Sermon: The Lord’s Pattern for Prayer
Bible Passage: Matthew 6:5-15
In this passage, Jesus teaches us how to pray by showing us wrong ways and right ways to pray. Verses 9-13 is “the pattern for prayer.”
I. Two wrong ways to pray, which don’t receive the Father’s attention (verses 5 and 7):
1. Praying as a hypocrite – This is showy, public prayer for the purpose of impressing the onlookers. The reward is the onlooker’s praise not God’s blessing.
2. Praying like the gentiles – This is unnecessarily lengthy, repetitive prayer without any thought given to the content of the prayer. It’s more like chanting, superficial prayer
II. First principle of right praying – emphasizing private prayer over public prayer (verse 6)
1. This does not exclude public prayer but sets the right priority
2. This kind of prayer is rewarded by the Father
III. Second principle of right praying – the Lord’s pattern for prayer (verses 9-13)
1. The person to whom we are praying – We are to address God as “Our Father”. This tells us a few different things:
a. The first word “our” shows that we are part of a family. As disciples of Jesus, we’re connected to the family of faith.
b. Because God is our Father, He is approachable.
c. God is in Heaven, and he must be approached reverently.
2. The priority of prayer – Prayer is primarily for God’s glory as seen in the first three prayer requests
a. “Hallowed be Your Name” Pray for God’s name to be reverenced
b. “Your Kingdom come” Pray for the growth and the final coming of God’s kingdom. This kind of praying orders our values
c. “Your will be done” Pray for growth in obedience to God’s revealed will
3. The personal prayer requests – Prayer for physical and spiritual needs are the other three prayer requests
a. We are to pray for our life’s provisions on a daily basis. This way of praying shows us how dependent we are on God to be our provider and sustainer.
b. We are to pray for a vibrant relationship with God, as He continually forgives our sins, and we extend forgiveness to others who have wronged us.
c. We are to pray for strength in trials and protection from the evil one.
Cultivate your prayer life, and go to the Father more often!