April 26, 2017 (H2BEC: Prayer 3)

Matthew 6:5-8

“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. 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. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

This is set up almost like a proverb. Tells you how not to do it, then how to, (2x)

·         5. Don’t be like the hypocrites: ποκριτής

o   A character who wore a mask, a pretender

o   They were putting on a performance instead of being reverent to God.

o   There was pride in their voice, while they were looking over their shoulder to see if the crowd was watching them. Luke 18:11-13 (Hungry Neighbor)

·         6. A humble private prayer

o   When you pray, don’t draw attention to yourself

o   This is a time that you spend with God, and no one else.

o   It is a time of reverence to God, thanking Him for His blessings, a time of asking for guidance, repentance and praying for others.

·         7. Don’t be long winded

o   With the mindset that you want people to hear you, your prayers are not driven by faith, but by pride. There is no sincerity in their words.

o   When we pray, and even live our life we are not to draw attention to ourselves but to God. He is the reason that we have eternal life and the reason that we have joy.

o   Prayer is not answered based on quantity. Some of the simplest prayers can be the godliest.

o   The goal is not to look spiritual in front of other people, but to be humble before God.

·         8. Your Father knows what you need.

o   Not a performance

o   Not long winded empty words

o   Not an opportunity to grow your ego, thinking that people will call you spiritual.

o   Prayer should be an opportunity to praise God and thank Him, ask your requests and for His will to be done.

o   When we pray, God already knows what we need. Our prayers are out of our honest requests, and out of obedience.  Luke 18:1-8 (Widow and the judge)

 

The Lord’s Prayer             Matthew 6:9-13

·         9- Praising God

o   Hallowed—holy, greatly revered/respected.

·         10- A. Acknowledging His sovereignty
       B. Saying that we will seek and follow His will.

·         11.- “Daily Bread” –A reference back to Exodus, when the Israelites were in the wilderness.

o   God providing our every physical and spiritual need.

·         12- Asking forgiveness for the sins we have committed

§  A posture of humility, knowing that we are not yet perfected.

o   The way the sentence is set up it shows that our forgiving those that sinned against us is a prerequisite for God to forgive our sins.

§  We must be able to forgive those that have wronged us, in order for God to forgive us. If we cannot forgive others, God will not forgive us. (6:14-15)

·         13—Protection from temptation

o   God does not tempt us, but allows us to be sanctified through trials. (Praying for patience)

§  Job 1:7-12

§  Jesus in wilderness: Matthew 4

§  Peter being sifted like wheat: Luke 22:31-32

o   If we focus on our own power during these trials, we will fail. This verse is an acknowledgement that we must depend fully on God, and not on our own power.

Conclusion:

·         This prayer is an example of how we should pray. It focuses on God: His greatness, righteousness, holiness. It also focuses on us: our dependence on Him and asking for help to live in a way that glorifies Him and not ourselves.

Application:

                When we pray, we need to remember that we are praying to God, not for others. It is not for people to think that we are more spiritual than we really are, but to admit to God that we need Him. We will not be perfected until we stand before God in heaven so until then, we need to depend on prayer to seek God’s will and as an opportunity for God to speak to us through the Holy Spirit.

 

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