Tuesday, March 29, 2022

2022.03.29 Hopewell @Home ▫ Matthew 6:5–15

Read Matthew 6:5–15

Questions from the Scripture text: About what part of Christian life is Jesus instructing them (Matthew 6:5)? Whom shall they not be like? Where do hypocrites love to pray? Why? What do they have? Where should they pray (Matthew 6:6) When they have done what, should they pray to Whom, Who is where? Where does He see? Where/how will He reward? What shouldn’t they use in prayer (Matthew 6:7)? For what do they think they’ll be heard? Why shouldn’t they be like them—Who knows what (Matthew 6:8)? How should they pray (Matthew 6:9)? Whom should they address? What are they to pray would happen to what? What are they to pray would come (Matthew 6:10)? What to be done? Where, and in what manner? For what do they ask in Matthew 6:11? And what in Matthew 6:12? And in what manner? What are they to ask God not to do (Matthew 6:13)? But what are they to ask for? Why are they to ask God for all these things? Why is the prayer to forgive as important as prayer to be forgiven (Matthew 6:14-15)?

Next week’s Call to Worship, Prayer for Help, and first song all come from Matthew 6:5–15 so that we will see that we are singing God’s thoughts after Him with The Lord’s Prayer

Matthew’s recording of the Lord’s Prayer is bookended by warnings of Hell. Matthew 6:5 warns against forfeiting any reward in eternity, and Matthew 6:15 warns against not being forgiven our trespasses. In the former case, if our religion is for man’s eyes, we will not be rewarded (Matthew 6:5); and, if our religion is for man’s ears, we will not be heard (Matthew 6:7). In the latter case, non-forgiving people, who indulge their offendedness, show that they are not forgiven (Matthew 6:15).

But when God saves someone, He makes them the kind of person who prays for Father’s eyes (Matthew 6:6), the kind of person who forgives (Matthew 6:14). He makes them those whose eyes and words and heart belong to a Father, Who is in heaven (Matthew 6:8).

“Our Father” (Matthew 6:9) makes it plain that we are to pray with others and for others. So, the instruction about praying in secret (Matthew 6:6) isn’t instruction about location so much as praying for God’s eyes and ears. That’s what’s so thrilling about Matthew 6:9-13. It’s not just instruction for how to pray effectively or how to pray faithfully. It’s instruction for how to pray to a hallowed (Matthew 6:9), kingly and glorious (Matthew 6:13), Father. 

How should we pray to such a Father? Seeking His purposes (Matthew 6:10), His provision (Matthew 6:11), His pardon (Matthew 6:12) and protection (Matthew 6:13). Glorifying His combined Godhead and Fatherhood as redeemed creatures and adopted children!

How do you interact with God in your prayers? How are you avoiding doing your religion for others or self?

Sample prayer:  Father in Heaven, thank You for adopting us, for pardoning us, for providing for us. Forgive us for having so small a glimpse of You that we would aim at pleasing others or indulging ourselves. Purify our hearts toward You in Jesus Christ, we pray, AMEN! 

Suggested songs: ARP23B “The Lord’s My Shepherd” or TPH559 “The Lord’s Prayer”

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