Read: Matthew 6:5-15, Luke 11:1-4
5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 “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,
but deliver us from the evil one.’
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. (NIV Matthew 6:5-15)
1 “One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
2 He said to them, “When you pray, say: “ ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread. 4 Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation. (NIV Luke 11:1-4)
Study: The fact that Luke and Matthew reported Jesus giving the Lord’s Prayer in different settings suggests that Jesus taught this prayer to his followers often, not just one time. (Many scholars believe that was the case with most of the material we call “The Sermon on the Mount.”) Jesus didn’t mean the Lord’s Prayer to be a museum piece, framed and placed on a mantel or in a display case. It was Jesus teaching God’s people, through his disciples, how to pray. That’s why at Connect we pray this prayer every week in worship. The Lord’s Prayer concisely covered a wide range of topics, from the lofty (“Bring in your kingdom”) to the everyday (“Give us the bread we need for today”). It was a model prayer God’s people could weave into their lives. Are there subjects or wishes you tend to avoid praying about, for fear God isn’t interested or that God might disapprove of your concern? How secure are you in talking to God in prayer about everything that matters to you?
Prayer: Dear God, help me never to be too busy, or too shy, to ask you both the big and little questions that are on my mind. Thank you for the ongoing conversation we call “prayer.” Amen.