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Hugh
Sinner saved by grace through Christ. Engineering Professor. Husband and Father. Church member.
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With joy-filled faith we wait to see Jesus.
1 Peter 1:3-9
Individual fasting should be a secret between you and God.
Matthew 6:16-18
You are a new person in Christ.
Colossians 3:1-4
Will we choose the fate of the righteous or the wicked?
Psalms 1
Don’t give in order to impress others.
Matthew 6:1-4
David puts his trust in God when he is in danger and we should also.
Psalms 56:1-4
Love your enemies
Matthew 5:43-47
God has everything and knows everything.
Romans 11:33-36
Members of God’s kingdom should hold on loosely to their honor, possessions, etc.
Matthew 5:38-42
God treasures Israel not because of their worth, but because he chose them.
Deuteronomy 7:1-11
Divorce causes adultery.
Luke 16:18
Marriage is a one-flesh union joined by God; thus, man shouldn’t break this union.
Mark 10:2-9
Marriage is a one-flesh union; breaking this union causes adultery.
Matthew 19:3-9
God provided the perfect solution to man’s lonliness.
Genesis 2:18-25
Marriage is a companionship and a covenant that should not be broken by unfaithfulness.
Faithfulness in Marriage
Beware against committing sins in your heart.
Matthew 5:27-30
Followers of Jesus should keep their word.
Matthew 5:33-37
Divorce does not dissolve the marriage bond (unless it is done on the grounds of sexual immorality).
Matthew 5:31-32
God desires peace between humans
Matthew 5:21-26
For what reason(s) do you worship God?
Psalms 100
Because God’s kingdom requires righteousness, Jesus fulfills the law.
Matthew 5:17-20
We are blessed to be a blessing.
Matthew 5:13-16
Citizens of God’s kingdom go through hard times but are blessed because they will receive the blessings of the kingdom.
Matthew 5:3-12
Praise Jesus for his healing!
Matthew 4:23-25
Are we exercising our gifts in love?
1 Corinthians 13
God will take away everything that is sad.
Revelation 21:1-8
Our future resurrection gives us the ability to persevere in our faith.
1 Corinthians 15:50-58
How to discern whether someone is from God.
1 John 4:1-6
Pursue wisdom with everything you have.
Proverbs 4:20-27
Trials are doing something good in you.
James 1:2-4
view all (31 total)
The Lord’s Prayer
Matthew 6:5-15
How we pray reveals what we believe about God.
#prayer
#hypocrisy
#headhearthands
Published May 6th, 2021; Updated July 12th, 2021
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Main point summary
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Head, heart, hands
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Main point summary
Do not pray to impress others or by using a lot of words to gain God’s favor. Rather, pray to God alone so that he will give you what you need, following this model: first pray for God’s name to be honored and for things to be done his way and next pray for your needs.
Arc
editing
NT
Matthew 6:5-15
esv
mine
“And when you pray,
As you pray to God
you must not be like the hypocrites.
you should not pray like the people who think they love God but really love the approval of man.
temporal
For they love x to stand and pray in the synagogues
Because these people love to stand up and pray in front of everyone in the synagogues
and at the street corners,
and out in the street,
series
that they may be seen by others.
so that others will see their prayer and think of them as very pious.
actionpurpose
y Truly, I say to you,
I tell you the truth,
they have received their reward.
because of their motive to impress man, they have already received all the reward they are going to get.
ideaexplanation
inference
ground
But when you pray,
Instead, as you pray to God
z go into your room
go to a private room
and shut the door
and close the door
and pray to your Father who is in secret.
and pray to your Father in heaven who is there with you even in the secret place.
progression
a And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
And your Father who observes your secret prayer will answer you.
actionresult
negativepositive
“And when you pray,
Also, as you pray to God
do not heap up empty phrases
don’t make long prayers filled with meaningless insincere words
as b the Gentiles do,
like the Gentiles do,
for c they think that they will be heard
because they think God is impressed and will listen
d for their many words.
because they use a lot of words.
actionmanner
Do not be like them,
Don’t use a lot of meaningless words like them
e for your Father knows what you need
because your Heavenly Father already knows your needs
before you ask him.
before you ask him to meet them.
f Pray then like this:
Instead, here is a model of how you should pray:
g “Our Father in heaven, h hallowed be i your name. 1
Our Father who is in heaven, take action to make people treat you as holy.
j Your kingdom come,
Expand the borders of your rule and reign,
k your will be done, 1
and make it so that everything you plan for is accomplished and everything you command is obeyed,
l on earth as it is in heaven.
here on earth just like currently happens in heaven.
m Give us n this day our daily bread, 1
Provide us with the food we need for today,
and forgive us our debts,
and forgive the debt of sin against you that we have incurred,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
because we have forgiven others of their sin against us.
