The Lord’s Prayer (Intro)- Matthew 6:5-8
In Matthew 6:5-13, Jesus teaches on prayer. His focus throughout this passage is not on prayer techniques or procedures, but on attitudes. He begins here by telling us not to pray like the “hypocrites”, for whom prayer is a public religious performance. The purpose of prayer for these is not to commune with God but to impress people, but to Jesus prayer is to be done “in your room”. He is not telling us here we can only pray in a “prayer closet”, but that the purpose of prayer is time spent alone in communion with God, not a show to impress other people. Jesus then tells us not to pray like pagans. Again, His focus is not on procedure but on attitude, on worldview. The idea behind pagan prayer is that it is to a pagan god, which is essentially a creation of man. As human creations, these “gods” exist to serve human beings. Prayer to these gods is basically an attempt to find the “magic” chant, incantation, ritual or sacrifice (the thought behind the “many words” here) which will make the god do what you want it to do. It is rather ironic that the very attitude which Jesus here warns against has become rampant in the modern church. The “magic formula” is now faith, and if we just have “enough faith” we can make God give us what we want. This pagan intrusion into the church is the very thing which Jesus here warns against, for our God will not be manipulated in this way. Jesus tells us here that the God of the Bible is not like those pagan gods. He is not a human creation, but the human creator. It is therefore foolish to try to manipulate the God of the Bible to do what you want, to meet your “needs”. Our Father knows what we need (with the implication here being that we don’t), so it is foolish to try to manipulate God to meet our needs when we don’t even know what they are. Our attitude toward prayer is not to be one of seeing it as an activity to impress people or to manipulate God, but as a time of communion with the God who loves us, the God who gives us whatever we truly need and does what is best for us no matter what. I pray that every believer would adopt this attitude toward prayer, and see and practice prayer as Jesus here tells us to.2 Comments
Always praying for His will to be done , Father definitely knows best.