditionally? How do you discern the difference between forgiveness and re-establishing trust with the person you are forgiving? If you want to dig deeper into this, check out our blog post on trust.
  3. God tests us; Satan tempts us. What is the major (and crucial) difference between these two? How have you seen God’s power “deliver you” from either temptation or from evil?

Final Challenge Questions

  1. How are you going to think or live differently in light of what you have read, heard, and discussed this week?
  2. How does this week’s message shape or nurture your relationship with God?
  3. BONUS: For those of you with kids or around kids: What is one truth from this message that you can share with your kids in a way that they would relate to or understand?

Memorize: Matthew 6:9-13, “This, then, is how you should 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 today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one."

About Our Current Sermon Series

Many of us wait for the glory and hope of heaven. What if God has already begun to bring heaven to earth? This Easter, we celebrate God’s redemptive plan that has brought heaven and earth together! Through Jesus, because of Easter, God launched His kingdom into our world and He gives us the tools to be people of heaven here on earth! Join us for our series “On Earth as in Heaven” as we look at the ways in which Easter has launched something new into the world.