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Sermon on the Mount Lesson 16

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Slide 4 Matthew 6:5-85 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.    
Slide 5 7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.    
Slide 6 •In chapter 5 Jesus spent the first 20 verses establishing the character and nature of the Believer.•The last 28 verses correcting the false teaching of the religious leaders, Scribes, Pharisees•In chapter 6 He begins to correct the false practices of the day.  In verses 1-4 He corrects their practices and motives for giving. •In this section Jesus turns to methods of praying. 5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. Jesus did not say “If, you pray” He said “When …”Hypocrisy is a misuse of the purpose of prayer – diverting prayer from the glory of God to the glory of self.Those who pray with the wrong motive- to be seen of men, to put their piety on display  have their reward  like those who do charitable deeds with wrong motives (v. 2).  Behind their piety stands their pride.Why you pray impacts how you pray.   
Slide 7 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly“Closet” a storeroom where treasures could be kept, “Openly” can refer to how God chooses to answer the prayer and may refer to receiving our reward publicly in heaven   
Slide 8 7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions “Babble not” would be a better rendering, both for the form of the word—which in both languages is intended to imitate the sound—and for the sense, which expresses not so much the repetition of the same words as a senseless multiplication of them as appears from what follows. as the heathen (Gentiles) do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.“With the Jews, it was a maxim, that “every one who multiplies prayer is heard.”  (Lightfoot)Vain repetitions – verbosity  - “Prayer which is all words and no meaning. All lips and no mind or heart.”In the Roman Catholic church, not only was it done far too much, but, as Tholuck justly observes, the very prayer that our Lord gave as an antidote to vain repetitions is the most abused to their superstitious end; the number of times it is repeated counting for so much more merit. Is not this just that characteristic feature of heathen devotion that our Lord here condemns? Praying much, and at times using the same words, is not here condemned as Jesus has demonstrated  in Matthew 26    
Slide 9 Matthew 26:39 And He went a little further, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. 42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, thy will be done.  44 And He left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. In these verses Jesus was praying with heart felt passion and sincerity  - but He was in verse 5-6 condemning the empty recitation of words. Rather than making prayer a matter between an individual and God, the Pharisees had turned it into an act to be seen by men—again, to demonstrate their supposed righteousness. •Who are your prayers directed to?Their prayers were directed not to God but to other men, and consisted of long, repetitive phrases.  • Jesus condemned such practices. Prayer is to be addressed to your Father, who is unseen and who knows what you need; it is not “to be seen by men”   
Slide 10 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask himGod, is always more ready to hear than we are to pray, already knows our needs, as well as our ignorance in making proper requests. Prayer avails one of God’s willingness. Through prayer one recalls personal needs and adopts an attitude of dependent trust which is ready to receive God’s gifts and to yield in open trust and praise to His demands. Prayer is communion, not a battering ram used to break down the door to God’s treasure house; it is a receptacle with which the child of the Father receives that which He is already prepared to give.•“…and so He does not need to be informed of our wants, any more than to be roused to attend to them by our incessant speaking.”  (KJV Commentary)   
Slide 11 “Your Father” knoweth what ye need before ye ask it; for it is not men, as such, that he is addressing in this discourse but his own disciples—the poor in spirit, the mourners, the meek, hungry and thirsty souls, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, who allow themselves to have all manner of evil said against them for the Son of man’s sake—in short, the newborn children of God, who, making their Father’s interests their own, are here assured that their Father, in return, makes their interests his and needs neither to be told nor to be reminded of their wants. Yet he will have his children pray to him and links all his promised supplies to their petitions for them, thus encouraging us to draw near and keep near to him.”   
Slide 12 John Calvin: “Believers do not pray with the view of informing God about things unknown to Him, or of exciting Him to do His duty, or of urging Him as though He were reluctant.  On the contrary, they pray in order that they may arouse themselves to seek Him, that they may exercise their faith in meditating on His promises, that they may relieve themselves from their anxieties by pouring them into His bosom; in a word, that they may declare that from Him alone they hope and expect, both for themselves and for others, all good things.”   
Slide 13 Matthew 6:9-139 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen   
Slide 14 6:9 In this manner does not mean to pray using only these words, but to pray in this way. People often reduce this prayer to empty recitation—exactly what the Lord said not to do (v. 7). The prayer is composed of six requests. The first three ask for the kingdom to come (vv. 9, 10) The last three are for God to meet the needs of His people until the kingdom arrives (vv. 11–13).   Prayer is to begin with worship. Our Father which art in heaven.Worship is the essence of all prayer. (In vv. 1-18) Jesus used the word “Father” 10 times! Only those who have true inner righteousness can address God in that way in worship.) Hallowed be Your name is not an ascription of praise to the Father but a recognition of reverence - “May Your name be hallowed.”•Reverence is a second element of prayer, for God’s name is to be hallowed, that is, revered (hagiasthētō).   
