April 14: The Posture of Prayer (Matt 6:7-15)
Matthew 6:7-15 And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, 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. Pray then like this:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day 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.
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Summary of Teaching
Is all prayer good prayer? What differentiates right prayer from wrong? It is interesting that Jesus did not instruct his disciples on the art of preaching, teaching or even healing, but he did instruct them regarding prayer. The importance of this prayer cannot be overstated. Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, "The Lord’s Prayer is not merely a pattern prayer; it is the way Christians must pray." The Lord’s Prayer is the quintessential prayer. It is more a form of prayer which we should copy and use as a guide for God-pleasing prayer.
Review and Apply
- Describe your current prayer life. Are you satisfied or not - why or why not?
- How does your view of God affect your prayer life?
- Explain two characteristics of God that must be understood in order to enjoy God-pleasing prayer.
- How does our adoption through Jesus draw us into deeper prayer?
- How is the thought of God as your Father a comfort for you? Do you find this concept of God as Father to be at all difficult to grasp/appreciate?