Prayer is one of the most important aspects of the Christian’s life. It is more than just letting God know about our wants and desires, it is fellowshipping with the divine. Through prayer we are able to hear the voice of God speak to our hearts and guide us through life. Jesus gave His disciples the foundation and principles of effective prayer in the sermon on the mount. So let us humble ourselves to truly hear what He taught and not be misled by tradition or false religion. May we all pray and commune with the Father as Jesus taught!


TEXT

Matthew 6:5-18, “5 And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 

9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. 16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Parallel Passage: Luke 11:1-4.


SERIES TERMS

  1. SERMON ON THE MOUNT: The longest single portion of Jesus’ teaching found in Matthew 5-7 that serves as the foundation of Christian morality and spiritual practice. #KingdomBasics 
  2. DISCIPLES: Born again committed students and followers of Jesus Christ.
  3. KINGDOM OF GOD/HEAVEN: The active rule and reign of Jesus in one’s life and upon the earth with kingdom blessings. The kingdom is all about the King!

INTERPRETATION

  1. DON’T PRAY TO BE SEEN: The Jewish hypocrites would only pray in public to be seen by men to appear holy, however, Jesus taught to have a private devotional life of prayer, vs. 5-6.
  2. DON’T BABBLE WHEN YOU PRAY: The pagans would repeat their prayers and chants over and over again hoping to be heard by their god, however, Jesus taught to pray from the heart, vs. 7-8.
  3. PRAY ACCORDING TO JESUS’ EXAMPLE: The “Our Father Prayer” was Jesus’ general outline of how to pray as His disciple, vs. 9-13.
  4. FORGIVENESS IS ESSENTIAL TO EFFECTIVE PRAYING: Jesus taught that if you don’t forgive others you won’t be forgiven, therefore, always forgive those who sin against you, vs. 14-15.
  5. FAST IN PRIVATE: Like with prayer, Jesus warned against public hypocritical fasting and commanded private consecration to the Father, vs. 16-18.

APPLICATION

  1. HAVE A PERSONAL DEVOTIONAL LIFE: Avoid hypocrisy, religious prayers, and shallow worship. Make a habit of praying an hour a day just between you and God.
  2. DO THE “OUR FATHER PRAYER” WORKOUT: (i) Our Father: Start with worship and adoration; (ii) Your Kingdom Come: Always pray God’s kingdom and will to be done before asking for your needs to be met, (iii) Give Us: Remember to pray for others as you pray for yourself; (iv) Forgive Us: Always forgive others as you confess your sins; & (v) Lead Us: Ask God to guide your life in righteousness and away from sin, 1 Corinthians 10:13. [(vi) For Yours Is: End with the traditional doxology of praise. “…for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”]
  3. MAKE TIMES OF CONSECRATION UNTO GOD: Set aside times in your life to cut out food, entertainment, and other distractions to get alone with God for extended times of prayer and worship.

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