Summary: This is a study on the Sermon on the Mount. This is the 6th sermon in the series.
Sermon on the Mount
Matthew 6: 5-15
And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you they have their reward.  But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut the your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.  But when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.  Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.  In this manner, therefore pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.  Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.  For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Can you picture in your mind – A Christian never praying?
A. Christianity and praying go together.
1. Praying is natural for a Christian. There is no separating them.
a. If you are a Christian and you do not pray you may want to ask yourself why is it that I am not doing one of the most natural traits of being a child of God?
b. A non-praying Christian is an oxymoron.
B. Praying is demanded.
1. When you pray … see v. 5, 6, 7, 9.
None of us can comprehend exactly how prayer functions within the infinite mind of God. The Calvinistic view emphasizes God’s sovereignty, and in its extreme application holds that God will work according to His perfect will regardless of the way men pray or even whether they pray or not. At the opposite extreme, the Arminian view holds that God’s actions pertaining to us are determined largely on the basis of our prayers. One the one hand, prayer is seen simply as a way of lining up with God regarding what He has already determined to do, and on the other it is beseeching God to do what He otherwise would not do.
Scripture supports both of these views and hold them, as it were, in tension. The Bible is unequivocal about God’s sovereignty. But it is equally unequivocal in declaring that within His sovereignty God calls on His people to beseech Him in prayer – to implore His help in guidance, provision, protection, mercy, forgiveness, and countless other needs.
It is neither required nor possible to fathom the divine working that makes prayer effective. God simply commands us to obey the principles of prayer that His Word gives.
--- [The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Matthew 1-7, Moody Press, 1985, p. 362] ---
1. This passage is both important and practical for us the believer today; for from it we learn not only how to pray but also how we are not to pray. A lesson that is to be understood by all of us who claim we are Christians. Prayer has a purpose and that purpose is to bring glory to God.
I. WHEN YOU PRAY …
A. Don’t Put on a Show
And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you they have their reward.
1. Hypocrites – [same as v. 2] - Gk. means: actor, one who puts on a false front to pretend to be what he is not.
a. may be seen of men – self-praise, self-recognition, self-importance
i. how often do we try to impress those who are listening to us pray instead of just talking to the Lord?
b. standing in the synagogue – before religious people
c. corners of the streets – before the public
2. They have their reward – [same as v. 2] - they have been paid in full. Therefore, no other payment (reward) is due to them.
NOTE: Jesus does not condemn public prayer – 1 Tim, 2:1-4. His purpose here is to tell men not to make their prayers to have people focused on them, but to pray that people put their focus on God.