We are so worried about a works religion that we don’t want to talk about practical things. What are we doing with our stuff? What are we doing with this world?
The goal of true religion is perfection and God loves people who are patiently pursuing that goal. Do you have a passion for being perfect?
Here in Matthew 6, Jesus exposes a divided personality that is common among man. If we are not careful we are constantly divided, self can come back to plague us in prayer, religion, etc.
The Jews considered prayer greater than all good works other than alms. Jesus warned against meaningless, long public prayers, and repetitious prayers. Jesus says that the desirable prayer is prayed in secret.
Prayer is a two-way communication, God speaks to us as we speak to Him. When we do our devotion God speaks to us. He tells us to pray in secret.
The disciples saw that Jesus’ secret was His prayer. The only thing that they asked Him to teach them was how to pray. He prayed when the Spirit came upon Him and many, many other times before something incredible happened.
We often think that the battle is out there where we are facing the issues. Jesus tells us that the battle is won in the closet. Jesus gives us the model prayer to show us how we should pray.
We need to learn to pray as a son. God is our Father, how do children relate to a father? Absolute trust.
There are no plural pronouns in this prayer, it is all “our.” When we come to the alter, we are to come with our brother in our mind.
1 John 2:10 – Is it true that all sin stems from a bad relationship with someone? If we could truly love everyone, there wouldn’t be an occasion for sin.
Pray with reverence, “which art in heaven.” Nothing will be seen properly until we learn to see from God’s perspective. Concentrate more on what God has said and let that be the interpretation of what you see.
“Hallowed by thy name” – when people see us do they see that God is holy? Until you come to terms with the sin in your life you won’t be able to have a relationship with God. What people see in us is what they are going to conclude about God.
“They will be done” – no excuses for our human weakness. How do we know God’s will? If it’s God’s will it will harmonize with what God has told us.
There is a difference between pleasing God and obeying Him. Above and beyond what is required of us.
What is legalism? Legalism is when you have a code of behavior. The code may make you a pretty good person, but you can’t reference the person behind the code.
Pray for necessities, “give us this day our daily bread.”
Pray for forgiveness, this is the only part of this prayer that is repeated. Jesus says that if we don’t forgive others we won’t experience forgiveness ourselves.
There are many people who are in bondage to all kinds of things, depression, loneliness, addictions, inferiority, etc. Is there anyone you haven’t forgiven? We make our own prisons. Jesus says that we are just as free as we make other people.
The prayer ends with a plea that God would deliver us from the evil one. Jesus recognized that evil is a reality. Jesus assured us that God is on our side against evil.
Scriptures used – Matthew 6:5-14, Mark 14:22, 1 John 2, Psalm 50, Philippians, Romans 5,