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When You Pray: Week 1

May 26, 2024
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When You Pray: Week 1

In Matthew 6:1-13, Jesus is teaching about prayer during His Sermon on the Mount. He makes the statement, “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.” Jesus is referencing the religious leaders (the Pharisees). These men would often stand on the busiest street corners in the city and pray very loud for others to see how “righteous” they were. They would also make it obvious that they were fasting and when they were giving to the needy.

Instead, Jesus says in verse 6, “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” This word for “room” is the same as a closet or pantry.

In Jesus’ words, it is assumed that we are praying. Instead of using big words and flashy statements to bring attention to ourselves, we should make the “Wow” the One we address. He knows the depth of our hearts, but He wants to be with us. Often, we choose to try to live life without His guidance and presences. That is a sign of arrogance.

In verses 9-13, we see the Lord’s prayer, also known as the disciple’s prayer. It begins with four extremely important words:

OUR- Our faith is personal, but not private.

  1. Pray in community
  2. Prayer is the greater work
  3. Prayer leads to unity
  4. It doesn’t matter what someone else thinks about your prayer life. It matters that you pray.

FATHER – The All-Consuming Fire is also a our Nurturing Good Father

  1. A reflection of His intimacy and nearness
  2. We are able to be in His presence because of the sacrifice of His Son
  3. We seek His face – the representation of the real essence and character of who He is. His face represents His presence, while His hands represent His presents. Seek His face first. Ex. Gen 32, Ex 33:11, Num 6:24, Psalm 4, Psalm 6

IN HEAVEN – He sits on the throne of eternity, and He deserves our reverence

  1. He is transcendent
  2. He is the Almighty
  3. Earth is His footstool.

Questions and Challenges to Consider:

  1. Where is your secret place to get before God and pray?
  2. Spend time this week desiring more of His Face than His Hands.
  3. Pray these four words, “Our Father in heaven” for the next 4 days. Meditate on these words this week.
  4. We have a communal faith, so who are you praying with? If no one, find someone this week. Pray with those closest to you.