And o lead us not into temptation,
And as you guide our steps, don’t lead us into a situation in which we are tempted to sin,
but p deliver us from q evil. 1
but instead rescue us from Satan.
r For if you forgive others their trespasses,
Regarding forgiveness, if you forgive others for sinning against you,
your heavenly Father will also forgive you,
then your father in heaven will forgive your sins against him,
conditional
s but if you do not forgive others their trespasses,
but if you don’t forgive others for sinning against you,
neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
then your father will also not forgive you of your sins against him.
Necessary-Sufficient
coord
N/S
Don’t pray to impress others but pray to be rewarded by your Father.
Don’t pray meaningless words, because you don’t need to impress your father and he already knows what you need so just tell him.
Don’t pray like the Gentiles who seek to get God’s attention and impress him by saying a lot of meaningless words.
Why is it that Gentiles use a lot of words in their prayers?
Why is it that if we know that God knows our needs we won’t say a lot of meaningless words in our prayers. Is it because we know we don’t need to impress God in our prayers for him to listen to us?
We can pray simple prayers because God already knows our situation.
Rather, here is a model for how to pray: First, pray for God to make his name be seen as great and for things to be done his way. Next, pray for your needs such as your daily bread, forgiveness of sin, and protection from temptation.
discourse
Phrase
Matthew 6:5-15
How to pray: your audience
Don’t seek a reward from people
“And when you pray,
Temporal
you must not be like the hypocrites.
Negative
For they love to stand
Ground
and pray
in the synagogues
Location #1
and at the street corners,
Location #2
that they may be seen
Purpose
by others.
Agency
Truly, I say to you,
they have received their reward.
Explanation
Seek a reward from God
But when you pray,
go into your room
and shut the door
and pray to your Father
who is in secret.
And your Father ... will reward you.
Result
who sees in secret
How to pray: what to say
Don’t pray with many mindless words
“And when you pray,
do not heap up empty phrases
as the Gentiles do,
Comparison
for they think that they will be heard
for their many words.
Do not be like them,
for your Father knows what you need
before you ask him.
Do: emulate this simple model of prayer
Pray then like this:
“Our Father ... hallowed be your name.
in heaven,
Locative
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth
as it is in heaven.
this day
Give us ... our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us
from evil.
Separation
For if you forgive others their trespasses,
Condition
your heavenly Father will also forgive you,
Ground #1
but if you do not forgive others their trespasses,
neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Ground #2
Progression
Clearly Jesus is assuming that we will pray.
phrasing
Head, heart, hands
1. Head How should I think differently about God/myself/others? I should think of God as my Father who knows my needs and doesn’t need to be coerced into answering my prayers. I should also think of God as being willing to forgive my sins as long as I am forgiving others. I should also think of myself as prone to practice my prayers before others in order to be seen by them. I should desire God’s name to be honored and for his kingdom to come. These things are not just things that God wants to happen but also things that I should want. What doctrines are taught? What specific contributions to those doctrines does this passage make? This passage teaches us that God is our father and we should think of him as a father. The passage also teaches that God sees everything we do and knows our needs. So, when we pray we are actually asking for things that God already knows about. And this passage also teaches that God is sovereign and good and will answer/reward our prayers. And it also teaches us that we should be motivated by reward; it is not wrong to want to be motivated by reward. And it also teaches that God’s forgiveness of our sins is conditional: God will forgive our sins if and only if we forgive others, showing that we have been regenerated. What other scripture texts add to the truths taught here? Are there texts that seem to contradict what is taught in this passage? What is the deeper truth that both of these seemingly contradictory texts are founded upon? There are texts that show that Jesus prayed in public and so did the apostles and the early church. Also, Jesus prayed long prayers and so did the early church. So it is not wrong to pray in public or pray long prayers. Rather, it is wrong to pray in order to impress others. Also, the parable of the widow and the judge teaches us to persevere in prayer. It is not wrong to be persistent in asking God for something. Just because he knows what we need does n’t mean that we shouldn’t keep asking him. James teaches that God does not tempt anyone (James 1). So, in this passage Jesus is not saying that God would otherwise tempt us if we don’t ask him not to. Finally, regarding the relationship between our forgiveness of theirs and God’s forgiveness of us, in Ephesians Paul teaches that we are saved by grace through faith, not by works (Eph 2:8-9). So, we are not saved because we do a good job of forgiving others. But if we don’t forgive others, then it shows that we do not have saving faith. 