prayer

The Lord’s Prayer

Last week we began reading the gospel of Matthew (see last blog post). If you don’t have the reading plan go here and download a copy now – January Bible Reading Plan –

Matthew 6 – The Lord’s Prayer

Jesus gives some instructions about prayer in Matthew 6:5-8

 “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.

 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.

— Jesus, Matthew 6:5-8

In these verses, Jesus seems to clearly put the emphasis on private/secret prayer.

Jesus also explains that since God already knows every need there is no reason for many words in prayer.

It is only after making these points about how we approach prayer that Jesus goes on to teach us what to pray.

 In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
 Give us this day our daily bread.
 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.

Amen.

— Jesus, Matthew 6:9-13 NKJV

We know this as the Lord’s Prayer. It is an actual prayer and at the same time, it is a model for other prayers. Certainly, if we had no other information about the subject of prayer we would have all we need in these few verses.


Immediately after the prayer, Jesus explains the important connection between forgiveness and prayer.

 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” – Matthew 6:14-15


The teaching found in Matthew 5:43-48 on how to treat people who may be considered enemies specifically mentions prayer also.

“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you… – Matthew 5:44

This seems difficult, doesn’t it? Matthew 5:44 and Matthew 6:15 are not easy verses to live out in our own lives. While studying these verses I read something in a book about prayer that really caused me to look at it in a different way. Perhaps it will be helpful to you also.

Jesus commanded us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. Praying for our ememies reflects the nobility of His nature and of our new character in Christ.

T.W. Hunt

While reading the Bible this year I am planning to look for every mention of prayer. I will be keeping a notebook to collect all I notice on the subject. Will you be looking for a particular subject while reading your Bible? If so please share in the comments below or on the Facebook Page.


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The Printables of Faith Etsy Shop has some beautiful printables about prayer including The Lord’s Prayer.


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