Summary: Jesus gives us a wonderful model prayer with a lot of rich elements. Let's study it!

And When You Pray...

Message given by Sterling Franklin

April 2008

Text: Matthew 6:5-15

Matthew 6:5-15 5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. 9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. 14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Structural Outline of Text (Handouts):

I. Do not be as the Hypocrites (6:5-8)

A. Do not pray for the praise of men (5)

B. Pray in secret (6)

C. Do not use vain repetitions (7)

1. God already knows what you need even before you ask.

2. We should be persistent in prayer, but not with vain repetitions!

a. Trust that He will bring things about.

b. Pray for things consistently, but expectantly!

II. Here is an example of a Good Prayer (6:9-13)

(See Main Points of Prayer)

III. The Importance of a Heart of Forgiveness involved in Prayer (6:14-15)

Walking through the text...

…and when you pray (not ‘and if you pray’) – it is assumed that followers of Jesus will faithfully pray.

Heart condition – God is concerned with the heart.

Contrast: Hypocrites to Genuine Believers

Hypocrites: Go to common areas in order to be recognized/seen.

- In synagogues

- In the corners of the streets

Hypocrites: Stand vs. Enter into their closet

Hypocrites: Use vain repetitions

Contrast: Persistence in heartfelt prayer:

Luke 18:1-8 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: 3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. 4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. 6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. 7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

We are to pray persistently and cry out to God, here for justice.

Our prayers should be faithful. We shouldn’t nag God with empty words over and over and over again in order to try to ‘win his ear.’ He hears us! Let us pray in faith, knowing that He answers, yet let us be persistent in casting our cares upon Him.

We should have a humble posture and not seek prideful places to be seen in prayer.

Should we be praying to build up our own image, or to glorify God and build up His Kingdom?

Who has thrown themselves out in public in order to receive the praise of men?

Who has received their reward already?

Prayer itself…

Known as the 'Lord's Prayer' though it could also be called the 'Disciples' Prayer' since this is a model prayer of sorts.


Our Father

God is our Father. Even if we have not experienced the blessing of a godly biological father, we have a Heavenly Father who has made us, formed us, and who cares for us deeply.

Which art in Heaven,

Our Father is exalted in Heaven. We acknowledge that He is in a place of Holiness.

Address God as He is (our Father…)


Hallowed be thy Name,

We know that He himself is also pure and Holy. He is “hallowed.” We seek that His Name be treated as such. He is set apart. Nothing impure can dwell in His sight.

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