Matthew 6:7-15 The Lord’s Prayer

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,[a]
    but deliver us from the evil one.[b]

14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

The Lord’s Prayer

Jesus, I see how you attuned yourself with the Father through prayer.  I get confused how to pray.  I don’t know whether to only address the Father or whether to talk to you.  I am choosing of late to talk to you by the Holy Spirit.  However, the times when I should talk to each member of the Trinity and in what way confuse me.  I guess that it is not magic.  I don’t need to worry about a particular formula or rite of passage that I must perform to enter into relationship with you.  Maybe you are just delighted that we leave our estrangement behind and talk to you at all.  We don’t have to get it right, we just have to get it started.

Jesus, when you taught us to pray it was uncomplicated and natural.  It started with reminding ourselves of the majesty of the Father and then affirming his will to take care of us and to bring Heaven to earth.  Help me to make the world a little better as I pas through.  May others see you in my actions.

Questions

  1. How did pagans pray?
  2. What does the connection between pagans and magic rituals bring to the text?
  3. How does the simplicity of Jesus’ prayer refresh people?
  4. How do people use prayer to manipulate toward their own ends?
  5. What is the goal of prayer?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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