2. Heart How should I feel differently about God/myself/etc? Because Jesus tells me to ask that God’s name be honored, this is something I should desire. It is a good thing for me to honor his name because that is how humans thrive. If I honor names other than God’s, those things will fail me. And also I deserve God’s judgment for not honoring his name. And why should I desire for other people to honor God’s name? Right now most people in the world don’t honor God’s name, which makes me a minority. So one reason I desire for his name to be honored is so that I am not a minority. I want to have fellowship with more people who honor God’s name. Right now it is weird to honor God’s name and those who do are sometimes persecuted. So I want it to be normal to honor God’s name. Also, people commit great sins when they honor themselves over God. There is great injustice like the holocaust. So, because I want to see justice done, I want God’s name to be honored. I want to live in a world where everyone honors God’s name. Where no one sins against me and sins against each other. Where temptation isn’t everywhere. And I should stop feeling a love for the approval of others. I should desire God’s approval instead of the approval of men. What emotions are expressed in this passage? The hypocrites have a desire to impress others. They desire for others to be impressed by them. And the Gentiles seem to have a desire to be able to control God. That if they say enough words God has to hear them. That they know the formula for getting God’s attention. Ignoring the fact that God is a good father who loves to answer prayer. But God’s children (including Jesus) have a calmness, confident in the fact that God is a good father who loves to answer our prayers. What emotions does this passage lead/exhort me to feel? I should feel a comfort and a peace that I am praying to my father who knows me and loves me and knows what I need before I ask him. I should be content in receiving approval from God when I pray. And I should be comforted that God knows what I need. 3 . Hands What does this passage command me to do? What sins do I need to put off and repent of? What good works do I need to put on? This passage commands me to not pray in order to impress others. I should not neglect secret prayer. I should prioritize it. I should make sure I am consistently practicing secret prayer because this shows that I pray to receive reward from God, not from man. And when I do pray in front of others, my goal should be to lead them in prayer, not to impress them by my prayer. I should lead them in a prayer that will receive God’s reward. Also, I should not using empty phrases when I pray. (I don’t feel that I usually do this.) I should stop praying as if I need to impress God in order for him to hear me. I should pray in faith that God knows what I need. And this passage also calls me to pray for and trust God with my basic provisions. Perhaps this passage is calling me to trust less in my emergency fund or backup food storage. This passage also commands me to forgive others when they sin against me. How am I to obey? In what manner? Through my practice of prayer, which should be secret and in line with the model Jesus gives in verses 9-13, I demonstrate that I believe that he knows my needs and will reward me. The way that I pray shows what I believe about God. What motivations does this passage give for acting d ifferently (negative or positive)? I should pray in secret to God because he will reward me. He will answer my prayer. And I should forgive others so that God will hear my prayer to be forgiven of my sins. What anchors does this passage offer that give me confidence in obeying these commands (truths about God, truths about man, gospel truths)? I can confidently pray in secret because I know God is there and he will reward me. I can forsake the fleeting approval of man. And I can make a simple and sincere prayer to God because I know he already knows what I need. I can let go of the need to pray a lot of meaningless words to impress him. I can let go of control in prayer. I can confidently pray for God to hallow his name and for his will to be done because I know that these things will happen. In the same way I can confidently pray for my daily bread! That is a much easier thing for God to do than for his kingdom to come! And the same thing with forgiving my sins. That is harder to do that provide my daily bread but easier to do than make his kingdom come. And as I pray for God to forgive my sins I can be confident that he will as long as I am forgiving others (verses 14-15). And I can be confident that Jesus has overcome the evil one (1 John) and so can protect me from him and protect me from temptation.
Questions
What does it mean that our Father will reward us for our prayer? It seems that the proper response to our prayers is to answer them, not reward us for them. So why does Matthew say that we will be rewarded? Does it just mean that we will receive what we ask? I guess the answer to our prayers could be both now and in the future (when Jesus comes back). And I think we are supposed to be praying for things to be done in the future (e.g., “your kingdom come,” “come Lord Jesus”). But do I need to change how I view prayer? Is it better to view it as being rewarded than answered? Father please give me wisdom about this.
