Sunday, February 19, 2017

How One Should Pray (A Commentary On Matthew 6:6-14)

            1.) Find some place and bow before God the Father. Our principal focus must be on Him. God will answer one's prayer based on sincerity and faithfulness (v. 6).
            2.) We are not to pray in the same manner that the pagans do. The purpose of prayer is not based on factors such as how well it sounds, its length, how many times in a row it is done, or how noisy it is. God will not accept prayer tainted with self-righteousness (v. 7). We must approach God in humility and reverence.
            3.) God knows everything, which includes our prayer requests, even before you go to Him (v. 8).
            4.) We acknowledge that God is the Creator and Lord of all. It follows from that premise we are to give Him rightful honor and worship (v. 9).
            5.) We pray for (with knowledge beforehand that His will be done) God's kingdom conquering the evils of this world when Jesus Christ for the second time. We are living in a world that overflows with tragedies (poverty, wars, slavery, diseases, etc.). Only goodness can exist in the kingdom of God. Our wills should be one in the same with God's, functioning in perfect harmony together (v. 10).
             6.) In prayer, we should give thanks for the things which God (even the smallest things which we tend to overlook because of our sinful nature) has provided for us and know that He will continue to provide according to His will (v. 11).
             7.) In prayer, we must humbly ask God for the forgiveness of our sins. We have repeatedly violated His perfect standard of morality, the Law. We must pray for sins committed even after conversion. 
             8.) We must follow the example of God forgiving our trespasses against Him (v. 14). We must forgive the sins of other people because that is what God has done for us (v. 12).
             9.) We pray to God that He places the "protective shield" of His grace on us so that the gnats of worldly temptation will not be attracted to us. God shall eternally prevail over the forces of evil. He is therefore entitled to perpetual glory (v. 13). Jesus Christ was giving to His disciples a proper model for prayer in contrast with the empty prayers of the scribes and Pharisees of the Law.

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