Slide 15 Thy kingdom come The desire for God’s kingdom is based on the assurance that God will fulfill all His covenant promises to His people. The kingdom of God is that moral and spiritual kingdom in which God rules.Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven   Prayer is to include the request that His will be accomplished today on earth as it is being accomplished in heaven,But the aspiration which we are taught in this beautiful petition to breathe forth may have no direct reference to any such physical fulfillment and is only the spontaneous and restless longing of the renewed soul—put into words—to see the whole inhabited earth in entire conformity to the will of God. It asks not if ever it shall be—or if ever it can be—in order to pray this prayer. Another way to look at this prayer is to see it as an encouragement to action—to the carrying out of God’s will on earth. Believers are to carry out God’s will in the same way as those in heaven carry it out: eagerly, willingly, and absolutely.11 Give us this day our daily bread  The compound word here rendered “daily” (epiousion) appears nowhere else in Greek literature prior to the time of the NT.  The word can mean “that which gives substance or being” (from the Gk. word, ousia), or, “that which follows” (from the Gk. participle, epiousa), or, “for the coming day”   According to the parallel verse in Luke (11:3), it undoubtedly suggests the sustenance that comes day by day. In any case, the petition indicates that we are to ask each day for the bread that will sustain our physical existence. We must remember that Jesus was speaking to a people who in fact lived in a day-to-day and hand-to-mouth existence. This prayer was vital to their daily life. And though many of us in this modern age live according to longer increments of pay and provision, we still need to pray for our physical existence and realize that we are completely dependent on him. Some commentators have indicated that the daily bread is spiritual bread, but this kind of exposition goes beyond the context and nature of this prayer.12 And forgive us our debts (our moral failures – sins)•But by embodying it in this brief model of acceptable prayer, and as the first of three petitions more or less bearing upon sin, our Lord teaches us, in the most emphatic manner conceivable, to regard this view of sin as the primary and fundamental one. Answering to this is the “forgiveness” which it directs us to seek—the removal of any debt in God’s “book of remembrance” •as we forgive our debtors  “as we have forgiven our debtors.” “As we forgive” suggests forgiveness only to the extent we are willing to forgive, and enforces the idea that only the forgiving are forgiven. The perfect tense indicates that the petitioner has already forgiven other people’s debts when he asks God for forgiveness. This does not mean, however, that God will forgive us only when we have exercised forgiveness toward others—other Scriptures indicate that God’s forgiveness is unconditional. 13 And lead us not into temptation  He who honestly seeks and has the assurance of forgiveness for past sin will strive to avoid committing it in the future. This is a request for the intervention of God in life’s moments of trial and temptation in such a manner that the “way of escape” is made clear  1 Cor 10:131 Cor 10:13). There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. The petition gives full recognition to the incredible deception and power of temptation and affirms that deliverance from the grasp of evil can come only from the Lord.Perhaps it is best to take it as a prayer against being drawn or sucked, of our own will, into temptation, to which the word used here seems to lend some validity—“Introduce us not.” This view, while it does not put into our mouths a prayer against being tempted, does not, on the other hand, change the sense of the petition into one for support under temptation, which the words will hardly bear; but it gives us a subject for prayer, in regard to temptation, most definite, and of all others most needful. It was precisely this that Peter needed to ask, but did not ask, when—of his own accord and in spite of difficulties—he pressed for entrance into the palace-hall of the high priest, and where, once sucked into the scene and atmosphere of temptation, he fell so terribly. And if so, does it not seem very clear that this was exactly what our Lord meant his disciples to pray against when he said in the garden, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation” (26:41)?  
Slide 16 But deliver us from evil •The final petition, then, is only rightly grasped when regarded as a prayer for deliverance from all evil of whatever kind—not only from sin, but from all its consequences—fully and finally.• For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. AmenIn closing – I pray these things to you because You are the heart of  Your kingdom, the reason for its existance, You are the One with all power and glory – forever – Amen – so be it.    
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Slide 18 •Verses14-15 reemphasize His statement about forgiveness in verse 12 and in the attitude described in 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.Though God’s forgiveness of sin is not based on one’s forgiving others, a Christian’s forgiveness is based on realizing he has been forgiven •What is the first thing that happened when you asked God to forgive you? You were forgiven!  As such we should be known as forgivers!• Eph. 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven youPersonal fellowship with God is in view in these verses (not salvation from sin). One cannot walk in fellowship with God if he refuses to forgive others.    
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