Look-up
Matthew 6:5-15
The Lord’s Prayer 5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love x to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. y Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, z go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. a And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as b the Gentiles do, for c they think that they will be heard d for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, e for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 f Pray then like this: g “Our Father in heaven, h hallowed be i your name. 1 10 j Your kingdom come, k your will be done, 1 l on earth as it is in heaven. 11 m Give us n this day our daily bread, 1 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And o lead us not into temptation, but p deliver us from q evil. 1 14 r For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 s but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Mark 11:25
25 And whenever r you stand praying , s forgive, t if you have anything against anyone, so that u your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” 1
Luke 18:11
11 The Pharisee, g standing by himself , prayed 1 h thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.
OT
2 Kings 4:33
33 So he went in and y shut the door behind the two of them z and prayed to the Lord .
Isaiah 26:20
20 Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves a for a little while until the fury has passed by .
Matthew 6:32
32 For l the Gentiles seek after all these things, and m your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
Matthew 5:47
47 And if you greet only your brothers, 1 what more are you doing than others? Do not even n the Gentiles do the same?
1 Kings 18:26
26 And they took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “ O Baal, answer us !” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped around the altar that they had made.
Proverbs 10:19
19 e When words are many , transgression is not lacking, f but whoever restrains his lips is prudent .
Ecclesiastes 5:2
2 1 Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore q let your words be few .
Luke 11:2-4
2 And he said to them, h “When you pray, say: i “Father, j hallowed be k your name. l Your kingdom come. 3 m Give us n each day our daily bread, 1 4 and o forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And p lead us not into temptation.”
Isaiah 29:23
23 For when he sees his children, k the work of my hands, in his midst, they will sanctify my name ; l they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.
Luke 1:47-49
47 b and my z spirit rejoices in c God my Savior, 48 for d he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations e will call me blessed; 49 for f he who is mighty g has done great things for me, and h holy is his name .
1 Peter 3:15
15 but g in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy , h always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and i respect,
John 17:6
6 d “I have manifested your name to the people e whom you gave me out of the world. f Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.
Matthew 26:42
42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, w your will be done .”
Luke 22:42
42 saying, w “Father, if you are willing, remove x this cup from me. y Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done .”
Acts 21:14
14 And since he would not be persuaded, j we ceased and said, k “ Let the will of the Lord be done .”
Matthew 12:50
50 For m whoever n does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
Hebrews 13:21
21 h equip you with everything good that you may do his will , i working in us 1 that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, j to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Psalms 103:20-21
20 Bless the Lord , O you e his angels , you f mighty ones who g do his word , obeying the voice of his word! 21 Bless the Lord , all his h hosts, his i ministers, who do his will !
Daniel 4:35
35 r all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and s he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; t and none can stay his hand or u say to him, “What have you done?”
Proverbs 30:8
8 Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is x needful for me ,
Matthew 26:41
41 q Watch and u pray that you v may not enter into temptation . The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Mark 14:38
38 w Watch and d pray that you may not e enter into temptation . The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Luke 22:40
40 r And when he came to s the place, he said to them, t “ Pray that you may not u enter into temptation .”
Luke 22:46
46 and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and a pray that you may not enter into temptation .”
1 Corinthians 10:13
13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. w God is faithful, and x he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it .
John 17:15
15 I g do not ask that you h take them out of the world, but that you i keep them from j the evil one . 1
2 Thessalonians 3:3
3 But n the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and o guard you against p the evil one . 1
2 Timothy 4:18
18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. t To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Matthew 13:19
19 When anyone hears the word of l the kingdom and m does not understand it, n the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.
Mark 11:25
25 And whenever r you stand praying, s forgive , t if you have anything against anyone, so that u your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses .” 1
Luke 6:37
Judging Others 37 i j “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; j forgive , and you will be forgiven ;
Ephesians 4:32
32 h Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, i forgiving one another , as God in Christ forgave you .
Colossians 3:13
13 h bearing with one another and, i if one has a complaint against another, g forgiving each other; g as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive .
Matthew 18:35
35 l So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother m from your heart .”
James 2:13
13 For n judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy . Mercy triumphs over judgment.
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Versions
Comparison of ESV with other versions Verse 5: some versions have “reward in full” Verse 7: some versions use the word “repetition”; Gentiles = ungodly/pagans Verse 9: “hallowed be your name” = “may your name be honored” or “may your name be kept holy” Verse 11: “daily bread” = “food we need” Verse 13: “deliver us from the evil one”
Comments
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.