Jesus’ lesson on Prayer
Matthew 6:5-6 “And when thou prayest,
thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the street, that they may be seen of men.
Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut the door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”
This is pretty straight forward,….Jesus said that praying for admiration, or attention from others is not anything God will answer….”they have their reward”……in the applause from others.
But to pray aright, is to go to God “in secret”.
Or where others can not hear, and “shut the door” on the world….and talk to God alone about everything.
Our Father in Heaven, shall hear such a prayer, and will answer you.
(Yes, there are hurried prayers….any where….”Lord, I need calm now…”. Or “Lord, help me say the right thing.”
But the general tenor of our prayers should be between us and God, in the quiet times of our lives….or making quiet times for Him.)
Then Jesus tells us the way in which we should pray…this is not just a form-prayer….pray these words……but the pattern for all prayer….beginning with:
Matthew 6:9 “After this manner therefore pray ye; Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.”
We come before God as our Father….and honor His blessed name, for He is worthy of our praise and of our all.
For it is in His presence, we gather together….and to Him, we ask our requests. (John 16:23)
To praise and honor God, lifts our spiritual affections and prepares our souls to hear from Him concerning our requests.
Philippians 4:6 “Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
Matthew 6:10 “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”
Here is our first request, and we should always consider God’s glory, first……that Christ will rule and reign in us. His kingdom will come “in earth”….in us….for today, and every day.
We are asking that His Holy Spirit work within us….”both to will and do of His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).
Matthew 6:11 “Give us this day our daily bread.”
Here, the Lord, tells us that we should come to Him for all our needs….this includes physical…both health and financial.
For help with our emotional wellbeing,…..and, we should pray for our family and friends, the same way.
This teaches us that the Lord is ever mindful of our days….we should be, too.
Today is important…we may not even know all the things we will need for this day…but we can bring what we know to Him, and commit whatever else the day brings into His hands.
Matthew 6:12 “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”
Sins are “debts”.
As His creatures, made in His image, we owe God perfect obedience and love.
But since Adam fell, this has not happened….sin entered, and marred the work of God in us.
Even when we are born again, we often fail to hear, or respond to God and His Word as we should; but He has made provision for us in Christ Jesus.
All our sins are forgiven the moment we are born again;……but for fellowship’s sake, we are told to confess our sins….bringing them before Him in honesty, and knowing they are forgiven, and our conscience cleansed. (1 John 1:9)
Hebrews 9:14 “How much more shall the blood of Christ, Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
And He shows us that we should forgive others, as Jesus Christ has forgiven us….how important this is for fellowship with other Christians, and that our prayers are not hindered…(Mark 11:24-26)
Matthew 6:13 “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:…”
He alone can uphold us….we can and are exhorted, to “hold on” to Him and His Word….but it is His grace (the unmerited favor of power) by His Holy Spirit which can show us the right way to go….
(We have been told to “watch”….Mark 13:35-37)
And to pray that He will deliver us from the wrong path we have wandered into…..by error or choice….sending us help (Jude 22-23)…..or pulling us out of it, Himself.
1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
Matthew 6:13 “…For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”
Here, we tell God that we know He is, and He has all authority to do. We praise Him, that He is our God….His kingdom rules over the world we see, and that which we do not.
He is All-powerful…and therefore He is worthy of all our confidence and trust. He never slumbers, or is weary of us….nothing is too hard for Him.
And we give Him glory for all His excellencies: His character is all glorious, for He is everything we need. (1 Corinthians 1:31)
Here we are telling God that because He reigns supreme, we know He is able to grant our requests.
“O Father, how many enemies are against us….from within our own heart…and from without….from the world, and the devil.
We come to You, because we belong to You,…..and we ask for strength and courage to overcome by Your faith the corruptions of our habits and old nature within…and to stand with You, in Your protection, against our enemies without.
We pray for Your Will done in us,…help us to know it and do it; that we might be to Your praise and glory.
In Jesus Name. Amen.”
When we pray, we can look beyond time, and begin to measure the things of now, in the scales of eternity,….which helps us see things clearly.
Amen…so let it be.
Colossians 4:2 “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;”
Psalm 67:5-6 “Let the people praise Thee, O God: let all the people praise Thee.
Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us.”