Scripture Memory: Matthew 5:47-48
Overview - Matthew 6:1-18
Few passages of scripture provide specific directions for public worship. In this passage, Jesus teaches about man approaching God in prayer. His initial teaching on the subject is centered on the sincerity of the heart in prayer. Above all else, prayer is a man coming to God and not a man performing for other men.
The Lord’s Prayer is an example of the sacred nature of prayer - coming into the presence of the omnipotent God and seeking His presence and favor. Fundamental in prayer is remembering the holiness of God and coming to Him in humility and surrender. Fasting has a significant benefit in the focus of prayer to God. Never to be done for show before people, it calls us to a deeper focus on entering the presence of God.
Wesley Duewel, a longtime missionary to India, stated, “The greatest privilege God gives to you is the freedom to approach Him at any time.” Jesus taught that as we approach the throne of God we should approach Him humbly, privately, and with sincerity of heart. The passage we know as the Lord’s Prayer is an example for us as we draw near to God.
Read Matthew 6:1-18
OBSERVE: Make an outline of the major points from the text. What stood out to you? Did you see any repetition? Lists? Commands? Promises? Are there questions that you have trouble answering?
SUMMARIZE: In a sentence or two summarize the main idea of the passage.
APPLY: Where are you in the story? How do these words challenge you? What is God asking you to do in obedience to His Word?
Read Matthew 6:1-18
The God-honored practice of personal faith is centered on the individual drawing near to God in humble worship rather than to gain public attention. The scripture says that God rewards both giving (v. 4) and praying (v. 6) in secret. What great rewards can we expect as we give and pray in secret?
Matthew 6:7 states that in prayer we “do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do .” The word translated as Gentiles is from the Greek word for ethnics and may refer to the meaningless babble of unintelligible words. In what ways may our prayers become the repetition of meaningless noise?
Fasting in the scriptures is identified as the desperate seeking for direction and intervention from God. Notice the approach to fasting that receives the reward of the Father’s ear. Should we ever make it a point to let others know when we practice a time of prayer and fasting?
READ Luke 8:9-15
When we pray we must remember that we come to God as creatures unworthy of His favor but seeking His mercy and grace. When you begin your prayer, do you address God as though it is your right or an undeserved privilege?
Read Luke 17:3-4
We never tire of seeking God’s forgiveness for our repeated sins and failures. Yet, we quickly grow weary of forgiving others who seem to be continually offending us. How obligated are we, as Christ’s followers, to repeatedly forgive others?
READ john 17:1-26
Matthew 6:9-13 is usually called the Lord’s Prayer while the referenced passage in John’s Gospel is known as the High Priestly Prayer. It is the prayer of our Lord as He approached the time of His death. What is the primary subject of this prayer? Who was Jesus concerned about?