Today’s passage: Matthew 6:5-18
- The Jews who were being actors (hypocrites) loved to pray publicly for the praise of man.
- The Gentiles prayed long, wordy prayers hoping to awaken, alert, convince, etc. their gods.
- The true God can be reached through prayer at any time (“When you pray”) and knows what we will pray before we even say or think a word. He isn’t impressed with repetition or theological vocabulary. He knows and looks at the heart.
- In this example prayer:
- The Father is addressed and praised
- His purposes and will are acknowledged
- Requests are made for needs
- Forgiveness is sought for our sin
- Protection is requested from evil
Questions to consider:
- How is this passage similar to what we read yesterday? What is the common principle?
- Who is prayer for? Who is the on the receiving end? How does this make prayer and fasting for show make no sense?
- If God already knows what we are going to pray, is prayer for the purpose of communication to make Him aware or is it for relationship? Who benefits from prayer (and fasting)? How does this display God’s love for us?
- How would acknowledging God’s perfect will and purposes help us to reorient our view towards our requests in prayer?
- How do verses 14-15 compare with verse 5? What kind of heart will pray the best kind of prayer?