The Lord's prayer


1. A wonderful privilege enjoyed by the children of God is prayer

a. Through prayer we can receive mercy and grace to help in time of
need - He 4:14-16
b. Prayer is an essential step in attaining the peace that passes
all understanding - Ph 4:6-7

2. But the privilege of prayer assumes God will heed our prayers

a. Not all prayers are acceptable to God - cf. Pro 28:9
b. Indeed, God does not hear the prayers of all men - cf. Isa 59:
1-2; 1 Pe 3:12
c. Jesus described the prayer of the pharisee which did not please God
- Lk 18:9-14

3. Can we know if our prayers please God?

a. In His sermon on the mount, Jesus had much to say about prayer
b. Especially the kind of prayer which finds favor in God's sight


How Not to pray

A. Do not pray like the Hypocrites

1. Who love to pray

a. Standing in the synagogues
b. On the corners of the streets

2. "that they may be seen of men" - Mt 6:5

B. "They have their reward"

1. That is, they are seen by men
2. But the praise of men is the extent of their reward
3. They have no reward or blessing from God!

C. Jesus is not condemning all public prayer

1. Jesus Himself prayed in public - Mt 11:25; Jn 11:41
2. As did Paul - Ac 27:35
3. Paul even regulated public prayer - 1 Cor 14:15-17

D. The emphasis is the same as stated in Mt 6:1, "do not do your alms
before men, TO BE SEEN BY THEM."

How to pray

A. Offer prayer for God (not men) to see.

1. This is what he means by "praying in secret" - Mt 6:6
2. Do you pray in secret, or do you only pray when given the chance
in public for the sake of enhancing your reputation?
3. The person who prays most in secret is praying to be seen of
God, not men!

B. Pray so that God (not other men) is impressed with what you say

1. Avoiding the use of "vain repetitions" - Mt 6:7

a. As was often practiced by the heathen religions
b. This is like the Catholic rosary prayers, just the same
repetition over and over again.

2. This is not condemning all repetition, but "vain" (insincere,
useless) repetition

a. Jesus repeated Himself in prayer at Gethsemane - Mt 26:
b. Paul repeated his requests concerning his "thorn in the
flesh" - 2 Co 12:7-8

3. Since God knows what you need before you ask Him,
your prayers do not need to be "wordy" or eloquent

a. The Lord's prayer can be said in less than 30 seconds
b. It is the sincerity, not the smoothness of the words that
God recognizes.

C. Pray according to the pattern Jesus left

1. The pattern of proper prayer:

a. It is simple and heartfelt
b. In its content, the Lord's prayer included:

1) Praise for God - Mt 6:9,13
2) Prayer for the progress of God's Kingdom and His Will on
the earth - Mt 6:10
3) Asking for physical needs - Mt 6:11
4) And spiritual needs

a) Forgiveness of sins - Mt 6:12
b) Protection and deliverance from evil & temptation - Mt 6:13

D. Our heart must be compassionate and forgiving

1. As indicated in the pattern prayer itself - Mt 6:12,14-15
2. Otherwise, we cannot expect forgiveness for ourselves - Mt 18:
21-23; Ja 2:13
3. This must be very important to Jesus, for this is the only
part of the pattern upon which He elaborates!


1. This is not the only occasion in which Jesus taught on prayer

a. Later, His disciples would ask Him to teach them to pray - Lk 11:
b. He taught them about the importance of persistence, faith and
humility in prayer - Lk 11:5-13; 18:1-14

2. But in this sermon Jesus sought to stress prayer that is designed

a. To be seen by God, not man
b. To be heard by God, not man